BRISTOL, CT (WFSB) – Hundreds of Bristol residents packed a zoning board meeting on Monday night to fight back against a proposed apartment complex.
Homeowners are claiming this proposed development would change their neighborhood.
Due to the amount of people who showed up, the meeting had to be postponed.
“The room is unsafe. The police officer here had said the room is unsafe, so we have an alternate meeting date,” said Robert Flanagan, Bristol City Planner.
The city’s Zoning Commission was meeting to consider a zone change for development of the complex, which is the first step in the process.
Homeowners concerns with the proposed complex are increased traffic, possible flooding, even overcrowded schools.
"Don't change the character of the neighborhood. This backs into people's backyards that are right there," said William Forces.
Developer Joseph Naples has only provided limited details about what he wants to do, but wants to change the zoning for three lots on Redstone Hill Road.
Naples' attorney, Tim Furey, argues the complex would be great for the city. He says it's already a busy area and the lot is adjacent to an industrial zone near hundreds of other apartments.
"We are getting a lot of feedback from area businesses and factories, etcetera, that this is exactly what they need to attract and maintain young professional into the area," Furey said.
The properties are currently zoned for single family homes, but the Zoning Commission will consider whether or not to change that to allow for multi-family buildings.
The public hearing has now been moved to January 27 at Bristol Central High School, which can accommodate a larger crowd.
Neighbors worry about the quality of life in the neighborhood and nearby schools.
“There's a lot of problems already within the school and there's not enough staff to take care of it,” said Jennifer Legani, of Bristol.
She said it’s already hard to get help for her daughter at Greene-Hills School, which serves the neighborhood around Redstone Hill Road.
The developer wasn’t available for comment on Monday.
The proposal is just for a zoning change. Any plans for homes or apartments would need still need the necessary permits.
“The process itself, if they were to be approved tonight, would be site plan, special permit, all types of different opportunities for the neighbors to have a say in,” said Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu.
It’s possible this could take multiple meetings.