Revised mixed-use project is better received by Wilton P&Z



The buildings belong to KIMCO Real Estatebased in New Hyde Park, NY

The team representing the project at 5-21 River Road last appeared before the commission in June to a mixed reception, primarily due to concerns over building design and the need for a more fleshed-out parking plan. The team has since received somewhat more positive feedback due to the adjustment of building heights, more parking details, and the addition of architectural features better suited to the Wilton Center.

The plan offers 534 places in total. Craig Flaherty, a Redniss & Mead engineer who works with the proposal team, said the plan includes 186 residential parking spaces – one for each of the 75 studio and one-bedroom units and two for each of the 93 two or three-bedroom units. KIMCO would also provide on-site office and retail parking spaces, as well as public parking spaces.

“This is a big step forward,” Commissioner Christopher Pagliaro said at the recent meeting. “I think you’re starting to understand where we’re coming from.”

Other commissioners took a similar position to Pagliaro and praised the efforts of the proposal team. But despite the favorable reviews, there are still a few hurdles to overcome, including the necessary changes to the zoning text that the commission should accept as part of the application when it is officially filed.

Flaherty said some text changes would need to be adopted to make the current sitemap eligible for approval.

First, Flaherty pointed out that city bylaws cap residences above stores or offices at street level at a maximum density of five units per acre, or a maximum density of 10 units per acre. if located within 1,000 feet of Wilton Station.

He proposed an amendment that changes the cap to 15 units per acre if at least 10% of units are designated affordable, or if at least 50% of the building’s gross floor area is used for active commercial purposes and at least 60 % of the street or the main face of the building is occupied for commercial or residential purposes.

It is proposed that the facade of the building facing River Road will have many retail elements at street level with multi-family dwellings above. The building at the rear of the property will not be affected as it does not offer any commercial elements.

Flaherty also suggested an indulgence on the current city by-law which states that no front yard of a building may be set back more than 20 feet from the street, except on Danbury Road. He requested a change at 250 feet.

Rotini spoke about the timing impact of these zoning enactment changes as the city seeks to adopt a Wilton Center Master Plan.

“I’m very worried about making changes now and then going back in a month and changing everything again,” Rotini said. She said she would prefer to make sure that all the terms of the formal application for the proposal are exactly how they are to be presented, as the commission can only accept or reject it, not change it, at this stage.

Although the commissioners still raised a few questions about the more focused architectural decisions and the height of the buildings, they mostly gave credit to the proposal team.

“You really listened to our feedback,” Pagliaro said. “I really appreciate that.”

The team will return to the commission with an updated plan in the coming weeks. He noted that he was not concerned about waiting for the city to complete its master plan for the Wilton Center to bring more clarity, but that he did not want to wait more than six months as he wanted to move forward. the process,

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