More apartments requested for development of ex-bottling plant

Posted: July 9, 2014

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — The co-owner of the former Coca-Cola bottling plant on Valley Avenue, with plans to convert it into apartments and office space, has brought forth another alternative to increase the number of residential units for the building.

The Planning Commission heard about the revised proposal at its work session on Tuesday, ahead of a likely vote at its regular meeting on July 15.

In October 2013, the City Council approved a Planned Unit Development overlay with two development options for the 1.295-acre lot at 1720 Valley Ave.

The two approved alternatives are Option A, with 5,678 square feet of commercial space and 18 apartments; and Option B, with 8,049 square feet of commercial space and 16 apartments.

The applicant and co-owner, J.A. Scallan, sent the city an additional plan, Option C, that calls for 23 apartments (10 two-bedroom and 13 one-bedroom units) and 5,678 square feet of commercial space.

In a letter sent May 30 to the Planning Department, Scallan wrote, “[T]his project will contribute to the comprehensive plan goal of making Winchester a “Community of Choice” by providing a unique residential experience that could appeal to a wide variety of potential renters.”

Despite the request for more apartments, Scallan wrote that the rest of the plan falls in line with what the council approved in terms of landscaping, buffers and parking.

In other business from the meeting, property owner John Flood requested the commissioners delay a recommendation to approve a conditional-use permit to convert the ground floor at 10 E. Clifford St. from an office to a residential use.

Flood explained he has not found a new office to replace the office space slated for conversion. The structure, built in 1910, was originally a single-family home, and sometime 30 to 40 years ago, it was split into two units. One side of the structure now has apartments on both floors; the second unit has office space on the ground floor with an apartment on the second floor.

Flood plans to reconvert the structure into a single-family house. Planning staff has offered a favorable recommendation for the use permit.

Attending the meeting at Rouss City Hall were Vice-Chairman Stephen Slaughter Jr. and commissioners Mark Loring, Martha Shickle and Kevin McKannan. Chairman Bill Wiley and commissioners Jennifer Beatley and David Smith were absent.

— Contact Derek Gomes at dgomes@winchesterstar.com