Plans for second Amazon facility in Wallingford delayed over traffic concerns

WALLINGFORD — A decision on Amazon Logistics’ plan to operate a warehouse and distribution center on South Cherry Street has been delayed as the Planning & Zoning Commission takes a closer look at traffic generated by the facility, particularly during periods of peak volume.

The commission voted to table a decision on Amazon’s application until its April 13 meeting. Commission members were concerned they were not given a revised traffic study prior to the meeting Wednesday.

“From my perspective, I’d certainly like the opportunity to look at” the revised study, said Chairman Jim Seichter.

However, Kermit Hua, owner of KWH Enterprises and peer reviewer for the commission, did receive a copy of the revised study provided by Amazon and had his own reservations.

One issue Hua highlighted was Amazon’s projected ceiling of 275 delivery service partners entering and exiting the facility during July Prime Day and holiday peak seasons. Delivery service partners are the independent contractors who operate delivery vehicles for the company.

“We need to look at the 275 (delivery service partners) per weekday scenario,” he said.

Additionally, Hua cited potential issues with traffic at the John Street and Route 5 intersection and the possible need for another left-hand turn lane from Ball Street to Pent Road for any tractor-trailers exiting the facility.

Jeff Dewey, an engineer from BL Cos. in Meriden, said the creation of another left turn lane at Ball and Pent would potentially make the facility non-compliant with town zoning regulations, which require 50 feet of frontage between the warehouse and neighboring streets.

Amazon Logistics is a shipping and delivery service that uses third-party contractors to pick up and deliver customer orders after they’ve been processed at fulfillment and sorting centers.

Packages would arrive at the 425 S. Cherry St. warehouse, called a “delivery station,” on tractor-trailer trucks from Amazon fulfillment and sorting centers. From there, the packages would be sorted by zip code for delivery by vans and personal cars. Amazon operates a sorting center on Research Parkway in Wallingford and a fulfillment center in North Haven.

A total of about 130 vans would depart between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and return between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. after completing their routes with any non-deliverable packages.

The company anticipates about eight tractor-trailers would deliver packages to the Wallingford delivery station overnight and in the morning, primarily between 10:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. Van loading would be primarily between 12:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., with about 125 Amazon workers entering and leaving during that time period.

Additional parking totaling 234 spaces is proposed at 528 S. Cherry St., on property owned by Allnex.

Tim Ryan, Wallingford’s Economic Development specialist, urged the commission to accept the proposal.

“I remember when American Cyanamid was there, when Cytec was there, and they had upwards of 1,000 employees … over 300 people coming and going every single day and I would submit that the traffic we’re talking about now is less than there was before,” he said.

ebishop@record-journal.com203-317-2444Twitter: @everett_bishop

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