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P&Z Permits Residential Property Amendment In Sandy Hook



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Newtown Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) conducted a brief meeting at Newtown Municipal Center, on July 21, to vote on a text amendment allowing property uses to change.

Members present included Dennis Bloom, Roy Meadows, Corinne Cox, and Gregory Rich as well as alternate member Connie Widmann.

The agenda stated that Application 22.19 by Adriano Echavarria is for a text amendment to §6.05.410 of the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Newtown, so as to add a subsection (j) to include a provision within the special exception section, which would permit the use of the Property to be 100% residential.

Cox read it into the record that the application is consistent with the plan of conservation and development and the comprehensive plan.

Newtown Land Use Director of Planning George Benson was present at the meeting and noted that the text amendment would only affect the applicant’s property and a property on Riverside Road within the Sandy Hook Design District (SHDD).

When Cox inquired how many families are located at 8 Washington Avenue in the SHDD, Widmann, who is a local realtor, answered, “I can tell you exactly. In 8 Washington, there are two units on the first floor, one unit on the second floor, and a unit over the garage — so four.”

Benson noted that when the applicant first came to the Land Use office, Benson told them that he wanted to see the yellow building preserved.

“It’s a unique building — iconic, really,” he said.

The commission brought up that the applicant would likely be looking to create apartments.

Meadows voiced that the SHDD currently calls for mixed-use development and he does not see why they would want to change that.

“My concern is if we don’t require a commercial component to this … I’m having a lot of trouble seeing why we need to relax that,” Meadows said.

Widmann explained that right now there is demand for housing.

“We have a very serious housing problem,” she said.

The commissioners reviewed the applicant’s filed conceptual design to try and get a better understanding of the property.

“It’s a transitional property with all business on one side and all residential on the other,” Rich said. The residential he was referring to is Farrell Communities.

After some discussion, the application was approved with only Meadows in opposition.

Next Meeting

During the meeting, Bloom made a motion to continue the public hearing for Application 22.16 by Newtown Industries, LLC, for a text amendment to §3.03.400 of the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Newtown, to modify the Street Frontage provision of the IHOZ-10 overlay zone district.

The commission agreed and the public hearing will continue to the next regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, August 4, at 7 pm, in the Newtown Municipal Center’s Council Chambers.

For more information about Newtown Planning & Zoning Commission, visit newtown-ct.gov/planning-zoning-commission.

Reporter Alissa Silber can be reached at alissa@thebee.com.

The text amendment proposed in Application 22.19 to Newtown Planning & Zoning Commission would affect the property at 8 Washington Avenue. These four photos indicate what the site currently looks like from different angles. Four photos —Application Appendix
Planning and Zoning Commissioners reviewed the applicant’s filed conceptual design for the property at 8 Washington Avenue that would be impacted by the text amendment.
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