By Lisa Capobianco
The Southington Planning and Zoning Commission tabled a proposal to change the industrial zone area of Wonx Spring Road to a residential zone, after the applicant requested to keep the public hearing open prior to establishing a more developed plan.
“We felt that this would be in the best interest of the community,” said Engineer Stephen Giudice of Harry E. Cole & Son, which is representing the applicant.
If the commission approves the change, residential lots could be developed on the 32.9-acre property, which manufacturing company Square D formerly owned. In October, Planning and Zoning approved the original plan, which requested for a nine-lot industrial subdivision. Months earlier, residents of the neighborhood spoke out against the original plan, expressing concern of safety, traffic and quality of life. After the Conservation Commission and Planning and Zoning Commission approved the original plan, residents filed a lawsuit.
“We believe this would add a positive impact from a traffic perspective,” said Giudice during last week’s Planning and Zoning meeting, adding that trucks transporting in and out of the subdivision served as a major concern for residents of Wonx Spring Road. “We think it is the best fit for the residential surroundings.”
Meanwhile, Wonk Spring Partnership, LLC will work on a conceptual development plan for residential lots, and will resubmit it to Planning and Zoning during the next meeting, reported Giudice.
Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo was in favor of the original plan, calling the nine-lot industrial subdivision a “tremendous need” for the town. Perillo said industrial development would benefit the town with more tax revenue, more services to residents and more opportunities for employment.
However, he empathized with residents who live on Wonx Spring Road, expressing his understanding for their concerns.
“I understand the concerns of the residents, and I get it,” Perillo said during the meeting, requesting that planning and zoning find an alternate area to replace the acres of lost industrial space in Southington, since a two-acre parcel of the Industrial Drive subdivision remains for sale. “It is just a difficult situation.”