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146 Homes Proposed for Phase 4 of Village at Oxford Greens

The plans are in front of the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The developers of the have applied to town land use boards for permission to build phase four of the development, a plan that would bring 146 more age-restricted units to town.

The proposed development in the 55 and older complex is expected to bring a mix of townhouses and ranches in clusters of two and three units, and is anticipated to bring up to 262 people to the town, no school-aged children and annual net tax revenue of more than $690,000 to town coffers, according to a conceptual study conducted in the fall and paid for by the developers.

Phase Four of the eight-phase project is the largest and it marks the first time the Village will have attached units – where more than one home is in a building – as opposed to the separate units that have been constructed thus far. Phase Four would be constructed on 42.1 acres at the northern tip of the Village. A portion of the homes would have either direct frontage or golf course views of three holes at the , developers state in the study.

The Oxford Planning & Zoning Commission heard from representatives of the Village at Oxford Greens about this plan on Thursday night. The commission made no decision and wants to hear a little more about the project. A date will likely be set up in April for another meeting.

Tax Impact

The Village at Oxford Greens, which was approved in 2001 for a total of 781 homes, currently has 336 homes that have been built – less than 10 of them are still on the market.

The Village developers are among the town’s top taxpayers with the development bringing a total of $2.24 million in annual taxes, representing a 5.7 percent share of the total revenue collected by the town, according to a fiscal impact and market analysis study contained in the above mentioned two-inch thick conceptual development plan put together by Timberlake Development Partners, LLC., and Pulte Homes of New England, LLC., the project developers. The plan is on file at Town Hall.

The plan states that Phase Four’s townhouses and ranches would bring a gross total of $933,600 in annual taxes to the town. That number includes property, motor vehicle and sewer use taxes.

That number is then subtracted by the projected costs of the development to the town attributable to the development. Those costs are estimated at $242,300 annually, according to the report.

Therefore, the net direct fiscal impact would represent an annual increase in tax revenue of $691,300, plus up to $756,500 in one-time fees that would include building permits fees, site plan and zoning fees, real estate conveyance taxes and fees associated with sewer line and water hook-ups, the report states.

Cost of the Units

How much each unit would cost depends on the condition of the market at the time they are built. However, the developers attempted to get a market analysis of like-sized townhouses/ranches in the state. The estimated market value of each home in four like-sized units in October was roughly $353,000, according to the study.

Economic Impact

Economic output is defined in the study as the sum of economic activity associated with the development.  The economic study, conducted by AMS Consulting, LLC., states that “based on the original investment of 39.2 million in the development (hard costs only), we anticipate the Phase 4 construction will generate an additional boost to economic output within he state and region of $35.4 million. Total output, both direct and indirect, is estimated to total $74.4 million by full build-out.”

Jobs Associated With the Project

According to the study:

  • Construction phase is expected to bring 281 jobs on site;
  • Another 203 indirect or induced jobs are expected to be created over the course of construction;
  • Gross total salaries and wages arising from construction budget (hard costs) are projected to total $23.4 million, while on-site construction wages are projected to contribute $14.3 million to the direct earnings.

For more information and design layout plans, see the conceptual development plan and schematic development plan for Phase 4 in the Planning & Zoning office at Town Hall. The plans include everything from economic to environmental impacts, plus an in-depth traffic analysis.

