Shelton developer remains sold on plan
SHELTON — Despite an outcry from residents and some city officials, John Guedes said he is not ready to shelve his plan to build 20 homes behind the Huntington Congregational Church.
“Someone is going to develop that property,” said Guedes, who as a principal in Primrose Development LLC in Bridgeport, had turned vacant Canal Street factories into luxurious apartments. “When you consider the possibilities of a 140-unit, assisted-living center or affordable housing, I believe my proposal is the best.”
Guedes proposed 20 three-bedroom, single-family homes on the 6-acre property owned by the Huntington Congregation Church. However, his proposal requires the Planning and Zoning Commission to approve a planned development district before construction begins. That’s because some of that area is zoned as 1 acre per house.
Last month, some 500 residents, including four city aldermen, filled the auditorium at the Shelton Intermediate School to oppose Guedes’ proposal. So many people signed up to talk that Virginia Harger, the Planning and Zoning chairwoman, had to keep the hearing open and continue it to Aug. 21.
“I only hope the commission not be judgmental until they hear all the facts,” said Guedes, who is an architect. “I live in Huntington Center. I believe this is the least-dense and best use for the property.”
Guedes suspects some of the outcry resonates from residents still upset over the approval of the massive Towne Center at Shelter Ridge development, which encompasses 123 acres off Bridgeport Avenue, as well as from the proposed 17-house cluster development on 23 acres near Booth Hill and Waverly Road.
“I could understand the opposition to the proposal for Booth Hill and Waverly Road,” he said. “But here the property is adjacent to the church’s parking lot. Some of the lots adjacent are quarter- acre. To the south is Huntington Center and to the east you have a bank, strip mall and condos.”
The church, like many religious organizations, is looking to sell off property.
Guedes said his original proposal was for 30 homes but he scaled it down. He said he would consider eliminating a few homes from his 20-home proposal.