Bethel First Selectman and Town Planner Support Stony Hill Inn Proposal

“I'm one hundred percent in favor of it” says Knickerbocker


A proposed development at The Stony Hill Inn property on Route 6 would replace most of the existing structures on the property with close to 200 housing units and about 45,000 square feet of commercial space.

The developer, Randy Salvatore, the founder and president of RMS Companies, said the development would include the site currently occupied by the Stony Hill Inn and the Stony Hill Golf driving range. However, the picturesque pond on the property will remain untouched.

“The pond is definitely going to stay, that's going to be the centerpiece of the development,” he said. He added the existing gazebo on the property would be replaced and his company will “build a new one that is a lot bigger.”

. Many of the nearly 200 residencies in the proposed development would be geared to young professionals or retirees without kids. Salvatore plans to buy the property from the Rubino family if the development is approved. A final plan for the development proposal will be submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission within the next 45 days and the approval process for the project will start.

One of the goal's of the proposed development will be to create a second town center and community gathering point. Proponents of the project believe it will help generate tax revenue and boost economic development along Route 6.

Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker was unequivocal in his support of the project.

“I think that that development would be a very good thing for the area and for the town of Bethel,” he said. “I've seen the architects renderings of it, I think it would beautify that stretch of roadway and would be a very positive thing. I'm a hundred percent in favor of it.”

Bethel's Town Planner, Steven Palmer, also made it clear he thinks the development would be good for the town.

“While a formal application and final plans have not been submitted, the conceptual site plan is an outstanding example of mixed use development, blending residential and commercial uses,” he said. The plan is consistent with the goals to provide more housing choice to Bethel with the addition of quality rental housing, and housing for young professionals and those empty nesters.”

He added, that “the density [of housing] proposed will not only support the proposed new commercial development on the site but will also benefit other existing businesses and may spur new commercial development on the Route 6 Corridor.”

Palmer said the Planning Commission is behind the project and believes it will encourage economic growth in Bethel.

“Its the Commissions belief that the anticipated success of this development will encourage further economic development of the Route 6 Corridor,” he said. “There is already anticipation among other owners and we are beginning conversations with them about what is possible on several properties.”

Although some Bethel residents worry that the development could cause traffic issues on Route 6 and the density of the housing would adversely effect Bethel's small town feel, Salvatore said the vast majority of the feedback he has gotten about the project has been positive.

“I think it's going to be exciting to bring positive activity to that area both in terms of neighborhood retail and in terms of housing. I think it's going to be exciting for the town in addition to the financial benefits it will bring the town,” he said. “I think it's really a win, win type of proposal and I think that so far the people that we've talked to in the town, including the Planning and Zoning people, and the administration, are really excited about it.”

Wayne Addessi June 26, 2012 at 02:48 AM
It sounds like a great idea to incorporate residential and commercial. I would like to see the plan more closely. I would hope that the planners, town officials look at the possibility of a definitive conceptual plan adding new sidewalks and bike lanes to the route 6 corridor. Bike lanes can be added to the street level with textured pavement delineating between vehicular lanes and the actual bike lane much like the highway features textured safety paved edges identifying the edge of the highway just before the breakdown lane.
Wayne Addessi June 26, 2012 at 02:51 AM
This combination is much better than strictly commercial. With nearly 200 new homes this created an automatic added feature to the commercial base there. I think an age restricted or child restricted deveopment is a problem for many single parents these days. I was recently speaking with a developer who sees a need for condo or townhouse units that cater to such a need. I would hope that there is consideration for this need.
Maria Woods June 28, 2012 at 12:53 AM
This is insanely bad planning on the part of the Town of Bethel. I am embarrassed to say this is the first I have heard of this 200 unit complex at the Stony Hill Inn. The last I heard it was an assisted living facility. Now there is a proposal by the Arch Diocese of Bridgeport to build 80 condominiums on the property at 36 Stony Hill Rd that backs on to MacNeil and Hawleyville Rd. This is not the commercial development that was originally explained to the residents of this area. The traffic is going to be horrible. This delopments will have a very negative impact on the surrounding single family community of the Stony Hill Rd area. The drag race at 5 o'clock from exit 8 up to the Vail Rd/ Stony Hill Rd intersection is going to be unimagineable. And trying to get on I-84 in the morning by the Mobil Station with all those young proffessionals how is that going to work? Now, without the additional 280 units, when there is an accident on I-84 the traffic spills over to back up the route six corridor creating bumper to bumper traffic all the way to Newtown. I have not seen any improvement in the property tax situation. In spite of the increase in commercial real estate our property taxes continue to go up.
Tired of incompetence September 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM
The town of Bethel Planning commission is a joke! Adding more Condos will make an already horrible traffic situation unbearable. How can we get rid of these incompetent people who's only method of operation is to increase the tax base at the expense of making residents life miserable.
Tired of incompetence September 28, 2012 at 10:49 PM
One more thing. Adding more traffic will add danger to the community. The enforcement of traffic regulations in this town is a joke. No one stops for stop signs. No one abides by the speed limits. On my street where the speed limit is 30 mph people routinely drive 50-55 mph without any thought of the consequence of harming a pedestrian or bicyclist. The police seem to not take notice or care to enforce the law.


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