NAUGATUCK — The Zoning Commission is allowing for a new look in the New Haven Road Design District.
The commission last week approved changing section 23 of the zoning regulations to allow side-by-side retail and residential developments.
Previously, the combination of retail and apartments on the same property only allowed for residential to be on the second floor and above in buildings in the New Haven Road Design District. The first floor was only allowed to be used for commercial.
Under the amended regulation, which goes into effect on June 17, developers are allowed to build residential-exclusive buildings as long as there is at least 10,000 square feet of retail space on the property.
The idea was brought before the commission by Jerry Nocerino, owner of the Ansonia-based All-Star Property Management.
Nocerino owns Salem Square Shopping Center at 628 New Haven Road and a vacant piece of property, known as 0 South Main Street, immediately adjacent to the shopping center. He plans to join the two properties and build an apartment complex with 40 to 50 one-bedroom and efficiency units on the vacant property.
Both pieces of property are part of the New Haven Road Design District.
The commission approved the change to the regulations with two amendments that were recommended by the planning commission.
The first is there has to be an access way, such as a sidewalk, between the residential units and the retail spaces with proper lighting and landscaping. This is meant to ensure the buildings are connected, even if the two buildings aren’t physically attached.
The other amendment is there are no stipulations on the number of bedrooms the residential units could have.
Town Planner and Zoning Enforcement Officer Sue Goggin said the previous regulation did not have any stipulations on the number of bedrooms either.
The Planning Commission also recommended the Zoning Commission extend this change to cover the Rubber Avenue Design District and properties with a B-2 zoning designation, which is a business designation.
Zoning commissioners said they want to wait and see what the impact is in the New Haven Road Design District before extending it further.