Developer briefs Waterford Planning and Zoning Commission on status of Seaside

Waterford - The developer of the proposed 122-unit condominium complex at the former Seaside Regional Center met with members of the Planning and Zoning Commission last week to reassure them that development plans are still moving forward and that town zoning regulations are being closely followed.

Mark Steiner, a Farmington-based developer who has been working on the proposal since 1999, said Monday that the pre-application meeting was a chance to update commission members.

"It was a good opportunity to catch up and reassure the commission that we are working well within the regulations proposed," Steiner said, "and also to give them some flavor for what our thought process is."

He said a formal application for Seaside will not be submitted to the commission for "a number of months." Last Monday's mostly informational meeting was open to the public, but Steiner would not share the proposed development information with The Day, saying the plans and design concepts are in too early a stage to discuss.

He declined to share a PowerPoint presentation he gave at the meeting, and meeting minutes do not include details of the presentation.

Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Edwin Maguire could not be reached for comment.

Under the town's zoning regulations for the property, changes to which were approved last year, a maximum of 123 units are allowed on the 32-acre site. But Steiner said he was unsure if the full number of units would come to fruition. He said he does plan to "utilize the existing structures and build additional smaller units."

When the Planning and Zoning Commission heard Steiner's case for a change to the zoning regulations in June 2011, Steiner sought zone changes that would eliminate the provision that the new development be only for residents 55 and older. He also wanted the zoning rules to be amended to permit the destruction of one or more of the historic buildings on the 32-acre site and allow new buildings to go up.

In August 2011, the commission eliminated the age restriction but ordered that the historic Beaux Arts buildings stay.

Steiner said his proposal includes the reconstruction and renovation of the buildings on the site he plans to use. But due to zoning regulations, the site plan does not call for any individual lots or subdivisions on the property.

Public water, beach and boat access have been a part of Steiner's proposed development plan since 1999, and around 4½ acres of land behind the seawall will be improved and designated as a park, Steiner said.

j.hanckel@theday.com

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