Wilton Heights hearing closes

The Planning and Zoning Commission’s public hearing for Wilton Heights has closed.
After further discussion, the hearing for Wilton Heights, LLC’s special permit application to redevelop properties at 300 Danbury Road and several on Whitewood Lane with mixed-use buildings consisting of retail and residential space, was closed after the commission’s meeting Monday night, Jan. 28.
Commissioner Peter Shiue said he was disappointed there was no affordable housing component to the proposal.
“The applicant said the numbers really didn’t pan out if they had to approve affordable housing,” Shiue said. “Obviously we’re not in a position to take a look at their financial analysis.”
This comes as Wilton’s moratorium on affordable housing development requirements is set to expire on Dec. 28.
Planning and Zoning Vice Chair Rick Tomasetti said the applicant’s argument was this wasn’t required in a Wilton Center zone.
Chairman Scott Lawrence added that the commission plans to address affordable housing in town at a special meeting on Monday, Feb. 4.
Commissioner Bas Nabulsi said one of his biggest issues initially was with parking.
“I was concerned about the assumptions going in since this property is not really adjacent to any spillover parking unless you consider the train station to serve that purpose,” Nabulsi said. “I was persuaded by the testimony.”
Tomasetti said the town’s consultant testified the current regulations are so conservative that Wilton Heights LLC may be overparked to begin with. There are 201 parking spaces for the site plan.
“I think this commission should heed that and should be thinking about that in our POCD process,” Tomasetti said.
During the hearing the applicant’s attorney J. Casey Healy said the 19th-century Comstock Corn Crib will still be preserved and relocated off site.
“Wilton Heights confirms there will be no sit-down restaurant with table service in any of the commercial retail spaces,” he added.
Since Dec. 10, the applicant has submitted several items to the commission, including — but not limited to — a traffic engineering review letter from planning consultants Frederick P. Clark Associates, a revised draft of stormwater management plan, and a letter from Triton Environmental regarding the removal of contaminated soil from the site.
Modifications have also been made to the building plans at the request of the Inland Wetlands Commission, said Healy, and a list of cost estimates for the applicant’s proposed off-site improvements has been submitted.
Commissioner Eric Fanwick said he was slightly disappointed that the 18th-century Betts-Comstock House couldn’t be saved.
“Having said that, I do think this is a great project,” he added.
No vote was held and the commission will begin deliberations at its Feb. 11 meeting.