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North Stonington looking for a home for its floating design district zone


North Stonington - A process to “land” the floating New England Village Special Design District Zone will begin Thursday when the Planning and Zoning Commission holds a public hearing on a proposal from the long-discussed Milltown Commons development at the rotary.

The ambitious project would encompass 181 acres at the Route 2-Route 184 interchange and calls for a mix of residential and retail space, including 273 housing units, a medical center - approved in a separate application - seven restaurants, a hotel, a bank and office space.

Milltown Commons has been in the works for more than two years. First, the developers needed zoning regulation changes to create the so-called floating zone for the New England Village Special Design District. The PZC approved the floating zone in November 2007, but the description is so restrictive that any project using the zone would have to be located within 0.8 miles of the Route 2-Route 184 rotary.


The master plan conceptual site plan

Total project: 841,200 square feet

Existing commercial space: 83,000 square feet

New commercial: 254,800 square feet

Total residential units: 273 units includes the following:

Multifamily residential: 187 units, 298,000 square feet

Duplex residential: 48 units with 2,300 square feet average space each.

Single family residential: 38 units with 2,500 square feet average.

For information go to

Town Planner Juliet Leeming said there are no other proposals for using the zone, but there are other large parcels in the rotary area.

Milltown Commons LLC next needs to “land” the zone at a specific location. The current application would do that, placing the zone on 181 acres with some existing development on the northwest portion of the rotary between Routes 2 and 184.

Leeming said the town has hired Towne Engineering and the traffic engineering firm Stantec to help review the proposed master plan for the project. In addition, the town fire chief and fire marshal have reviewed the plan, along with Leeming.

If the zone change is approved to place the New England village zone at this location, then Milltown Commons would need a site plan review and approval for the specific project.

The public hearing will begin shortly after the meeting opens at 7 p.m., and is scheduled for the Town Hall conference room. If necessary, the meeting would be moved to Wheeler High School, Leeming said.

Leeming has been discussing the master plan for the zone change with developers from Milltown Commons LLC for the past few weeks and said some revisions will be necessary. She said the commission definitely would not vote on the project Thursday, and it's possible the hearing could continue next Thursday if time runs out at this week's meeting.Overview

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