MERIDEN — A business owner seeking to change the zoning of three vacant Broad Street parcels to build a car wash had to withdraw his application Tuesday night because it included incorrect addresses for the properties.
The zone change petition by Vicent Porzio Jr. referred to the Broad Street parcels, located across from Ted’s Restaurant, as 1015, 1025, and 1043 North Broad Street. City Planner Renata Bertotti said Broad Street doesn’t turn into North Broad until the intersection with Westfield Road, located about 500 feet north. Porzio, owner of Personal Touch Car Wash, intends to resubmit his petition to change the parcels from residential to commercial zoning, according to Bertotti.
Porzio’s plan is opposed by residents of nearby Twiss Avenue and Orchard Street. They say the area is already “dangerously” congested with traffic and have raised concerns about how the development may impact wildlife and Harbor Brook, which runs along the site of the proposed car wash.
City staff did not spot the incorrect addresses on Porzio’s petition until Tuesday — hours before the City Council’s Economic Development, Housing and Zoning Committee was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the plan and over a month after the Planning Commission voted on Feb. 13 to recommend the committee approve the zone change. After resubmitting with the correct addresses, Porzio will have to go before the Planning Commission again, Bertotti said.
About a dozen residents attended the public hearing Tuesday night without knowing the petition had been withdrawn and the public hearing canceled. Committee Chairman David Lowell allowed the residents to speak during a public comment period.
“Given the fact that there was notice (for the public hearing) ... we did not want to cancel the meeting or devalue your time because we know this is a big issue for the residents in the area,” Lowell said.
Residents of Twiss Avenue and Orchard Street — both dead-end roads — said their view of oncoming traffic is often blocked when pulling onto Broad Street (Route 5) because customers of Ted’s Restaurant park along Broad.
“It’s just too congested for another commercial business,” Twiss Avenue resident Eugene Boyd said.
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