P&Z OKs pizza business; approves law office plans

The Middlebury Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) at its July 3 meeting approved a pizza business on Middlebury Road and construction plans for law offices on Straits Turnpike.
A certificate of zoning compliance for Blarney Stone Pizza LLC to operate using the side entrance of the Mobil Mart owned by Oreste Bona d/b/a 492 Middlebury Road LLC was approved by a 3 to 1 vote with a deferral of rear parking zoning compliance. Chairman Terry Smith and Commissioners Ronald Kulpa and Paul Babarik voted in favor while Erika Carrington was opposed. The matter was held over from the June 6 meeting, at which attorney Michael McVerry, speaking for Blarney Store owner Blair Daily, told commissioners the convenience store had been used by many businesses over the years, including a deli, a Chinese restaurant, Milano’s pizza, Brenda’s Kitchen, and Eggplant’s, a restaurant with 14 indoor tables for patrons. McVerry showed a site plan, approved by P&Z in 1997, that included 26 parking spaces, which he said was more than adequate for the proposed use.
McVerry was instructed to come back with a site plan with enough detail to show property lines, easements, rights of way, parking spaces, and required and provided square-foot parking calculations. He answered the right-of-way issue with a 1966 zoning map reserving driveway easement rights to both Bona and the adjoining property, formerly Johnny’s Dairy Bar. He used the same map to show 26 9-by-20-foot parking spaces, 18 in front and 8 in the back, which he claimed was one more than the 25 required for dining and retail use in the building. McVerry admitted the rear spaces did not conform to requirements for impervious surfaces, but argued the parking had been in place for many years and asked for a deferral of those requirements. Carrington said she thought the back parking spaces were rough and wouldn’t be plowable in winter and town engineer John Calabrese agreed the area did not meet regulations for backup. Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO) Curtis Bosco said at least one of the parking spaces needed to be designed and marked for handicapped.
Site plan and excavation permits for a new 7,500-square-foot office building in the CA-40 zone at 891 Straits Turnpike for the law firm Moore, O’Brien, Yelenak and Foti were unanimously approved. McVerry, representing owner Garrett Moore, said the proposed construction activity will remove a dilapidated old house and excavate about 2,300 cubic yards to prepare the way for the new building.
McVerry read letters of approval from acting Police Chief Richard Wildman and Fire Marshall Jack Proulx and votes of approval from the Conservation Commission and the Economic and Industrial Development Commission. Professional engineer Brian Baker of Civil-1 said parking will include 42 spaces at the rear of the building with some blasting a possibility if rock is discovered. After a brief discussion with Calabrese, Baker and town planner Brian Miller, conditions were added to the approval to specify easements, landscaping and lighting plans, construction hours, and to secure blasting permits, bonding and insurance approval from the Board of Selectmen.
Approval of expansion of a West Lake Road cottage was referred back to Bosco for detailed information and lot coverage calculations for Calabrese to review. Commissioners agreed all changes to cottages in the newly defined Lake Quassapaug Preservation District must come before P&Z.
In enforcement matters, Bosco told commissioners he was receiving many complaints, citing blight complaints on a Woodfield Drive house. He said residents had been helpful about putting complaints into writing and he had sent certified letters to the owner and bank attorney, but was pessimistic about anything being done. Babarik and Smith told him it was important to enforce the law, and Bosco said 37 letters had been sent out since passage of the 2012 blight ordinance. Bosco also noted that an illegal portable car wash at the Middlebury Road Shell gas station was quickly removed upon his complaint.
The next regular P&Z meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Shepardson Community Center.


Comments are closed.