No opposition to vacant commercial building expansion

A public hearing on Oct. 24 for a special permit to expand a vacant building at 241 and 249 Danbury Road and 16 and 22 Cricket Lane into a state-of-the-art medical facility drew no opposition.

The hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission, which is continued to Nov. 13, drew comments only from a neighboring business, Anthony Doran, who wanted to be sure Cricket Lane will retain its character as a through street.

Attorney Casey Healy assured Doran the developer would provide road signs to be sure Cricket Lane is not overwhelmed.

The project involves adding a third story to one of the buildings, 26 more parking spaces and increased handicapped spaces, as well as installing a modified storm drainage system. The points of ingress and egress would remain the same on the property.

More than a year behind schedule, renovation of the vacant building across from town hall is moving closer to new use. Renovation plans were first announced in 2015, with the opening originally planned for this summer.

The building would grow from 42,309 square feet to 51,876 square feet, according to plans on file at the planning office. Parking spaces would expand from 278 cars to 342 cars.

The coverage on the 5.9-acre lot would grow from 50.4% to 52.6%, which is allowable under zoning standards. The property is zoned as a Design Retail Business district.

The premises include a principal office building, a smaller building just south of the Cricket Lane driveway entrance that has been used as a conference center by previous tenants, a building in the middle of the site that was used for support services to the principal office building, and a residence at the southern rear of the site that has often been home to the property’s caretaker.

Danbury Road Associates proposed to raze the support building and the residence, renovate and reskin the principal building and make certain site improvements. The owner wants to build a third floor to the northerly wing of the existing principal building.

The proposed renovation and expansion is compatible with the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, Healy said in his application statement.

The town plan states that additional business uses should be encouraged along this section of Danbury Road, he added.

Cannon Road

In other business before the Planning and Zoning Commission Oct. 24, a public hearing for an eight-lot subdivision on Cannon Road was postponed again, this time until Nov. 14. That will be the final time the property owner may legally ask for a postponement, so the meeting must go on as scheduled.

Opposition to the proposal has been voiced by members of the public at Inland Wetlands Commission meetings.