The City Council unanimously approved a measure Monday night to rezone nine Meriden neighborhoods throughout the city – (R-1) residential areas.
The change will go into effect 10 days after it is officially publicized by the city, which will likely happen this week, City Manager Lawrence Kendzior said after the meeting.
The effort is intended "to protect, maintain and improve the quality of our neighborhoods and our housing stock," in accordance with the city's overarching Plan of Conservation and Development approved in 2009, City Councilor Brian Daniels (D) said.
The neighborhoods (a list is below) identified, though currently zoned R-2, are overwhelmingly populated by single-family homes. Eighty-six percent of the 523 parcels in the areas are currently in use as single-family homes, according to the city's planning department. Six of the neighborhoods are reportedly in aquafier protection zones, which the city wants to keep low-density.
Current multi-family structures in these zones will be grandfathered in, but new construction will have to be single-family.
"This resolution is not causing anyone to tear down their houses," Daniels said.
The approval comes after the measure, originally presented by the City's Planning Department, spent several months in committees and was discussed at .
At that hearing residents for the most part approved of the proposed change, once they were assured that current multi-family homes would be allowed to stay.
One hypothetical that some took issue with was the idea that a multi-family home that burned to the ground would have to be rebuilt as a single family home.
The city's Planning Director Dominick Caruso said at that meeting that the structure would only have to be rebuilt adhering to the new zoning if it were to burn down to less than 50 percent of its structure. Councilors at the Zoning meeting following the hearing said the odds of that are slim, and Caruso said that if it should happen, owners would still have a chance to request a variance of the city's Zoning Board of Appeals.
Councilor Hilda Santiago (D) thanked homeowners for coming out to the hearing.
"It's a credit to homeowners for paying attention to what's happening in their neighborhood," Santiago.
Properties at 6 Webb Street and 9 and 15 Cutlery Avenue, which were previously included in the resolution, were exempted from the final vote. Two are city properties and 15 Cutlery Avenue is owned by Albert DiDominico who has already submitted plans to the city for a three-unit condo complex there.
Councilor Daniel Brunet (R) lauded city planners for enacting portions of the city's Plan of Conservation.
"In a lot of communities these things just sit on the shelves," Brunet said.
The areas that will now be zoned R-1 from R-2 can be seen on the map in this article. Homes are on the following streets, though zoning for all homes on these streets will not be changed:
Murray St., Sunset Ave., Williams St., Liberty St., Horton Ave., Collins Ave., Newton St., Cottage St., Norrie Place, Wall St., North Wall St., Del Terrace, North Pearl St., Elizabeth Rd., Yale Acres Rd., Welles Terr., North Ct., South Ct., Broadvale Rd., Broadview Terr., Cutlery Ave., Meadow St., Camp St., Rice St., Webb St., Hobart St., Evansville Ave., Baker Ave., Cheshire Rd., New Cheshire Rd., Raven Dr., Carl St., South Vine St., Botsford St., Eddy Ave., Bacon St., Fair St., Leonard St., Bailey Ave., Kensington Ave., Joseph St., Jerome Ave., and Paddock Ave.