Bridgeport Avenue development faces some opposition

Plans for a 252-unit apartment development on Bridgeport Avenue faced some opposition at a Planning and Zoning public hearing.

The applicant, Talbot Partners, LLC, have requested a zone change for the 740 Bridgeport Ave. parcel, behind Planet Fitness, allowing for the construction of the development. According to the applicant’s attorney, Dominick Thomas, the “upscale” development could cost $30-40 million to build, creating numerous jobs.

State Rep. Jason Perillo (R-113) attended the Jan. 23 public hearing to voice his concerns the application will hurt progress downtown.

“There is only so much demand for apartment living and the plan for Shelton and downtown has always been that downtown will be the focus of where we build the supply to meet that demand,” Perillo told the Herald last week. “With the construction of units on Bridgeport Avenue you expand the supply of housing in an area of Shelton for which it was never intended.”

Perillo wasn’t the only person to question the plan. Thomas Harbinson, chair of the Conservation Commission raised concerns questioning if the plan followed the city’s Plan of Conservation and Development and raising other issues like pedestrian access, according to the meeting minutes.

Thomas said the demand for housing in that area of Shelton is high. The potential development generate $800,000 in gross taxes, with a net amount of $500,000 after taking out deductions for the cost of public services and school children, according to the minutes.

Perillo said the development also doesn’t send a great message to future developers about the city’s commitment to downtown.

“If we’re going to depart so drastically from every plan that has ever been written by approving this, the project has to be perfect for the city and this project is not,” Perillo said. “Maybe it will be someday but that day is certainly not today.”

The commission closed the public hearing on the development and didn’t take any action. The application is likely to come up again at the Commission’s Feb. 13 meeting.