At the turn of this century, there was a fad among developers: 55-and-over developments. With the population aging, the market boomed, cresting in about 2004.
Then, it dropped off. Now, experts contend that there is almost no market for 55-and-over developments, with several developers asking for towns to drop the restriction in their zoning regulations.
“There was a small window for that market,” Farmington developer Mark Steiner told Patch in an earlier interview. “And it just isn’t there anymore.”
The 55-and-older age restriction mandates that residents must be at least 55 years old to buy a property in that zoning area.
The problem is that the market is so narrow, according to Brian Miller, a former town planner and now a consultant on economic development. Miller said the average age for people who buy into that type of community is over 70, and it is becoming less and less popular to live in communities where everybody is the same age.
Eden Harbour in Old Saybrook is one example of a fairly new age-restricted condominium development.
Several developers have since asked for the restriction to be written out of town’s zonings regulations. In the town of Waterford for example, there are regulations for 55-and-over communities, have asked for the 55-and-over restriction to be removed.
“Changing times and trends have shown locally and nationally that age-restricted communities are often not in the best interest of the community, and in this case the regulation does not serve Waterford’s long term planning needs,” wrote Matt Berger, a New London lawyer representing a developer who wanted the regulation lifted, in a letter to the Waterford Planning and Zoning Commission.