Enfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission held a virtual public hearing Thursday to discuss a warehouse project some residents are opposing. They, along with developers, were able to discuss the project in more detail in a meeting that lasted several hours, before voting to approve the project.
Winstanley Enterprises already owns several Enfield properties. During Thursday’s hearing, company Principal Adam Winstanley explained the project, emphasizing a commitment to Enfield.
“I've attended economic development events in town and I value the community that we've invested in,” he said.
The project appeared to pass by unanimous vote during the virtual hearing.
"I think by allowing a public hearing on this, you gave these people false hopes when we knew we were bound by the regulations," said the commission chairman after the vote. "They didn't like it, we didn't like it. But we had no choice and I don't like the way it went down tonight. And I hope to work with them in the future so we can prevent things from this happening. I will say they should just be thankful that Winstanley is the partner they have next to them."
The project at 113 North Maple Street calls for construction on industrial zoned property. A 500,000 square foot warehouse is proposed to be constructed on former farmland adjacent to residential area. It would have two tenants. Agri-Mark dairy products and another tenant are still to be named.
“The biggest concern really is tenant B,” said Kathleen Sarno. “We don’t know who tenant B is and that is very concerning to us.”
Among the other considerations is traffic. 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 Monday through Friday and up to 15 on weekends.
This is within a mile from Hazardville Memorial Elementary School. Officials say a traffic study has been done and the CT Department of Transportation is reviewing but some are concerned.
“The traffic study should be done including the norm before the current work at home and closed school situation,” added Ken Estvanik. “It needs to account for the bus and drop off traffic. That was not included.”
Before the public could speak, Winstanley gave a thorough presentation. Addressing traffic, noise and environmental concerns.
Would-be tenant Agri-Mark said they would be a good addition to Enfield.
“Being that we are family-owned, we strive also to be very good stewards of the land and stewards of the environment,” said Agri-Mark Chief Operating Officer Jeff Saforek.
According to meeting minutes at a planning and zoning meeting on June 25, Adam Winstanley was open to Thursday's virtual public hearing but said at the time, the meeting could delay the beginning of construction which, upon approval, they hoped to begin in August.