January 21, 2020

Deep River Zoning Board of Appeals to Consider Proposed Used Car Dealership, Industrial Building Expansion

DEEP RIVER— The zoning board of appeals will hold public hearings Tuesday on variance appeals for a proposed used car dealership/repair shop on Route 154, and the proposed expansion of an existing industrial building at 16 Grove St. The public hearings convene at 7:30 p.m. at town hall.

The application of local resident Gerald Bartlett Jr.  for use and siting approval of a used car dealership and repair shop is expected to draw opposition from the planning and zoning commission. Bartlett is seeking to locate the dealership/repair shop in the former Champion Manufacturing facility on the west side of South Main St. (Route 154) about 700-feet south of the intersection with Kelsey Hill Road. The parcel is located in a light industrial zone.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Cathy Jefferson denied zoning approval of the proposed dealership/repair shop because the parcel is 10-feet short of the 150-feet of road frontage required for the use, and because the planning and zoning commission does not believe the use is appropriate for a vacant structure in the light industrial zone. Jefferson is expected to represent the commission in expressing opposition to the proposed use and variance at the public hearing.

The second appeal is from resident Raymond Galeotti seeking a variance to allow an 8,400-square-foot expansion of an existing industrial building at 16 Grove Street, located off Bridge Street in the northern section of town. Galeotti owns a company called Eve’s Addiction/Centerbrook Sales which operates on the site with catalog sales of silver jewelry.

The building and use was a pre-existing, non conforming use. but the commission last year approved a zone change for the area from village industrial to village district. The new village district regulations include a 2,500-square-foot maximum size limit for industrial buildings, creating the need for a variance from the ZBA for an 8,400-square-foot expansion of the building.

If Galeotti secures approval of the variance from the ZBA on Tuesday, he can proceed to a scheduled public hearing Thursday before the planning and zoning commission for special permit/site plan approval for the proposed building expansion. Jefferson said Galeotti would need the variance from ZBA before the commission can open a public hearing on the special permit/site plan application.

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