A zone change is being proposed for the formed St. Elizabeth’s Church site on Burban Drive that would allow an increase in density for housing on the property.

The requested change by a developer would see the site’s zoning designation change from an R-4 to an R-1. Under current zoning each lot would need to be at least 20,000 square feet, with 40’ front yards and 50’ rear yards.

Under the proposed R-1 designation, each site would need to be only 6,000 square feet, with 15’ front yards and 20’ rear yards.

Based on the change, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) analysis that the number of homes that could be built would go from a possible 21 to 72.

Applicants did not file a detailed drawing of a specific use of the site, but did present a preliminary plan to Planning and Zoning earlier this year. Developer Michael Massimino and engineer John Mancini of BL Companies made the presentation to the Commission.

In that proposal, the current vacant church was taken down and 55 single family homes were built. Also included was a transformation of the current monastery, which will use its unique shape to create 50, 1-bedroom units. The units vary in size between 437 square feet and 845 square feet. 34 of these are on the first level, 16 would be on a second floor.

Finally, in the proposal made in March, two 4-story structures were built and located behind the monastery. The structures would feature parking on the ground level and total 60 units; 36 1-bedroom and 24 2-bedroom.

In total, the initial plan presented in March would see 165 units on the property.

However, the new filing, with the same applicant, does not include details of the plan, but rather simply requests a zone change.

The property had been on the market since 2017, then the church was closed. In April of this year, the property was sold for $900,000 to an entity, 65-99 Burban Assocociates LLC.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has set a public hearing on the proposed zone change for its November 21 meeting at the Branford firehouse.

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(17) comments

Guest

The Massiminos are despicable slum lords. Surprised they didn't catch fire upon stepping on to the property there.

Guest

I make the job for mike. He no make the check for me. Ever.

Guest

Is Branford seriously considering to allow the Massimino development company do a project like this in our town? Has anyone ever heard of the word “GOOGLE”?

Guest

They got me real good too. We went to court after they just don’t pay for the work they have you do. I got stuck with some ridiculous judgement because they have so many layers and show no earnings or assets in their names. I have yet to receive any of my monthly payment and finally gave up. Everyone should stay far away. I even remember seeing last year that they were stealing employee identities and opening credit cards in their names. This project will be just another opportunity for these people to sell homes built for them for free because they pay no bills. I was warned before I got involved, I learned the hard way.

Guest

With all the for-sale signs all over town, where are the people going to come from to live in this proposed development? The smaller the residential space, the lower the price, be careful people before this increase in density is approved, it could vastly change the whole tenor of the neighborhood!

Guest

This region of Town is already vastly over developed with all the condo units just steps up the street from this purposed development!!! Branford needs to put an end to all these cookie cutter home developments. Enough already!!!!

Guest

Make the monastery 1 bedroom requirement for homeless veterans only and if they get a rent there the renter has to provide them a job....

Sailsalot

Never trust the P&Z to protect us from greedy developers. Go to the hearing and let them know you are watching them.

Guest

I agree. Don't let the P&Z approve this without our approval. The developers are hoping that the towns people don't realize what they're trying to accomplish with the Zone Change. Show up to the meeting! Don't regret it later when you could have had a say.

Guest

When an article came out about several months back about Massimino buying the church property, one person commented on Massimino’s reputation and multiple lawsuits filed against him for non-payment to vendors and subcontractors. The information on a State of Ct website (sorry,forgot which one) showed a despicable number of judgements against them...with payment to his creditors for mere dollars against debts in the tens of thousands. Try that trick with your utilities and credit cards! I don’t think I want to see them build more housing on someone else’s dime. Hopefully this project fails, and Zoning denies the density requests, we don’t need overbuilt substandard housing so a greedy company can destroy more of Branford. By the way....437 square foot apartments? Some average hotel rooms are bigger than that. Sad.

Guest

The Massimino company is a criminal organization - they will use this project to steal more money from their lender and the contractors who work on the job. Just check the ct judicial website... they are currently involved in several lawsuits totaling over 15 million dollars for swindling investors and subcontractors out of millions of dollars. Even if the commission wants this project, this is the wrong developer. Why not invite one of the ethical and quality developers we have locally to do this project? Why grant a zone change to a developer who is currently being sued for a 15 million dollar fraud from his lenders and subs? Folks all it takes is a quick search of the ct judicial site and it’s all right there. Massimino company is a criminal and fraudulent firm and will use this project to steal yet more money from those who actually make it possible.... please show up to put a stop to this!

Guest

Yeah he stole so much money from me I went bankrupt... my son had to cancel his college plans because Massimino robbed me and I couldn’t give him the help I had promised him... leins and suing him did nothing because of his layers of sham companies.. imagine how I felt as a father... mike massimino used to call himself ct dream home but he really only gives people nightmares

Guest

Yeah I used to sit in their office parking lot on hoey Avenue for hours waiting for checks that either never came or just bounced... some fat lady Lisa would always be saying she didn’t know who I was or didn’t have the invoice... even their employees are in on it

Guest

Yea, they are dirt bags of the earth. I only hear horror stories of unpaid bills, creditors, and workers never being paid. Keep them out of our shoreline community

Guest

This will be a disaster because the builder is a fraud. I am a contractor who did work for the Massimino builders. Everything they touch turns into an unfinished disaster. They start homes and take the money from their banker and never finish them. These homes are littered all over new haven county. I worked in most of them. I was paid sporadically for a while but eventually I had to start showing up to their office where the mother joined in the scam, making up bs excuses for why there was no money that week. I would be promised a check for the week and then would make plans for bills etc for my home and family only to be told on a Friday by the mother that there was nothing and I’d have to get ahold of one of her sons. Of course there was never an answer, and never a check even over a year later. These people have cut a swath of larceny through southern ct and no one will work for them anymore. This is why they have subs working on their jobs from Hartford county and further - because they haven’t heard about their business practices. Is this the type of developer we want doing a project of this magnitude in Branford? Let’s think about this...and while we are contemplating it, let’s check the judicial website which will show so many lawsuits against these people that if you printed the list it could use a ream of paper. Let’s say NO to criminal developers in our town!!

Guest

These guys don’t pay. They put me out of business, stress caused my divorce. They ruined my life. Thanks a lot mike mass. Scumbag.

Guest

To echo the comments above, investors through realtyshares - an online real estate investing platform - lost millions on Massimino-led projects. I’m one of them. They are on the verge of bankruptcy. These guys belong in jail.

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