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At its Thursday, May 3, meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) plans to hold three public hearings. Those hearings involve a proposed brewpub; proposed zoning rule changes affecting food trucks doing business at brewpubs/distilleries; and modifications to the site development plan for a 26-unit condominium complex in Sandy Hook Center. The P&Z session is slated for 7:30 pm at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street.
Applicant Reverie Brewing Company, LLC, is seeking a special zoning permit to convert an industrial building at 57-B Church Hill Road into a brewpub. The 5,853-square-foot structure, which was built in 1953, has been used for auto repair. It is in a M-5 (Industrial) zone. Recently, the building had been used as a garage for a construction/landscaping company.
In September 2017, the P&Z approved zoning regulations which allow brewpubs and distilleries as permitted land uses. Under the terms of the brewpub regulations, such facilities are allowed to manufacture, package, and store beer. Such beer may be purchased at the brewpub for consumption there, or may be purchased and consumed elsewhere.
According to the zoning application from Reverie, the site would be cleaned up and improved to house a brewpub.
In a related matter, the P&Z is slated to hold a public hearing on proposed zoning rule changes that would allow food trucks to do business at brewpubs and distilleries.
Under the proposed changes, such brewpubs and distilleries would be allowed to have one food truck present per day, on Fridays through Sundays. The presence of a food truck would need approval by the town Health Department and by the brewpub’s or the distillery’s owners.
George Benson, town planning director, has said that brewpubs and distilleries typically do not serve food, so placing such wording in the zoning regulations creates a mechanism for patrons to have prepared food with their drinks.
At another public hearing slated for the May 3 P&Z meeting, Danbury developer Dauti Construction. LLC, is seeking P&Z approval for modifications to the site development plan of the built 26-unit Edona Commons condominium complex at 95 & 99 Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook Center. The P&Z approved that site plan in June 2011.
In 2009, Dauti gained court approval to build the complex after winning lawsuits against the P&Z and Water & Sewer Authority (WSA). Dauti had filed the lawsuits under the terms of the state’s Affordable Housing Appeals Act (AHAA).
Dauti had pursued multifamily construction at the 4.5-acre site for many years, but those proposals were rejected by the town before Dauti eventually won the construction approval through the AHAA court cases. The condo complex contains eight dwellings designated as affordable housing, which are offered to eligible people at much lower prices than the 18 market-rate units.
In an April 9 letter to the P&Z, civil engineer Steven Trinkaus of Trinkaus Engineering, LLC, representing Dauti, lists 17 sets of changes to the P&Z-approved site plans for Edona Commons.
Among those site development plan changes, Mr Trinkaus notes that a planned sidewalk at the complex was not constructed. That walkway, which is depicted on the site plan, would be a four-foot-wide concrete sidewalk that would be approximately 280 feet long. It would be situated on the east side of the driveway that connects the upper level of the condo complex to Church Hill Road.
After the condo complex was built, the town extended a streetscape-grade sidewalk westward along the north side of Church Hill Road to meet that driveway.
In his letter, Mr Trinkaus writes, “The sidewalk along the right side of the driveway was not installed. [The] owner would prefer to leave green space in this area. [Condo] residents have been observed simply walking down the side of the driveway from the units to Church Hill Road.”
The other plan changes for which Dauti is seeking P&Z approval include modifications involving retaining walls, parking spaces, fencing, plantings, pavers, and landscaping.