Growmark zoning change approved

Terry RogersBusiness, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

Gromark received approval from Milford City Council to change zoning on their property at 308 NE Front Street

Milford City Council recently approved a request from Growmark FS to rezone a portion of land located on the south side of Northeast Front Street between Northeast Fourth Street and East Street from General Industrial (I2) to Highway Commercial (C3). The land is currently vacant and Growmark has no plans to build. However, the new zoning will allow them to consider building office or retail space on the land in the future.

“To give you a little bit of history on the property, the property at one time was a fertilizer plant which was not a real good use right there on the river. At some point it was moved to Route 14. The office remained on this site,” Robert Nash, an Engineer with Merestone Consultants, said. “In the event that we get approval for this rezoning, which probably has needed to be done for some time, because it’s a piece of industrial land sitting in the middle of C3 zoning on both sides and across the street. And in the event that this does get approved, we will be coming back to do a subdivision as you can see on the planned property to the east of the office. This just seems to be a little housekeeping here because the industrial zone doesn’t fit in that area.”

During the public hearing, Dan Perez, owner of River Lights Café and an adjacent tax office, questioned what plans Gromark had for the land in reference to a potential subdivision, expressing concerns about large trucks.

“If you are going to put in offices, I am all for that,” Perez said. “But I don’t know what they plan to do and if it will mean moving big trucks in and out of there.”

Nash explained that there were currently no plans for the property but that it would likely be office space or retail. He explained that Growmark is aware of the flooding in the area so whatever was built would need to address that. Rob Pierce, City Planner, stated that the zoning request was to change from industrial to commercial which would likely mean fewer large trucks on the property.

“Any development would have to come in with a site plan and through the planning commission or a conditional use site plan before council,” Councilman Andy Fulton said. “There would be time for staff and public meetings for anyone in the public to take a look at the development plans and offer their opinions.”

Councilman Dan Marabello asked if there was a possible office going on the property and Nash stated that there was already an office on some of the land.

“This was an issue that actually my predecessor Norm Hampstead, which I’m sure many of you are familiar with, had already thought that this property had been zoned commercial,” Michael Leighton, Safety Environmental Manager at Growmark, said. “So, it’s an attempt on our part to get the property in the right zoning for the area and fit in with the city’s comprehensive plan and we have no plans. There’s interested parties but right now but there’s no deals or contracts on the table. It’s just we want to get the property zoned property. So that gives us options and like Rob said anything that we may or may not go on there would have to go through planning and zoning for approvals anyway.”

Council approved the request unanimously.



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