SHELTON, Conn. — Feeling they need more information on traffic concerns and the “high-end” retail promised for a massive project proposed for busy Bridgeport Avenue, the Shelton Planning & Zoning Commission put off its final vote to a February meeting.
Members instead voted on a “favorable consensus” and will ask the applicant, Shelter Ridge Associates LLC, for more clarification and possible concessions, including lessening the residential density from 411 units to 385.
In addition to the “luxury” apartments, the proposal, dubbed Towne Center at Shelter Ridge, calls for about 335,000 square feet of retail space as well as professional and medical office space — all on about 121 acres.
About a dozen members of Save Our Shelton, which opposes the complex, demonstrated outside City Hall before the meeting and stood silently during the discussion, holding up signs and slowly advancing towards the commission members.
“We think Shelton is going to be overdeveloped,” said Greg Tetro, one of the group’s more outspoken members, passing out signs before the meeting. “We’re here until it ends.”
Several commission members wanted more information on turn signals, widening of the road, traffic patterns and accident history in the area of the proposed complex. Member Jimmy Tickey, who said he has serious concerns over the project, said he worries Bridgeport Avenue would become “paralyzed” with traffic.
He also asked if the developers could be held to the promise of luxury retail tenants.
“We’ve been told before something would be ‘high end,’” he said to applause from the protesters.
Looking at the overall project, he said, “I have more concerns than reassurances.”
Caitlin Augusta, a member of Save Our Shelton who was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting, said she and others have environmental concerns about possible blasting in the area and dangers for the nearby Far Mill River.
The development has received much attention and concern from residents during public hearings over the last year. Hundreds packed Shelton Intermediate School for one meeting.
One of SOS’s prime concerns is zoning and residential life, especially for homeowners just behind the site in 1-acre zoning.
“They purchased their properties in accordance with current zoning believing they would have the residential experience and their property values would remain stable,” Augusta said. “A development of this size is going to severely impact their property value as well as their quality of life.”
Many of the homes have wells and owners worry that blasting and construction might put those in jeopardy, she said.
The next meeting is set for Feb. 14.
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