Joe Mastronunzio of Brom Builders was all smiles Tuesday night and he wasn’t the only one. The Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission approved Brom Builders proposal to build a 245-unit assisted living facility in Mystic.
The decision came after months of planning, presentations and public hearings but the real work is just beginning for Brom Builders which will soon be able to begin construction on the senior housing and assisted living facility on the Coogan Farm property.
The first part of construction will likely begin this spring and last 12-14 months. When completed there will be 95 memory care and assisted living units. Then three years after that construction is complete work will begin again on 120 independent and assisted living units.
From the beginning of the proposal process residents, business owners and town officials had expressed curiosity and some concern over the development and loss of property.
The 63-acre parcel owned and up for sale by the Clara Morgan Coogan Trust is the last of its size in the area. The assisted living facility will use 18-acres of the site, will set aside another 11-acres for open space and the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center (DPNC) is hoping to becoming the owner and manager of an additional 34-acres.
At last night’s planning and zoning commission the issue of open space and the development of the property in general was once again on the minds of some commission members.
“It’s a unique piece of property,” said commission member John Prue. “We have an obligation to look at the zoning.”
Prue voiced concerns about whether the town has the right to turn the open space over to the DPNC and also frustration over the lack of open space preservation in the town.
“I’m disappointed in the open space,” Prue said adding that most of what was being deemed open space was really land with power lines running through it.
But throughout the zoning process there has been little concern about the open space and even the development of the land from residents. At the public hearings on the matter, residents questioned the traffic implications. The entrance to the facility will be off of Clara Drive and at Tuesday’s meeting the commission said a speed limit sign of 15 mph would be posted. During the public hearings many residents also spoke in support of the plan.
The Economic Development Commission and Inland Wetlands Commission had also given the proposal their approval.
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