Proposal for more Bridgeport Avenue apartments continues March 22

A rendering of what a retail storefront would like at the proposed development on Bridgeport Avenue at Long Hill Cross Road.

The public hearing on another major development planned for Wells family land on Bridgeport Avenue will continue on March 22 at city hall.

This project involves a 17.7-acre undeveloped parcel at Bridgeport Avenue and Long Hill Cross Road. Being proposed is a mixed-use development with 145 apartments, a 112-room hotel, retail space, restaurants, and an automotive center.

The project could include up to a dozen structures, with the three apartment buildings placed in the rear and away from Bridgeport Avenue.

Save Our Shelton (SOS), the citizens group formed to fight the massive Shelter Ridge project on the other side of Bridgeport Avenue, has retained an attorney to oppose this project as well. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the Shelter Ridge project on March 7.

The developer wants to create a Planned Development District (PDD) on the land, which now is zoned for light industrial use.

Attorney Dominick Thomas is representing the developer. Thomas also is listed as “trustee” for the project, with no specific developer named. Rose Tiso & Co. is the engineer.

The property is located north of the Long Hill Cross intersection with Bridgeport Avenue, toward the Crown Point Center that includes the Wild Kanji restaurant. It uses a legal address of 48 Long Hill Cross Road and is technically two separate land parcels.

The site slopes down toward Bridgeport Avenue, and now consists of hayfields and some forested areas. A large retaining wall would be built in the back of the parcel. Wells Hollow Brook is on the property, near Bridgeport Avenue.

The developer has proposed buildings up to 4.5 stories high, which is higher than the four stories allowed in a PDD. About two-thirds of the property would be covered by impervious surfaces. There would be 857 parking spaces, which is about 150 more than required.

The combined non-apartment space is about 90,000 square feet, according to city zoning officials. The property has about 2,200 feet of frontage on Bridgeport Avenue.

The upcoming hearing will be the third night for the public hearing on the project.

Objections

City Engineer Robert Kulacz has raised many objections to the plan. In a Jan. 24 letter to the P&Z, Kulacz wrote that the applicant “is essentially paving the entire … parcel (except for wetlands),” provides no buffer for the brook, and wants three brook driveway crossings.

He said the application isn’t consistent with the city’s master plan and would generate “significant traffic.”

The Conservation Commission also strongly objects to the proposal as presented. “The Conservation Commission is offended by this application and feels it should be rejected out of hand,” Conservation Commission Chairman Tom Harbinson wrote in a Feb. 3 letter to the P&Z.

Harbinson’s letter raises concerns about the impact on the brook and on the streetscape along Long Hill Cross Road, near where the Hawk’s Ridge housing development is being built.

Resident Greg Tetro, who helped found SOS, questioned having three brook crossings, the impact on Hawk’s Ridge home buyers, and if more hotel rooms, apartment units and restaurants are needed in Shelton. He said new retail space will simply take tenants away from existing retail buildings.

“How is that fair to the building owners who have their tenants stolen, when they have been loyal taxpayers in our city?” he asked.

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