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Zoning Commission Approves Lordship Food Trucks

Vote was 5-0

The Stratford Zoning Commission in a 5-0 vote approved plans from Little Pub owner Douglas Grabe, aka Platypus Partners LLC, to create a “food truck park” with space for up to four food trucks equipped to cook and sell food at the corner of Washington Parkway, offer outdoor dining (2 dozen picnic tables), and live music (acoustic), on a half-acre lot on Beach Drive, a controversial project that drew pushback from some neighbors

In addition to tweaking zoning rules to allow the park to operate at the waterfront site, the commission agreed to allow up to two of the trucks to serve alcoholic drinks as long as the venue secures a state liquor permit.

Input from public hearings on the issue were running 50% against the proposal, and 50% in favor of the proposal.  Local residents complained the open-air venue would disrupt the neighborhood,

Caveats discussed and passed:

  • Petitioner coming back next year for approval
  • supporting local food trucks
  • only acoustic, no amplified live entertainment be allowed
  • a ban on serving alcohol to-go.

The decision to approve the venue came after the Planning Commission agreed to favorably recommend changing zoning rules to allow food trucks on the waterfront. But it also followed a decision by the Waterfront & Harbor Management Commission to not endorse the project.  Waterfront commission members expressed concerns about the noise associated with the planned live music, the limited number of parking spaces near the lot and the “expected use” of a nearby unsupervised beach by patrons.

Barry Knott, an attorney representing Grabe, argued the site has adequate parking, has claimed there have not been any major issues at the location in recent years, and said that the lot will be surrounded by a fence, which he suggested would prevent customers from wandering onto nearby private property after ordering a beer.

Grabe said he is not yet sure when he will open the venue to customers, but predicted it could be up and running as early as mid-August.

The Zoning Commission postponed the petitions before them on 600 Silver Lane – Petition of 600 Silver Lane LLC seeking a change of zone from an RS-3 to a Church Repurposing District {CRD)- postponed

600 Silver Lane – Petition of 600 Silver Lane LLC seeking a Site Plan Review to convert a former church and rectory to five (5) residential apartments and construct ten {10) detached single-family homes in a CRD Zone – postponed

The Silver Lane petitions are also expected to be controversial.

Zoning Commission Meeting, July 26th

Administrative Session Minutes

The Zoning Commission held a Public Hearing and Administrative Session on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 per notice duly posted.

Members Present: J. Vigliotti, H. Watson, L. Petrucelli, D. Francis, D. Lamberti

Also Present: J. Habansky, Planning & Zoning Administrator, P. Sullivan, Town Attorney Members Absent: R. Fredette

Alternates Present: L. Manos

Administrative Session

Mr. Petrucellli made a motion to take items out of order. The motion was seconded by Mr. Vigliotti. The motion carried unanimously.

435 Honeyspot Road – Petition of Otis Nelson seeking Special Case approval to establish a church with offices in a CA Zone- Mr. Petrucelli made a motion to approve 435 Honeyspot Road. The motion was seconded by Mr. Vigliotti. The motion carried unanimously.

t Amendment – Petition of Platypus Partners LLC seeking to amend Section 8.2.2{non­ marine uses in waterfront) and Section 15.8 (restaurant liquor permits in waterfront – Commissioners discussed “Proposed Zone Text Amendment” (April 21, 2023) and “Zoning Commission Conditions of Approval” (July 18, 2023) as put forth by Mr. Habansky.

Commissioners discussed food trucks, congestion and hours of operation for food trucks and music. Also discussed petitioner coming back next year for approval, supporting local food trucks and only acoustic, nonamplified live entertainment be allowed. Commissioners agreed on Zoning Conditions provided by Mr. Habansky with the elimination of #8 and in its place the implementation of #15. On the Proposed Text Amendment, Section 8.2.2.2 will be eliminated with the exception of bicycles, yoga classes, movie nights and open air markets per recommendation of the Waterfront Harbor Management.

Mr. Petrucelli made a motion to approve Text Amendment with the above recommendations and being consistent with the Town of Stratford POCD. The motion was seconded by Mr. Francis. The motion carried 4-1 with Mr. Vigliotti in opposition.

24 Washington Parkway and 40-60 Beach Drive – Petition of Platypus Partners LLC seeking special case approval to establish a food truck park on three {3) undeveloped lots in a WF Zone-

Mr. Petrucelli made a motion to approve food trucks with the conditions set forth by the Zoning Administrator in the memo of July 18th• The motion was seconded by Mr. Francis. The motion carried 4-1 with Mr. Vigliotti in opposition.

24 Washington Parkway and 40-60 Beach Drive – Petition of Platypus Partners LLC seeking approval of liquor location to establish a Class D Restaurant Liquor Permit incidental to a food truck park in a WF – Mr. Habansky suggested the Commission implement conditions 11, 12 and 14 included in the Conditions of Approval. Also recommendations from Town of Stratford that there will be no physical bar with seats on site. Mr. Habansky also noted that the State of Connecticut has to give liquor permit.

Mr. Petrucelli made a motion to approve liquor location with the above stipulations.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Francis. The motion carried 4-1 with Mr. Vigliotti in opposition.

Text Amendment – Petition of 600 Silver Lane LLC seeking to create a new section 33 titled Church Repurposing Development to allow for residential development at former church sites

– postponed

600 Silver Lane – Petition of 600 Silver Lane LLC seeking a change of zone from an RS-3 to a Church Repurposing District {CRD)- postponed

600 Silver Lane – Petition of 600 Silver Lane LLC seeking a Site Plan Review to convert a former church and rectory to five (5) residential apartments and construct ten {10) detached single-family homes in a CRD Zone – postponed

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