P&Z news includes 6 new apartments, Firehouse Gallery lease renewal

The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) granted quick and unanimous approval to five applications at its Feb. 3 meeting, including a plan to create six apartments above a store at 530-532 Boston Post Road.

Demonstrating a demand for residential space over office space, Architect John Wicko presented a plan to convert second-floor office space at 530-532 Boston Post Road to six residential apartments. The building has sprinklers and an elevator.

The 4,500 square foot area is located in a Corridor Design Development District-1, which allows residential use by a special permit and site plan review. Wicko said the apartments would be a mixture of studio apartments at 497 square feet and one-bedroom apartments at 632 square feet.

The Asian Supermarket occupies the first floor of the building, which is located on a 0.79-are parcel near High Street. The project includes 32 parking spaces, of which 12 will be shared with the apartments, said Wicko.

The plans include a 2,500-square-foot grassy area at the rear of the building. Wicko said the plans also include additional landscaping in the form of planters and traffic islands. The plan received no public comment.

Property owner Errol Van Hise told the board, “The people I cater to are doctors and lawyers” whom he said spend most of their time in New York. Van Hise said he rents to such tenants in other buildings.

“There is a definite need for this type of residence,” said Van Hise.

House plans move ahead

The board approved plans for a replacement house at 81 Shell Avenue, which was torn down following storm damage. Rodney R. Allain Revocable Trust owns the home on a 0.09-acre lot in the R-7.5 zone.

A vote on the application, which needed Coastal Area Management site plan review, was held over from the Jan. 20 meeting, due to concerns about incomplete plans. David Salerno, a contractor who owns Compass Builders, was caught in the middle of a difference of opinion among zoning staff as to how much information a plan needed to be presented to the board.

Salerno said the house would be elevated to 17 feet, four feet higher than required by the flood standards. The existing house and garage have been demolished and will be replaced by a house that better conforms to the lot. The home requires a side setback variance, which the Zoning Board of Appeals (ABA) unanimously granted at its Oct. 14, 2014 meeting.

Other projects approved

The board also approved an amendment to a special permit and site plan review from the Milford Cemetery Association to move a garage and dumpster location at the Kings Highway Cemetery at 273 Cherry Street.

Architect Raymond Oliver, who was representing the association, said the application was an amendment to a 2002 P&Z approval allowing the construction of a garage and area for recycling organic material.

Oliver said the recycling area, consisting of concrete bins, was installed but the garage was never built. The association now plans to construct the garage, but in a different location than the 2002 plan.

“We would like to change the layout of this area, swapping the building for the recycling area,” Oliver told the board.

Oliver said the recycling area would be moved away from a wetlands area and the garage would be built closer to the property line. The three-bay structure would be used to house maintenance equipment.

The board unanimously recommended acceptance of a land donation from D'Amato Brothers Builders at 0 White Oaks Road. The 0.17-acre parcel was valued at $5,100 by the city assessor in 2013. The recommendation now moves to the Board of Aldermen for final action at its March 2 meeting.

The aldermen will also vote on a renewal of a five-year lease with one additional five-year extension, allowing the Milford Arts Council to continue to lease a former city firehouse at the base of Naugatuck Avenue.

The council uses the building as the Firehouse Art Gallery. Board Chairman Benjamin Gettinger and board member Michael Dolan recused themselves from the discussion and vote because they serve on the council's Board of Trustees.