Neighbors take issue with Old Bridgeport Avenue proposal
A few Sunwood Condominium residents spoke against a proposed 30-unit apartment building proposed for an abutting property at the Oct. 24 Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
“It's too dense,” Jim Miron said, in comments echoed by some of his fellow condo owners and other opponents.
They also raised concerns about flooding, visible impact, lack of outdoor amenities, fire access to the structure near a proposed detention pond, and traffic. They worry more vehicles would pass through the condo complex as a short-cut between Nells Rock Road and Bridgeport Avenue during congested driving times.
Thirteen people spoke on the project during the public hearing. Most opposed it, with one resident whose single-family home borders the project saying he's neither for or against the plan but wants groundwater and flooding issues impacting his property resolved.
GNK LLC wants to build a three-story building with 63 parking spaces on 1.9 acres on Sunwood Drive, a private road leading to the condo complex off Old Bridgeport Avenue. Ten of the parking spaces, however, would be for the use of the Hunan Pan restaurant property across the street due to an old, unusual easement agreement.
All 30 apartments would be one bedroom, with six also having dens that P&Z member Mark Widomski worried could be turned into second bedrooms.
The parcel's legal address is 301 Old Bridgeport Ave., and a small sliver fronts that road. The land now has one structure on it, a house once used as a childcare center, as well as two parking areas. A brook flows through one corner of the property.
The property is zoned Restricted Business District, which allows some commercial uses and certain multi-family dwellings. The developer is seeking to create a Planned Development District (PDD).
Developer attorney Dominick Thomas described the plan as “high quality,” noting that current zoning would allow for non-residential uses such as a restaurant or small manufacturing facility that are “not suitable” for the property. He said creating a PDD would give the P&Z more “control” over any development.
Thomas said the traffic impact of a small apartment complex would be minimal and he's met with Sunwood Condo Association members to discuss the proposal, including how to possibly implement traffic calming steps such as a crosswalk, speed bump and private road gate.
Nearby resident Diana Krivensky and others still had concerns about the impact of new vehicles on Old Bridgeport Avenue.
“The road is not built for all these people,” she said.
The P&Z hearing was kept open so the public — including the condo association's attorney — can review the developer's traffic impact report. The proposal previously received Inland Wetlands Commission approval.