Shelton P&Z approves apartment, retail plans for former Chromium Process site

Developer John Guedes has proposed construction of a four-story building, with first-floor commercial and three floors of apartments on what was the former Chromium Procession site on Canal Street. The land is presently used for parking.

Developer John Guedes has proposed construction of a four-story building, with first-floor commercial and three floors of apartments on what was the former Chromium Procession site on Canal Street. The land is presently used for parking.

Brian Gioiele / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — Development of the former Chromium Process site — which has been home to parking for those living, working and visiting businesses downtown — has received the go-ahead.

The Planning and Zoning Commission, at its meeting Tuesday, unanimously approved developer John Guedes’ plans to construct a four-story building on land listed as 113 Canal St., with first floor retail and 30 apartments — at least three of which will be affordable units — on the top three floors.

The major focus of the project was on parking, which commissioners have stated is already lacking in the ever-growing downtown.

To answer that issue, commissioners stated that 45 parking spots should be “adequate” for the development.

Since on-site parking is limited to 38 spaces, the commission’s resolution states Guedes must provide written confirmation, guaranteeing the availability of not less than seven “additional, conveniently located off-site parking spaces reserved for tenants of the subject proposal.”

As is normally the case, the commission further stated that parking for the ground level retail space will continue to rely on municipal parking facilities.

Commissioners, residents and even fellow developers have questioned Guedes’ plan in terms of available parking.

Angelo Melisi, developer of Bridge Street Commons I and II on Howe Avenue, says he supports continued downtown development, but only if the parking provided is adequate to meet the need.

Guedes has stated numerous times that the spaces allotted are adequate considering that the Conti building’s lot, which is used for municipal parking, is only feet away from the development.

The commission, in its resolution, stated that this stance was “totally inadequate.”

According to the regulations, one- and two-bedroom apartments require two resident parking spaces for the first five units and 1.5 spaces per apartment above five, according to the commission.

Applying these standards, required resident parking for the 30 apartments is 10 spaces for the first five apartments and 37.5 spaces for the remainder, for a total of 47.5 spaces.

The former Chromium Process site, which has been environmentally remediated, borders on Canal Street East and Canal Street West and is adjacent to the Housatonic Rail Co. and a few hundred feet from the Housatonic River. The site is currently used as a parking lot and is within walking distance of public parking facilities.

The city is in the process of leasing the parking spaces on the Eversource property, located across the street from the now completed Cedar Village at Carroll’s. An additional 70 spaces would put the available parking spaces downtown at about 500. The city also leases parking spaces at the Conti building.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com