73 homes for ‘empty nesters’ proposed in Milford

MILFORD – A subdivision of 73 “age-targeted” homes, designed for people without children, may be built behind the Hampshire Hills Sports and Fitness Club.

The proposed subdivision would not be legally limited to adults – that is, it will not include covenants preventing children from living there – but will consist of two-bedroom, stand-alone condominiums designed to attract “empty nesters.”

Such housing, which occupies a niche between standard subdivisions and age-restricted retirement complexes, has become more common as baby boomers age.

Empty nesters are attractive to towns because they pay property taxes but don’t put children into schools, which are the most expensive part of local government.

A New England-wide industry group has even sprung up to serve the so-called “active adult” or “50-plus” market, and in the process keep them from retiring to warm-weather states.

Earlier this month, for example, the 50-Plus New England Housing Council sponsored a six-state symposium in Foxborough, Mass., to help builders, developers and planners figure out how to attract such customers.

The Milford proposal was formally submitted to the Planning Board on Tuesday by the developer, the Stabile Cos. If approved by the town, the subdivision of stand-alone condominiums would be placed on 42 acres just south of the Hampshire Hills club, which owns the land.

The condos would be built on a looped network of roads that would feed into a single entrance off Federal Hill Road.

The proposal preserves a large wetland on Federal Hill Road, and has trails connecting both to Hampshire Hills on the north and conservation land on the south.

There are still some questions to be answered, including the effect of the development on nearby wells and details on connecting the complex to town water and sewer.