By Susan Tuz

Little fanfare greeted the New Milford Zoning Commission’s public hearing Tuesday on Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House’s application to construct a facility along Bridge Street.

Unlike hearings last year, when the local soup kitchen presented zoners with its first application, there was no public outcry about allowing the soup kitchen to re-locate near the village center.

Loaves & Fishes has for decades operated from the lower level of the Richmond Citizen Center but needs to find a new home.

“The Zoning Commission did a thorough job in reviewing this new application,” said Fran Schilling, a volunteer at the soup kitchen. “And Loaves & Fishes did a very good job addressing all of zoning’s concerns.”

“I know some people have feared this is the beginning of changes coming to Loaves & Fishes,” she added, “but we plan to continue serving those in need in our community. And the commission would have to approve any future changes in use at the property.”

Loaves & Fishes’ new application includes a two-story, 3,730-square-foot building with about a 2,000-square-foot footprint, said Ward Mazzucco, P.E., representing Loaves & Fishes.

The former Straub plumbing building at the north end of the property would be demolished and parking spaces put in its place.

An existing, multi-family residence bordering Bridge Street has been reduced to three family apartments by tearing out the kitchen in a previous studio apartment for storage area.

The new hospitality house would contain a kitchen, dining room, storage area, conference room and mechanical room on the ground floor.

The upper level would include offices, conference room, laundry room and restrooms.

The zoners’ public hearing will continue Tuesday, June 23 at 7 p.m. at town hall.

stuz@newstimes.com; 203-731-3352