Scinto proposes new Waterview Drive building

Developer Bob Scinto has proposed a new building on Waterview Drive that would include two 20-foot-tall floors to attract what he called “very high-end” research-and-development and light manufacturing operations.

The building could provide companies with space for “clean rooms,” which are pollutant-free areas sometimes needed by pharmaceutical, high-tech and scientific research manufacturers.

“This is a building they would consider,” Scinto told P&Z at its March 22 meeting. “There’s no high-end quality product like this now.”

The building would be 56 feet, or three stories, tall in the front near Waterview Drive, and 36 feet tall in the rear because of being built on a slope. The 115,000-square-foot structure would be subdividable for possible tenants, with the top floor used for offices. It would have loading docks on the sides.

The design includes many large windows to provide “lots of light in the industrial space,” said the architect, Pat Rose of Rose-Tiso & Co.

The property is 7.9 acres and abuts houses on Plaskon Drive in the rear. A 100-foot buffer area would be created in the back to screen the development from the residential lots. The building would have 408 parking spaces.

RD Scinto Inc. has owned the land at 20 Waterview Drive for a long time, and it is now undeveloped. The company already owns two buildings on Waterview Drive, Scinto told P&Z.

The land is zoned for Light Industrial Park, but Scinto is seeking to create a Planned Development District because of the proposed building’s height. The application meets all LIP regulations except for a height limit of 40 feet.

When asked, Scinto said building below-ground parking under the structure isn’t an option because that area is needed for building mechanicals, which can include heating, cooling, ventilation, fire suppression, and related equipment.

The proposal includes a stormwater management system for drainage and a landscaping plan. P&Z closed the public hearing on the application, so no more outside input will be accepted.

Waterview Drive is a horseshoe-shaped road off Constitution Boulevard South that now houses office and light manufacturing facilities, including for Pitney Bowes and Hubbell Inc.

Neighbor’s concerns

Plaskon Drive resident Kathy Blair raised concerns about blasting, noise, lighting, and the buffer. She said she has had cracks in her home and worries about new blasting so near, and she said parking lot lights in some Waterview Drive buildings are kept on at night.

Some limited blasting might be necessary, and Scinto said the company would work with Blair to make sure there’s no negative impact. P&Z Chairman Ruth Parkins noted the city fire marshal oversees blasting, and specific rules must be followed.

Scinto said “down lighting” would be utilized in parking areas, and adequate landscaping would be done in the buffer area to protect neighbors.

Resident Greg Tetro praised the project, calling Scinto a quality developer. “It’s a great thing to try to bring in some light industrial,” he told the P&Z, saying such uses can have a positive tax impact on Shelton.

Scinto said he hopes to get P&Z approval for the building so he can begin marketing the property to prospective tenants. Scinto usually waits until he has secured some tenants before he constructs a building.

Scinto, the city’s biggest developer and taxpayer, noted during his remarks to P&Z that 2017 represents “my 40th year presenting to this commission.”