Milford hosts hearing on billboards Tuesday
MILFORD — A proposed regulation change to allow digital billboards along I-95 that failed to pass at the Planning and Zoning Board’s (P&Z) Dec. 17, meeting has returned and will be presented before the board during a public hearing on Tuesday, May 5, starting at 7 p.m.
The meeting will take place remotely via the Zoom application. The meeting link and the link to the files detailing this and other items for consideration by the board are on the agenda, which may be downloaded as a PDF here.
At that December meeting, the board voted 5-4 in favor of adopting revised zoning regulations to allow digital billboards along I-95, but the measure failed because six or more votes are needed to pass a regulation change. John Grant and Scott Marlow, two of the board members who voted against the change, did not run for re-election. Peggy Kearney, who was the one board member not present for the December vote, is still on the board.
Attorney Kevin J. Curseaden submitted and resubmitted the application on behalf of his client, Dominic DeMartino, who owns an industrial building at 45 Banner Drive, which has a billboard facing the northbound lanes of I-95. The regulation language is identical in both proposals. The only real change is the zoning districts in which the proposal would apply.
The proposal would create new sections to the zoning regulations under Section 5.2 Exterior Lighting Regulations, and Section 5.3 Sign Regulations that detail the specifications for electronic digital billboard signs, describe permitted locations, and include limits on how much light they can project. The regulations would be limited to the conversion of existing “commercial advertising signs,” and would not allow an increase in non-conformity related to “height, distance, size and location requirements.” Any sign would require a zoning permit.
The display would have to face the I-95 corridor “at an angle of 90 degrees or less at the point nearest the sign structure” and be “located no more than a distance of 200 feet from the I-95 Corridor.”
In the 2019 proposal, the regulation would have applied to these zoning districts: the Limited Industrial (LI), Corridor Design Development Districts (CDD) 1, 3 and 5, and also the Interchange Commercial District (ICD) and the Industrial District (ID). The new proposal limits the change to the LI, CDD-1 and the ID zoning districts.
The change would affect the following six billboards: A double sized billboard in front of the building at 58-60 Research Drive, and a single-sided billboard behind the building, as viewed from the northbound on-ramp from Woodmont Road; a double-sided billboard is adjacent to the building at 84 Research Drive, and a double-sided billboard is next to a building at 116 Research Drive. These Research Drive properties in the ID zone are all owned by D’Amato Investments. LLC.
There is a double-sided billboard in the state of Connecticut Department of Transportation right of way between the Metro North Railroad tracks and the southbound lanes of I-95, near 270 Rowe Ave., located in the LI zone. Finally, on the property of Gloria Commons Condominiums, 590 West Ave. in the CDD-1 zone is a billboard adjacent to the I-95 North lanes, but is visible only from the southbound lanes.
The board is also conducting a public hearing for Dogtopia, a dog daycare facility in an existing building at 40 Quirk Road. The proposal needs a special exception with site plan review for the building owned by Agro Brothers Investments LLC.
In addition to daytime care, Dogtopia would also offer overnight boarding with grooming services available. According to the proposal submitted by Owen Botting and Michele McHugh, they expect to start with 30 dogs and expand to 90 dogs. They would hire seven employees to start and add an unspecified number as the business grows.
Finally, the board plans to discuss four proposed regulation changes from the Regulations Subcommittee. These changes apply to special permits, flood hazard and flood damage prevention regulations, anchoring of manufactured homes, and effect of zoning changes on subdivisions.