MERIDEN — A car wash owner looking to open a location across from Ted’s Restaurant on Broad Street has resubmitted his zone change application to the city after withdrawing it in March because it included incorrect addresses for the proposed development site.
The new application will be taken up next by the Planning Commission after applicant Vincent Porzio resubmitted it with the correct addresses of 1015, 1025 and 1043 Broad Street. The original application identified the vacant parcels as North Broad Street. Broad Street doesn’t turn into North Broad until the intersection with Westfield Road, located about 500 feet north of the parcels.
Porzio is applying to change the zoning of the three parcels from residential to commercial. If he is successful, he would then submit an application to put a car wash on the site, according to Dennis Ceneviva, a local attorney representing Porzio. Porzio owns a car wash business with other locations in Connecticut.
Ceneviva said the original application was also withdrawn because the developer wants to revise the proposed zone change to exclude a wetlands area located on a portion of the parcel at 1025 Broad Street, which is adjacent to Harbor Brook. Ceneviva said the wetlands area was removed from the zone change map to address concerns raised by nearby residents about whether the business would harm the wetlands.
Prior to a City Council public hearing on the application, Ceneviva plans to meet with residents of nearby Twiss Avenue and Orchard Street to address concerns they’ve raised about the project’s potential impact on parking, traffic, Harbor Brook and wildlife they say inhabits the vacant land.
One of the bigger concerns raised by residents has been whether the car wash will exacerbate what they say is a lack of parking in that area. Patrons of Ted’s Restaurant and Dawg House Bar and Grill often park along Broad Street. Residents of Twiss and Orchard complain that cars parked along Broad Street block their vision of traffic when they are pulling out onto Broad.
“Traffic on Broad Street is so unbelievably bad,” Twiss Avenue resident Laura Ritter told the Record-Journal in March. “My son got hit coming out of the street once.”
Even though the Planning Commission unanimously approved the zone change earlier this year, the new application will need new review and approval from the commission, City Planner Renata Bertotti said.
“This is a whole new application,” she said. “Whatever happened before, it doesn't count because that was withdrawn.”
The Planning Commission is expected to discuss the application at its June 12 meeting at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 142 E. Main St. The application will then go to the City Council’s Economic Development, Housing and Zoning subcommittee for a public hearing. The committee’s June meeting is scheduled for June 18 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall. If the zone change is approved by the commission and council committee, it would then need approval from the full City Council.
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