Milford zoning board approves smaller West Avenue plan for Beaver Brook Apartments

MILFORD — An apartment complex project, once approved for 342 units, will be downsized to 189 apartments instead.

Developers of Beaver Brook Apartments, located at 553 West Ave., received approval from the Planning and Zoning Board to amend the site plan initially approved on Dec. 5, 2017.

"They've done a great job," said board member Etan Hirsch. "They reduced their footprint. They helped with the wetlands. I think they've done a great job."

In 2016, Grillo Services, which had unsuccessfully sought to expand its landscaping operation on the West Avenue site, filed a new application with the city's Inland Wetlands Agency for 342 rental apartments.

The latest amendment proposed constructing 189 dwelling units and 268 parking spaces, compared to the original 522 parking spaces, and reducing the square footage to 269,239 from the previously approved 692,600 square feet.

"Our task was to take our previous approval and modify it in such a way to meet our client's objects of 189 and do it in such a way that we can have a lesser overall impact on the site and still meet requirements," said David Golebiewski of TPA Design Group and lead architect for the project. 

Golebiewski said the previously approved plan had a 12-acre impact, and the new proposed plan reduces that impact to about 6.1 acres.

In December, the apartment complex project received Inland Wetlands Agency approval.

"There is no longer a connection to Schoolhouse Road, and with that, we were able to reduce the previous almost 240,000 square feet of wetland upland review area impact to 48,000 square feet," said Golebiewski.

The state legislature, in Public Act 22-25, mandated towns to have regulations for accommodating electric vehicles charging on projects with 30 or more parking spaces, making it so Beaver Brook Apartments needed to accommodate for the 10 percent of electric vehicle charging capable spots.

"The application on the record as it stands this evening has 19 EV spaces, and after reviewing the updated statute for EV, we recognized we needed to commit to 10 percent overall," said Golebiewski. "So the revised plan we have this evening includes eight additional EV spaces located within the proposed buildings bringing us to 27."

Paul Santos, architect for the project, said the Beaver Brook Apartments will have 18 studios, 38 one-bedroom units, 49 one-bedroom plus units and 84 two-bedroom apartments.

"The apartments are arranged in five buildings, with each having 36 to 42 apartments," he said. "The apartments are arranged on three floors over a ground-level parking garage."

Blake Smith, director of real estate development at Metro Star Properties, told the P&Z board they have considered adding solar to the apartment project.

"We are in the investigation stages of installing solar panels on the roof of Building F, which we have determined with our architect that it receives the most sunlight," he said. "That would be sufficient enough to power all of our site lighting. We are willing to look beyond that, but to our current investigation, that's the most efficient use of solar panels we have right now."