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Wetlands Aspects Of Industrial Project Slated For Hearing



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Wetlands Aspects Of Industrial Project Slated For Hearing

By Andrew Gorosko

Conservation Commission members have received a basic description of a developer’s proposal to construct almost 180,000 square feet of industrial space in a wet area off Edmond Road.

The commission, acting as the town’s wetlands protection agency, expects to receive more details on the project when it conducts a public hearing on the proposal at 7:30 pm Wednesday, September 14, at the town offices at 31 Peck’s Lane.

Engineer Larry Edwards, representing 5-K Enterprises, Inc, provided commission members with a basic description of the project at an August 24 session. The developer wants to build a total 179,625 square feet of enclosed space in the form of four buildings for the storage of construction equipment, warehousing, and office space. The sizes of the four proposed structures are 91,875 sf, 37,500 sf, 35,250 sf, and 15,000 sf. An Edmond Road warehouse/industrial complex would be constructed in two phases during a five-year period.

The applicant is seeking a wetlands permit to do construction work among wetlands on the undeveloped 27-acre site on the west side of Edmond Road, which is a private road. The site lies in a wooded area behind the Newtown Shell Service gas station at 67 Church Hill Road.

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) was scheduled to conduct a public hearing on the night of September 1 on 5-K Enterprises’ request for a change of zone for the industrial project, after the deadline for this edition of The Bee. The applicant is seeking a change of industrial zoning for the site from M-2 to M-5.

Mr Edwards told Conservation Commission members August 24 that he expects the town would want Edmond Road to become a town-owned road in connection with the proposed industrial development.

Conservation Commission Chairman Sally O’Neil told Mr Edwards the panel will need much technical information to review the wetlands permit application for the project.

That information would include scientific analyses of the soil in the area, site plans for areas where wetland crossings would occur, descriptions of the area’s ecology, the proposed locations of all structures, the proposed conservation easement areas where the site would remain undisturbed, chemical analyses of bodies of water on the site, hydrological information, landscaping plans, descriptions of devices that would be built on the site to preserve water quality, and the extent of impervious surfaces that would be present on the site, among other details.

Attorney Robert Hall, representing the developer, said there is no way to develop the buildable area of the site without crossing wetlands to get to that area.

The proposed use of the site would provide a place for small local contracting businesses to legally store their equipment in a safe and secure environment rather than in backyards, Mr Hall has said.

“Where do you cross [the wetlands]? That’s really going to be the question,” he said.

The site holds extensive wetlands and steep slopes, posing developmental constraints. The applicant proposes the alteration of wetlands on the site, including the construction of four wetland crossings. Approximately 1,000 cubic yards of earthen fill would be moved in the process.

The current owners of the site are Harriet B. Edwards, Trustee, and Reid S. and Nancy C. Barker Family Limited Partnership.

Future plans to realign the southern end of Edmond Road, so that it forms a four-way intersection with Church Hill Road and Commerce Road, would require the cooperation of the Edmond Road industrial site’s owner, as well as the owners of businesses on Church Hill Road. The town would need to accept Edmond Road as a public road before such an intersection realignment could occur.

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