Looks like Wesley Village may be even more welcoming down the road.

The Planning & Zoning Commission, at its meeting Wednesday, Sept. 11, gave consultant Anthony Panico the nod to create a resolution approving the United Methodist Homes, Inc., to build a welcome center at the Wesley Village senior-care complex, located at 572 Long Hill Avenue. The commission must still vote on the resolution once complete.

David Lawlor, president and CEO of Danbury-based United Methodist Homes — which operates Wesley Village - told the commission at last month’s public hearing the need for the welcome center, as greater numbers of people visit a complex whose layout is rather complicated.

The plan calls for a 6,000-square-foot welcome center to include a multipurpose hall and six administrative offices with 41 parking spaces.

Neighbors had voiced concern about the project with concerns focused on noise and landscape screening. But Board of Aldermen President John Anglace, Jr., said at last month’s public hearing that United Methodist Homes had agreed to place a six-foot privacy fence atop of a two-foot earth berm on the perimeter of the center. In addition, the light poles would be limited to a height of 10 feet, in lieu of the 16-foot fixtures originally proposed.

“The lights will not illuminate the neighboring properties,” said Anglace, who represents the third ward on the Board of Aldermen, at the public hearing last month.

Additionally, landscaping will be planted on both sides of the fencing.

“Wesley Village has been there longer than most of us, and their growth has always been marked by neighborly cooperation,” said Anglace. “The current proposal is no exception.”

Jim Swift, the project’s engineer, also pointed to two rows of arborvitae trees that were added in response to criticism at the June 29 meeting. The two rows encompass 40 four-foot trees and eight eight-foot trees, which would be planted along a parking lot added on the north side of a parking area added to the north of the access road to the complex.

This landscaping would help to create a buffer between the parking and the adjacent houses.

Busy night for P&Z

In other business, the commission approved a modification of use for the Planned Development District (PDD) at 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, allowing for an esthetician business to occupy 1,600-square-foot of the buildings third floor.

The commission also approved a plan for 122 Buddington Road, in which the property owner sought to revise the PDD for the site to allow for a reduced development plan. The owner had received approval to construct six single-family units, but that has been reduced to just two homes — one of which is already built.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com