June 29, 2022

Essex Zoning Commission Sets Public Hearing on Proposed Centerbrook Art Studio

ESSEX— The zoning commission has scheduled a May 20 public hearing on a special permit application for an art studio that would occupy most of the vacant space in the commercial building at 61 Main St. in the Centerbrook section. Nairco. LLC of Killingworth is seeking approval of an art studio that would offer arts-related glasses, programs, and workshops for children, teenagers, and adults.

NairCo LLC is a partnership run by Barbara Nair, who operates the Killingworth Arts Center on North Parker Hill Road in Killingworth. The arts center is a non-profit organization in operation since 2003. NairCo. LLC purchased the 61 Main St. property for $760,000 last November.

The commercial building, located near the traffic light in Centerbrook, has been mostly vacant for more than three years, with a pool supply and repair business currently leasing space in a section of the building. In March 2012, the zoning board of appeals denied a variance appeal that would have allowed a coffee and pastries shop in a section of the building. Earlier this spring, the zoning commission approved NairCo’s request to amend zoning regulations to allow art studios as a permitted use in a commercial zone.

The May 20 public hearing agenda also includes a request by the Essex Volunteer Fire Co. to amend zoning regulations to include fire training facilities as a permitted use in the limited industrial zone on Plains Road. The volunteer fire company is hoping to construct a fire training facility on a section of Greider Field, a recreation field on Plains Road that is owned by the fire company. The public hearings convene at 7 p.m. in town hall.