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Stonington to hold hearing on proposed downtown Mystic parking lot

Mystic — A limited liability company is seeking approval from the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission to merge two lots on Cottrell and Haley streets to create a 15-space parking lot for the redeveloped Odd Fellows building.

The commission is slated to hold a virtual public hearing at 7 p.m. on April 6 on the site plan application from Whaler's Inn RE LLC.

Plans call for merging the Odd Fellows lot at 11 Cottrell St. and a vacant lot at 1-3 Haley St. that formerly contained two homes. The two lots lie in both the downtown business zone and a residential zone that requires 10,000-square foot lots. Together they comprise 16,406 square feet. A parking lot is a permitted accessory use.

New London attorney William Sweeney, who represents Whaler's Inn RE LLC, said the Odd Fellows building effectively has no parking. There is a small driveway behind the building where a few cars can park.

The building houses three shops — Shades of Mystic, Rochelle's and Crop hair salon — on the ground floor and four apartments on the upper two floors.

This means customers and employees have to find on-street parking. Sweeney said adding 15 spots also will free up on-street parking, which is often in demand in the busy downtown. The Stonington Board of Police Commissioners made Cottrell Street one-way last summer, which has allowed it to add 13 parking spots. The plan was opposed by a group of neighbors.

Sweeney said the Odd Fellows building has to remedy its current parking situation to maintain its viability.

He stressed the lot would not be a parking lot addition for the Whaler's Inn, as it is not connected to the inn lot, but would solely serve the Odd Fellows building. 

Sweeney said Whalers Inn RE LLC is a separate entity from the Whaler's Inn itself and another LLC that also incorporates the Whalers Inn name and owns the lot that once was home to John's Cafe.


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