WALLINGFORD — The Planning and Zoning Commission is slated to decide next month whether to allow a local car hauling company to operate on a site that abuts a residential area.
East Side Auto Transport, headquartered at 32 N. Plains Industrial Road, submitted a site plan application in September to construct a 9,720 square-foot indoor car storage building on a 3-acres at 6 Research Parkway, across the street from the former Bristol-Myers Squibb facility. A plan to build two massive warehouses on the former BMS property was rejected by the PZC earlier this month after neighbors protested.
The company delivers new cars on 18-wheel car carrier trucks to dealerships along the East Coast. The business owns 35 trucks and moves about 2,000 cars a week, general manager Grant Kolton said last month.
The business obtained a wetlands permit on Dec. 5 and went before PZC on Jan. 14.
After commissioners raised concerns about the turning radius of car carriers, Dennis Ceneviva, attorney for East Side Auto Transport, agreed to withdraw the site plan application and reapply, which gives them more time to show how car carrier trucks will maneuver on the site.
Commissioners and Town Planner Kacie Hand said the site plan application will be on February’s agenda.
Ceneviva and Rosalind Page, Winterbourne Land Services owner and land surveyor, presented the application.
Page said they had not made calculations on whether there’s room to make turns onsite, but were informed of the area needed for operation.
“We have gone by the practical experience of the owner of the company, who drives these vehicles on a daily basis,” Page said, adding that there’s no standard car carrier vehicle size to refer to in studying turning radiuses.
The property is in the watershed protection district. Ceneviva said they worked with town Water and Sewer departments on storm drainage design, and that there won’t be any fueling, maintenance or repairs for any vehicles done onsite.
Ceneviva said the building would be 24 feet tall, have five bay doors and 7,800 square feet of storage area. The rest would be offices.
There would be some filling, but no excavation, he said.
About 12 to 15 car carriers a week would start loading vehicles Mondays at 3 a.m., be out on the road by 5:30 a.m., and then return Fridays around 8 p.m. There would be no weekend activity, he said.
The loading area would be fenced in for security. The fence would have privacy slats, no wire around top, and be a maximum of 8 feet high.
Visitor parking would be in front, outside of the fenced-in area.
A plan shows lights on poles and over each building door. Hand said there was some light trespass toward Research Parkway that needs to be addressed.
The property abuts Thorpe Avenue to the west. Neighbors raised concerns about truck activity.
Robert Kesilewski, of 117 Thorpe Ave., said he’s been “in trucking for 48 years.”
He wants a barrier along Thorpe Avenue to protect residents from truck noise and exhaust.
“You’re going to hear a lot of noise at 3:30 in the morning,” he said. “You’re going to have a lot of smoke in that area as diesels fire up.”
Hand said they have to comply with noise ordinance restrictions.
Will Brennan, of 75 Thorpe Ave., asked if a current makeshift driveway from Thorpe Avenue into the site will be used during construction.
Ceneviva said the subdivision approval doesn’t allow access from Thorpe Avenue, and there won't be any access during construction.
He added that the 120-feet area from the proposed development to Thorpe Avenue will “remain native with some additional trees” to act as a barrier.
The warehouses proposed for the Bristol-Myers property totaled 1.1 million square feet.