Glastonbury Town Council approves new zoning for town center
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Jan. 17, 2014
After a long process, the Glastonbury Town Council approved the creation of a Town Center Zone, which would provide for mixed-use (residential and commercial) in the town's center. The changes to the zone include a 40,000-square-foot minimum lot area, and a maximum floor area of 40,000 square feet – both of which had been the subject of discussion at previous public hearings with the town council and zoning commission.
Residents had their last chance to weigh in on the changes.
Johnny Cake Lane resident Audrey Antonich said she had hoped that the zoning regulations would require businesses to have facades more in line with the character of Glastonbury. “What worries me is if we're going to be continuing with this type of new building that will be going up, that really doesn't do what we need in this town,” Antonich said, adding that she has been displeased with the appearance of some other recently-built establishments.
C.J. Mozzochi, an Evergreen Lane resident who also owns property on Hebron Avenue, within the zone, said he supports the new zone. “It unifies some disparate zoning there now,” Mozzochi said. “The other feature I like is that it gives the option for some residential, like if you own a building and want to add some residential to the top floor, or something like that.”
Council members said they were satisfied that they had heard all opinions and explored all of the information and options in creating the new regulations.
Councilman Whit Osgood said the zoning changes, which will go into effect Jan. 30, could possibly be changed again in the future, as Glastonbury's center takes shape. “This is an ongoing process, but a step in the right direction,” he said. “We may want to look at a downtown core area, which is smaller, to consider lot sizes in the future, or some other issues, as well.”
“I think it will be good for Glastonbury,” said Councilman Larry Byar.
“This adaptation speaks perfectly well to our plan of development,” said Councilman Bill Finn. “It will be the economic engine that helps Glastonbury move forward.”
“I think this change puts us in a good stead for the future,” said Councilman Tim Coon. “We are going to improve, and continue to improve.”
The vote was 7-1, with Councilman Tom Gullotta absent. Councilman Kurt Cavanaugh was the lone dissenting vote. Adding that while he agrees with 99 percent of what the zoning change entails, he said he felt that it didn't properly address the needs of nearby residents, especially those in the residentially-zoned neighborhoods of Melrose and Medford Streets and Linden and Clinton Streets.
“I think we're creating an island there,” Cavanaugh said. “I'm not too comfortable with zoning on one side of the street, and then you look across the street and it's a different zoning. I don't want to take away from what we're trying to do... but, this troubles me. Just leaving residential in the middle there, like an island, is not my idea of a mixed use, retail/commercial establishment type of zone. I don't think this is fair to the people remaining there.”