Zoners amend village green reg
New Milford business owner Franco Zuluaga may not be entirely happy with the final wording of a zoning amendment he'd hoped would be tailor-made for his purposes.
Zoners on Tuesday approved his application to amend the Village Center Zone to allow small second- and third-floor apartments in buildings with non-residential, B-1 uses on the first floor.
The application had been submitted under the business name New Milford Green LLC.
The catch for Mr. Zuluaga?
The apartment sizes were approved to a size not less than 500 square feet.
A series of 400-square-foot, partitioned spaces now exist above his restaurant, Tivoli, at 7 Main St.
He declined comment Wednesday on how the amendment, as worded, might affect his plans for renovating the second floor of the building at 7 Main St.
Mr. Zuluaga has a past record of success in zoning issues.
His 2009 application to install an awning on the historic building was approved. When he then requested to enclose the awninged area, expanding his business' seating capacity, zoners again nodded in approval.
However, zoners this week discussed the size limit for village center apartments and decided the 400-square-foot size would not be consistent with other apartment allowances throughout the rest of town.
Attaining a consistency in regulations has been a goal of the commission, said its chairman, Bill Taylor.
"It's not a good reason to change specifications in a zone because the building in question has 400-square-foot divisions for apartments," said commission member Paul Scorza.
In making the regulation change, zoners considered testimony by the town's economic development supervisor, Vin Nolan, at the February public hearing on the proposed change.
Mr. Nolan noted the Connecticut Main Street Center, with which the town is affiliated, encourages increasing living spaces in and around downtowns. Encouraging density in a village center promotes the viability of a town, he said.
Yet members of the Economic Development Commission, while in favor of the potential for growth downtown, has concerns about the proposed 400-square-foot size for apartments, Mr. Nolan told the board.
The Village Center Zone regulation change will go into affect May 5. Two off-street parking spaces will be required for each 500-square-foot, second- or third floor apartment, and a special permit must be obtained.