Two vacant lots on the Hill may soon hold single-family houses built by Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven.
The city has owned the adjacent lots, which have stood empty for the last 20 years, since the late 2000s. Now, Habitat is preparing to acquire them, under a plan greenlit Tuesday night by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).
The board voted to grant approval of a request for a variance to allow the two properties, 62 and 66 Sylvan Ave., to remain separate so Habitat can build two separate houses there. City zoning laws require adjacent lots smaller than 5,400 square feet to merge.
Attorney John Parese and Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven Executive Director William Casey successfully made their case at the board’s meeting in the basement of 200 Orange St.
BZA Chair Pat King said she found it “particularly noteworthy that if there were two separate owners of these parcels, they would be able to build these structures as of right.” Casey said the final sale of the structures to Habitat-approved families follows six to eight months after construction begins, meaning that the lots will share an owner for only a brief time.
In an interview, Casey said that his organization plans to finalize the acquisitions of the two lots by spring and have a family, chosen by the Habitat Family Selection Committee, living on the lot by fall.
The two houses will add to the more than 120 homes Habitat for Humanity has built in New Haven since 1986. No one spoke in opposition to the proposal; the BZA’s vote of approval was unanimous.
Click here to read about the plan’s previous approval by the Livable City Initiative board.