A 27-unit apartment building with retail space on the ground floor in downtown Shelton is expected to get Planning & Zoning Commission approval.

The P&Z reached a positive consensus on the proposal by Calandro & Guarrera LLC for 509 Howe Avenue at the Nov. 13 meeting. A positive consensus is when P&Z members indicate they will support an application and staff is directed to prepare an approval resolution for a future vote.

The plan involves demolishing a one-level building to make way for a five-story structure next to the old theater building, which the same developer owns and will remain.

A Planned Development District (PDD) would be created on the 0.44-acre lot. Two retail spaces of 1,328 square feet each would be at ground level, with four residential floors above.

The parcel is between White and Beard streets, on the river side of Howe Avenue. A separate 12-unit apartment building with retail has been approved on the vacant lot just north of the proposal site.

Members were concerned about a glass tower feature on the structure and the proposed 62-feet height, which is higher than the 60 feet allowed in the downtown PDD zone. They said the building might stand out too much and the tower design seemed out of character architecturally for downtown.

The developer presented some new possible building designs and members preferred one with a more classic, ornate facade rather than a modern look, which should eliminate the tower. The preferred design was “more in line with what downtown should look like,” member Mark Widomski said.

The final design will be determined later, when final plans are approved.

City planning consultant Anthony Panico said the developer could be asked to alter the facade of the old theater building to better match that of the new structure.

There would be 35 off-street parking spaces, including 18 spaces below the building, which is more that required for a residential project in the Downtown Business District zone. The developer also cited ample public parking on the street and in nearby municipal lots.
Huntington lot split
A proposal to split a parcel at Huntington Street and Roaring Brook Lane was approved.

New housing lots of 1.95 acres and 0.8 acres, both with access off Roaring Brook, would be created. The plan involves purchasing excess land off an existing Huntington Street homeowner and then modifying lot lines to create two new lots.

The applicant’s attorney, Dominick Thomas, said the plan means no new driveways would be built on Huntington Street, a busy road.

The Far Mill River goes through the property and an existing small dam is located on what will be the new large lot. A conservation easement will be granted near the river in lieu of setting aside open space.

The property’s legal address is 189-191 Huntington Street, which is in a R-1 zone and has access to public sewer and water.