Glastonbuy Town Council considers another change of zoning for town's center

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Feb. 14, 2014
Councilman Whit Osgood suggested a workshop to study the matter in more detail. Photos by Steve Smith.
Councilman Whit Osgood suggested a workshop to study the matter in more detail. Photos by Steve Smith.

On the heels of the recent approval of the Town Center Zone, the Glastonbury Town Council heard a presentation for another possible re-zoning near the town’s center, at its meeting on Feb. 13.

Director of Community Development Ken Leslie said the Town Center Mixed-Use Zone would be the third rezoning in recent history, with the first being the “Town Center North,” which began with the area from Naubuc Avenue to the East Hartford line and was changed from a former Planned Travel Zone to a Planned Business District Zone.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the TCMU Zone (unanimously) at the same time as the Town Center Zone, but had recommended that it be considered afterward.

Properties on portions of Welles Street, Naubuc Avenue, Parker Terrace, Pratt Street and Putnam Boulevard (and others) would be shifted to the new zone, from Planned Industrial, Planned Travel and Residence A zones. The stated purpose is to encourage residential and modest commercial uses by maintaining existing building scale and neighborhood characteristics, as well as preserving historical structures for residential, commercial or mixed uses. Approximately 100 properties would be affected by the proposed change.

Leslie said the plan is in accordance with Glastonbury’s Plan of Conservation and Development and the Town Center 2020 plan. He added that recent changes and property upgrades in the area were achieved by owners getting the appropriate variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The only remaining parcels that would remain in the Planned Travel Zone – created when a beltway around Hartford was planned decades ago – would be the Home Depot/Staples plaza and the approved-but-not-yet built Avalon Shoppes.

Buildings will be limited to 4,000 square feet and the streetscape will be maintained, in part, by generally keeping parking to the rear. Maximum lot area would be 40,000 square feet. Single- and two-family residences will be permitted, and the special permit process for larger uses will remain intact.

“We are removing the two remnant zones,” Leslie said, “and honoring the development characteristics that have been established for quite some time.”

Council members called for a more-detailed workshop, in order to better inform themselves, as well as the public.

“Given that we have some council members that this is completely new to and several of us haven’t dealt with this for a while, I think it makes a lot of sense that we do have a workshop,” said Councilman Whit Osgood, adding that he also thought including retail in the uses was something that should be considered and that the maximum lot size may need some tweaking as well.

The matter would then have to be the subject of a public hearing before the council could vote it into effect.

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