Large Booth Hill housing subdivision is proposed

A public hearing has been set for May 23 for a zoning proposal to create 23 housing lots on 22.6 acres at the corner of Booth Hill and Waverly roads.

John Paul Development LLC wants to use the new Design Residential Development (DRD) zone to develop most of the land at 439-443 Waverly Road, which allows for smaller housing lots in return for setting aside 30% of a property for permanent open space.

The Booth Hill Estates proposal calls for 19 DRD housing lots, most of them about a half-acre in size. It is the first DRD application made in Shelton.

Other parts of the property would be developed using the traditional R-1 zoning that requires one-acre housing lots, with 10% of the land being dedicated to open space as mandated by the city’s subdivision regulations. The traditional lots would accommodate four houses.

A total of 6.13 acres would be set aside as open space under the proposal. The parcel borders state conservation land surrounding Aquarion’s Isinglass Reservoir (also known as Far Mill Reservoir) and also is near city-owned open space. It is close to Federal Road and Booth Hill School, and not far from the Trumbull border.

In a letter on the project to the Inland Wetlands Commission, Shelton Conservation Commission Chairman Thomas Harbinson noted the Conservation Commission “previously recommended acquisition of the entire property for open space due to its proximity to the public drinking water reservoir and location within the Far Mill River Greenway.”

Harbinson wrote that the project’s proposed septic systems are “a serious concern” and questioned why the Conservation Commission wasn’t consulted on “the proposed open space configuration because it does not work.”

The Conservation Commission recommends eliminating four lots to increase open space access and requiring a stone wall or other “hard boundary” to delineate the open space so new homeowners don’t encroach on it over time. It also calls a narrow part of the proposed open space off Waverly Road “impractical.”

The DRD zone was added to the city’s zoning regulations in September 2017 to replace another large-scale residential development zone that wasn’t being used. The purpose is to allow denser residential development in return for protecting open space.

The DRD homes would be accessible from a new private dead-end road off Booth Hill Road, near Twin Brook Drive. All the new homes would have four bedrooms.

The land previously was owned by the Patrick family and used for farming. It includes two existing homes and has extensive frontage on both Booth Hill and Waverly roads. Developer John Paul purchased the property — consisting of two parcels — in 2016.

Paul has said he wants to build a “high-quality, high-end” development with houses selling from $550,000 to $600,000. He owns a number of companies involved in land development, construction, marketing, and sales, and developed the upscale 12-unit Aspen Ridge townhouses off Commerce Drive and Bridgeport Avenue in 2007.

The land includes some wetlands and an intermittent watercourse, which could impact how much development is allowed. A separate application now is pending before the city Inland Wetlands Commission.

Todd Road plan

A well-known area developer and construction company owner wants to put a one-story retail building on Todd Road at Platt Road, just off Bridgeport Avenue.

Manuel Moutinho, who owns Mark IV Construction in Bridgeport, has applied to create a Planned Development District on the 1.2-acre parcel at 6 Todd Road. The land now is vacant and zoned for Office Park District, which allows for offices and certain other business-related uses.

The building would be 10,171 square feet and have 66 sparking spaces, which is five more than required. The driveway entrance would be on Platt Road, with parking on three sides of the building. The structure might house up to six tenants.

Moutinho has been a controversial figure at times, being in the news when the city of Bridgeport built a driveway section to his private home in Stratford’s Lordship section as part of a Sikorsky Memorial Airport improvement project and for lawsuits related to the company’s work on a sewer installation project in Trumbull.

Shelton-based Pereira Engineering has been hired by Moutinho to act as his agent on the zoning application. The public hearing will take place May 23.