P&Z meeting highlights

Sikorsky lease

At Tuesday night’s meeting the P&Z also approved constructing 34 new parking spaces at the large office building at 1 Far Mill Crossing, off Old Stratford Road and near Route 8. Richardson-Vicks once was based at the property.

The spaces will be built in three locations on the property to ease an on-site parking crunch.  P&Z members asked whether the new parking would be sufficient. Some trees will be taken down but new landscaping then added.

The 327,000-square-foot building is almost entirely occupied by Sikorsky Aircraft, which has signed a new lease that goes through 2022. The only other tenant is the cafeteria operator.

Robert McDermott, senior property manager with Cushman & Wakefield, said about 250 additional Sikorsky employees are expected to begin working at the site as the company consolidates office staff from other facilities.

Sikorsky has leased space in the building since 2012, adding more employees there in subsequent years. The office building is only a few miles from Sikorsky's factory in Stratford.

Fireworks tent

The P&Z approved a temporary fireworks stand leading up to the July Fourth holiday at 350 Bridgeport Ave., where the Draft House bar and other businesses are located.

A tent will be set up in the parking lot's northwest corner to sell legal fireworks such as fountain sparklers. The tent will operate from June 23 to July 5, with hours of 9 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. seven days a week, said representative Neil Shaw. There should be two salespeople and interior lighting in the tent.

Shaw said items will be packed up and removed from the site within a few days after July 5.

Keystone Novelties Distributors of Pennsylvania hires local companies to run the fireworks tents, he said. Keystone operates sites around Connecticut and some other nearby states.

P&Z Administrator Rick Schultz said legal fireworks sales have been expanding in Shelton and all of Connecticut around the Independence Day holiday.

Cigar shop

The Cigarello tobacco shop has moved from downtown to River Road but will no longer offer a smoking lounge.

After six years on Howe Avenue near Bridge Street, owner Eli Ghazal is relocating further south on Route 110. He said parking was a problem for his customers downtown. He also operates a store in Monroe that has a smoking lounge.

Cigarello will occupy almost 800 square feet in a new building at 405 River Road. The shop will sell cigars, other tobacco products, pipes, coffee and variety store merchandise.

P&Z members asked if parking would be adequate, as the building also will house a hair salon and two second-floor apartments. Ghazal and building owner Mike Ballaro said the nine spaces should be enough.

Canal Street cable

The P&Z voted to give a favorable recommendation to allowing Comcast to bury a cable along a portion of Canal Street near Veterans Memorial Park.

The cable will be placed under the grassy area that abuts the Canal Street public sidewalks instead of being installed under the road, which would have required tearing up asphalt.

Comcast needs an easement from the city, which must be approved by the Board of Aldermen, for the underground cable route.

The telecommunications company has to re-route the cable from Route 8's Commodore Hull Bridge over the Housatonic River because the state is rehabilitating and painting the bridge.