Log In

Reset Password

Redevelopment Proposed For Church Hill Road Site



Text Size

Redevelopment Proposed For Church Hill Road Site

By Andrew Gorosko

Newtown Savings Bank has submitted a wetlands/watercourses protection permit application to the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) in connection with its proposed retail/office redevelopment project for a deep 6.3-acre site at 30-32 Church Hill Road.

Lexington Gardens, a garden shop and nursery, formerly operated at 32 Church Hill Road, but that firm has gone out of business. The redevelopment project is named The Villages at Lexington Gardens.

The redevelopment site is on the south side of Church Hill Road, across Church Hill Road from its intersection with The Boulevard.

Architectural drawings prepared for the bank by Bennett Sullivan Associates Inc of Southbury indicate that an existing 16,000-square-foot commercial building at 30 Church Hill Road would remain in place as part of the redevelopment project.

That building now holds Chase Bank, Bagel Delight, and Church Hill Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation as ground level businesses. The second story of that building holds office space for Stockwell & Bates, LLC, and iTech Consulting Partners, LLC.

The drawings indicate that the building that formerly housed Lexington Gardens at 32 Church Hill Road would be demolished and replaced with a new 28,000-square-foot structure.

Also, the plans indicate that near the street at 32 Church Hill Road, a 6,500-square-foot building designated for use as a bank would be constructed. It is unclear if Newtown Savings Bank would occupy that space at some point in the future.

Also, the plans call for four 6,500-square-foot buildings to be located at 32 Church Hill Road, lying northeast and northwest of the proposed 28,000 square-foot structure. The two-story 6,500-square-foot buildings would be constructed in physically linked pairs. (See architectural graphic.)

The site, which has B-½ zoning, lies in the Village District overlay zone which restricts the maximum size of certain new commercial buildings to 6,500 square feet. The proposed 28,000-square-foot building is not subject to that rule because it would be replacing a preexisting commercial building of comparable size.

Overall, the project would contain about 60,500 square feet of new commercial space at 32 Church Hill Road and preserve 16,000 square feet of commercial space at 30 Church Hill Road.

Generally, the new construction would contain retail space on the ground level and office space on the second story.

Attorney Peter Scalzo, who represents applicant/developer Newtown Savings Bank, said August 1 that if the bank receives the required land use approvals, the project could start construction next spring.

 An application will soon be submitted to the Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) concerning the zoning aspects of the project, he said.

The Borough Zoning Commission would refer the matter to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) for its review and comment as the borough’s planning agency, according to Jean St Jean, zoning coordinator.

Mr Scalzo said the external appearance of the existing office building at 30 Church Hill Road would be modified to better blend with the architecture of the area and the architecture of the proposed buildings.

Mr Scalzo said that the bank is in negotiations with an unnamed firm which would acquire the 30-32 Church Hill Road site and the development rights to it, if the bank gains the required local land use approvals.

“It’s going to be an architecturally gorgeous project,” Mr Scalzo said. The project would function as a high quality shopping area, as well as office space, he said.

The two-story buildings at the site would have elevator service, he said.

The site would be linked by an internal driveway to the shopping center now occupied by Caraluzzi’s Food Market at 5 Queen Street, he said.

It is expected that plans for the 30-32 Church Hill Road project would include a proposal for a traffic signal at the congested and hazardous intersection of Church Hill Road, The Boulevard, and a driveway for 30-32 Church Hill Road.

According to the wetlands/watercourses protection permit application, approximately 480 square feet of wetlands would need to be modified for development. About 770 linear feet of a stream channel would need to be modified. The project would require that about 345 cubic yards of earthen material be removed/deposited in wetlands.

The IWC is expected to review the permit application at its upcoming meetings and may hold a public hearing on the wetlands/watercourses protection aspects of the project.

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply