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May 14, 2024

Third time the charm for controversial Bristol senior housing project

Contributed The Laurel Meadows senior housing community in Bristol will have 84 units.

The Bristol Zoning Commission on Monday approved an 84-unit senior housing project over the objections of neighbors to the property.

The proposal was the third attempt by Joseph Naples, a Bristol resident who owns Plainville-based Laurel Meadows LLC, to develop more than 11 acres on Redstone Hill Road. 

After completing a public hearing that began April 8 and featured a majority of residents speaking against the project as out of character for the neighborhood, the commission approved a special permit and a site plan on identical 3-2 votes.

Naples plans to build 84 residential senior housing units on a site that consists of six parcels and three single-family homes. Two of the homes will be retained and separated into independent lots at the northeast and northwest corners of the property, while the third home in the center of the parcel will be removed.

The remaining properties will be combined into a single lot totaling 11.23 acres. On that lot, Laurel Meadows will erect a one-story community building and two apartment buildings — a two-story building with 36 units and a three-story building with 48 units.

Of the 84 units, 65 will be two-bedroom apartments and 19 will be one-bedroom.

The parcels involved are identified as 560, 594 and 644 Redstone Hill Road, and lots 9B-1, 9B-2, 11, 11-2, 11-3 and 10-B-1 on assessor’s map 1.

Naples’ two previous applications met with stiff opposition. In 2020, his initial proposal seeking a zone change for a major multifamily luxury housing development aroused strong opposition from residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

In 2022, Naples won approval from the Zoning Commission for a special permit and site plan for 86 senior housing units, but that project was thwarted when the Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency rejected it in a 4-3 vote. That rejection is the subject of a lawsuit in New Britain Superior Court.

The new application circumvented that issue by reconfiguring the project so it did not require wetlands approval. The revised plan also reduced the size of the project.

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