Three new building projects approved

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Mon., Feb. 14, 2011
Town Planner Michele Lipe reviews the building plan for the FedEx home delivery distribution center. Photo by Martha Marteney.
Town Planner Michele Lipe reviews the building plan for the FedEx home delivery distribution center. Photo by Martha Marteney.

Three building projects were recently reviewed and approved by the South Windsor Planning and Zoning Commission at a Feb. 8 meeting.

According to Town Planner Michele Lipe, the applications were well-received by the commission and were approved with the technical condition that any remaining permits and bond requirements are fulfilled.

The largest project is the construction of the new distribution facility for FedEx home deliveries, to be located on approximately 60 acres on the northern side of Sullivan Avenue and the easterly side of Kennedy Road. The construction is set to be done in two phases, with 288,901 square feet total. It is expected that the location will be operational by 2013, with the Phase I building being 220,000 square feet, with approximately 600 parking spaces. The total build-out is to be completed by 2017, with 1,000 parking spaces.

As this location is relatively flat, the perimeter will be built up with berms, which will be planted, to provide a visual barrier to the site. The site will be surrounded by a chain-link fence for security. Traffic will access the site via Kennedy Road, where there is currently a stop sign. The project must still be reviewed by the state traffic commission, as Sullivan Avenue is state Route 194.

Senior Environmental Planner Jeff Folger explained that there was some intrusion in the wetlands on the field portion of the FedEx project, but that they were able to create a wetlands area elsewhere on the site, so that there was no net decrease. The new wetlands area will be created by excavating down to the water table in order to create a wetlands environment, which will then be planted with native wetlands plants. “They were able to successfully deal with the natural resources on-site,” Folger said in a telephone interview. There will also be a significant area left untouched along Troy Road.

The second project approved by the PZC is a 15,870-square-foot, two-story medical office building, located at 1559 Sullivan Ave. and 29 Community Road, diagonally across from the public library. “It’s a nice-looking building going in, and we’re pleased with that,” Lipe said before the meeting.

The town’s access management regulations guided the Sullivan Avenue access for this project. A left-turn exit from the property will not be permitted. Sullivan Avenue will be widened in order to provide an additional lane for cross-traffic turning into the property. Minor changes to the existing Colonial Corner off Ellington Road will be made for the purpose of access. A sidewalk network will be added both on Sullivan Avenue and into the Colonial Corner parking lot.

There was a wetland area of approximately 20,000 square feet identified on the federal wetland map, which thus required soil samples for the medical office building project. The area was a mowed lawn and was actually considered a “remnant area,” which no longer functions as a wetland in terms of the vegetation supported and the evidence of a wetlands eco-system. Nonetheless, the project was modified from a one-story to a two-story building, reducing the building footprint, and located away from the area, which was a benefit for the access, as well. “From our point of view,” said Folger, “it was a win-win.”

There were no wetlands issues with the third project, the New Country Auto used car dealer and general repairs shop to be located at 280-302 Sullivan Ave.  There were no significant changes proposed for the site. “It’s always good to see a project on an existing site being reused,” said Lipe.

The planning department also has several non-building projects on the table.  This spring, the town will be issuing a request for proposal for the updating of the town plan. 

Lipe said the planning department will also continue to make its website more user-friendly. Several regulations and maps, as well as meeting agendas and minutes, can be accessed on-line through the town website at www.southwindsor.org.


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