Two pieces of large Boston Post Road project get OK

The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) voted at its June 6 meeting to approve two parts of a large-scale project on a mostly vacant parcel on the Boston Post Road bordering Plains Road.

The board closed the public hearing and approved plans for a 125-room hotel, and a 60,000- square-foot shopping center. When the board ended the meeting at 11:30 p.m., it postponed until its July 5 meeting any discussion and vote on a proposed 168-unit apartment complex.

Metro 150 received a special permit and site plan approval to construct a hotel at 100-110 Plains Road, and a retail shopping center at 150-184 Boston Post Road.

The 12,893-square-foot, four-story hotel with 125 rooms and 126 parking spaces would be located adjacent to the Exit 36 off-ramp on a 3.54-acre lot with a driveway to Plains Road that would be opposite the driveway to the existing driveway for the Hampton Inn, located on the north side of Plains Road. The hotel would be near Gloria Commons condominiums.

A single-family home from 1935 on 0.21-acres at 100 Plains Road would be demolished to create the hotel driveway.

The shopping center would consist of one 60,000 square foot building with 249 parking spaces on six acres of land along the Post Road. The building would be near the existing shopping center at 232 Boston Post Rd. A small warehouse building on 0.38-acres of land at 184 Boston Post Road would be demolished as part of this plan.

At its May 16 meeting, the board approved a resubdivision request from Metro 150 LLC, which is owned by Robert H. Smith Jr. of Milford, to create a three-lot subdivision at 150 and 184 Boston Post Road, and 92, 100, and 110 Plains Road on property owned by Jordan Realty.

The full proposal drew limited public comment at the May 16 public hearing, with some residents expressing concern about the additional traffic the project would generate.

The public hearing for the apartments will resume at the board’s next meeting, scheduled for 7:30 pm. on Wednesday, July 5 at City Hall. The meeting is a change from the usual Tuesday schedule due to the Independence Day holiday.

Apartment decision pending

The board wanted additional time to discuss the apartments at 92 and 100 Plains Road, which require three changes to the zoning regulation to approve. During the May 16 public hearing, board members who spoke were divided on the question of removing the requirement for an 8-30g affordable housing component.

Smith has applied for zoning regulation text changes for the Corridor Design Development District 1 (CDD-1), the zone in which these properties are located.

The application requests removing the requirement that multi-family residential buildings are only permitted in the CDD-1 zone “when at least 30% of the units are defined as affordable housing in accordance with Section 8-30g of the Connecticut General Statutes.”

Apartments are permitted in mixed use buildings, provided no more than 67% of the total gross floor area is devoted to residential use.

During the May 16 public hearing, Attorney John Knuff said the 8-30g regulation is unnecessary because these projects can be built in any zone, except industrial zones. Smith has indicated he is not interested in constructing 8-30g projects because his niche market is higher-end apartments.

A second proposed change would reduce the permitted minimum square footage of one-bedroom units in multi-family residential buildings in the CDD-1 zone to 700 square feet.

Existing regulations in the CDD-1 zone allow a minimum square footage of 575 square feet for one-bedroom units when they are part of mixed-use buildings, but require one-bedroom apartments to be a minimum of 800 square feet in multi-family residential buildings.

At the May 16 hearing, Knuff noted that one-bedroom units in mixed-use buildings in the CDD-2 and the Milford Center Design District (MCDD) need only 575 square feet, and need only be 400 square feet in the RMF-16 zone. The 700-square-foot size would match the minimum square footage permitted in the RMF-16 zone.

A third proposed change would set the following minimum off-street parking requirements for multi-family dwellings in the CDD-1 zone to 1 to 1.5 per efficiency bedroom unit, to 1.5  to 2 per one bedroom unit, and 2 to 2.5 per unit for two-bedroom units.

Knuff said on May 16 that the existing parking requirements “are far in excess” of what the applicant thinks is necessary, and what is required in other towns. He said extra parking results in excess impervious surfaces.

Current parking regulations require a minimum of two parking spaces for efficiency, one- and two-bedroom units.

The 168 apartments would be located in nine three-story buildings on 6.7-acres of land in the center of the property, between the hotel and the retail stores, near Bona Street. The proposed complex includes a clubhouse. Access would be from Plains Road.

There would be 12 efficiency units, 104 one-bedroom units, and 52 two-bedroom units. The apartments would have 299 parking spaces, including 11 for the clubhouse.

A single-family house dating to 1900 located on a 2.97-acre parcel at 92 Plains Road and another single-family house dating to 1948 on 1.18-acres of land at 100 Plains Road would be demolished to make way for the apartments.

The properties are owned by Jordan Realty LLC of Milford, which lists James R. Beard as member. Smith is the contract purchaser of the properties.