Smiler's Wharf area

The Seaport Marine area on the Mystic River. Google Maps

Editor's Note: This version corrects that Tuesday's hearing will be held at Stonington High School. 

STONINGTON — The Planning & Zoning Commission will continue a public hearing Tuesday at Stonington High School regarding the proposed Smiler’s Wharf project in downtown Mystic.

According to town planner Keith Brynes, the commission will have the opportunity for the first time to publicly ask questions about the project, which has generally been denounced by the surrounding community.

Applicant Harry Boardsen and his wife, Abbey Holstein, are asking for a zoning change from a marine commercial district to a mixed-use waterfront development zone for the project, which would allow for additional construction on the site.

Owned and managed by the Holstein family of Stonington, the proposed development on the parcel at 2 Washington St. includes building on 7.5 acres and reserving 4 acres for wetlands. Plans call for the construction of a restaurant, boutique hotel, apartment building, public plaza, boardwalk, and a new boat basin.

If approved, the complex would be built over a five years, officials said.

Meg Lyons, an architect for the project, said building heights would be about 15 to 25 feet higher than the other buildings in the area because of flood plain regulations.

Residents living close to the proposed project have almost unanimously lambasted it, maintaining it is out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood, and that increased traffic will further clog the streets and exacerbate the existing parking problem, among other criticisms.

The PZC will make no decisions at the Tuesday hearing, which will begin at 7 p.m. Brynes noted the public will only be allowed to comment on any new information presented on the project.

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