At a public hearing at the start of last night’s Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, architects for Chris Lavin, the owner of the Piersall Building at 12 Center St., presented a plan for upgrading the parking lot that included repaving the lot and adding a dining terrace outside Pinocchio Pizza.
The Piersall Building is located at the triangle of land in between Rt. 33/Ridgefield Rd. to the north; Center St. to the east; and Old Ridgefield Rd. to the south.
Richard Kent of Environmental Design Associates presented the plan, and said the project originally began as a paving upgrade to a lot in significant need of repair. Because it was such a substantially large project, it was decided to include the addition of a dining terrace as well as other beautification projects, including landscaping improvements. Those upgrades would require the P&Z commission to grant a special permit.
“It’s one of the main entrances to downtown Wilton. We’re reworking the orientation of parking on the site, we’re reducing the paving from 99.9 percent to 96 percent paved. [Currently] it’s pretty harsh, it’s all paved. This [proposal] will soften the site, soften the building and upgrade that whole corner,” Kent explained, adding, “This is a vast improvement to this property and also to the town of Wilton, and we hope you agree. We think it will provide a refreshing entrance to the town.”
The proposed changes would reduce the number of parking spaces in the lot from the current 127 spots; the owner is required to provide at least 95 parking places.
“If you look at the requirements, it’s over-parked for the site, and we’re not too concerned with losing a few spaces. We’re way over-parked,” Kent said, adding that most of the time the parking lot is hardly close to being filled. One of the commissioners agreed, pointing out the exception of Memorial Day.
Kent said that the majority of the paving would begin as soon as P&Z approves the plan; the terrace potentially would be done for next spring. The number of tables and available seating would be determined by the health department, once P&Z okayed the project.
Most of the commissioners seemed to be in approval of the plan, calling it an “outstanding improvement.”
They postponed voting on the plan, however, until the next meeting on Oct. 28 until they could clarify an issue regarding state-owned land upon which a sliver of the parking lot sits. According to the developer, that land is deeded for the building owner’s use; P&Z plans to look at the deed to clarify the issue before approving the application.
That is a great idea. It was a more active area when the drugstore was there and before Stop &Shop. Hope they wrap the entire front in a patio theme.
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