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P&Z Reviews Request For New Barnabas Road Building



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Newtown Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) heard a proposal for the construction of a commercial building in Hawleyville during its meeting on April 21.

The agenda stated that Application 22.10, by Hawleyville Development LLC, is for a Special Exception and amendment to the Site Development Plan, originally approved April 1, 2004, for a property located at 64 Barnabas Road, to permit the construction of a new 6,600 square foot building with related parking, driveway, septic system, and drainage facility improvements adjacent to an existing commercial building.

It is shown in a set of plans titled, “Site Development Plans, 64 Barnabas Road, Newtown, Connecticut” dated September 13, 2021, and supporting documents submitted to the Land Use Agency March 30, 2022 — all of which can be accessed at the Land Use Department.

Steve Sullivan, a professional engineer with CCA LLC, represented the applicant.

He shared that 64 Barnabas Road is 2.6 acres and has an existing office building that is 9,900 square feet with 29 parking spaces on-site. It has an existing well, a two-part septic system, and a fire tank.

“We are proposing a 6,600 square foot building divided up into five tenants. No specific tenants at this point, but it would be similar uses to what is in the existing building,” Sullivan said.

There would be parking adjacent to the new building, existing building, and in the back of the buildings, totaling 48 spaces.

He explained that the existing driveway would be relocated “30 feet to the east” to be more centered between the two buildings. There would be a retaining wall created to not disturb the wetlands.

Also, Sullivan said that to create the new building they will need to reroute the town’s drainage pipes “to better filter the storm water.” The landscaping plan includes planting “canopy trees proposed at the end islands,” shrubs in the front of the property, and they will keep the existing wooded area.

For the erosion control plan, it includes constructing an entrance at Barnabas Road for machines, piping, catch basins, hydrodynamic separators, vegetated swale, detention systems, and hay bales.

For lighting, Sullivan said, “Essentially, we just have three lights purposed that are pole mounted.” There will also be lights under the sidewalk’s canopy overhang.

He mentioned that the applicant Steve Nicholosi, who owns Hawleyville Development LLC, was present and could relay more information.

Nicholosi informed the commission that the proposed building would have the “exact look” of the building at 23 Barnabas Road, and that he previously built.

Sullivan also added to the record, “We do have a buffer planting on the east side to screen this property from the adjacent residential property.”

Commission Questions

P&Z member Corinne Cox inquired if the lights will be on “24/7,” and Sullivan replied that they will turn on at dusk and shut off at dawn.

P&Z member Roy Meadows asked how much fill would have to be brought in to raise the foundation to get the site prepared.

Sullivan answered that he does not have that exact amount, but he estimates it “will be about a thousand yards.”

Land Use Agency Deputy Director of Planning Rob Sibley mentioned, “Being on the edge of the Hawleyville Design District one of the recommendations is connectivity. I see you have the sidewalks in front of the two buildings … Is there a crosswalk on the driveway between the two sidewalks?”

It was confirmed that is not currently in the plans, so Sibley encouraged them to include it.

Another aspect brought up was about the landscaping and he asked them to consider what trees can be established by the street. Sibley also said the refuse area will need to be enclosed with fencing.

Public Participation

Hawleyville resident Daniel Prall, who lives in the house adjacent to the site, said, “First and foremost, I’m here because I don’t want a big warehouse built directly next to my home. If you look at the proposed site, you can actually see that my driveway is right next to where they talk about putting screening in place.”

What concerns him the most, he said, is that the discharging sewer would be pointing right to his 1900s garage.

Prall added, “I like the idea that they are going to stand by the guidelines of the Hawleyville Design District, because the existing building on the lot does not adhere to those guidelines. More or less, for me, I’m very concerned it is going to have an adverse effect on the value of my home.”

He also brought up that he had concerns with the traffic and that the wildlife — which includes bobcats, deer, and turkey — would be negatively impacted.

Sullivan responded to Prall’s comment about the water runoff saying it will not affect his garage.

P&Z chair Dennis Bloom said he would like to keep the application’s public hearing open and that he wants to go out to visit the property. The commission was in favor.

The next regularly scheduled P&Z meeting is on Thursday, May 5, at 7 pm in the Edmond Town Hall Theatre. That meeting will include the continuance of a public hearing regarding a warehouse in Hawleyville that gained a lot of community attention in recent weeks.

For more information about Newtown Planning and Zoning Commission and upcoming meetings, visit newtown-ct.gov/planning-zoning-commission.

Reporter Alissa Silber can be reached at alissa@thebee.com.

Newtown Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed Application 22.10, by Hawleyville Development LLC, for the construction of a 6,600 square foot building at 64 Barnabas Road during its meeting on April 21.
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