Hearing for new building in Wilton continued

hearing
The building that now stands at 487 Danbury Road dates from 1840. — Lynandro Simmons/Hearst Connecticut Media

The Planning and Zoning Commission on May 13 continued its public hearing on a proposal to allow the addition of a new building on Danbury Road.

The application filed by SSS Investment LP and Wilton real estate professional Kevin O’Brien would add a new building consisting of three one-bedroom apartments and six additional parking spaces, where office space and one residential apartment currently exist, for property at 487 Danbury Road.

O’Brien said he was made aware in the previous hearing there could possibly be a well on a neighbor’s property.

“The town had a record of the well in front of the house,” he said. “So we’ve had to revise the septic system slightly.”

The septic system was moved six feet north, O’Brien said. Previously proposed patios were removed from behind the building. A retaining wall was also reduced from a six-foot wall to a four-foot wall, he said.

The commission is in charge of parking in adaptive use applications and it’s as needed. O’Brien said as per the zone the property is in and the uses, the plan would need 20 spaces, but 19 is proposed.

“I think there’s a bit of a joint use reduction because of the residential along with the commercial component,” he said.

The proposed driveway will be 20 feet wide to have better circulation coming in and out, according to the app;ocation. He added by going with a gravel parking lot a lot of the asphalt would be removed.

“Right now it’s at 19.4 percent coverage and we’re bringing that down to the allowable 12 percent coverage,” he said.

O’Brien said the proposal also lines up with the town’s existing Plan of Conservation and Development.

“It specifically says that you’re looking to create more diverse housing,” he said. “This is, we think, a need for one-bedroom apartments.”

Planning and Zoning Vice Chairman Rick Tomasetti said the commission is looking to understand the proposed architecture in conjunction with existing buildings on the site.

“You need to do what you need to do to demonstrate to us as a commission that this makes sense and it’s in context and keeping with the harmony that’s there,” he said. “Quite frankly, I don’t see it.”

He added the commission is trying to keep a residential feel and scale to all adaptive reuse projects.

The adaptive reuse regulation allows commercial use of historic properties while the properties remain in the residential zone. Approved in the 1970s, the regulation was meant to prevent commercial strip developments from popping up while protecting historic buildings. The building at 487 Danbury Road was built in 1840, according to information on the town assessor’s website.

“To me, the burden is on you all to give us the information and sell us that this meets our regulations and this is going to be a benefit to everybody,” he said.

O’Brien agreed to keep the public hearing open to provide the commission additional materials.

The hearing will continue at the commission’s next meeting on Tuesday, May 28, at 7:15 p.m.

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com

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