Two retail/office buildings proposed for Bridgeport Avenue

The yellow
The yellow “Available” sign indicates where the two-acre site begins, looking south on Bridgeport Avenue. The ledge area shown belongs to the adjoining lot, and the undeveloped parcel’s terrain is generally similar to that of the adjoining lot.

Two 5,000-square-foot buildings are being proposed for 561 Bridgeport Ave. in Shelton, intended for retail and office use.

Property owner Gary Knauf wants to blast ledge to construct the two-story buildings and create a 46-space ground-level parking lot.

The site work to create level ground for the buildings would be somewhat similar to what was done on the adjoining lot to the north. The properties are on a hill that goes upward from the road.

Plans call for using the first floor for retail and second floor for offices in the buildings.

Lot is almost two acres

Knauf’s rectangular-shaped parcel is almost two acres in size. It is just south of the last existing structure on that part of Bridgeport Avenue, which is across the street and south of the Crown Point shopping center that includes Starbucks, Wild Kanji restaurant and other retail outlets.

The parcel borders undeveloped Wells family land to the south.

In 2004, a plan for one office building with underground parking was approved for the Knauf property but it was never built.

Wetlands on the property

There is almost 0.4 acres of wetlands on the parcel, including some that is considered isolated and therefore of lesser environmental value. The plan would impact about one quarter of the wetlands.

The owner has submitted an application to the Shelton Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC), which is being considered.

A zoning application will likely be filed in the future. The land is zoned for light industrial use.

Engineer: ‘Good, solid rock’

Engineer James Swift, representing the applicant, said the ledge cut would be about 20 feet from the nearest wetlands and follow “the natural rock pattern.” It would be about 15 feet farther back than a similar cut done for the adjoining property.

Swift said because the terrain is so much like the property next to it, that adjoining lot provides good guidance on what can be done at the Knauf site.

“It’s very good, solid rock” and there’s “a high confidence level it won’t fracture,” Swift said.

The blasting would be followed by rock excavation.

IWC Chairman Gary Zahornasky said he remembers the earlier proposal for the site. “There’s a lot of rock coming out of there,” Zahornasky said. “We’d need to oversee that.”