North end apartments, Broad Street car wash to go before Meriden ZBA

North end apartments, Broad Street car wash to go before Meriden ZBA

MERIDEN — The Zoning Board of Appeals may address two controversial requests for special exceptions when it meets on Oct. 1.

Meriden Gardens LLC, a Carabetta partnership, has filed a site plan application with the city to build 29 townhouse-style garden apartments on North Broad Street. It needs the special exception from the Zoning Board of Appeals before the application can move to the Planning Commission. The development is planned for adjacent parcels at 1444 and 1460 N. Broad St.

The ZBA is also expected to hear a request by Wash Development LLC for a special exception to build a car wash at 1025 and 1043 Broad St.

Meriden Gardens received Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission approval in June. The City Council approved a zone change from R-1 to R-2 in October 2018, and the Planning Commission is awaiting some recommended revisions, said City Planner Renata Bertotti.

“The council changed the zone to permit the use,” said land use attorney Dennis Ceneviva, who represents Carabetta on the application. “Obviously, that’s the biggest hurdle.”

Residents near the proposed development voiced opposition to the zone change in February 2018, claiming it would cause traffic issues and lower property values. Other residents spoke in favor of the development to increase tax revenue.

Access to the apartments was changed to North Broad Street. According to the site plan application, a traffic study showed no negative impact from the development.

The car wash proposal has received more opposition, with residents complaining about additional traffic and harm to nearby Harbor Brook and wildlife.

The City Council voted two months ago to change the zone of the lots at 1025 and 1043 Broad St. from residential to commercial, without acknowledging support for the car wash proposal.

The public hearing on the plan will be at the ZBA level, said Ceneviva, who also represents car wash applicants Sally Marlow and Luis F. Lopez.

“The city planner wanted a traffic report,” Ceneviva said. “There should be a traffic study done at the ZBA level with a public hearing.”

The ZBA agenda for the Oct. 1 meeting has not been released. If approved by the ZBA, the car wash application moves to the Planning Commission.
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