Most of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s meeting on Sept. 15 was taken up by the final public hearing for the proposed renovation of Middlebrook Field’s natural grass to artificial turf. While those deliberations were continued, commissioners were able to make progress on a number of other pending applications.
Maximum building coverage
Casey Healy, attorney with Gregory & Adams, had recently applied to amend section 29-7.E.6 of the town zoning regulations, which dictates a maximum building coverage of 20% for industrial zones. Building coverage is the percentage of a lot that can be occupied by a building or buildings.
According to Healy, Wilton’s coverage regulation has caused it to lose some larger tenants to the city of Stamford.
He had originally proposed that there be a 3.5% increase applicable only to parking garages and other similar structures, but the commission was more inclined to accept an alternate application he filed later, which suggested a flat-out 5% increase to the coverage limit, without any stipulating formula.
“The initial regulation is very specific,” said Town Planner Bob Nerney. “A better approach might be just to increase the building coverage and hope that the private sector has the planning to use it wisely.”
“It gives a little more wiggle room,” he said.
The commission closed the public hearing for Healy’s latter application, kept his former one open so he could withdraw it, and voted all-in-favor in a straw poll that Nerney draft a resolution for the 5% increase.
Wilton Auto & Tire
Mike Lindquist’s application to renovate the old Connecticut Light & Power (now Eversource) field office building at 658 Danbury Road and to relocate the sales and service component of his automotive business, Wilton Auto & Tire Center, there from 210 Danbury Road was heard again.
Previously, there had been some concern over parking bays. The application specified two adjacent rows of 15 parking spaces (each) for used-car storage, and several commissioners worried there was no island or divider proposed to separate them.
Healy, Lindquist’s attorney, pointed out “the regulation talks about 18 contiguous parking spaces generating an interior island, but here we only have 15 contiguous spaces, not 18.”
When Chairman Chris Hulse opened the hearing to comments from the public, former first selectman and former chairman of the Board of Finance Paul Hannah spoke in favor of Lindquist’s application.
Hannah said the original owner of what is now Wilton Auto & Tire Center “ran that business pretty badly into the ground, and after a succession of other people, Mike Lindquist took it over, and he’s built it up and made it into a very nice business.
“He keeps my cars running after their warranties expire, so I’d like to endorse this,” Hannah said. “I hope you all will ... I believe it’s in accordance with the town plan of conservation and development, and I think you will find that he will do a worthy job ... taking a building that looks like hell right now ... and making it into a decent, attractive business in the town.”
The commission closed the public hearing for Lindquist’s application and authorized Nerney to move forward with the drafting of a resolution to approve the application, contingent upon the applicant’s compliance with the town’s signage regulations. Lindquist did not present a signage plan to the commission for review.
Nerney did have a resolution prepared for Gregory Wheeler’s application to subdivide his property at 19 Valeview Road.
Tom Quinn, engineer with Peak Engineers, LLC., gave a presentation on behalf of Wheeler at the commission’s July 27 meeting.
He explained that the proposal would subdivide the parcel into a five-acre home lot and a new two-acre lot, and assured commissioners both lots would comply with all regulation minimums, noting they had been approved for feasibility by the health and fire departments.
After a short debate over open space requirements, the commission closed the public hearing and scheduled the resolution to be given at the meeting on Sept. 15.
Nerney caught one inaccuracy in the paperwork, noting that it read “the existing pool equipment and existing shed need to be relocated or removed.”
“I would recommend you strike ‘and existing shed,’” Nerney said. “The creation of the new lot line does not impact the shed.”
All commissioners approved the resolution as revised.