WALLINGFORD — The Planning and Zoning Commission approved an expansion plan for a local cider company Monday evening.
Miguel Galarraga, owner of New England Cider Co., submitted the plan to the PZC in June.
The building at 110 North Plains Industrial Road is about 5,000 square feet and was built in 1976.
According to the application, the tasting room is slated to expand from 250 to 370 square feet, with an additional 80 square feet of outdoor seating.
The manufacturing area can be increased by 250 square feet, from 1,500 to 1,750 square feet. It requires the removal of a partition between the retail space and the manufacturing area.
The cider company shares the 0.92-acre parcel with Epic Masonry and Restoration.
Project engineer Michael Lambert, of Harry E. Cole & Son, said Monday that the plan re-arranges the parking layout and creates additional spaces. Two spaces adjacent to the road are slated to be removed. The fence line is slated to be moved to the property line, allowing parking spaces right up to the property line.
There’s also plans for a patio area in front and landscaping featuring apple trees.
Commission Chairman Jim Seichter asked about utility storage areas in front of the building and plans to screen them with movable plants instead of permanent landscaping.
Galarraga said planters are cost-effective.
“Just for simplicity, essentially,” he said, adding he would do permanent landscaping if requested. A small fence is also an option, he said.
Jim Fitzsimmons, commission member, asked Town Planner Kacie Hand if the Engineering Department submitted any comments.
Hand said she discussed the application with Acting Town Engineer Rob Baltramaitis, who’s currently the Public Works director, earlier on Monday.
“Generally, he didn't seem to have any objections or concerns in terms of drainage,” she said. “In terms of the driveway issue, he did express some concerns to me about the site lines … whether it’s really necessary to create some of those potential issues for two parking spaces.”
Hand’s recommended conditions of approval included clearing of all materials on site from the masonry business on the same property, updating the site plans and floor plans to consistently reflect the entire square footage of the building and reflecting the landscape buffer on final plans.