Letter: Developer says proposed Chromium Processing site project would negatively impact downtown parking

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Contributed photo

To the Editor:

The proposal to adopt a new PDD to allow construction of Chromium Commons should not be approved in its present form by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The proposed PDD would allow 30 apartments (15 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom) and 8,350 square feet of commercial space, but onbly calls for 32 parking spaces, including two handicapped spaces. This amounts to slightly more than one space per apartment (the actual number is 1.07 spaces per apartment). Given the current situation in downtown Shelton, and in the immediate vicinity of this proposal, this is simply not enough parking.

I am the principal owner of Commons I (50 Bridge St.) and Commons II (427 Howe Ave.) which occupy the entire block across Canal Street from the proposed Chromium Commons. Between them, Commons I and Commons II have 116 apartments and about 8,500 square feet of commercial space and a total of 154 parking spaces (36 spaces at Commons I, 104 spaces at Commons II and 14 spaces at my lot on Canal Street). This works out to 1.33 spaces per apartment. My experience has shown that these 154 spaces are not enough, so I am acquiring the property at 426 Howe Ave. (at the corner of Howe Avenue and Center Street) to provide an additional 24 spaces.

Currently, cars are constantly being parked on both sides of both parts of Canal Street, including in the no parking zones, and both sides of Center Street. On an almost daily basis I have unauthorized parkers in the Commons I and Commons II parking areas. Last Friday evening, a prospective tenant told my office that she had spent 45 minutes looking for a parking space. The lot where Chromium Commons is proposed to be built is currently used as a parking lot. I counted 45 cars parked there at noontime today (Feb. 15), and the lot is usually completely full at night. Once this parking is no longer available, the parking situation will be even worse because the available parking in the area will be reduced, while the demand for parking will be increased.

I want to emphasize that I do not object to more apartments being built in the area, and I do not object to the addition of more commercial space. But I do object to the construction of more apartments and more commercial space without adequate parking.

Shelton, and the Planning and Zoning Commission in particular, have done a great job in the past few years in revitalizing the downtown by encouraging the construction of many new apartments. But I am concerned that the need for parking has been significantly underestimated. I am very concerned that downtown might become a victim of its own success unless steps are taken to ensure that all new construction has adequate parking facilities. From my own experience, I am certain that allowing 30 new apartments and 8,350 square feet of commercial space with only 32 parking spaces would be a serious mistake and would impose significant hardship both on my properties and those of other landowners in the area.

For the above reasons, I strongly urge the commission to reject this proposed new PDD until adequate parking is provided.

Angelo L. Melisi, Jr.

Downtown developer