Shelton condo plan could be headed for zoning rejection

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — A condominium project proposed on Ivy Brook Lane appears dead in the water.

Gold Coast, LLC, has applied for a Planned Development District for undeveloped land at 7 Ivy Brook Lane, which sits on the corner of Ivy Brook Road and Mountain View Drive. The site also sits next to the Ivy Brook Medical Center.

The Planning and Zoning Commission, after closing a public hearing on the application Tuesday, voted unanimously to ask zoning staff to prepare a resolution denying the plan, which would have called for 57 condominiums and 146 parking spaces in what is an area zoned for light industrial.

A final vote will be done at a future Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

“I don’t see how having this site as a residential use is a benefit to the city,” said Commission Chair Virginia Harger. “The area is non-residential in nature. I feel using this site as residential is inappropriate. It is better as light industrial.”

The developers had redesigned the plans since the February public hearing. The changes called for cutting the number of total units from 63 to 57, but the redesign allowed them to increase the number of townhouses from eight to 16.

The main 43,214-square-foot building at the center of the property would have had 19 one-bedroom units and 22 two-bedroom units, but one floor was able to be removed from the structure to reduce the overall height.

Parking was also increased, from 136 to 146 spaces, or 2.5 spaces per unit, as part of the redesigned plans.

But commissioners and several neighboring residents — some who spoke at Wednesday’s hearing — were unified in their stance on the development being too dense for the location, with what many felt was inadequate parking.

“I have not been interested in this project from the get-go,” said commissioner Jimmy Tickey. “It’s much too dense, with not enough parking, and I believe it should be kept industrial and not zoned residential.

“After the pandemic, there is a renewed interest in businesses coming to Connecticut, particularly industrial businesses,” Tickey added, “We should focus on where the market demands, and not create another residential zone.”

Commissioner Charles Kelly said while the project looks appealing, “it just does not fit the area.”

According to the application, filed by the developer’s attorney Dominick Thomas, the site has been marketed for light industrial for some 20 years, but with no real interest due to its size and topography.

“The Planned Development District is compatible with the current and future character of the City of Shelton in that it will permit the parcel to be utilized for moderate high density residential use in the midst of light industrial and corporate uses,” the application states.

Commissioner Ruth Parkins agreed that the project is too dense for the site and again voiced fears — and residents of the nearby Shelton Four Winds condominiums concurred — that this site could turn from condominiums to apartments.

“I feel this is an apartment building disguised as condos,” Parkins stated at the February public hearing.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com