A 500,000-square-foot warehouse is being planned in the shadow of a popular residential area.
Enfield town officials are facing criticism from some residents who say there was not enough transparency while reviewing the project.
“I’ve described it as if a bomb was dropped on us. By our own town government,” said Dale Butrymowicz.
Shocked and worried, residents of Enfield’s Misty Meadows neighborhood are voicing concerns today about a proposed warehouse and distribution center.
“We believe there hasn’t been adequate attention paid to the potential public health and safety issues,” explained Butrymowicz.
Proposed to be built on former farmland at 113 North Maple St., the building would house two tenants: Agri-Mark Dairy Products and another tenant still to be named. The facility would be constructed and owned by Winstanley Enterprises.
Nearby residents though say, not here.
“There’s tons of industrial space in town. This does not fit in a residential area,” said Tom Grigely.
According to operation plans, Agri-Mark would use the facility from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Semi-trailer trucks would be used for delivery, using as many as 45 trucks per day.
The list of concerns includes truck traffic, pollution, noise and road safety.
“When you think of tractor-trailer trucks, constantly pulling in and out. It’s a safety hazard for the kids,” said Lisa Batchelor.
The site application was received by Enfield Planning & Zoning on June 9, and was set to be voted on by that commisson at a virtual meeting June 25. According to posted meeting minutes, approval was delayed when a discussion prompted the coordination of a virtual public hearing scheduled for Thursday night.
“We now have the absolute minimum amount of time, they’re technically allowed to give us to prepare for this virtual public hearing,” said Butrymowicz.
NBC Connecticut attempted to contact Winstanley and Enfield Mayor Michael Ludwick but was unsuccessful. Two planning commissioners responded, declining comment but advising people to join the public hearing.
In an e-mail response, Deputy Mayor Donna Szewczak said, “the development of the large tracks of farmland in District 3 has been a primary concern to me.”
“The balance between preservation and development must include residents and owner of the properties. This parcel is zoned industrial and adjacent to residential, which may require more considerations such as buffers and operation limits.”
Not every resident in Enfield is opposed to the project, identifying it as needed economic development and a way of lessening the tax burden.
“We need to increase our grand list so we can do improvements to our roads our schools,” said longtime Enfield resident, Owen Jarmoc. “There’s gotta be a solution where we can all work together and kind of have a better solution for Enfield.”