Beacon Point apartments, marina plan rejected

The Planning and Zoning Commission has unanimously rejected the application to build an apartment complex, marina and restaurant at the Beacon Point Marine site at 704-722 River Road.

P&Z members said the proposal lacked confirmation that sewage could be connected to the Stratford Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA), meaning the merits of the plan couldn’t be considered.

The rejection was without prejudice, so the same application may be resubmitted once a solution is found to handling the sewage.

The developers, Ricar LLC and Mianus Holding LLC, have approached the Stratford WPCA about hooking up to that system but haven’t received an answer. The Stratford WPCA is conducting a study on its future capacity and isn’t acting on new applications.

The 8.6-acre site, on the Housatonic River and across from Murphys Lane, is closer to a Stratford WPCA connection than to a Shelton WPCA connection. The Stratford WPCA serves some Shelton customers in the city’s southeastern section, close to River Road (Route 110) and lower Long Hill Avenue.

Shelton officials didn’t appear interested in the developer’s offer to extend the city sewer line to the Beacon Point site.

Member Elaine Matto said while she liked how the Beacon Point proposal has evolved, now having fewer apartments and more public access, the sewer issue had to “be rectified” before the project could possibly be approved.

Member Mark Widomski agreed. “It’s kind of a moot point until that is solved,” he said.

Widomski said the Stratford WPCA appears concerned about the capacity of a substation near the Shelton border, and a major development project may soon be proposed in Stratford in that area. “Obviously, Stratford is going to take care of Stratford before Shelton,” he said.

Member Tony Pogoda said “the lack of information on sewage” means the application can’t be approved at this time. Pogoda also said he thinks the development has too many apartment units and the three residential buildings are too high.

When the Beacon Point application first came up on the agenda, P&Z members read a legal opinion by city Corporation Counsel Francis Teodosio concluding the commission’s decision to close the public hearing on the application at the April 25 meeting was valid and irreversible. There had been some uncertainty about actions taken at the prior meeting.

The applicant was seeking to build three six-story apartment buildings with a total of 98 units, 385 parking spaces and 100 marina slips. The Great River Water Club development also would have included a restaurant, a clubhouse with training and fitness facilities, boat storage, and an extensive public walkway.

An earlier proposal for more apartments but less public access was rejected by the P&Z in 2016. Another plan was approved in 2007 and never built.