Shelton’s Cedar Village’s Phase 2 plan could soon win P&Z approval

Photo of Brian Gioiele
A rendering of the proposed phase two development of Cedar Village at Carrolls in Shelton.

A rendering of the proposed phase two development of Cedar Village at Carrolls in Shelton.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — Phase 2 of the Cedar Village at Carrolls development is one step closer to reality.

The Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting Wednesday, asked planning consultant Tony Panico to prepare a motion approving developer Don Stanziale Jr.’s plans for a four-story building with 30 apartments and 31 parking spots on the corner of Coram Avenue and Hill Street.

The commission’s move came moments after opponents of the plan made a last-ditch plea for the plans to be scrapped.

“This is wrong for the neighborhood and wrong for Shelton,” said Judith Gura of 278 Coram Ave., who spoke in opposition to the plans at each of the commission’s public hearings on the Phase 2 plans.

Opponents have said that the height of the new structure, along with the increased traffic that they say the apartments would generate, would drastically change the character of the neighborhood.

“This will be a beautiful project,” commissioner Ruth Parkins said. “It is hard for people to accept change, but I don’t think that some of the concerns raised by the neighbors will be realized. I’m comfortable that this will be a well-done project.”

Commissioner Charles Kelly agreed, saying that the development would sit in an area that is already a mix of residential, city buildings, a church, offices and a senior care and rehabilitation center.

Commissioner Jimmy Tickey voices concerns about the height of the structure and density of the project in a residential neighborhood but ultimately agreed with his fellow commissioners’ decision to move ahead with a resolution to approve.

The Planning and Zoning Commission last year approved Phase 1 of construction at 320 Howe Ave., the former Carroll’s Home Improvement site. Stanziale is seeking an expansion of the Planned Development District for proposed construction at the corner of Coram Avenue and Hill Street behind the Phase 1 work.

“I’ve listened to all of the concerns, and I am trying to accommodate them without altering my original vision that I put my heart and soul into bringing it to life,” Stanziale said at a past hearing. “I want to make Shelton a place where people want to live and visit.

“This project is a big part of revitalizing this part of Shelton,” he added.

The developer said the Phase 2 building is the perfect addition to the neighborhood, which surrounds Shelton City Hall and the church. But opponents disagree, and submitted a petition with 160 names to the commission calling for rejection of the project.

The first phase of the Cedar Village at Carrolls development has been underway for months: 33 studio- and one-bedroom apartments, a handful of retail stores and parking for residents and shoppers. The existing L-shaped building will be incorporated into the new structure, which will be four stories tall.

For the second phase, the new building would have two interior parking levels and be up to 60 feet tall, although it would appear to be three stories high from Coram Avenue because of the grade change from Howe to Coram, developers said.

The proposed building would have an entrance and exit from Coram Avenue to the two levels of parking. The building would also be 133 feet high at its peak.

Carroll’s Home Improvement, long a staple of Shelton’s downtown, went out of business in April 2014 after 60 years at the site.

In other business, the commission approved developer AJ Grasso’s application to subdivide 2.76 acres at the corner of Booth Hill and Mohegan roads into three separate lots. The lots would range from 40,050 square feet to 40,175 square feet in size.