The exclamation of Peter DeMallie, the president of Design Professionals, said it all after the Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday gave the final approval to the proposed 61-acre, mixed-use residential and industrial development off Pleasant Valley Road and South Satellite Road.
“Three and a half years!” exclaimed DeMallie, a civil engineer whose firm played a major role in creating the draft plan of development.
Indeed, it was a little less than four years from when the development, to be called Nutmeg Village, was first proposed until Tuesday evening, when the commission gave unanimous approval to developer Horseshoe Lane Associates to subdivide six industrial lots and granted a special exception to construct 155 condominiums.
Bob Urso, owner of Horseshoe Lane Associates, was more subdued than DeMallie, but no less pleased.
“I’m just happy that we’re moving forward,” Urso said after the hearing. “It’s just another day. We had great work by a great team. We’re proud of them.”
The approvals came with little discussion or objection from the members of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The only real concern raised by commissioners came from Vice Chair Bart Pacekonis, who said that he did not favor the plan of the developer to bond the sidewalks for the six industrial lots, something that can be revisited in five years.
“I don’t like the idea of unfinished or intermittent sidewalks; I don’t think it’s in the best interests of the community,” Pacekonis said. “But, in the interests of moving forward, I’m willing to wait for the suggested resolution.”
Prior to the vote, the Planning and Zoning Commission wrapped up the public hearing, during which representatives for the developer ironed out some loose ends. And while no one showed up to oppose the project, two letters were read into the record pleading with the commission to deny the applications.
“[T]here has been considerable opposition to this application over the life of its revisions, not only from the industry owners and residents of Hilton Drive, but from those concerned about additional traffic and the effect of this development would have on the school population,” wrote Historic District Commissioner Virginia Macro, who said that the only means of getting in and out of the development would be across from a resident who lives in a “historically significant structure.”
One other resident listed five things that concerned her about the development in urging the commission to deny the applications.
“Most importantly is the decrease of property values of the homes in the Pleasant Valley Estates,” wrote Liz Pendleton. “There are plenty of condominiums and townhouses in town already. We don’t need any more.”
Urso and his team, however, disagree.
The 155 condominiums will be aimed at “young, middle-class professionals,” according to DeMallie in a recent interview.
The condominiums would come in three styles: stand-alone, duplex and townhouse. They would range in size between 1,100 and 1,470 square feet, and would cost between $189,000 to $289,000, with 110 units priced under $200,000.
Nutmeg Village would also have, among other things, a clubhouse, sidewalks and a bus shelter.
Such housing is sorely lacking in the Greater Hartford area, which has caused Connecticut to lose a number of talented young professionals to other states, DeMallie said.
And with Planning and Zoning’s approval Tuesday, Horseshoe Lane Development cleared the final hurdle to begin construction. Last week, Inland and Wetlands Commission voted to allow the project to move forward.