Controversial Apartment Complex Plan in Bristol on Hold

The developer withdrew a zoning change application but intends to reapply later this year.

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Plans for a controversial apartment complex in Bristol are now on hold.

The developer wants time to regroup amid mounting concerns, including public backlash to plans for about 100 apartments to go in off of Redstone Hill Road in Bristol near ESPN.

“We wanted to step back, let everyone calm down,” said Timothy Furey, the developer’s attorney.

Furey withdrew an application for a needed zone change before a public hearing at Bristol Central High School even really got underway on Monday.

“I would have like to have had the neighbors be able to speak their minds tonight and that’s why all these people came out,” said Cheryl Thibeault of Bristol.

This hearing was planned after so many people showed up to a Zoning Commission meeting two weeks ago it had to be postponed because of safety concerns.

Many are fearful about the apartment complex’s potential impacts including to the environment, property values and traffic.

“It just takes away from the character of the neighborhood,” said Andrew Alling of Bristol.

“I’m worried that, you know, that my kids or any other kids in the neighborhood could be at risk,” said Rob Parenti of Bristol.

On Monday it was also revealed there was an effort to influence some commission members.

“Some of you received improper communications,” Wyland Dale Clift, Bristol's Corporation Counsel, told commissioners.

The city won’t say much beyond that, except that it did not come from the developer and steps were taken to address it.

As for the future of the project, the developer intends to move ahead and hopes to clear up misconceptions from traffic to the plan itself.

“This would be a high-end project. It’s in an area that could be properly fit in on the site. It’s adjacent to condominiums. It’s adjacent to an industrial zone,” said Furey.

At the last meeting, it was announced the Zoning Commission chairman resigned though the reason has not been publicly revealed.

We’re told a new application for a zone change could be filed in late Spring or early Summer.

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