Beacon Point developer appears to have secured sewer connection

(Note: A recent Herald story stated the developer had filed a new application, which is inaccurate. While various applications for the site have been filed in recent years, the Planning and Zoning Commission has been acting on the same application in recent months although changes have been made to that application while it's been under consideration. We great the error and any confusion it caused.)

The Beacon Point Marina developer may have secured a sewer connection for the proposed apartment, restaurant and marina project along the Housatonic River in Shelton.

Developer attorney Dominick Thomas said at the Nov. 28 Shelton Planning & Zoning Commission meeting that the Stratford Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) will accept sewage from the complex, but can't formally take that step until the development first receives zoning approval in Shelton.

"We resolved that issue," Thomas said during a continued public hearing on the proposal.

Thomas presented documents showing the Stratford WPCA had indicated it has the capacity the handle to sewage to be generated. He said Stratford therefore must accept the sewage based on an existing agreement between the two municipalities.

Parts of southeastern Shelton off lower Long Hill Avenue and Route 110 (River Road) are served by the Stratford sewer system. The Shelton sewer system doesn't extend into that part of town.

Some P&Z members are leery of approving the project before the Stratford WPCA commits to handling the sewage.

"It's not done yet. It's not cast in stone," member Charles Kelly said.

Member Mark Widomski said the Stratford WPCA appears to still be discussing whether it will agree to handle sewage from the development.

Shelton Corporation Counsel Francis Teodosio told the P&Z an absolute commitment wasn't needed to modify a Planned Development District (PDD) zone, as the developer is requesting for the project. Teodosio said this level of assurance is required before the final site plans are approved for the project, which comes later in the zoning process.

Attorney Chris Russo, representing a concerned neighbor, said he believes the developer must show it has a way to handle the sewage before the PDD modification application can be approved. “The applicant might be hopeful,” but there's a possibility the sewer connection might not happen, Russo said.

“The agreement still has a way to go,” said Russo, urging the P&Z to reject the application.

Thomas, however, said due to the two-town agreement and state law, “Stratford has no ability — none — to say no to this project (in Shelton).”

Resolving the sewer issue would make it more likely the proposal, to be called the Great River Water Club, will receive zoning approval. At the Nov. 28 meeting, a few commission members praised the final version of the plans, which have been evolving over a few years through different applications and denials.

The hearing on the application was closed and a P&Z vote is likely in the next few months.

The project

The developers, Ricar LLC and Mianus Holding LLC, want to build an apartment complex, marina, boating club and restaurant at 704-722 River Road (Route 110), across from Murphys Lane and the Crescent Village residential community.

The project would occupy 8.6 acres and have five buildings. There would be 98 “luxury” apartments in three residential structures, two other buildings for the rowing club and 170-seat restaurant, boat storage, about 100 boat slips and 420 parking spaces.

A walkway around the entire site would provide riverfront access for the public and the development would have three driveways on River Road.

The developers want to modify a PDD for a condominium, restaurant and marina at the site approved about a decade ago but never built.

Opponents, including residents of the nearby Crescent Village, have raised questions about building height, project density, waterfront access, and the impact on Route 110 traffic, river views and the school system enrollment.