Stonington expected to approve partial fourth story for downtown Mystic building

Mystic -- The Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission has reached an agreement in which it will allow construction of a partial fourth story as part of a proposed mixed use building on property across from the Mystic train station and the B.F. Hoxie firehouse.

When it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mystic Middle School, the commission is scheduled to consider approving an agreement that would resolve a court appeal filed by Hendels Mystic, LLC & Hendels Washington St., LLC. The two entities filed the Superior Court appeal after the commission approved the special use permit needed for $1.8 million building in January but deleted plans for the fourth story because members were concerned about the size of the building that would be constructed on vacant property at 3 Roosevelt Ave. and 8 Washington St.

According to a summary of the issue prepared by Town Planner Keith Brynes, the commission at its Sept. 18 meeting agreed to consider a modification that would eliminate sections of the fourth story in order to reduce the perceived scale of the building. The eliminated sections will become decks with solid railings accessible from the fourth-floor units. In addition, the parking lots for the mixed use building and the adjacent convenience/store gas station will no longer be connected.

The one-acre lot is adjacent to the Hendels-owned Henny Penny at 3 Roosevelt Ave.

The Architectural Design Review Board also recommended approval of the modifications at its meeting last week with two minor stipulations regarding a planting plan and the redesign and reduction of the number of bollards.

Hendel’s appeal charged that the commission’s Jan. 16 decision to approve the plan after reducing the commercial/residential building from four to three stories in height, violated state law because the commission already had denied the application at its Dec. 5, 2017, meeting. That decision had prompted Hendel’s to file its first appeal in New London Superior Court.

Hendels' attorneys maintain in the appeal that the application met all zoning requirements and the commission’s January approval was not supported by the evidence before the commission.

Commission members had initially expressed concerns about access, the building’s impact on the neighborhood, the application’s lack of a three-dimensional model and the building’s height.

 

 

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