Thursday, May 30, 2024

Hot Topics in Zoning on June 28th

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Food Trucks and Music in Lordship

Housing Development on Silver Lane

Day Care Facility on Soundview Avenue

Indoor Golf Facility on Hawley Lane

First on the Agenda for the Zoning Commission was the most contentious item – Little Pub (aka Platypus Partners LLC) food truck park and entertainment venue.

Attorney Barry Knott, representing Little Pub, noted that the proposal have been voted as unfavorable by the: Waterfront Commission, with a favorable recommendation by the Planning Commission.

According to Knott, the entertainment on this property would be an acoustic guitar, steel drums, on non-repeating days, e.g. non repeating, every other day for music, in 3 hour increments.  He also claimed that music would be present at specific ticketed events, and private to ticket holders and their invitees.  No rock music, no raves, that would impact negativity on his (Little Pub) investments.  It would be closed to public at that time, most # of days is 4; max 4 events per week.  Music starts at noon any day.

Saturday is an open market now, will continue, containers will be going, and those participating in the open market would be bringing their own set-ups.  This, he stated was a FEMA compliance issue, that’s why food trucks were more acceptable, as they could be easily moved during flooding events.

He acknowledged that there will be people there outside of special ticketed events, and that management and staff from restaurant will police this area.  Alcohol, incidental to food, would be kept on site despite the State of Connecticut passing a to go for take out and delivery, drinks that could be consumed off site.

Also in Knott’s amended proposal to Zoning was that there would be a 4 foot fence around area to segregate patrons; 29 parking spaces exist now for Little Pub, and more would be constructed in fall. (78 spaces?)  Eliminate paddle board and kayak rentals, as the water adjacent to Little Pub is a town beach, with a hazardous undertow.  There would be a limit of 100 at an event; when not an event 125 people.

Knott pointed out that there is parking at the seawall and Washington parkway, Commissioner Harold Watson pointed out that this parking is shared by 3 businesses using the same parking, in terms of public safety, this is a public space, and the seawall, is protected for all Stratford residents, asked what can we do to make sure parking reasonable for all.  Knott said that they were never going to max out at this site.

At the public hearing there were 7 people who supported the proposal, and 12 people opposed.  Reasons for support and oppose follow:

Support:

  • Lot prime spot for open air market,
  • Reilly’s should view development as positive
  • Losing spots petty, lose customers as food not good
  • Food trucks nice addition, something quick to eat or for dinner
  • Overflow lot at Little Pub and golf carts address parking
  • Economic boost for food truck owners
  • Average time for food truck to order and serve 20-25 minutes
  • Improve neighborhood and home values
  • Runs top notch business
  • Little Pub has more parking than any other business in the area
  • Lucky to have someone like Doug Grabe (Little Pub owner) taking interest in area
  • Food Truck owner: based in Stratford, hard to do business, wants to serve this community.

Opposition:

  • Traffic ridiculous in this area
  • Noise
  • Nothing private about this area
  • Not playing by the rules, tries to get away with what he can
  • Proposal “iffy” with no firm statements
  • Music
  • Seems comment on “we could build high story building” seems like a threat
  • Safety in residential area
  • Ticketed event meaningless, how many people outside the area on seawall listening, bringing their own alcohol
  • Plan not clear, ambiguous at best
  • People circle and circle the area, looking for parking, if this passes we would need to have police presence because the area just can’t bear the traffic
  • Open serve an issue right now
  • Bathrooms – porta potties not an option
  • Litter
  • Going to need a lot of traffic to support food trucks
  • Goes against current zoning rules
  • Condos not even fully rented and there is a parking problem
  • Too much for Lordship

Jay Habansky, Stratford’s Planning & Zoning Administrator offered to prepare documentation on all of the suggestions and concerns for the next meeting.  The proposal was passed and will be on the agenda for the next Zoning meeting.

The Silver Lane petition seeking to allow for residential development in a former church site was continued to July 26th meeting.

Soundview Avenue Day Care (site of the former bakery) was approved.

Petition of Golf Affinity LLC  for approval of indoor golf simulation and a Class D Restaurant/Café liquor permit was passed.

For video of the meeting go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bgd72Yt7bI8

1 COMMENT

  1. Respectfully, the explanation by Grabe’s attorney seems awfully flimsy. A gate around the property,golf carts, the staff of little pub is going to police the area? So the owner of the postage stamp size of land is going to send out his servers to run out when an alcohol fueled fight breaks out? So tickets would be sold for the steel drums and acoustic guitar, while everyone who goes to the public areas would listen for free? There’s no parking now and there’s going to be parking for 125 people? While they’re serving alcohol from the trucks are the drinkers going to use the facilities in the little pub or on the lawn of the residents? Who’s going to clean up the mess,papers,bottles,food wrappers,left over food scraps,the over flowing garbage cans,after the evening of frivolities, the town of Stratford sanitation dept?
    The proposal if approved, wouldn’t have the protections in place to insure the safety of the home owners and patrons.

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