Southington PZC changes regulations to allow Queen St. project

Southington PZC changes regulations to allow Queen St. project


SOUTHINGTON — Developer John Senese got approval Tuesday to modify zoning regulations to allow for a AAA office and restaurants on Queen Street, just south of a plaza under construction with an Aldi Supermarket and a Chick-fil-A.

Senese requested lower minimum lot sizes and smaller setbacks from town roads. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted to change the regulations in 5-2 vote.

A host of new buildings are planned or under construction on land owned by Senese, including Aldi and Chick-fil-A. Construction is also underway on a Go Urgent Care medical facility.

On Tuesday, Senese said the plaza will also contain a Mission BBQ restaurant.

Earlier this year, Senese convinced the commission to apply a business overlay zone to the neighborhood, which keeps the residential zoning but allows businesses under certain conditions. He’s now looking to modify the regulations within the overlay zone.

Nearly 30 residential properties on Upson Drive, Chaffee Lane and Stoughton Road are surrounded by stores and restaurants along Queen Street. Senese argued for the overlay zone , saying it would allow more commercial development and make the homes more valuable.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Senese said requirements that development be set back from town roads by 100 feet prevents development on land between Queen Street and the residential streets.

Commissioners questioned why Senese advocated for an overlay zone and is now saying it prevents him from developing the site. Senese said he didn’t fully understand the zone regulations until too late.

Paul Chaplinsky, commission vice chairman, said the overlay zone was designed for West Street. The commission, in implementing the zone off Queen Street, might also have misunderstood how it would be applied.

“I think this is a lesson for all of us,” he said. 203-317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

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