The City Plan Commission decided that one convenience store at a residential intersection in the heart of a Newhallville neighborhood is quite enough.
By a unanimous vote the commissioners recommending denying an application to allow a special exception to convert a now-shuttered 900 square-foot hair salon at 381 Shelton Ave., at the intersection with Read Street, into a deli/grocery.
The main reason: If your arm were long, you could almost extend across the narrow street and touch the convenience store that is already in business there, Quick Check Stop at 383 Read St..
The denial, without the presence of the applicant, Humberto Colledo, occurred at a City Plan Commission meeting last week, on a referral from the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), which heard the proposal last month. The matter now returns to the zoning board for a vote.
The unanimous vote recommending denial sends the proposal back to the BZA next month for a final vote.
Deputy Economic Development Administrator Mike Piscitelli reported that neighbors strenuously opposed the proposal at the Feb. 11 BZA hearing. (Read about that here.)
“Staff agreed with the public comment. Our report is for denial. We don’t believe the applicant met the threshold criteria,” said Piscitelli.
Piscitelli was referring to Section 31(d)(1) of the New Haven Zoning Ordinance, which states: The clustering of two or more uses of diverse types, rather than scattering of such uses shall generally be regarded as an advantage, but the existence nearby of a use of the same type as one which is proposed shall require a more extensive showing of necessity for the proposed use.
“We have an opportunity [now] to figure out what to do more appropriately at that site,” said Piscitelli.
“In general we discourage convenience stores,” said City Plan Chairman Ed Mattison.