At the same time that Wilton Sport Shop on Danbury Road announced it is closing, the property owner has asked the Planning and Zoning Commission about the scope of its adaptive use regulation.
The 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.
Wilton Sport Shop owner Ken Cyr has invited customers to a retirement/store closing sale beginning Thursday, Feb. 7. "We are closing our doors forever," the invitation said, adding the sale will at first be open only to "local customers" who received the invitation and their guests.
Meanwhile, Syed Reza of Talbot House LLC has asked P&Z for an interpretation of the adaptive use regulation and whether it applies to ancillary buildings on a property.
Talbot House LLC is the owner of 426 Danbury Road, which contains two buildings; the main one in front is occupied by Wilton Sport Shop. The second building, referred to as the “carriage house,” contains vacant office space and one apartment.
The question posed, according to Town Planner Bob Nerney, is whether under the adaptive use regulation, the office space in the carriage house could be used for four residential apartments, for a total of five apartments in the building. There would be no expansion of the building.
“This really is an issue of taking what is vacant office space and putting it to a use, said Nerney.
After reviewing the issue, the commission was satisfied the request met the interpretation of the adaptive use regulation in terms of the concept, according to Nerney.
”I want to stress that there is no pending application at this time. This was just a request for an interpretation of the regulations,” Nerney said.
Based on recent projects, such as Wilton Heights and Sunrise Senior Living, Nerney said he has noticed a comeback for residential living on Danbury Road, which is primarily business-oriented.
“Historically, this area was retail and commercial, but at this juncture the commercial market isn’t as strong with the advent of online sales, so demand for retail commercial space is not as great as it was in the past,” he said.