Milford residents wary of shopping center plan
MILFORD >> Residents in the Plains Road area expressed opposition Tuesday at a public hearing on a plan for a 60,000-square-foot retail shopping center proposed by Metro 150 LLC.
The developer, in three separate applications, is seeking to establish a three-lot re-subdivision, shopping center and hotel near Plains Road and the Boston Post Road on undeveloped property.
The Planning and Zoning Board decided Tuesday to carry out the public hearings separately, but not vote until the next meeting so they consider the shopping center and hotel proposals together.
Neighbors didn’t have objections to the re-subdivision plan, but the traffic impact aspect of the shopping center raised the ire of residents who say traffic already is heavy in the area.
Board members also had questions related to traffic, questioning a traffic consultant’s projections and whether they took into account other pending projects in the area.
One resident from the area said during the public hearing on the shopping center that she’s against “everything on the agenda tonight,” and that “there’s no doubt” traffic will increase.
Another resident who said she grew up in Milford no longer thinks of it as “the little city with the big heart,” but rather the big city with a lot of development. She said the city already is filled with many vacant storefronts and she, like others, questioned how the city could sustain more retail.
Some said they thought the shopping center, to be done in contemporary style, would be one more nick in Milford’s reputation as a quaint place.
The developer’s attorney, John W. Knuff, said the property has no historical quality and no natural resources, so no quaintness is being lost.
He said the shopping center is allowed in the existing zone. They are seeking a special permit and site plan review, as they are for the hotel. No zone change is required for the projects.
Knuff said his client is a “first-class developer” with a strong history in Milford. He said there won’t be any problem filling the retail space, which could be occupied by between one and three retailers, because the space or spaces will be built in precise detail to what those tenants want.
The proposed hotel would have 125 rooms.