Packed crowd forces hearing on proposed apartments to be continued

Published on Monday, 13 January 2020 20:10
Written by SUSAN CORICA

@coricaBP

BRISTOL - With a crowd packing the City Hall Council Chambers and spilling out into the hallway, the Zoning Commission Monday night voted to continue in two weeks a public hearing on a proposed Redstone Hill Road apartment development.

The hearing will start up again on Monday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., in the Bristol Central High School auditorium.

At the hearing, City Planner Robert Flanagan announced that the police had declared the room unsafe. At the new venue “there will be enough room for everybody there,” Flanagan said. “We want to make sure that everybody has a chance to hear us and also to speak and be heard by the commission.”

The hearing was officially opened and then immediately continued, with the consent of Timothy Furey, attorney for developer Joseph Naples.

Furey said there is a statutory requirement for the commission to open the hearing within 65 days of accepting the development application, which would end this week. He agreed to a 30 day extension to complete the hearing, which allowed extra time in case a winter weather postponement was necessary.

The commission is considering a request by 594 Redstone Hill LLC to change the area from single family residential to multi-family residential to allow for the project.

The change would affect three parcels - 560, 594, and 644 Redstone Hill, each of which currently has a single family home, and which total a little over 8.5 acres, according to the city assessor’s records. The apartment development would encompass a total of 12.2 acres in the area.

An informational session on the proposal drew an overflow crowd at Manross Library last week, with many Redstone Hill area residents expressing their opposition. Their concerns included the effect on traffic, well water, noise pollution, pedestrian safety, disruption of wetlands and natural habitats, the strain on local infrastructure, school overcrowding, and that if the apartments do not attract the desired young professional tenants they would become low income.

At the library meeting, Naples and Furey gave a broad outline of the plan for up to 96 “high end” apartments in a gated community, with amenities such as a pool, outdoor fire pits and community grills, community gardens, walking trails, stainless steel sculptures, a putting green, clubhouse, and more.

The application for the development currently shows a blank area where the development would go, on Redstone Hill in the area of Prestige Lane industrial park zone, and the Cloos Road and Silo Road cul-de-sac.

Furey said they are in “a Catch 22” because they need the zoning change to happen before they can move forward with developing a full site plan, which would have to undergo further review by city commissions.

If the zoning change is not approved, Furey has said Naples would look for an alternative way to develop the land, of which the simplest would be single family housing that might cause some of the same problems residents are concerned about.

The public can view the 594 Redstone Hill LLC Application #2348 online at www.bristolct.gov or at the Land Use Office, Department of Public Works, City Hall, 111 North Main St. For more information, contact the Land Use Office at 860-584-6225.

Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or scorica@bristolpress.com.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Monday, 13 January 2020 20:10. Updated: Monday, 13 January 2020 20:12.