Stroudwater project plans tweaked ahead of final decision


With a public hearing and Westbrook City Council vote set for Monday on the rezoning of land between Stroudwater Street and Westbrook Arterial, an agreement has been reached between city officials and developer J.B. Brown & Sons to address issues such as traffic flow and the type of residential development.

Approval of the rezone would result in the purchase of the parcel by J.B. Brown & Sons, turning the property into a roughly 45-acre zone for potential commercial development, and a 15-acre zone for possible residential development.

Vincent Veroneau, president and CEO of J.B. Brown & Sons, first presented his company’s proposal to the Planning Board last month. The preliminary plan called for some 18 housing lots stemming from Stroudwater Street, with a variety of development taking shape off the arterial, which might include retail space, a small hotel, and a possible multi-family dwelling, which could be allowed under rezoning.

The request before the council is to change the contract zone known as “Stroudwater Place,” which was an ambitious, 1.6 million-square-foot project proposed by former landowner Jason Snyder in 2008. Following foreclosure last year, the land was sold back to mortgage lender Kimco Capital.

During a meeting in January, councilors voiced concerns about the possibility of multi-family housing on the site. The possibility of turning over some of the property to the building trades program of the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center was also suggested.

As part of the revisions to the agreement, J.B Brown would grant the city the option to acquire three of the proposed 18 house lots, for the cost of developing the lots with the necessary infrastructure.

The agreement also stipulates that the residential zone would prohibit the development of multi-family structures and establish an easement for a 10-foot buffer between the entire residential and commerical zones, allowing for the construction of a walking trail.

However, the agreement is contingent on the City Council approving the zone change and J.B. Brown purchasing the property.