Developer draws a line in battle with Newtown over the right look for the proposed apartment building


NEWTOWN — A Brookfield architect proposing a three-story apartment building on the border of Newtown’s historic South Main Street was generally receptive to several design change requests from a voluntary advisory board earlier this month.

Then came a request from the chairman of Newtown’s Design Advisory Board to cover the building’s facade in red brick, mimicking the Federal style of the old State Hospital buildings on the city’s Fairfield Hills campus.

This is where architect Robert Sherwood drew the line.

“I’m not going to make the building a Federal style but (I’m) open to adding stone to the front facade and a stone wall along South Main Street,” Sherwood told the advisory board during the meeting. a meeting last week.

Design Advisory Board Chair Agni Kyprianou responded with half a dozen changes she expected to see in Sherwood’s design for 27 apartments on residential land at the foot of the historic stretch of Colonial and Victorian homes. from Newtown:

cover the two vertical parts of the facade of the building with stone veneer

add a stone wall along the south main street

leave the name of the apartment project out of the panel; only use the street number

break up the building to look more like individual structures using different coatings

change the color scheme of the building depending on the stone or brick to be used

The other two members of the Design Advisory Board agreed, leaving Sherwood to return to the group once its application to the Planning and Zoning Commission was complete.

The battle for harmony between economic development and the New England charm of South Main Street isn’t the only source of conflict in Newtown over Sherwood’s plans to convert a single-family home on a 1.6 lot. acre at Boroughs Lane in a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with 50 parking spaces.

Neighbors expressed concern that the project was too dense for the residential character of South Main Street and that it added too much congestion to Route 25.

Sherwood argues that while the property borders a stretch of single-family homes to the north, it is also on the doorstep of a south-running commercial area that includes the former Amaral Motors dealership, a fabric store, a strip mall and a Walgreens.

The Newtown Planning and Zoning Commission closed its public hearing on the Sherwood project last week, setting the stage for a vote at its next meeting. 203-731-3342

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