Brews, Views and A New Plan of Conservation & Development

by Diana Stricker | Mar 9, 2017 8:42 am

Diana Stricker Photo Brews, views and news about upcoming long-range planning projects were on the agenda of last week’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission meeting.

A public hearing was held for expansion at the Thimble Island Brewery at 16 Business Park Drive, but no decision was reached. The commission unanimously approved — with conditions — a proposal by Solar City Corp. to put a solar display near the town-owned Ecology Park on Tabor Drive. And consultants were chosen for the Plan of Conservation of Development (POCD) and the Transportation Oriented Development (TOD) study. Public hearings on the planning projects could begin by early summer.

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P&Z Acts on Subaru, Ecology Park and a Tiny Lot by the Sea

by marcia chambers | Feb 28, 2017 12:17 pm

With Permission A new Subaru dealership gets the green light, a developer using the state’s affordable housing statute to build on a small “unbuildable” lot does not (for the second time) and a solar panel system designed to sit atop scenic ecology park runs into “view” trouble and awaits further discussion.

These were the major actions taken at a Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Commission meeting held earlier this month at Fire Headquarters.

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Costco Bags Branford

by Marcia Chambers & Diana Stricker | Feb 16, 2017 4:28 pm | Comments (2)

With Permission Costco, the national warehouse retailer, has announced a “business decision” not to build a 158,000-square-foot store in Branford off Exit 56. First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove said in an interview with the Eagle yesterday he would work on finding the best strategy to increase the commercial tax base in town.

Cosgrove said he was a “little bit disappointed. It would have been a good project for the town.” He said Costco did not say why it had not resubmitted the application it withdrew last April after it became clear the Inland Wetlands Commission would turn down Costco on a number of grounds. The developer’s option to purchase the Costco property expires in March.


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Judge Dismisses Neighbor’s Appeal Against Atlantic Wharf

by marcia chambers | Jan 30, 2017 8:58 am

File Photo A Superior Court judge has dismissed an appeal challenging the Planning & Zoning Commission’s (P & Z) approval of the Atlantic Wharf project, a large mixed-use commercial and residential development to be built on Meadow Street.

In a 13-page decision, Superior Court Judge Angela Robinson last week found that “the substantial evidence” in the record “does not support any of the plaintiff’s three claims raised on appeal.” When a party takes an appeal in a zoning or land use matter the court is always limited to the actual record of the proceedings.

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P & Z Approves Building and Expansion Projects

by Diana Stricker | Jan 11, 2017 8:20 am

With Permission Connecticut Orthopedic Specialists’ expansion plans that were approved in July have expanded even before construction began. The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission approved revised plans last week for the North Main Street facility that will provide more outpatient surgical space; and also more overnight recovery rooms, which is a new concept for the Branford site.

The commission also approved plans for a kick-boxing fitness facility on West Main Street; and previously approved plans for an office building on Cedar Street; and a new storage facility on Harbor Street for Cherry Hill Glass Co.

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Town Becomes Formal Party in Legacy Theatre Lawsuits

by marcia chambers | Jan 6, 2017 8:45 am

With Permission New Haven Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Corradino has granted a motion to make the town of Branford a formal party to two Legacy Theatre lawsuits after attorneys agreed the town’s involvement was necessary to achieve a stipulated judgment to settle the case. The final issue? Parking spaces.  If this works, the hope is the theater may open in 2017. 

The idea that the town would be willing to become a party to the lawsuits was announced at a Stony Creek Association (SCA) meeting in mid-November by Attorney Mark K. Branse, who represents a group of neighbor-abutters who live on Thimble Islands Road. In becoming a formal party to the litigation, the town, in effect, agrees that any judgment reached among the four parties will be binding on the town.

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Special Meeting for IWC Regulation Amendments

by Diana Stricker | Dec 15, 2016 9:26 am

Diana Stricker Photo The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) will hold a special meeting and public hearing in January to discuss proposed amendments to the new regulations that were approved in May. These proposals are in response to legal appeals filed in Superior Court by four developers after the new regulations were approved. The public hearing will be held Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Canoe Brook Senior Center.

The newly released proposed amendments were filed in the town clerk’s office Wednesday and the same information was posted on the Inland Wetland Department’s web site.

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Divided RTM Challenges $12.1M Cost of Community-Senior Center

by marcia chambers | Dec 5, 2016 8:43 am

Marcia Chambers Photo A divided Representative Town Meeting (RTM), concerned that the community house-senior center renovation has reached a cost of $12.1 million, raised a series of questions, many not yet answered, as First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove pressed for a speedy decision in order for an RTM vote by mid-December.

But the scheduled vote for Dec. 14 is not yet written in stone. RTM members from both parties raised a number of questions on a number of topics, ranging from on-site contamination to excessive costs for a renovated building, especially as Cosgrove and the Board of Education seek an $88.2 million renovation of the Walsh Intermediate School, the most expensive project undertaken by the town. (The town’s share for the Walsh project is about $58 million. The state’s share is between $25.7 million and $28.4 million. Whether the state grants this amount given its current fiscal crisis, remains to be seen.)

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P&Z Oversees a Four Hour Marathon

by Diana Stricker | Nov 22, 2016 9:00 am

Diana Stricker Photo The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission held a marathon four-hour session Thursday with seven public hearings ranging from dog kennels to solar panels to condo projects. Even an old project, Sterling Ridge, found its way back to the commission. And when the hearings were over, The P&Z approved a special exception that will enable Hallock’s popular warehouse and outlet store to move to Branford. The outlet is currently located in West Haven.

Two hearings were continued, four projects were approved and one was discussed but no vote was taken. The commission scheduled five new hearings for Dec. 15 for new applications, and they discussed other projects that didn’t require hearings.

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