Hops Co. improvements, water tank construction before Derby Planning and Zoning tonight

March 26, 2019

DERBY-Two sometimes controversial proposals may get their answers when the Planning and Zoning commission meets tonight.

The public will get their chance to speak in favor or against the one million water storage tank which the South Central Regional Water Authority proposed to build on a wooded section of land at the far end of the school complex on Chatfield Street. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the aldermanic chambers at City Hall.

The proposal includes building the storage tank and also building a construction staging area on 1.25 acres of land currently owned by St. Peter and St. Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church.

The Regional Policy Board of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority approved the construction of the water tank which will serve 13,000 customers in Ansonia, Derby and Seymour.

Ansonia Fire Chief Michael Ehman, Derby Fire Chief Robert Laskowski and Charles Sampson, a former Derby fire chief and current aldermanic president all urged support for the storage tank. They explained that water pressure in that area is low and it becomes a concern whenever there is a fire. Additionally, Griffin Hospital which is located in that service area also is impacted during peak demands.

If approved construction could begin once school ends in June.

A previous attempt to build a two million gallon storage tank on Telescope Mountain on Summit Street was withdrawn after city officials and neighbors complained about the location so close to a residential area.

Meanwhile, the commission will discuss and possibly rule on the latest request by The Hops Co., which has been voted the No. 1 beer garden by Connecticut Magazine.

Their proposal calls for turning an existing building into a 929-square foot facility with handicapped accessible bathrooms, a bar, basement storage facility and a slightly bigger banquet area as well as relocate and reconstruct stand alone outside bars on the Sodom Lane site.

Sampson and several residents spoke against the proposal last month while Anita Dugatto, the city’s former two term mayor urged the commission to approve The Hops request.

After several months of public hearings the commission rejected a proposal to designate The Hops Co. as a special development district which would have allowed them to expand and make on site improvements approved by the commission. The Hops is located in a residential area and given a non-conforming use status which prevents them from expanding.