Hawleyville Gas Station Zoning Regulations Approved
In a split vote at a September 6 session, the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) approved new zoning regulations that would allow developers to apply for up to two gas station/convenience store complexes in the Hawleyville Center Design District zone (HCDD), along Hawleyville Road (Route 25), near Exit 9 of Interstate 84.
Voting in favor of the new regulations were P&Z Chairman Don Mitchell, Robert Mulholland, and Barbara Manville. Opposed were Corinne Cox and Benjamin Toby.
Members of a group of Hawleyville residents who wanted to comment on the proposed regulations asked to speak on the matter before the vote was taken. But Mr Mitchell ruled that the P&Z had closed its public hearing on the rule application at a past P&Z session, and thus comment was not allowed.
The P&Z had closed that hearing on August 2, after receiving public comments on the application. It then scheduled its review of the application for August 16. But the lawyer for applicant NEMCO Limited Partnership of Danbury later asked that the matter not be considered on August 16. Thus, P&Z then rescheduled its review of the application to September 6.
On September 6, Mr Mitchell said that NEMCO’s zoning regulation proposal “has been tweaked” in reference to some wording changes made to the document.
Before the P&Z vote, Town Planning Director George Benson reminded P&Z members that although NEMCO only plans to apply for one gas station/convenience store at 26 Hawleyville Road under the terms of the new regulations, the rules as written would allow another developer to seek a second such facility at 13 Hawleyville Road.
At the August 2 public hearing, a lawyer representing the firm known as 13 Hawleyville Road, LLC, said that firm was dropping its separate regulatory proposal that would allow the firm to seek a gas station/convenience store at that address. The lawyer said the firm he represents also supports the NEMCO rules proposal. The now-defunct rules proposal for 13 Hawleyville Road included wording allowing a restaurant with drive-through window service as a permitted use at that property.
In effect, the P&Z expects to receive separate development applications from NEMCO for a gas-station convenience store at the 0.7-acre site at 26 Hawleyville Road, and from 13 Hawleyville Road, LLC, for a similar facility at the 3.7-acre site at 13 Hawleyville Road.
The 26 Hawleyville Road site, which lies north of Housatonic Railroad grade crossing, holds a commercial building which would be demolished to make new for new construction. The site is owned by Nimer Properties, LLC.
The 13 Hawleyville Road property, which is vacant, is north of Hawleyville Road’s intersection with Covered Bridge Road. The two sites are about 2,000 feet apart.
Attorney Peter Olson, representing NEMCO, has told P&Z members that NEMCO has a contract to purchase the 26 Hawleyville Road site from Nimer. Because the land has HCDD zoning, commercial construction proposals for properties in that zone are subject to aesthetic review by the town’s Design Advisory Board (DAB).
Besides gasoline, the filling station would sell other liquid fuels. The proposed convenience store there would serve hot and cold prepared foods to be consumed by seated patrons on the premises.
NEMCO is expected to submit a development proposal for 26 Hawleyville Road this fall for P&Z review. The applicant would seek a special zoning permit for the project. A P&Z public hearing would be held on the application.
During the August 2 P&Z public hearing on the zoning rules proposal, resident Pat Napolitano of Whippoorwill Hill Road raised issues concerning the amount of traffic that the proposed gas station would create, noting that the area already experiences heavy traffic. Mr Napolitano also raised the issue of air pollution created by additional traffic. He then said he doubts the need for another gas station in Hawleyville.
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