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PZC Approves Zone Change on Lauretti's River Road Property

A Torrington developer submitted plans for a 36-unit townhouse complex on the Shelton land owned by the city's mayor.

The Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night approved a zoning change from residential to PDD (Planned Development District) so that a Torrington developer may build a 36-unit condominium complex at 550 River Rd., a 9.3 acre space currently owned by the city's mayor Mark Lauretti.

The plan details a 108 bedroom count, with just under three parking spaces per unit and 34 visitor spaces. The development is to be called Blue Heron Cove and is described as townhouses for "mature families and professionals."

The city of Shelton would not be responsible for maintaining the property. There would be private road maintenance, trash, recycling, etc. and therefore "no drain on city resources," said Peter Hughes of Country Club LLC, the Torrington-based developer who submitted the application.

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The vote was 5 to 1, with commissioner Joan Flannery being the only opponent. She produced a letter stating the site could be an Indian burial ground. Because she brought it up after the vote was taken, Chairman Ruth Parkins said the letter could not be read into record.

Flannery also cited concerns about chemical contamination, as the site once had an industrial use, but tests have shown the property is safe for public residence.

With its vote, PZC also "conditionally approved" the final site development plan for the project, subject to certain changes based on review by the fire marshal, WPCA and all other applicable boards and commissions.

It had previously been suggested that the space be turned into a city park, but the Board of Aldermen rejected the idea and the property has continued to be the subject of controversy. An ethics complaint was filed against Lauretti in 2004, claiming he used his position to secure the land and should have given the BOA the option of buying only the uncontaminated ground. The complaint was denied by the Ethics Board.

chris bailey December 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Do we really need another condo unit in Shelton? This is currently a nice green space. How about a park or some other development that everyone in the town can enjoy.
Terry December 13, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Do we really want the traffic? Do we have a large enough police department to keep everybody safe? Or a large enough and adequately equipped fire department?
Leah Salomoni (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Danielle Ann Michaud Elwood: "Absolutely unreal! Everyone in the neighborhood an area have been 100% against this yet once again the city does what they want. Just another overpriced condo complex which will sit vacant on the river road" Christopher L. Papp: "....not to mention digging up an ancient Indian burial ground!" Thomas Harbinson: "'Everyone' in the neighborhood has been "100%" against this? I'm not a fan of what I've seen come out thus far from Inland Wetlands Commission nor Planning & Zoning Commission for this particular application, but if there was such unanimous opposition as claimed - why wasn't that expressed at the Public Hearing for this application?" (Comments transferred from Shelton Patch Facebook page: Facebook.com/SheltonPatch)
yougotta bekidding December 13, 2012 at 04:34 PM
think you are missing the point. mayor lauretti owns the property, he wouldn't be able to make a fat profit if it were a park or he listened to his constituents. how do you think this got through the committee process? i would take another guess that this sale and process was pushed through so that any capital gains would be realized in 2012 by this distinguished political official so as not to subject to huge gains on Obama's imminent tax increases. sickening.
chris bailey December 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM
I am currently stationed in Kuwait, and until the town allows residents to attended meetings via video teleconference my voice will go unheard...at least until I get back.

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