Hearing Tuesday on plan for two new Mystic hotels

Mystic — The Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal to build two hotels behind the Holiday Inn Express on Coogan Boulevard.

The commission meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Mystic Middle School.

The hearing on the $20 million project had been slated for June 4 but was continued until Tuesday to let the Architectural Design Review Board complete its review of the plans. That commission recommended approval but suggested the design of the two hotels better reflect the town’s historic character. 

There is also a moratorium on new sewer hookups because the Mystic treatment plant is reaching capacity. This means the hotels could not open until the town undertakes a planned project to divert sewage to the underused borough plant.      

J & H Hospitality is seeking a zone change amendment and site plan applications for a zone change from Tourist Commercial to Neighborhood Development District for the two hotels — a 97-room Homewood Suites hotel and an unnamed 120-toom hotel. Access would be through the Holiday Inn Express lot and the end of Clara Drive with a total of 384 parking spots for the three hotels and an adjacent Mexican restaurant under construction.

The Neighborhood Development District designation, which the developers are seeking, is a floating zone tool established by the town in 2005 to "encourage redevelopment of underutilized commercial properties" and supersedes the existing zoning designation. It also is designed to preserve and enhance the town’s historic character.

The application for a master plan, though, gives the PZC a great deal of flexibility in determining what will be allowed on the site.

For example, the NDD gives the commission flexibility to eliminate the 50-foot wide buffers along the property line required in the Tourist Commercial zone and the 100-foot wide buffer along the southern border with the Coogan Farm Nature and Heritage Center.

J & H Hospitality has already cleared land for the project which borders the Coogan Farm Nature and Heritage Center and McQuade’s Marketplace.

 

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