Town Plan & Zoning Commission to Hear New Enchanted Gardens Request

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Jan 182016

File photo from zoning meeting

File photo from zoning meeting

The Town Plan & Zoning Commission meets at Town Hall, Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Following is the Agenda:

Request by Kathleen Conroy Cass, potential purchaser of 361 Derby Avenue (formerly the Enchanted Gardens and Ponds) to discuss a letter issued by Zoning Enforcement Officer Paul Dinice, dated December 16, 2015.

2. Review of the Minutes from the November 4, 2015 meeting.

3.  Old Business.

4.   New Business.

5.  Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

           -Review of Zoning Activities Log. 

           -Request for release of Bond University of New Haven 584 Derby Milford Road.

           -Request for release of Bond – 34 Prindle Hill Road.

6.  Request for modification of Site Plan/Building Architecture, Ravenswood/Oakwood Development LLC – 100 South Orange Center Road.

7. PETITION TO AMEND THE ORANGE ZONING REGULATIONS. Submitted by Orange Land Development LLC.  To amend Article XXIV Transit Oriented Development District Regulations.   (The Public Hearing on this matter was closed on December 1, 2015.)  Discussion and possible vote on this petition.

8. PETITION TO AMEND THE ORANGE ZONING MAP.  Submitted by Orange Land Development LLC.  To change the zoning designation of the subject property from LI-2/TODD Overlay to TODD.  The submission includes a “concept plan” as required by the Orange Zoning Regulations.  The subject property is an 8.091-acre site located beyond the eastern end of Salemme Lane. 

It is bordered by Dichello Distributors to the south; CTDOT Railroad right-of-way to the east; Yale University West Campus to the north; and Salemme Lane/Town of Orange, N/F Salemme-Riccio, and N/F Sixty Five Marsh Hill Road, LLC to the west.  The parcel is currently undeveloped. 

The subject property is shown as “0 Marsh Hill Road,” containing 8.091 acres, on Map #2369 on file at the Orange Town Clerk’s office, and is designated by the Orange Assessor as Map/Block/Lot 3-1-1. The Public Hearing on this matter was closed on December 1, 2015. 

(The Public Hearing on this matter was closed on December 1, 2015.)  Discussion and possible vote on this petition.

9.  8-24 Referral Municipal Improvements – Request to abandon road dedication and construction agreement for a “paper road” located on property known as 260 Bull Hill Lane.  Owned now or formerly by NCC Orange/CT Association LLC.


*10.  PETITION TO AMEND THE ORANGE ZONING REGULATIONS.  Submitted by Roeco, LLC, a New York limited liability company.  To amend the Orange Zoning Regulations to create “Town Center District” (TCD) regulations. 

“The purpose of the Town Center District (TCD) is to permit and encourage a Town Center atmosphere with vibrant, mixed-use development that allows people to live, work, and shop in close proximity.  Through retail, office and multi-family use, the TCD is a lively, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use area with an environment of inviting public space, walkable streets, and meaningful architecture.”

*11. PETITION TO AMEND THE ORANGE ZONING MAP.  Submitted by Roeco, LLC, a New York limited liability company.  To amend the Orange Zoning Map to change property known as 35 Old Tavern Road & 308 Racebrook Road (a.k.a. Firelite Shopping Center) from Local Shopping Center District (LSC) to Town Center District (TCD).

*12.  PETITION TO AMEND THE ORANGE ZONING REGULATIONS – REVISIONS TO THE ORANGE PARKING REGULATIONS.  Submitted upon the initiative of the Orange Town Plan & Zoning Commission. 

Proposed amendments include “change of use” exemption; location of parking spaces; joint parking spaces; number of spaces required; parking reduction; loading space reduction; trees & shrubs within parking areas; and access management.

Mar 172015

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 7.33.12 PMThe 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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 7.35.08 PMThe 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.

Unanimously approved. 

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 8.12.29 PM3.   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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 8.24.39 PMGlenn 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.

CLOSING: Enchanted Gardens and Ponds

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Apr 132014

enchanted gardensThe purple building at the corner of Orange Center Road and Derby Ave. is a landmark.

Enchanted Gardens and Ponds has been serving customers since 2000. The store sells everything you need to build your own water gardens and more but now, sadly, it’s over.

A big “For Sale” sign has been on the front grass strip for weeks and this week customers are coming from everywhere to take advantage of the going out of business sale.

This is most likely another casualty of a small business having to compete with the big box stores.

Whomever buys the building most likely will paint over the familiar purple exterior and people will have to say something  other than “turn at the purple building” when giving directions.