P&Z votes against zone change for Naugatuck Avenue

By an 8-2 vote at its April 2 meeting, the Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) resoundingly rejected a proposal to rezone the property at 990 Naugatuck Ave., and also turned down a proposal to revise the zoning regulations, which, if approved, would have allowed for a high-density apartment complex on the site.
In an email, Jeffrey Gordon, landscape architect and site planner for Codespoti and Associates, said the applicants are considering their options. Gordon drafted the proposal for developer John Guedes, president of Primrose Companies of Bridgeport, who had planned to construct apartments on the property at 990 Naugatuck Ave., and to finish the final phase of Caswell Cove Condominiums on the adjacent property.
The board delayed the vote five times before rendering its decision with only Chairman Jim Quish and recently appointed board member Jim Kader voting in favor.
Quish had postponed the vote from the Jan. 15 meeting because only six members were in attendance, and the proposals needed at least seven affirmative votes to pass. In announcing the delay at the board’s Feb. 5 and Feb. 19 meeting, Quish said he wanted the entire 10-member board to vote on the applications.
There were nine board members in attendance at the Feb. 5 meeting, but Kader had just been appointed to the board on Feb. 4 and did not have time to review the files and watch the videos for the Dec. 4, 2018, and Jan. 15, 2019 public hearings.
All 10 members were present at the Feb. 19 meeting, but Quish said due to problems with the Milford Government Access Television (MGAT) recording of the Dec. 4 hearing, two board members still had not been able to watch the meeting video. The video was posted on Feb. 22.
One board member was absent at the March 5 meeting, and since this was known in advance, the agenda stated that the vote was postponed. The board then planned to vote at its March 19 meeting, but the entire meeting was postponed because the Planning and Zoning office had not submitted the agenda to the City Clerk’s office with at least 24 hours notice, as required by law.
The board rejected a proposal to change the zone from the Housatonic Design District (HDD) to Waterfront Design District (WDD) on the eight-acre site, which would match the zone on the adjacent Caswell Cove condominium property, but no longer align with the zone on the adjacent Devon Power property.
There was also a proposal to revise the regulations in the Waterfront Design District (WDD) with regard to height, spacing, building area, and dwelling units.
The proposed regulation change would have allowed building heights up to four stories or 60 feet, instead of the current 35 feet. The proposal would have increased the building area from a maximum of 30% to a maximum of 80% of habitable floor area, and increased the density to 26 dwelling units per acre or 42 bedrooms per acre.
A concept sketch shows 210 units in the form of 86 onebedroom units and 124 two-bedroom units in three, four-story buildings on the property at 990 Naugatuck Ave.
Plans call for Caswell Cove to build 44 units, instead of the 76 that were approved, on its remaining 5.6 acres of land, but the applicants have said this would not happen if the industrial use continued on the property at 990 Naugatuck Ave.