The Town Plan & Zoning Commission met on Tuesday evening at Town Hall with a small, but interesting agenda, including a new business proposal, a business owner stuck between a rock and a hard place and a public hearing regarding the town plan of conservation and development.
SITE PLAN APPLICATION – Monster Golf, Submitted by Brixmor Property Group. For property known 220 Indian River Road, a.k.a. Christmas Tree Shop Plaza. The proposal is to locate an indoor miniature golf and “lazer tag” in existing store space. Also for the construction of a mezzanine/2nd floor area.
The application did not include a floor plan or show plans for the mezzanine, nor did the applicant have proof that the plans that he presented at the meeting were the same that he showed to the Fire Marshal and other departments for approval.
For these reasons this item has been moved to the April 7 meeting for discussion and a vote.
Further discussion: Would the Commission address this as a retail business, which the space already is approved for.
2. Request for Release of Bond by MLG Real Estate LLC (Aurora), 205 Edison Road, $35,000 cash bond.
3. PUBLIC HEARING ON “DRAFT” ORANGE 2015 PLAN OF CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT. In accordance with Section 8-23 of the Connecticut State Statutes, this is a public hearing to obtain public comment, concerns, and questions. A copy of the proposed plan has been filed in the Office of the Orange Town Clerk and is also available in the Orange Zoning Department and Town of Orange Website. After completion of the public hearing, the commission may revise the plan and may adopt the plan or any part thereof or amendment thereto by a single resolution or may, by successive resolutions, adopt parts of the plan and amendments.
Glenn Chalder presented an overview with slides showing the audience the proposal, which includes open space, providing pedestrian traffic in town, providing bicycle lanes, safe pedestrian walkways to and from the proposed train station.
Economic Development Director Paul Grimmer, once again advocated for a better plan for the Indian River Road and Bull Hill Lane areas to help increase the attractiveness of Orange for new businesses.
Selectman Mitch Goldblatt had several comments including putting a firehouse in the west side of town which is more or less isolated, and instead of sidewalks, which carry a fair amount of liability and added maintenance, it would be better to keep with the paths that Orange now has.
First Selectman Jim Zeoli said the several acres behind Lowes and the former Stop & Shop that were once truck terminals need to be planned out so they can be developed for a better use. He said Orange recently lost a good opportunity for a business on Edison Road. He added that a third firehouse would just be an extra burden on the town and firefighters would still have to drive to the firehouse and get the trucks.
Chalder will take all the comments into consideration, incorporate them into the plan and it will be continued at the next meeting on April 7.
The man who inherited the former Enchanted Gardens (The Purple Building) on Route 34 is having a problem selling the building, which was grandfathered in with a use only as a florist or garden center.
Chairman Walter Clark told him that he would have to file for an amendment to the regulations or an amendment to the zoning map.
His only way out is to file the formal paperwork, meaning hiring an attorney, which he is resistant to, since he’s already put money into the improving the property and is paying taxes on the vacant building.
Light Industrial 3 Zone
The Commission let Chalder know that they wanted to hire him to work on the LI3 Zone idea for the Indian River Road area as proposed by Paul Grimmer during a previous meeting.
Discussion included usage, and lot size limitations, building sizes, exactly what area the zone would cover.