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December 5, 2019
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This map has been submitted as part of a requested residential zoning change by applicant 65-99 Burban Drive LLC. Branford's Planning and Zoning Commission will open a public hearing on the application as part of its regular meeting Nov. 21 at Branford Fire Headquarters.

Pam Johnson/The Sound

This map has been submitted as part of a requested residential zoning change by applicant 65-99 Burban Drive LLC. Branford's Planning and Zoning Commission will open a public hearing on the application as part of its regular meeting Nov. 21 at Branford Fire Headquarters. Pam Johnson/The Sound | Buy This Photo)

Burban Drive, Parkside Applicants on Branford PZC Agenda

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Items on the agenda for Branford's Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) meeting on Nov. 21 include a public hearing for a requested zone change to allow for smaller residential lots fronting a 10-acre portion of the former St. Elizabeth's Church property, and the PZC's review of a resolution concerning a requested site plan modification for Parkside Village I.

65-99 Burban Drive

The public hearing for a zoning map change at 65-99 Burban Drive will hear input on a request by the applicant, 65-99 Burban Associates LLC (Branford) for a zoning designation to change adjust a frontage boundary along Burban Drive from R4 (residential) to R1 (residential) zoning.  The area's R4 zoning currently requires single residence building lots of approximately 20,000 square feet. Changing the zoning to R1 would allow for smaller building lots, of approximately 6,000 square feet.

On November 21, the only request before the PZC will be to consider, based on zoning regulations and guidelines in the Plan of Conservation and Development, whether to approve the applicant's request to rezone a portion of the 10-acre parcel fronting Burban Road to R4 to R1, said Town Planner Harry Smith.

The map submitted with the application shows a requested boundary change fronting Burban Drive to include five building lots of approximately 6,000 square feet each. The proposed zone change that will be reviewed by the PZC beginning Nov. 21 is the first formal application submitted by the new property owner, Smith said.

Residents in the area have raised concerns about what was originally being discussed as a potential two-part overall redevelopment of the combined 10-acre parcel, together with six abutting acres including the former St. Elizabeth's Church monastery (61 Burban Drive). In March, during an informal discussion with the PZC, property owner Michael Massimino shared an idea for developing the property to create 165 housing units between the two parcels, according to minutes of the PZC.  At the time, the PZC was given an informal description of a plan that would involve submitting two separate applications for a development that would ultimately convert the monastery building to 50 one-bedroom units;  build two four-story residential buildings (30 units per building), and develop 55 single family homes.

Parkside Resolution

The Parkside resolution that's anticipated to be reviewed by the PZC on Nov. 21 follows an application that's been under review since September and went through the public hearing process, which ended in October. The applicant, Beacon Communities Development LLC (MA) and owner, Branford Housing Authority (BHA) have applied for the modification under CGS Section 8-30g (affordable housing land use) to the approved site plan for the redevelopment of Parkside Village 1 at 115 South Montowese St.

The draft resolution the PZC will review on Nov. 21 should frame the commission's consensus regarding a total of three modifications Beacon is requesting.  At the heart of the matter, Beacon is seeking modify the PZC's approved site plan (June, 2019) to adjust the emergency vehicle pullover area so that it is moved onto Parkside property. The PZC will review a resolution allowing for the move while also taking into account that the emergency vehicle maneuvering area needs to remain unencumbered (no future buildings or walls) and further stipulating that the applicant needs to get permission from the Town, as the abutting property owner, in the form of a legal binding document to make sure the area stays open for emergency access.  Such a legal document would likely have to go before the town's Representative Town Meeting (RTM) to be granted.

The Nov. 21 meeting of the PZC is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Thurs. Nov. 21 at Branford Fire Headquarters, 45 North Main St.


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