Robert Williams March 03, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Ok, at the risk of being vilified, I gotta say this. Is anyone else concerned with the fact that the more "over 55" folks we bring to town, the more difficult it will become to pass budgets that involve spending on the towns youth, i.e. the education budget. These budgets are tough enough to pass as it is, the more folks with built in reasons to vote no, the tougher it will become. Unfortunately I do not have a solution, just a concern. I wonder if there is any research on this topic; it would be interesting to know how this might affect us.
Paul Singley March 03, 2012 at 01:37 AM
It's tough to say. I know the 55 and older crowd gets the stereotype of being anti-education budget - or anti any kind of tax increase - and some of that is because many are retired and on fixed incomes. But I know there are a lot of seniors, esp. those in the 55 and older complexes, who support education at a reasonable cost. While I've not done any scientific research, from talking to many voters in this area over the years, I'd say seniors are no more likely to vote down a school budget than someone of any other age group. To back up my point I look to Southbury, which has the largest age-restricted community in the state in Heritage Village - and yet I believe Region 15 (Southbury-Middlebury) doesn't usually have too much of a difficult time passing school budgets, at least not in comparison to other local towns. Again, just my two cents; I could be wrong. It's certainly a healthy discussion to have. Thanks for bringing it up. I'd love to hear responses.
Bill Johnson March 03, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Talk about generalizations ..... I am over 55 and have lived in Oxford for 10 years, paid approximately $10,000 a year in taxes, and always voted for education (ie the new high school).
Rachael R March 03, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Paul: If you consider how long it took Oxford to build OHS I think you would have to know Oxford is a very different community, but I don't think its the senior citizens alone who are reluctant to pass education budgets. This present budget comes on the heels of the fall out from the Tax Office, and appears to have a focus on administrative and clerical positions, rather than teaching positions and supplies, so I don't believe i will pass.
Paul Singley March 03, 2012 at 12:31 PM
I hear ya. It did take a long time to build OHS, for sure. From my recollection - albeit from afar at that point - there were many reasons for that, though. My point is simply that it's unfair to blame seniors for school budgets not passing since many of them do, indeed, vote in favor of education budgets, esp. those that offer palatable spending increases and those that can be thoroughly explained and justified.
Janis Hardy March 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Residents of Oxford Greens and the other over-55 communities in town are all highly-educated professionals and retirees. Knowing the value of a good education, these are the last folks who would be voting down education budgets. Look closer at the 25-50 age group for the majority of NO votes! They are the ones with higher living costs due to lifestyle and children, etc. so would be more likely to have to control the budget!
Janis Hardy March 03, 2012 at 12:56 PM
FYI: When I campaigned for First Selectman during the height of the high school controversy, it was seniors who supported the new high school more than any other single age group! Please do not make assumptions about those of us over 55! You'd be surprised about what we support and what we don't support... and what we don't support is mostly ignorance and naivete....
B Miller March 03, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Robert- no I don't think Oxford Greens residents, in general, are a negative to passing education budgets. Oxford Greens has overall been a big positive for the Town. I do think you have to justify the spending for them to support it, they are not going to spend just for the sake of spending. I have been in Town long enough to know we had great difficulty passing Ed budget long before Oxford Greens came along. We did not end up at near the bottom in the State for Educational spending overnight. By the way that will effect home values!
Peter Bunzl March 03, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I always get disturbed over this perception that seniors are reluctant to help pay the cost of a town's education budget. Seniors and their children and their grandchildren have all benefited from educations that they and others have paid for in the form of taxes. It's unfair to believe that they adopt an attitde of not willing to carry and share the burden of educating other people's children. In addition I would like to inform Robert Williams tthat the residents of Oxfrod Greens, in addition to paying their taxes, also have an Oxford Greens Scholarship Fund. This fund has collected over $12,000.00 privately in donations from Oxford Greens residents these past two years and awarded 8 Oxford High Schools graduates monetary scholarships.
Paul Coward March 03, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I am more willing to invest in the future of children than supporting personal an political agendas of our elected officials. I'll go to the mat for our kids who have yet to learn how to be self centered. There is wisdom in all of us old folk here at OG. The town should realize that building on this asset and not dismissing it out of hand will produce far greater results than produced by political infighting.
Robert Williams March 03, 2012 at 03:48 PM
..... dang it, only 1500 characters...cont... Lastly, generalizations are a necessary start in the deductive reasoning process. You make a generalization, then you set out to prove or disprove based on hard data and again that’s what I am looking for. If I had the time I could pull voting records for the last 10 years, along with percent of senior population, and political party domination and who initiated the project. From that we could possible determine the effect seniors or political parties have on the budget of these items. My question is if anyone has already done this. I have not been able to find any data on the topic.
