Temp Christmas tree sales lot on Tunxis Hill splits TPZ
Updated 5:56 pm, Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The compliance application from Lee Miro was approved by a single vote -- 4-3 -- after a protracted discussion.
The lot in question is at 303-425 Tunxis Hill Cutoff, which serves LC Chen's restaurant and a TJ Maxx store.
"This will be taking up parking spaces from a restaurant," said Commissioner Richard Jacobs, particularly during the winter when he said parking can be difficult if there are piles of snow.
"This is a temporary seasonal thing," Commissioner Douglas Soutar said. "It will only last about a month."
But TPZ Chairman Bryan LeClerc, who cast one of the no votes along with Jacobs and Seth Baratz, said the board needs to set a limit on allowing vendors to sell things in parking lots.
Jacobs and Baratz said they might feel differently if it were a non-profit group selling the trees.
Miro has for years set up a temporary Christmas tree stand in the Dairy Queen parking lot on the Post Road downtown, while a Boy Scout troop sells trees at the parking lot of First Church Congregational at Beach and Old Post roads.
The Tunxis Hill lot, Kennelly said, will give residents living on the east side of town a nearby location to purchase a tree. He said he thinks the restaurant and store that use the lot, which is rarely full, would likely welcome the foot traffic that the tree lot could generate for their establishments.
And, Kennelly added, traffic concerns voiced by Jacobs about the application are a more significant issue farther north on Black Rock Turnpike, near the larger shopping centers.
The property's manager sent a letter to the TPZ supporting the Christmas tree lot application. The property is owned by Mary Lee Stiegler.