Heights Road entrance Federal Realty 4-6-16

P&Z Barely Raises Building Height, Limits Apartment Size in Noroton Heights Redevelopment

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The Planning & Zoning Commission on Tuesday approved new zoning regulations for the two major Noroton Heights business district redevelopment proposals that, among other changes, limit building heights to 45 feet and apartment sizes to 1,500 square feet. First Selectman Jayme Stevenson told the commission that she wants to work with the developers in a public/private partnership on a drainage system that will improve the current situation, in which Heights Road and some of the storefront space facing it get flooded in major storms. The resolution incorporating various zoning changes, which was approved unanimously by the commission, includes language encouraging that. The commission decided that green space (without buildings or paved areas, unless the pavement is part of a public plaza) must cover 20 percent of the land developed by each of the two major landowners — the Palmer family (owners of Palmer’s Market and the Noroton Heights Shopping Center) and Federal Realty (owner of most of the block between Edgerton Street, Heights Road, Noroton Avenue and West Avenue). The developers have proposed mixed use, “village”-like makeovers of the Noroton Heights business district with stores, apartments (not owner-owned condominiums, as Baywater Corbin is proposing downtown) and some office space. Public plazas have been proposed and pleasant architecture envisioned that are meant to make the area a pleasant one that would encourage area residents to walk there, spend time there and meet friends there.

Noroton Heights renderings 4-6-16

Changes in the Noroton Heights Redevelopment Projects Revealed

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The two developers aiming to transform the Noroton Heights business district with major redevelopment proposals formally presented their ideas for zoning changes in the area and gave another description of what their projects would look like, with some revisions. A pedestrian entrance from West Avenue closer to the middle of the block between Edgerton Street and Noroton Avenue has replaced the idea for an entrance on the corner of Edgerton and West Avenue. A pedestrian entrance from Noroton Avenue would have a small pavilion. At the corner of Heights Road and Hollow Tree Ridge Road would be a small outdoor dining area. The main outdoor plaza on the Palmer’s property (roughly south of where Jimmy’s Southside Tavern is today) would be roughly 100 feet by 70 feet, said Architect Joseph Schiffer of Newman Architects New Haven office.

Edgerton and West SE

Federal Realty Presents Ideas to Redevelop Its Noroton Heights Property

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Part of the proposal to develop the tract where Stop & Shop and other stores now stand: One, two and three floors above a first floor of retail that would replace the supermarke’ts current building just south of West Avenue (with as many as three floors above West Avenue). That was one of many features of a “proposal” for redeveloping the 8.6-acre site covering most of the land between Edgerton Street, Heights Road and Noroton and West Avenues, owned by Federal Realty, a national real estate investment company that bought the land from Tom Golden’s estate after that developer accumulated the parcels and passed away. See also:  First Peek at Redevelopment Proposed for Noroton Hgts Stop & Shop Area

Overall, Federal Realty presenters told a joint meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission and Architectural Review Board Tuesday evening in Darien Town Hall, the developer’s goal is to create a vibrant, attractive place that people want to visit, walk around in and enjoy as well as shop in, dine and spend money. The company presented something that was at least as close to a concept as an actual plan, with many details open to changes. Instead of sketches describing what the buildings might look like, they presented — with the exception of a rendering of housing along West Avenue — pictures taken from elsewhere that were meant to suggest what they might build, or possibly even just a sense of what their buildings would feel like to look at.

Retail Buildings Noroton Heights

First Peek at Redevelopment Proposed for Noroton Hgts Stop & Shop Area

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The landlord that owns the buildings where Stop & Shop, Walgreens, Equinox and other nearby stores are now located wants to add about 90 apartments, more retail space, over a hundred more parking spaces and  a lot of landscaping to the 8.6-acre tract. According to some documents filed with the Planning & Zonning Department, Federal Realty will present its ideas for redeveloping the site, which takes up much of downtown Noroton Heights. See also: Federal Realty Presents Ideas to Redevelop Its Noroton Heights Property

The ideas will be presented at 8 p.m. to a joint meeting (open to the public and broadcast by Darien TV79) of the Planning & Zoning Commission and Architectural Review Board in Room 206 at Town Hall. The presentation is scheduled to last until 9:15 p.m.

Here’s a first look at the proposal, presented in a few large, illustrated pages currently in a file at the Planning & Zoning Department. Pictures of other places, presumably meant to suggest the way parts of the redevelopment would look, are included along with maps of the site.