P&Z seeking some changes in Canal St. apartment plan

The Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) is working with developer John Guedes to make some changes to his proposal for a 68-unit apartment complex on Canal Street.

P&Z has indicated through an informal consensus that it supports the project at 223 Canal St., but has directed staff to work with Guedes to try to get certain adjustments in the project’s design.

This includes shortening the length of the building by 10 feet so it’s farther from a widened road (Canal Street), moving an electricity transformer from in front of the building elsewhere, installing an internal trash system with chutes, having washer/dryer units in each unit, enlarging the exercise room, and getting away from an exclusively brick exterior.

The building’s length could be shortened by including more one-bedroom units than two-bedroom units, although members said they’d be open to him doing it without changing the bedroom ratio.

Guedes wants to build 47 two-bedroom units and 21 one-bedroom units on the 1.3-acre parcel that borders the Housatonic River. Existing buildings would be demolished to make way for new construction.

Closeness to the road

As now proposed, part of the building would be eight feet from the road, which is much less than the abutting Avalon complex. That distance would limit how much landscaping could be done between the road and building.

P&Z members said they want a “drastic” change in the exterior look, so it looks more residential and modern and less industrial. This should include “architectural features to break up the brick,” member Thomas McGorty said.

Guedes has said the design was somewhat industrial to match the many factories that were in the area.

Too intense for the site?

P&Z Alternate Frank Osak questioned if the project was too intense for the site.

“[Guedes is] the one,” responded P&Z Chairman Ruth Parkins, “who has to determine if it’s economically feasible to meet our conditions.”

There was continuing discussion about the number of parking spaces, with 104 to 107 spaces now proposed for units with a total of 115 bedrooms.

It is anticipated that new public parking could be eventually be added on Canal Street, as more development takes place toward the dam.