Shelton P&Z gives first OK to city’s Long Hill Avenue land sale
SHELTON — The sale of city-owned land on Long Hill Avenue is one step closer to reality.
The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted to give its approval to the proposed sale of 0 Long Hill Ave. to Tom Tall, who said the land was part of his family’s farm from 1933.
The referral request, first on the commission’s agenda on May 12, was continued.
Planning and Zoning is required to offer a referral before the Board of Aldermen can authorize a sale of city property. Also before authorizing the sale, the Board of Aldermen needs to receive comments from the Conservation Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission.
“Selling any open space in the city of Shelton is concerning to us as a Conservation Commission and warrants further review,” said Thomas Harbinson, chair of the Conservation Commission.
The 0 Long Hill Ave. parcel is described as a rectangular strip of land in a residential zone.
“The piece in question is a 50-foot by 400-foot piece that was part of a proposed sale to a developer that never happened,” said Tall in an email read into the record at Wednesday’s hearing. “I am only requesting to buy back this ... piece that now divides my property in half.”
Tall said the strip of land was part of his family’s sale of some 29 acres to the city for open space.
“The city has no use for the property, and it is now a vacant piece of property,” stated city Administrative Assistant Jack Bashar in a letter to the commission dated April 28. Bashar added that, with the sale, “the property will then be added back to the city’s tax rolls.”
Bashar provided a map at the May 12 meeting, but commissioner Jimmy Tickey questioned whether it was accurate. Tickey wanted to verify that the strip was all that was being sold, and not a larger, 29-acre, piece connected to the lot.
“The address and the site map from the mayor’s office do not seem to match the publicly available maps,” said Tickey. “I believe our commission will need more information to move forward with a referral for the city to sell this open space, which seems to connect valuable open spaces in the Long Hill Avenue corridor.”
“I am not looking to buy back 29 acres,” said Tall. “This piece is not useful as a right of way or for building as it goes through wetlands. It would also have to cross the Iroqouis gas line.”
Tall said the 29-acre land owned by the city has access from Stowe Drive and can be gotten to along the full length of Old Coram Road on the back side, which connects to Murphy’s Lane on one end and Rocky Rest Road on the other side.
In other business, the commission learned that it did not need to provide a referral on city-owned property at 68 Cornell St., a vacant parcel used for off-street parking. The rectangular parcel, which is 0.11 acres, sits at the corner of Coram Avenue and Cornell Street in another residential zone.
The commission first received the Cornell Street request at its May 12 meeting. The commission tabled the request because members had questions about whether it was worthwhile to get rid of property used, even unofficially, as city parking.
But commissioners learned Wednesday that the city had already gotten a P&Z referral for the property years ago, and a new one was not needed for the Board of Aldermen to authorize its sale.