NORTH HAVEN — The town’s Planning and Zoning Commission is considering a special permit to build apartments on the site of Fantasia, and to include ax throwing venues in light industrial zones.
The commission will meet Monday to continue a public hearing on Fantasia’s plan to possibly replace the wedding and banquet facility with three apartment buildings. One of the three buildings will have commercial space on the lower level. The other two will have apartments only.
Silvana DeRosa, whose father Reno Russo owns Fantasia, said the banquet hall is not closing and has booked events until 2020. Her father is putting the permits in place in the event the family wants to put in apartments years from now, DeRosa said.
At last month’s public hearing, several nearby residents and commission members said they felt there would be lack of parking for an apartment complex. They also felt there would be increased noise.
“The process is still unfolding,” said First Selectman Michael Freda. “Some residents appeared and expressed concern, so the owners are in the process of making modifications to reduce the number of units.”
Freda was approached by interested business owners who wanted to meet the family to see if they would be interested in keeping the banquet operation open without the apartments.
“I’m introducing someone to the family in an effort to keep it open,” Freda said. “The banquet facility has been a benefit to North Haven for decades, the town does a lot of events there.”
The commission is also considering a request by AXEcited LLC to change its language to allow ax throwing venues in a light industrial zone.
Partners Joseph Riga and Joseph Cifarelli formed AXEcited LLC last month and are interested in starting an ax tossing operation in North Haven, Riga said. Should the commission approve the change, AXEcited will seek a special permit.
Ax throwing recreation sites have been popping up in the state lately. One such operation, Blue Ox Ax Throwing, opens this week in a Wallingford warehouse.
Ax throwing originated as a competitive sport in Canada and has become popular in several major U.S. markets, including San Francisco and New York. Blue Ox Ax Throwing will be the third ax throwing business to open in Connecticut. Pine & Iron Axe Throwing opened earlier this year in Hartford and Montana Nights Axe Throwing is slated to open in Newington next month, according to its Facebook page.