NRVT parking lot raises concerns from P+Z

The Norwalk River Valley Trail's (NRVT) plan to build an eight space parking lot at the end of Autumn Ridge Road where it intersects with Sharp Hill Road ran into some push-back at the May 9 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

The Friends of the NRVT association wants to build the parking lot to satisfy complaints from Autumn Ridge Road residents who have complained about people parking on their street to use the trail.

Commissioners Joe Fiteni and Rick Tomasetti thought the Friends of the NRVT should create a "master plan," one that addresses future needs for parking, as the non-profit is planning to build additional sections later this year.

"We wouldn't allow this from any other applicant," Tomasetti said. "I'm concerned about it. I think this thing is gonna extend and we should understand it."

"We're looking at this in isolation," Fiteni said. He said if the trail continues to expand, the complaints now coming from Autumn Ridge Road residents about people parking on their street will continue to surface, only from residents of other streets bearing the same burden.

Scott Lawrence said he felt the commission could seek out the extra information they all agreed they needed and wanted while also pushing the eight-space lot along as a smaller piece of the overarching plan.

"I don’t think by looking hard at this specific application now we’re foreclosing the ability to improve upon it if need be," Lawrence said.

A decision was made that planning staff will collect the desired information. However, Chairman Sally Poundstone also requested that the town planner draft a resolution for approval and bring it to the next meeting, in case the information gathered turns out to satisfy her and her fellow commissioners.

The next meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission is on May 23.