The large, often empty, mill and manufacturing buildings that dot the landscape of Stonington and other New England towns are a reminder of jobs and even an era that is slowly disappearing. And as people and companies vacate the buildings the Town of Stonington is looking for new uses for the buildings.
On Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. the Economic Development Commission is hosting a public hearing to discuss broadening the uses allowed in Stonington’s manufacturing zones (M1 zoning districts.) The meeting will discuss all M1 zoning districts in Stonington, including the Mystic Packer Building, Broadway Extension, and the soon to be vacant Yardney Technical Products building at 83 Mechanic St., in Pawcatuck. The departure of Yardney Technical Products will leave 260,000 square feet vacant.
Currently the permitted uses allowed in an M1 zoning district are:
- Assembly, fabricating, compounding, warehousing, and packing up to 10,000 square feet.
- Buildings for assembly, fabricating, compounding, warehousing, and packing up to 10,000 square feet.
- Lumbering and lumber mills.
- Municipal facility.
- Offices and/or corporate headquarters in buildings less than 5,000 square feet.
- Processing of agricultural products.
- Public utilities.
- Research and development.
- Aquaculture / Agriculture (a 200‐foot setback for manure storage and stables is required ... ).
The zoning regulations permit some new businesses from coming into the area such as businesses hoping to open up a café, deli or even a health club.
“EDC believes that broadening uses allowed in M1 zones on Mechanic Street and elsewhere in Stonington will benefit the community,” Economic Development Commission Chairman Blunt White wrote in an email.
The EDC is hoping the public will offer their ideas for uses and is planning on using the comments from the meeting to prepare a recommendation for the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission.
“The current uses allowed by zoning for M1 no longer reflects what is needed for mill re-use and higher levels of occupancy,” White wrote.
Special Public Meeting to discuss broadening the uses allowed in M1 zones. Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 at 7 p.m., at the Stonington Police Station meeting room. Attached to this article is a pdf packet with additional information on the meeting and M1 zones.