Under new ‘Golden Triangle’ zoning, Olde Mistick Village hotel could have 160 rooms

Under new ‘Golden Triangle’ zoning, Olde Mistick Village hotel could have 160 rooms

The Westerly Sun

STONINGTON — With the passage of a zoning amendment allowing increased building height and density in the Tourist Commercial zoning district, the owners of Olde Mistick Village can go forward with their plans to build a hotel.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the amendment Tuesday after a public hearing on May 2.

The village is owned by Joyce Olson Resnikoff and her brother, Jerry Olson. Resnikoff operates the Martin Olson Irrevocable Trust, which submitted the application to the Planning and Zoning Commission for the zoning change.

With the amendment approval, the maximum allowable height of buildings in the tourist zone, TC-80, will change from 40 feet to 50 feet. By special use permit, the maximum height could also be increased to 65 feet for architectural features and gabled roofs.

The maximum floor area ratio will also rise from 0.3 to 0.75, or 30 percent to 75 percent, representing a 150 percent increase. Floor area is calculated by totaling the square footage on every level of a building. Floor area ratio is the ratio of the a building’s total floor area to the size of the building’s parcel of land.

Chris Regan, manager of Olde Mistick Village, said the proposed facility, which is in the conception state, would have a spa, two restaurants, a convention space of about 18,000 square feet and structured parking underneath for about 125 cars.

“I’m looking at a hotel that’s going to be sizable, potentially about 160 rooms, about 140,000 square feet, and it’s going be a good impact for TC-80 and the aquarium and the seaport,” he said.

The Tourist Commercial zone comprises 22 properties sited within the “Golden Triangle,” bound by Coogan Boulevard, Route 27 and Jerry Browne Road. Two vacant sites within the zone could be developed and some of the properties are considered to be in need of renovations or redevelopment.

If all of the properties within the triangle were built to maximum standards, tax revenue could be increased by about $3 million, according to the town’s planning department.

With the previous floor area ratio at the 30 percent, redeveloped properties would likely have been constructed as single story buildings used for fast food restaurants or strip malls, which are considered less desirable and have less revenue potential for the town than multistory buildings with larger footprints.

The town economic commission’s stance was that the regulations in the Tourist Commercial zoning district weren’t well aligned with the triangle’s economic opportunities, said Jason Vincent, director of planning for the town.

Though only a few vacant lots are available for construction of new buildings in the area, the zoning change may prompt some property owners to re-evaluate how their sites are used, with an eye toward creating more profitable facilities, Vincent said.

“It could mean taller buildings in the neighborhood in general, and more buildings in neighborhood because the floor area ratio regulates how much construction is allowed,” he said. “It’s a completely commercial district, most of it’s built out, but this may get some property owners to rethink how their property is designed and developed, and they may redevelop their sites,” he said.



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