Apartments headed for Stratford’s Ferry Blvd.
Updated 1:25 pm, Wednesday, February 7, 2018
STRATFORD — The long and torturous saga over 382 Ferry Blvd. appears to be nearing an end with the town Zoning Commission’s approval of a developer’s plan to build a 119-unit apartment building there.
The land, vacant and forlorn for decades, had been eyed as a place for a AAA tow-truck fleet center. But neighbors went to court in 2016 and successfully fought that idea. Then a 133-unit apartment building was proposed. Neighbors were cool to that idea, too.
In this latest go-around with Town Hall, the developers, called Rolling Thunder II, had threatened to build a larger, affordable housing apartment building there if this latest 119-unit idea were to be turned down.
In the end, the zoning panel voted 5-0 last week to OK the apartment complex, according to commission Chairman Richard Fredette.
“There really wasn’t any opposition voiced about it,” Fredette said. “The developers also agreed not to proceed with any affordable housing applications.”
The two-building venture is planned to also have room for a small retail operation. This could be converted into two more apartments if there’s no interest in putting a store there after two years.
The project would be classified as a Transit Oriented Development, or TOD. All of the apartments ware to have one bedroom, except for four studios. The TOD designation allows fewer parking spaces and a dense configuration. One of the two building is to be four stories tall; the other, five.
The 2.57-acre parcel is owned by Norma Barry of Portsmouth, R.I., according to Stratford Town Hall land records. The oddly shaped, eight-sided lot abuts no fewer than 12 single-family homes in the block bordered by Ferry Boulevard, Willow Avenue, Homestead Avenue and Housatonic Avenue.
The property is assessed at $371,560. The fenced-in real estate was a used car lot many years ago. It has a odd-looking, ramshackle, one-story building on it that dates back to 1969. Legend had it that someone was murdered there, but police say there’s no truth to that story.
Officials in Town Hall said that they’re not expecting construction to begin anytime soon.
“As long as they’re respectful of the neighborhood, and consider our concerns during construction, well, that’s about all I can say about it,” said Scott Farrington-Posner, whose short political career on the Zoning Commission and later the Town Council began with his opposition to the AAA plan. He lives on Homestead Avenue and his property abuts the development.
Farrington-Posner announced in September 2017 that he wouldn’t run for re-election. His stint on the council lasted for just over one year.