Wallingford business owners hope proposed PZC rules bring more customers

Wallingford business owners hope proposed PZC rules bring more customers

reporter photo

WALLINGFORD — Wallingford Pizza House, a longtime Center Street business, is located in the middle of where the town wants to establish new zoning regulations aimed at economic growth.

The pizza restaurant, which has second-floor residences, would be “grandfathered in,” said Town Planner Kacie Hand.

“A lot of the properties that are in the proposed zone don’t comply with their current zoning,” Hand said. “Any non-conforming situations would stay.”

That sounds good to restaurant manager Zak Hamdi.

“As long as everything stays the same but business could potentially go up,” he said Tuesday. “That’s obviously (good).”

On Monday, the Planning and Zoning Commission is slated hold a public hearing on new regulations that would create a town center zone

The proposed district map shows many commercial establishments along Center Street in the downtown core would be included.

Hand said creating the town center zone would bring three main changes.

■Residential use would become permitted by right. Under current zoning regulations, residential use in the downtown commercial zones is allowed by special permit.

The town center zone would include specific maximum densities, and residences would stay on the upper stories only. 

Wallingford Pizza House already brings in foot traffic.

“If you add more people living within the vicinity, that just ups business,” Hamdi said.

Properties would incorporate last year’s changes to parking requirements with a few clarifying modifications to regulations. 

Alyssa Nieves, who has operated Alyssa’s Cakery at 156 Center St. for three and a half years, said the parking changes would affect other businesses more than hers.

“For the most part, people don’t really struggle with parking where I am,” she said. “I think more so right in front of restaurants, that’s where it’s busier.”

Building form standards would be adopted based on code components.

Hand said the proposed regulations look closely at how buildings are situated on lots and components of building form itself, such as roof line and number of windows. 

The plan also incorporates some additional site design standards, connections between parking and buildings, and access to and from the lot itself. Hand said the town center zone stems from the Plan of Conservation and Development, amended in 2016.

“The intention was always to create a town center zoning regulation,” she said. “The first phase was changes to the parking regulations. The second phase is zone creation.”



Twitter: @LCTakores


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