WALLINGFORD — A local auto dealership wants to be able to wash vehicles at an off-site vehicle storage site on Route 5 that lies in a water protection area.
The Planning and Zoning Commission considered a permit revision Monday for Executive Auto Group owner John Orsini at 1254 S. Broad Street, the former ServPro location near the Meriden town line.
The PZC granted the existing permit in February.
Monday’s remote meeting began 50 minutes late due to technical difficulties in launching the GoToMeeting application. Discussion on whether to grant Orsini a revised permit was slated to take place after press time.
The current permit allows the storage of up to 120 vehicles, with 84 outside and 36 inside.
No car washing or detailing can be done on site because the property lies in the aquifer protection area for the town's public drinking water supply wells on Oak Street.
According to a Dec. 7 memo from Erik Krueger, Water and Sewer Divisions senior engineer, vehicle washing is not allowed unless all wastewater is disposed of through a connection to a publicly-owned treatment works.
Orsini constructed an extension of the municipal sanitary sewer system to the property and sewer service to the building, including an oil-water separator for vehicle washing that was activated in October.
He also submitted a registration to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for the wastewater discharge, but Krueger’s office has not received the certificate yet.
There’s the possibility the vehicle detailing, which uses less water, may be allowed.
Before Servpro, the site was owned by Wallingford Auto Center and had an aquifer protection area registration to conduct auto repair and maintenance, according to an email earlier this year to former Town Planner Kacie Hand from Kim Czapla, environmental analyst at the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
When the property was sold to Servpro, the registration was not transferred and has since expired, the email said.
According to town records, Orsini purchased the 2-acre property in August 2019.
The existing 11,784-square-foot building is slated to be used for offices and some indoor vehicle storage. An additional 15 parking spaces outside of the fenced-in storage lot would be used for business parking.
The outdoor storage lot would be part paved and part gravel, with the drainage tying into an oil-water separator.
Executive Auto Group was founded in 1972, when it opened Executive Honda on Route 5. From there, it added several more brands and currently operates Kia, Honda and Dodge Jeep Ram dealerships, as well as the former Valenti Chevrolet, in Wallingford. Executive also has nine other locations in North Haven, Berlin and Hartford.