Robert Williams March 03, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Good Afternoon, The generalization that seniors vote no for school budgets has been around a long time. A simple Google search and you will find many articles, including current Patch articles, discussing the various merits of this generalization. The problem I have is that nowhere can I find any scientific data to either support or refute the claim, and that is ultimately my question, how does a large senior population affect the vote on items that involve a town’s youth. Many of you are also making broad generalizations based on your own individual circumstances, i.e. the fact that you support education budgets. You use your support to claim that seniors do in fact support education budgets; I do not dispute that some seniors do support education budgets. What I am trying to determine is on a larger scale what percent of seniors do. We have had a hard time with school budgets in this town, from the high school to ongoing budget needs. Many have made claim that seniors are to blame, maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but I would like to know for sure. Perhaps the difficult with these budgets is more political party based then anything else. God forbid Dem’s should let Repub’s have a success and vice versa.....
Janis Hardy March 03, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Bob, I think you are looking for trouble where none exists... ie, the effect of the voting habits of our over 55 communities. I was very politically active in the late '80's and early 90's when these developments didn't exist, and personally polled voters after referendum votes. More budgets were defeated back then than are now. Looking at Oxford only, and not trying to apply every nationwide demograpghic, I have seen that support for education budgets has IMPROVED substantially with the advent of the over 55 communities. Trying to paint Oxford seniors with a broad brush is an inappropriate waste of time. And, I am NOT making these statements based on my own individual circumstances. Having been on both the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen, (as well as my husband's 8 years on the BOF) has provided me with broad voting result experience with rerspect to your inquiry. Quite frankly, I suspect that if all residents over the age of 55 were prohibited from voting on the education budget, you would be very surprised at the results! The educational community needs our support, and we don't seem to be receiving the credit we deserve!
Robert Williams March 03, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Janis, Good Morning, I want to be clear here to all, I am not painting Oxford seniors with a broad brush. That has been done already by many more before me. I am asking what I believe to be a legit question in the face of moving even more seniors to Oxford. Seniors I might add that will most likely be new to our community and not have the same connection to our town, its politics and school system. These new seniors may have never had kids go through our system and can be even more separated from our needs and history. I think this is a legit line of questioning anytime you want to move a large population into a town all at once. Sticking your head in the sand (not saying you do) and not asking the questions in my opinion is irresponsible. Lastly, you have a LOT more experience in this town then I do and I respect your position and opinion, but, you are still making assumptions based on nothing more than your personal experience, which frankly is different then 99% of the rest of the town population. What makes those assumptions any more or less valid then others?
Ed Spruck March 03, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Janis is correct, back in the 70’ & 80’s budgets were much harder to pass and education was usually the target. However, the kids were well prepared for high school and many went to private schools. Funding them was in the low 160’s out of 169 towns. As Paul mentioned the Southbury/Middlebury region, I believe the most recent budget passed in Southbury but not in Middlebury (or at least by a much smaller margin). Janis also correctly pointed out that the 30-50year old segment is the most financially stressed group and despite having kids in school it’s their family budget that drive the voting results. So lay-off the over 55’s, we are from a different era and know that education is important. It’s also important the money is spent wisely on the kids EDUCATION.
Paul Singley March 03, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Robert: I know you were not trying to be rude or throw seniors under the bus, nor did I think you were making generalizations about them. I just want to make that clear. I get it: you want to know whether there is data on this. Truth is, I don't know either. But I'll tell you this - I will make it my mission to find out. I'm gonna start with the state Dept. of Education and then look into other sources. I'll let you know what I find. Thanks to all commenters for participating in this thread and for keeping it civil. I love these kinds of discussions. Have a great weekend.
Michael March 04, 2012 at 01:59 PM
How can they say "no school age children" don't forget that women rarely tell their age and men rarely act their age. That being said, how many men in their 50’s and 60’ have children with a spouse or girlfriend that is in their 20’s or 30’s? Chances are the offspring from these relationships will bring say "school age children."
xxxoxox March 04, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Actually, administrative requests only represent about 20% of positions proposed in the recent BOE budget based on my reading of the document in front of me. Some of the positions mentioned are not new positions but rather restore previously full positions back to that posture. Administrative demands do not necessarily decrease when positions are cut. With the many changes that we face with coming changes in teacher assessment, new common core standards, curriculum changes, OHS accreditation and the maturing of our HS classes, it has been harder to justify continuing to go without this support.

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