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Terrain parking plan OK'd with promise to the moth ball historic building

Published 2:25 pm, Saturday, August 3, 2013
  • The Terrain store on Post Road East has won approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission for a plan to set aside addtional parking on its site as long as the garden center agrees to preserve a historic building. Photo: File Photo / Westport News
    The Terrain store on Post Road East has won approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission for a plan to set aside addtional parking on its site as long as the garden center agrees to preserve a historic building. Photo: File Photo

 

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The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved Terrain garden center's proposal to "moth ball" a historic house on its Post Road East property, a measure that will not require additional parking and helps to resolve a controversial site plan application.

"The gray house (previously, the Dress Barn building) shall be retained on the property in its current condition with no changes to its exterior and will be maintained for appearance, security, internal environment controls and weather," reads the resolution sent to Urban Outfitters, the Terrain parent company. "The interior shall not be used for any purpose that requires additional parking."

In June, Terrain sparked controversy when it filed a plan to demolish the building to create extra parking. Opponents were particularly upset by that proposal since store officials had promised not to raze the house when the initial plan to open the store on the site of the former Curran Cadillac dealership was approved in 2011.

Terrain officials' revised proposal was to "seal off" the house rather than use it for office or commercial purposes. The approved plans call for the release of 29 reserve parking spaces on the eastern side of the 1.61-acre property.

Much of that reserve parking is now covered by greenhouses, plants and garden equipment. Terrain uses on-site valet parking and zoning officials have asked them to activate the reserve parking to accommodate the needs of patrons. But Terrain officials seemed loathe to remove part of the merchandise area to accommodate the need for more parking spaces, and initially wanted to demolish the house to provide extra parking.

Public outcry led Terrain officials to reconsider.