MERIDEN — The city’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission agreed with city staff this week that plans for a car wash at 577 S. Broad St. on the town line would not harm area wetlands.
The panel will act on the proposed car wash next month, according to city staff.
Hutton Street 21 LLC filed the application for the car wash on the property with the associated site and drainage improvements impacting 17,750 square feet.
The property is the current home of Il Monticello restaurant and banquet facility, which has been on the market for several years, but continues to operate out of the location.
Members of the Colella family, who own the property, declined to comment on the proposal because there is no final sale and the business is still accepting bookings.
The site is partially in the city of Meriden and partially within the town of Wallingford. Hutton Street’s proposal is located within Meriden borders, with grading on the Wallingford portion of the site.
The application proposes the demolition of the existing banquet hall building and associated surface parking areas to build the car wash. The application involves filling and constructing pavement and stormwater systems within the upland review area. The upland review area of the property is currently paved with primarily gravel, according to city records.
Hutton Street has indicated that its proposal reduces the impervious coverage of the property by 40.4%. The company also states that 80% of the water used in the operation will be recycled, with any remaining water being disposed of through the municipal sanitary sewer system.
“So they (the commission) deemed it a summary application, or having minimal or no impact,” said Associate City Planner Brian Grubb.
City business advocates were hesitant to discuss the plan because Il Monticello remains open and active. Economic Development Director Joseph Feest said plans for a car wash at the location were discussed several years ago but never materialized.
Feest said the current plans could also take years to materialize and the banquet hall is still in operation.
Il Monticello is one of few remaining banquet facilities in Meriden and Wallingford since the closure of Villa Capri, and more recently Zandri’s Stillwood Inn, both on Route 5. Banquet halls were severely harmed during the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdowns cancelled bookings and relief programs and loans had steep eligibility requirements based on employee numbers.