NAUGATUCK — A property owner is seeking to change a zoning regulation to pave the way for an apartment complex on New Haven Road.
Jerry Nocerino, owner of the the Ansonia-based All-Star Property Management, came before the Zoning Commission March 22 to request a change to section 23 of the regulations.
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 wants to join the two properties and build an apartment complex on the vacant property.
The properties are in the New Haven Road Design District, and section 23 of the regulations dictates what’s allowed within the district. The section currently states that all new apartment complexes within the design district must be mixed-use with commercial space on the first floor.
Nocerino proposed a change that would allow an apartment complex to be built without commercial property on the first floor as long as there is 10,000 square feet of commercial space elsewhere on the property.
Nocerino told the commission he has run into problems with his other apartment complexes that have commercial space on the first floor.
“There is a lot of complaints about noise from restaurants and smell. Then there is the water that comes down from bathrooms and overflowed toilets. There are numerous reasons why it becomes very difficult,” Nocerino said. “I know I am in a mixed-use zone but I think putting it side-by-side, seeing that I have the land, it would be a win-win situation for my shopping center and my tenants.”
Borough Attorney Ned Fitzpatrick said the proposal wouldn’t be allowed through a special permit and requires a full regulation change.
“The goal is to provide for mixed-use. This proposal is proposing a modification of that. It does allow for mixed-use on the same property but not within the same structure,” Fitzpatrick said.
Zoning commissioner Neil Mascola asked whether this change, if the commission approved it, would have any negative affect on developers who are in the process of building or planning on building a development.
“We’re not going to screw up somebody who has something in the works already, are we,” Mascola asked.
Fitzpatrick said it wouldn’t hinder any current or proposed developments.
“What this does is allow for an additional use as opposed to eliminating a use. I don’t think we would be harming anybody who is currently in existence or under construction,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick said the biggest question the commission has to ask is what is going to be the impact on the rest of the design district if it approves this change.
“That’s going to be the dilemma as you go forward, to determine whether or not this commission wants to allow for this possibility up and down the design district. So that’s something you have to think about,” Fitzpatrick said.
The commission scheduled a public hearing on the proposed change for its meeting on April 19.