No Appeal Filed Over Warehouse Exception Denial | The Newtown Bee

2022-07-26 18:11:18 By : Mr. Tony Chen

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Wharton Equity Partners, LLC, has not filed an appeal of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s decision to deny its application for a warehouse on the property at 10 Hawleyville Road.

The developer had until July 1 to file an appeal, but nothing has been filed with the town, according to Land Use Director George Benson.

Wharton had been seeking a Special Exception to M-2A Zoning for the property at 10 Hawleyville Road to build a 344,880 square foot warehouse. P&Z denied the application, 3-2, at a meeting on June 16, following two months of public hearings filled with residents heatedly opposed to the project.

With no appeal, this closes the door on that application. However, it is possible in the future that Wharton or another company could file a new application to build a similar project on the site.

Benson said the lack of a filed appeal is “obviously good for the town,” as it would “automatically have to legally defend any appeal.”

“This means we don’t have to spend taxpayer money on a court case,” said Benson.

Benson also noted that a resident, Donna Trimarchi, one of the intervenors that opposed the warehouse application, has filed an application for a six-month moratorium on warehouses to give the town an opportunity to “develop restrictions and standards” regarding warehouse developments in Newtown. (See separate story in today’s edition.)

Wharton did not respond to attempts by The Newtown Bee seeking comment.

The hearings on the warehouse application spanned five evenings, starting in early April and ending in mid-June, and featured presentations by Wharton on their proposal and later addressing concerns about the proposal, and residents airing objections concerning traffic, air pollution, and noise pollution.

At the April 7 hearing, Wharton representatives said the proposed warehouse was a “less intense” use of the 104 acre property than any of a long list of prior projects proposed for the property that never came to fruition.

Those projects included the Mendik Newtown Corporate Office in 1979; a 200,000 square foot medical office building with a 90,000 square foot mixed retail building and 335 age-restricted apartments in 1997; the GE corporate headquarters in 2003; and Newtown Crossings in 2011 — which would have been a 527,000 square foot mixed retail building with 184 residential units and a 100 room hotel.

The property is zoned Industrial M-2A, which allows warehouses as a special exception.

The property is bounded by I-84 to the north, Hawleyville Road to the West and Mt Pleasant Road to the south. To the east is undeveloped property.

The project is also near some residential neighborhoods.

“This is a great opportunity to accomplish the town’s long-standing goals,” said Cody. “This project is more clean and less intense than previous [proposed] projects.”

At that same meeting, Attorney Ray Parks, representing various intervenors, classified the proposal as a “truck terminal” and said it would be a “24/7 beehive of activity.” He raised concerns about trucks circling the local area waiting for an opportunity to unload amidst long lines to access the property.

A number of intervenors spoke over several meetings, challenging Wharton’s traffic study and saying that traffic would be snarled across Newtown, raising concerns about the noises from trucks unloading day and night, and expressing worry about potentially toxic emissions from large amounts of tractor trailers near their residential homes.

The commission’s split 3-2 decision stemmed from reservations among commissioners about how the 76 bay door proposed warehouse could be used. Commissioners were also very concerned about traffic, as many nearby intersections had low levels of service and long delays, as well as noise and light pollution. Commissioners also expressed concerns that an alternate member of the commission asked Wharton to perform a sound study on multiple occasions and the developer refused. One commissioner, Corinne Cox, said the site plan “did not fit into the area.”

Associate Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at

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