Revised commercial project wins over Sasco Hill neighbors

An artist's rendering of a proposed building at the corner of the Post Road and Sasco Hill that the Sasco Neighborhood Association is supporting.
An artist's rendering of a proposed building at the corner of the Post Road and Sasco Hill that the Sasco Neighborhood Association is supporting.Contributed Photo

The Sasco Neighborhood Association, after turning out to oppose earlier plans to build office buildings at the foot of the street, last week threw its support behind the latest building proposed for 2291-2307 Post Road during a Town Plan and Zoning Commission public hearing.

The TPZ closed the Tuesday night hearing for comment, but took no vote on the application by One Sasco Hill, LLC, for a new two-story commercial building.

A previous application to build a brick commercial building at the corner lot was denied by the TPZ, as were two previous applications for an office building on the adjacent empty lot. This latest application encompasses both properties after the empty lot was purchased by One Sasco Hill.

"We feel we've come so far with this application," said Joel Green, the lawyer for the neighborhood association. "We do support it, we do encourage it. We feel it is a reasonable and appropriate development of this site."

Green and William Fitzpatrick, the lawyer representing the developer, both told the TPZ the revised project is the result of collaboration between neighbors and One Sasco Hill.

"They not only listened, they heard us," Green said.

The building, with cedar-like siding, will have at least three retail outlets on the first floor and a drive-through bank window. The second floor would house offices. In addition to parking in the front and rear, there will be an underground parking garage. The driveway off Sasco Hill will be one-way only for cars entering the site, a stipulation Fitzpatrick said was sought by neighbors.

The second driveway, off the Post Road, will be for cars entering and leaving and is now located, due to the property purchase, farther away from the traffic light at Post and Sasco Hill roads.

"I think it's an attractive structure," Fitzpatrick said, and one that significantly improves the property.

Currently, there is an empty building on the parcel that Fitzpatrick described as an eyesore.

"I believe the concerns of the earlier denial have been addressed," he said. "I think it's a better building and a better plan then the original submission."

Some commissioners were concerned about "pedestrian and auto" interaction on the site and at the driveway on the Post Road. There will be a concrete sidewalk and apron across the driveway.

"It would be nice if there was some sort of additional striping" on the parking lot surface, Commissioner James Kennelly said.

Traffic engineer Michael Galante said there will be a stop sign and stop bar at the driveway exit, as is standard, "just like any other driveway on the Post Road."

Kennelly said it might be helpful to have some sort of pavers, "something visual or textural" to alert motorists to the fact that they are nearing a pedestrian crossing.

Galante said it is not a high pedestrian area, but added, "We will look at that in the final design."

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