May 17, 2007
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Blunt White at 7 PM. Present were: Ed Hart, Paul Burgess, Gary Bennett, Blunt White, John Delmhorst, Tony Lee, Ed Dear, and Ed Haberek. Absent were: John Dionne and Mike Latham.
Chairman White proposed amending the draft minutes previously distributed for the
April 26, 2007 special meeting to include a list of questions asked by the public and directed to the Cherenzia Companies regarding their proposed project on addressStreetGreenhaven Road. The minutes were also amended to note that the project would require text changes/amendments to Stonington’s existing P&Z regulations regarding maximum stories above grade and integral lot area requirements. The minutes were then approved as amended.
Chairman White announced a Freedom of Information workshop to be held at the Mystic Middle School on June 4 from 6 to 8 PM. He will attend and recommended others do as well.
Ed Hart recommended adding four items to the meeting’s agenda. This was approved.
The Mixed Use Transitional District proposed for the Lattizori property on addressStreetJerry Browne Road was on the agenda but the developer had informed Chairman White that no one would be addressing the commission at this time. A public information session has been scheduled by the developer for May 24th.
Ed Dear reported on the updated, revised marketing brochure for Downtown Pawcatuck, prepared by Bob Forte. All text changes have been made and the brochure is 90% complete. The draft brochure will be distributed to property owners and a commercial realtor for their comments before finalizing. It is anticipated that a final brochure will be ready for the next meeting. The brochure will assist property owners with marketing their properties and assist in marketing Pawcatuck to potential developers.
There was a discussion as to how to respond to requests for economic development information.
The matter of parking in downtown Pawcatuck was discussed. Data on parking spaces has been gathered by several EDC members with the assistance of Jason Vincent but needs further organization and analysis. The possibility of hiring a parking consultant was discussed and would be paid for with the remaining CEDF funds. Resident Carleen Donnarummo volunteered some historical perspective on certain parking issues in the area. Chairman White made a motion that the Commission proceed with a request for proposal to study the parking problems and obtain recommendations to solve them. This will assist with strategies for the revitalization of downtown Pawcatuck. The motion was seconded and approved. Paul Burgess will work with Larry Kenney of CEDF to discuss the scope of the proposal and associated costs.
It was reported that Mark Comeau is developing sketches for possible façade improvements to existing buildings in downtown Pawcatuck. The final product when complete would be pitched to both property owners and the Town. Community and or Town funding sources for façade grants need to be determined. The façade program also needs to be integrated with the Streetscape Program. Ed Hart reported that the status of the Streetscape Program is unclear. It has been mentioned it might be delayed until April, 2008. There are some right of way issues for placeCityADA sidewalks. Ed Hart made a motion that the Commission draft a letter to the Board of Selectmen requesting that information on the status of the Streetscape Program be provided to EDC. The motion was seconded and approved. Ed Hart will draft the letter.
Ed Hart reported that he, as an individual, had written to the Governor to question delays in the Readco (Pawcatuck Landing) and Liberty Crossing projects due to issues with the State Traffic Commission. The matter is on the agenda for a June 7 meeting of the STC. Readco anticipates approval by the STC and that their project may begin in July. There may be further work needed for Phase II of the Liberty Crossing project. In discussion it was agreed that Chairman White draft a letter to the STC and First Selectman requesting that EDC be kept informed on the status of both project’s applications for State Traffic Permits.
Chairman White reported that the Route 1 Corridor Study Committee has scheduled a public meeting for May 30. It is anticipated that commercial development in the target area will be significantly curtailed.
Ed Hart expressed a concern that rising sewer and water costs to small businesses will have an adverse effect on attracting additional businesses to the area. In discussion, it was felt that other commissions need to address the issue, but that the EDC will keep it on their agenda.
Ed Haberek reported on a website called retailtenants.com which presents initiatives for attracting and retaining retail concerns. It uses demographics to determine the proper fit between retail establishments and various consumer bases.
This meeting was adjourned at 8:40 pm.
John R. Delmhorst, Secretary