Commission OKs excavation, waivers for apartment building

An artist’s rendering of a proposed 51-unit, roughly 50,000-square-foot apartment building planned for 628 New Haven Road in Naugatuck next to the Salem Square Shopping Center. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Nearly all of the approvals are in place to allow a proposed apartment building on New Haven Road to be built.

Jerry Nocerino, owner of the Ansonia-based All-Star Property Management, is looking to build a 51-unit, roughly 50,000-square-foot apartment building at 628 New Haven Road. According to the plan, there would be 27 single-bedroom apartments, 16 studio apartments and eight two-bedroom apartments.

The Zoning Commission last week approved a special permit to excavate and remove approximately 19,000 cubic yards of earth material from the site with the condition that the company work with the Naugatuck Police Department to determine the best route and time of day to truck the material from the property.

The work is expected to begin in the spring and take 90 to 120 days depending on the weather.

The commission also approved six waivers needed for the project because the property is in the New Haven Road Design District. The waivers include increasing the allowable number of stories for a building from three to four; increasing the maximum allowed height of a building from 40 feet to 44 feet; and decreasing the required number of parking spaces per dwelling from three to 1.4.

The New Haven Road Design District calls for any new apartment building to have commercial space on the first floor. In May 2017, the commission approved Nocerino’s request to change the regulations to read an apartment building must have commercial space on the first floor or at least 10,000 square feet of retail space on the same property. The property is also the site of the Salem Square Shopping Center, a 19,636-square-foot shopping center.

Commission member Eileen Bronko voted against most of the waivers, saying that the proposed apartment building will set a precedent for this type of mixed-use development.

“This is the first time we are doing a mixed-use development like this,” Bronko said. “To have so many waivers to make this happen, I think is probably not in the best interest of zoning.”

The commission tabled voting on the special permit for the apartment building itself.

Commission Chairman Wayne Malicki requested Nocerino bring in new drawings showing window shutters, faux windows and other items to break up the bare sides of the building.

“It is one of the first projects we are getting into of this size, especially on New Haven Road,” Malicki said. “I want it to be perfect and I’d like it to look beautiful.”

The commission is expected to take up the discussion again at its December meeting.