Monday, August 3, 2009

Milford's Al Dente Gets A Parking Deal

The Planning and Zoning Board has approved a “shared parking” proposal in Devon, which will allow Al Dente’s Restaurant the use of five municipal spaces in a lot the eatery’s owners sold to the Devon Revitalization Committee earlier this year.

Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said the lease agreement between the city and Joseph Arcudi, Christina D’Archangelo and Daniel Bagley, the owners of Al Dente, was needed to ensure the eatery was still in compliance with city parking requirements.

Earlier this year, the Devon Revitalization Commission purchased a lot at 120 Bridgeport Ave. from the restaurant owners in an effort to create much-needed parking opportunities downtown. The committee paid $160,000 in state money for the land, which was expected to provide 12 new spaces.

Richetelli said as part of the continuing streetscape improvements in Devon, especially along Naugatuck Avenue, the city needed an easement through Al Dente’s, and the restaurant ended up losing five spaces. As a result, the city agreed to lease the restaurant five of the newly created municipal spaces.

“It will be a non-exclusive use. If someone wants to park and go somewhere else, they can,” Richetelli said. “It’s very common downtown, the idea of shared parking.”

Richetelli said the municipal lot now is serving as a staging area for the streetscape upgrades along Naugatuck Avenue. He said the lot has been re-engineered and will accommodate 17 vehicles, instead of 12. Riche�telli said he hopes the lot will be available for public use in the fall.

The zoning board voted unanimously to approve the lease agreement.

PZB Vice Chairwoman Kim Rose, D-3, said she did not vote because she was acting as the board’s chairman for the evening, but she personally does not believe in shared parking.

“I know that’s not popular,” Rose said.

Rose said sacrificing five municipal spots would adversely affect nearby businesses. But PZB member Kevin Liddy, R-4, said he thinks the deal “shows the city works well with private enterprise for a win-win situation.”


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