SOUTHINGTON — In a special meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a Wendy’s restaurant on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike.
The short meeting was held to avoid delays with the restaurant’s construction, according to commission Chairman Michael DelSanto. At its meeting last week, the commission delayed a decision on the Wendy’s application after one member raised concerns about the building’s placement on the property.
It is planned for the east side of the AMC movie theater entrance at 1799 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike.
Vice Chairman Paul Chaplinsky wanted the restaurant built farther back from the road to match surrounding buildings. David Sacco, an engineer with TPA Design Group of New Haven, said the Wendy’s owners didn’t want to push the building back because they wanted it easily visible to drivers on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike.
On Wednesday, DelSanto said the commission had talked with town planners and restaurant representatives.
Town Planner Rob Philips had recommended against the commission denying the restaurant site plan based on the building placement. He said the plans met the town’s setback regulations and that owners were within their rights to place the building where it was proposed.
“State law says if a site plan meets the site plan regulations, the commission has a duty to approve it,” Philips said.
That doesn’t prevent commission members from suggesting or requesting changes for aesthetic reasons, according to Philips.
Sacco said construction could start in August.
The five PZC members at Wednesday’s special meeting voted unanimously in favor of the restaurant plan. Chaplinsky wasn’t in attendance since he was out of town.
DelSanto said the commission’s next scheduled regular meeting wasn’t until July and thanked commission members for meeting sooner. He didn’t want to make the restaurant owners wait until next month for approval and push construction back.
“That’s the big thing,” DelSanto said.
Chaplinsky said he didn’t have any further concerns if the rest of the commission supported the application. He said the town should raise concerns and work with developers on changes when possible.
“Sometimes it’s going to happen, sometimes it’s not. But that’s part of the process,” Chaplinsky said.
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