Architect gets OK to move office to Prospect Street

Conversion of a first floor residence at 58 Prospect St. into an office may allow local architect John A. Wicko to move his business from 50 Broad St., pending Historic Preservation Commission approval.

The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) voted unanimously at its Dec. 19 meeting to grant Wicko site plan and coastal area management plan approval for a new eight-space parking lot. Mixed-use buildings are permitted in the Milford Center Design District (MCDD).

The property owner is Wepawaug Prospect LLC, which lists Wicko as its member. The 2,362 sq. ft. two-story house dates to 1825. The property is located to the south of city open space and backs onto the Wepawaug River.

Wicko told the P&Z that the property is just outside the local historic district and is within the River Park Historic District. He said he is in the process of obtaining a certificate of appropriateness for the use within the area. He said a January meeting with the historic commission is planned for that application. He needs to receive the certificate before he can apply for a building permit.

Wicko said he received Inland Wetlands Agency (IWA) approval with conditions for the eight-car parking lot. The IWA granted that approval at its Dec. 6 meeting. He said the city engineer required installation of a filtering device for storm water coming from the parking lot and is requiring him to file a maintenance schedule for that device with the city clerk.

Wicko said he plans to convert the first-floor residence into an office and will retain the one-bedroom apartment on the second floor. He said the Historic Preservation Commission is performing an architectural review.

“This is rather important to me because I will be occupying the first floor,” said Wicko.

In response to concerns from neighbors regarding headlight glare from cars, Wicko said he plans to plan arborvitae along the parking lot to provide a buffer for those properties.

“I told the neighbors I am always accessible if you need anything from me,” said Wicko.

An extensive description of the historic district may be read here:  "" 

In other business, the board unanimously accepted Mayor Ben Blake’s (D) Capital Improvement Plan for 2017-2021. The vote was an 8-24 approval, in which the P&Z acts in an advisory capacity to the Board of Aldermen on matters related to city-owned property. This is a routine vote the P&Z takes every year.

The plan moves to the aldermen for final review and acceptance. The aldermen have the authority to vote for the funding necessary to pay for any items in the plan.