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CHICOPEE — The Zoning Committee approved a zone change from Residential B to Business A for approximately 51,800 square feet to allow for a first-floor restaurant with residential uses on the upper floors at 22 Grove Ave. and 0 Grove St.

This zone change will also potentially allow site improvements and the construction of an additional parking lot.
Ridvan Turan, who owns the parcel, was at the meeting to present the project. He confirmed that the top two floors will serve as apartments with the bottom floor being a wine bar.

Turan said, “My project on the historic houses is to renovate and using that beautiful interior as a wine bar on the bottom floor and residential units on the top two floors. Also, I am planning to put a new construction in the future for whatever leftover land.”

Department of Planning and Development Director Lee Pouliot explained that Turan owns three parcels of land that abut one another including Falls Pizza and Craft Bar at 185 Grove St.

22 Grove Ave. is described as the red house on the street and 0 Grove St. are split zones.

The parking lot was predominantly Residential B with a third of the parcel being Business A and a small triangle of the parcel being Business A.

The request was to make both parcels all Business A which is consistent with the parking lot’s current use.
Pouliot further talked about the building on Grove Avenue.

He said, “I’ve had the opportunity to tour the structure at 22 Grove Ave. with the applicant. It’s a rather large single-family home at the moment and as we’ve talked about in previous meetings, converting some of these larger structures to mixed-use structures that have a residential component has been trending recently ruling to our need for housing units.”

In terms of the current proposed use, Pouliot mentioned that the Planning Department is cautious about the plan due to other potential projects coming up in the area.

He added, “From Planning’s perspective, this isn’t a very good, proposed use for this area, acknowledging the substantial redevelopment projects that will be happening in Chicopee Falls over the next few years with Brisa Development and the future redevelopment of the Uniroyal property.”

Although Pouliot mentioned that he and the Planning Department know other projects may be coming, they still support the applicant going though the process.

Pouliot added, “We are very supportive both of cleaning up the split zone situation here and allowing the applicant to apply for a special permit to do the mixed-use business and residential structure.”

The biggest concern that was addressed at both meetings was how traffic would access the new potential business, but Turan said they will be relying on their existing curb cuts off of Grove Street into their current parking lot to access any parking that would be shared between the two businesses.

There is no intention of bringing the traffic down Grove Avenue or on Pine Street which are residential areas.
Pouliot said that if the zone change and the special permit are both granted, he anticipates there will be a site plan review in place where DPW and engineering would have an opportunity to review any changes to site accessibility.

He added, “Any sort of traffic or parking analysis is not required at the zone change level. If there is a need for it that would happen at the site plan review.”

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