Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 6, 2005

Winsted rejects site plan for new chiropractic office

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

Following the recommendation of the planning commission, Winsted City Council voted Tuesday at a special meeting to deny Dr. Tim Sheehan’s request for a new downtown chiropractic facility.

The site plan Sheehan submitted to the city called for a 3,750-square foot building that would house his chiropractic offices and a health and fitness center. The proposed facility would be constructed on Second Street South, between Harwood’s Body Shop and The Pantry.

While Sheehan’s plan met all of the setback and parking requirements for downtown zoning, the planning commission had issues with the amount of traffic that could potentially be caused at the alleyway south of The Pantry that exits onto Second Street South.

Another issue brought up was that the building location is not consistent with the downtown district rezoning, according to the city.

Sheehan said he did not completely understand the problems with the plan, but wants to cooperate with the city.

“Don’t get me wrong, I want to do what’s right for all involved,” Sheehan said, noting he also needs to ultimately do what he feels is best for his business.

Sheehan said his first choice was rejected a while back by the planning commission, and he was told to come back with other proposals for the lot.

He returned with nine different proposals for the lot, with some including widening of the alleyway between Sheehan’s property and The Pantry and making it a two-way (which he said he was not in favor of), parking entirely in the rear of the facility, and other options.

Sheehan said when the planning commission reviewed the revised plans, and the mayor and city administrator reviewed the plans, they each came up with different opinions as to which one would work.

At the council meeting, Sheehan also presented several photos of similarly constructed medical facilities, which have parking in the front of the facility. He said he has a problem with having parking only in the back of his building, and said it’s harder to get people in and out of the facility.

“Tim is here pleading his case, and if I were Tim, I’d be doing the same thing,” said Council Member Tom Ollig, who later made the motion to deny the site plan.

“We want businesses to be downtown,” Ollig said, “but we want to maintain some consistency as well – it’s an oxymoron.”

Sheehan said he is still planning on moving his business out of his home, and is hoping to have property located on Baker Avenue rezoned to locate his establishment there.

“It doesn’t really matter where I’m at,” Sheehan said. “I’d rather be uptown, but I’m not going to set goals that I have to be there.”

To get the ball rolling on the rezoning process for the property on Baker Avenue, a public hearing needs to be set.

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