Special use hearing delayed

Friday, July 10, 2009
By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff

NORTH BRANFORD — A public hearing on a revised plan to rebuild the Northford Store was postponed Thursday.

The Planning and Zoning Commission had been due to hear testimony from the applicant, store owner Nick Demos, as well as members of the public at its regular meeting this week. But members of the commission decided to put the hearing off until Aug. 20 because they had not received the results of a traffic study.

Demos won approval from the PZC in August 2008 to rebuild the 1870s-era store — which burned to the ground in March 2008 — with an 8,000-square-foot building including a supermarket on the ground floor and five, one-bedroom apartments on the second floor.

The new plans scale back the proposal to a 6,000-square-foot building with four apartments. The proposal is to build the store in two phases, with the first phase comprising a two-story structure with a coffee shop with a drive-through window and another tenant retail space, and two, one-bedroom apartments on the second floor. The second phase would add a 2,600-square-foot retail space and another two apartments to the rear of the building.

The original proposal raised some opposition from neighbors because of the inclusion of a drive-through window for a coffee shop that Demos planned to operate out of the store. The hearing originally scheduled for Thursday was to have dealt with the drive-through issue, as Demos would need a new special-use permit for the revised proposal.

Town Planner Carol Zebb said at Thursday’s meeting that the commission had not yet received a traffic study associated with the drive-through proposal, and commissioners voted to postpone the hearing for that reason. An attorney for Demos gave the members copies of the traffic study at the meeting.

The new hearing is set for at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at Town Hall.

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