Shelton officials table developer’s nursery plans for now

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Shelton City Hall.

Shelton City Hall.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — Planning and Zoning commissioners are seeking more detailed plans before allowing a developer to turn empty land along Bridgeport Avenue into a commercial nursery.

The developer, 153 Bridgeport Avenue LLC, has submitted plans to build a 960-square-foot building and a half dozen 27-foot-wide, three-sided storage bins for landscaping materials including mulch at 153 Bridgeport Ave. The business, to be named Nancy’s Tree Planting Inc., would also include outside storage of plants and equipment.

At present, the developer uses the vacant site on a seasonal basis, with permits to store equipment and store and dispense mulch. The property abuts the Sunoco station with a building that houses The Greeks eatery and a U.S. Postal Service operation.

Planning and Zoning consultant Anthony Panico told commissioners during the P&Z meeting — held Wednesday in the City Hall auditorium and livestreamed on the city’s website — that he would need more detailed plans before backing any site plan approval.

Commissioners echoed Panico’s sentiment and voted to table the application to a future date, yet to be determined. The site plan application did not require a public hearing.

“A variety of things need a lot more detail before I would be able to fully understand what they are proposing to do,” said Panico.

Panico said the developer is applying for a use under the regulations that “envisions a traditional nursery. What they have here is storage bins for sale of materials that is dominating the site.”

Panico asked the developer to provide a specific planting and landscaping plan showing where outdoor plant storage would be on the site and for comments from the state Department of Transportation on the proposed drainage plan.

Panico and commissioners said they were most concerned about the size and location of the storage bins.

“What are they going to be made of?” asked Panico. “And why are they so big? Twenty-seven feet wide is very large … not normally what I would expect to see.”

Commissioner Ruth Parkins concurred with Panico.

“I would like to know the material of the storage bins. Are they going to be concrete jersey barriers? Why do they need to be so large, and how will they be kept in a neat fashion?” asked Parkins.

Parkins said years ago a similar business let its property become “quite distasteful.”

The developer has proposed nine parking spaces for the site. There would also be a loading zone in front of the large storage bins for vehicles to get the landscape materials.