The time it took the South Windsor Planning and Zoning Commission to approve CT Studios’ application to divide its 40-acre lot into three subdivisions Tuesday belied its significance.
Indeed, the action - which was unanimous - took all of 10 minutes. But the outcome represented a big step forward for the project, which has been in development for what has seemed like an interminable four years.
The subdivisions - one that is 3.2 acres, one that is 7.3 acres and another that is 29.6 acres - will allow the developer to sell them separately. The 3.2-acre lot will house the hotel, the 7.3-acre lot will have the retail space built on it, while the large 29.6-acre lot will have the four studios, the mill building and the controversial 600-square-foot security building.
The security building, which has a planned construction start before Oct. 26, is presumably being built to prevent the triggering of a clause that would have 23 acres of land revert back to the town, which gave the developer the land for $1 in 2009.
That move, along with a string of other issues such as $40,000 in back taxes that the developer has not paid, has led town officials and residents to begin to lose patience for the project.
But, as Town Planner Michele Lipe said Tuesday evening, CT Studios LLC continues to spend money on the project.
And while construction of the small building is not considered by many as ideal, that coupled with the subdividing of the lots, as well as an appearance two weeks ago before the Architecture Design Review Committee to change the material from steel buildings to an aggregate concrete, has shown that the project is moving forward after a lengthy period of inactivity.
Furthermore, Craig Stevenson, an economic development consultant for CT Studios, said in an interview on Tuesday that CT Studios would bring its tax bill current within the next several days.
Stevenson also said, without going into detail, that the alternative energy component to fund the public infrastructure was still being worked on.
“We’re working very diligently on that component,” Stevenson said. “It’s very much on the front burner. It’s a complicated thing. It’s a regulatory thing. … We’re getting there.”
In other business, the Planning and Zoning Commission met with Heidi Samokar, senior planner of Planimetrics, to review questions for a land-use survey, the results of which will be used in the 10-year plan that will be released in about a year.
Samokar said that the overarching themes for the questions included conservation topics, how to manage and guide growth and supporting facilities (transportation and town programs).
The survey, which will be available to residents online on the town’s website, is expected to be ready sometime in mid- to late-October, according to Samokar.