NEWSFLASH: Baywater refiles revised downtown zoning amendment application

 

Downtown corbin

A rendering of a proposed redevelopment for downtown Darien created by Baywater.

After pulling its application after feedback from the Planning & Zoning Commission expressed the need for some changes, David Genovese, CEO of Baywater Corbin Partners, said Thursday a revised application had been refiled  with the Town of Darien.

See the new application here. 

The revised application is for a text amendment which would enable a redevelopment of a significant portion of downtown Darien located between Whole Foods Market and Corbin Drive, along the Boston Post Road.

The new application specifically addresses P&Z’s concerns about building height by reducing it in some cases.

Baywater has been working for over eleven years on this project, and in the last 18 months engaged the firms of Robert A. M.  Stern Architects, Gibbs Planning Group and Tighe & Bond to assist in the development of its plans.  Legal advisors to Baywater are Maslan Associates and Shipman & Goodwin.

“It became clear to us during the deliberations of our request by Darien’s Planning & Zoning Commission that the Commission was lacking critical information needed to consider our application properly,” Baywater CEO David Genovese said in a press release.

“The Planning & Zoning Commission also expressed during its deliberations some significant concerns regarding the height of some of the buildings proposed.  Given the requirements of the public hearings process, and the fact that the public hearings had closed for our initial request, the only way for us to properly deliver this information to the Commission was to withdraw our original application and re-file the request,” he said.

Genovese said they “have made significant modifications to the proposed text amendment in response to feedback received from and concerns expressed by Darien’s Planning & Zoning Commission.”

Genovese said the team realized it  “did not sufficiently inform the Commission of how each of the buildings we would like to build varies in terms of architecture and scale, as well as the key drivers of certain of our requests, such as interior ceiling heights required by the market today.”

The revised application includes details for all of the buildings, Genovese said.

“We have reduced the requested height of the tallest portion of the largest apartment building proposed for the project.  This building, as originally designed, had two wings of four stories each, with a center core of six stories.  We have modified this building’s design to be of four, five, and four stories,” David said.

Interior ceiling heights have been adjusted in several retail space, and the developers have “effectively committed” to a construction approach which will enable them to reduce the space required between floors.

These changes  mean that the tallest portion of the largest building proposed is reduced from the initial request of 93 feet, measured from the first floor of the building, to 69 feet (a reduction of 26%).  During their deliberations, Genovese said, the P&Z Commission members appeared to be comfortable with a maximum building height ranging from 65 feet to 75 feet.

:We hope that these modifications, taken together, will be sufficient for the P&Z Commission to work with us toward an approval so that our formal site plan application can be developed.  We look forward to working together with the P&Z Commission toward an outcome befitting of the Darien community,” Genovese said.

“The community support that we have received for our idea has been unprecedented, particularly for a project of this magnitude.  It seems clear to us that the people of Darien are very supportive of the concept that we presented, but the devil is in the details,” he said.

Based upon the new filing, it is expected that the first public hearing of Baywater’s revised request will occur in Nov. 2016.

Additional information can be found on the website Baywater created for its project, www.yourdowntowndarien.com and on the Town of Darien’s website, www.darienct.gov.  

 

 

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