Aldermen president says Shelter Ridge won’t affect scenic road

Board of Aldermen President John Anglace said the application for the development on Bridgeport Avenue called Towne Center at Shelter Ridge won’t affect the scenic road known as Mill Street.

“The Scinto building is 19 stories high,” said Anglace. “You can try to make your argument, but I don’t see it changing the scenic road at all. I don’t think you’ll even see the apartment building from Mill Street.”

Anglace admitted that it can be tough to get an accurate visual of a structure that doesn’t exist yet, but still disagrees with the assumption that the application for the mixed-use development on the 121-acre parcel will affect its neighboring scenic road.

Residents who have openly opposed the application voiced their concerns time and time again when the proposal included a nine-story apartment complex, but since then the application has been downsized dramatically.

Despite the city’s ordinance section titled “Routine road maintenance Section 12-106, Applications for alterations (b),” which lays out the possibility of a recommendation from the Board of Aldermen to approve or deny an application that alters a scenic road, Anglace still disagreed.

The excerpt from the city ordinance reads, “A significant alteration or improvement of a designated scenic road shall be determined by the Board of Aldermen. Any proposal for a significant alteration or improvement, whether by the public or private applicant, shall be submitted to the planning and zoning commission which shall hold a public hearing and submit findings of fact and a recommendation of the Board of Aldermen.”

The planning and zoning administrator Rick Schultz said the height of the building, currently proposed for three stories and 375 units, wouldn’t have made a difference and that the portion of the city ordinance in question does not apply to Shelter Ridge.

“This is a private piece of property that’s outside of the Mill Street right-of-way, so it’s not applicable,” said Schultz. “It’s only applicable when an activity takes place within the right-of-way that falls under the scenic road designation. The scenic road designation is within the right-of-way not adjacent to private properties.”

Schultz added, “If it had a driveway leading out to Mill Street it would then kick in because it affects the right-of-way.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission is set to officially to vote on the application at its March 7 meeting.