Howe Avenue developments nearing P&Z approvals

Local zoners gave positive reviews of two developments that would further strengthen Shelton’s continuing downtown revitalization.

While no final vote was taken, the Planning & Zoning Commission, at its meeting Tuesday, Oct. 8, told commission consultant Anthony Panico to prepare resolutions accepting separate proposals, one for Riverwalk Place Apartments at 356-358 Howe Avenue, the other, Bridge Street Commons II at 427 Howe Avenue.

Concerning Riverwalk Place, Panico said that zoning staff worked closely with the developers to modify some of the architectural features, which had been cause for concern for some commissioners.

“The result was a very improved look,” said Panico. “We are pleased with the final effort.”

If approved, the commission would be granting a modification to the location’s Planning District Development (PDD), allowing for a mixed-use development featuring two retail spaces, 35 apartments and the required parking.

Bridge Street Commons II’s proposal calls for an expansion of the present PDD to allow construction of 72 units, two retail spaces and required on-site parking.

While acknowledging a general support for the plan, commission members called on the developers to work with the owners of the neighboring property - home to The Pub on Howe - about relocating the eight garbage containers that are along the sidewalk. The commission said this was an agreement that must come from both property owners.

"I would like to see the property owners work together to get the trash receptacles moved off the main street,” said commission Vice Chair Anthony Pogoda.

Pogoda said that his hope is that the trash could be emptied from the Canal Street side, but “we cannot force the two (property owners) to work together. But what is there is undesirable, and maybe we can help create a solution.”

“In the interest of rehabilitating the downtown, it would behoove both property owners to try and clean up the front of the properties to encourage people to come down there,” said commissioner Mark Widomski. “We can’t compel them to do anything, but I think bigger heads need to prevail and they need to come together here.”