NEW MILFORD — A Domino’s Pizza will soon open on the Village Green.
The eatery will be in the old CVS building at 41 Main St. and will have 14 seats. It will take up about 2,160 square feet.
Discussion at a recent Zoning Commission meeting, where the store was approved, centered around what a national restaurant would mean for the small town character of the Green and how it would meet a need for late food options.
Supporters said the simple facade and wooden sign proposed would respect the feel of the area. They said a Domino’s store is locally owned and operated so the approval would support a small business owner who will participate in the community. Others said the town needs more food options that are open late.
“Who else is offering a quick bite at night?” said Paul Szymanski, a councilman, adding it is also close to places where children and families gather, such as the Maxx, the athletic fields and Canterbury School.
He said the owners worked to ensure the appearance reflected the area charm and maintained certain features of the original building. He reminded the commission that it will occupy a building that already housed a chain.
“They respect the Green,” he said.
Opponents argued having a chain on the Green would change the historic character and worried the restaurant closing at midnight would encourage people to loiter.
Cindy Davis, a resident, said the Green has a lot of pedestrian traffic and Domino’s should go somewhere else that was better suited to its fast-paced delivery model.
“The character of the Green is sacred,” she said.
Fellow town resident Helen Applebaum agreed it would disrupt the ambiance of the area. She said people visit New Milford to see a historic small town.
“To see a Domino’s on the Green is a slap in the face,” she said.
Zoning Commission members said their job is not to decide which businesses can locate in town, only if the proposal meets the land use classification for that area, which they said the plan did.
Commission member Sharon Ward said the applicant went even a few steps beyond what was required of them to meet the regulations. She added the hospital does not serve food late and as a visitor she appreciates the option Domino’s presents. She said it is up to parents to prevent their children from staying out late, not the town.