MONROE, CT — Solli Engineering is proposing a regulation amendment to allow sorting and handling facilities as a new use in Industrial 2 Districts.
If the Planning and Zoning Commission approves it, Kevin Solli, principal of Solli Engineering said his client, A&B Mechanical, will bring forward a special exception permit application for a facility on its property at 588 Pepper St.
On Thursday, he told the commission the owner is starting A&B Hauling, a business renting out dumpsters.
According to the amendment, Solli said all storing and sorting of materials brought back to the property in dumpsters would be done inside a building.
“There would be size restrictions to minimize and ensure the use doesn’t exceed the size of the operation,” Solli said.
In addition to any restrictions and guidelines in the town’s regulations, Solli said there are permitting requirements from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection with standards regarding these types of operations.
The regulation amendment petition application is for proposed modifications to Sections 2.2.1, 10.1 and 10.2 of the Monroe Zoning Regulations.
According to the proposed use, property owners meeting the requirements would have to apply to for a special exception permit and site plan approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission.
“The intent of this application is to allow Town of Monroe businesses to intake, handle, separate, and then export construction and demolition materials within an enclosed building,” the application says. “This enables these types of businesses to continue to grow in Monroe without being dependent on businesses in neighboring towns where these types of operations are currently permitted, thus providing cost savings to the businesses and its customers.”
Solli said this type of use could be limited to lots that are a minimum of three acres with a maximum building size of 20,000-square-feet. Parking requirements are a minimum of one space per employee.
The proposed amendment defines a sorting and handling facility as: “a facility for the intake, handling, separation, and exporting of various CT DEEP defined construction and demolition materials.”
Several commissioners said the definition is too vague on what types of materials could be handled.
“You have to change that,” Chairman Michael O’Reilly said. “It could be radioactive material. It could be asbestos. You have to bolster the definition.”
“I actually don’t mind this,” Vice Chairman Bruno Maini said of the application, but added, “are we listing materials we can and cannot handle?”
“That would come with a special exception permit application,” Solli said. “If we get past this step, that’s where we would have the in-depth discussion on what materials can be handled.”
Maini said the materials the facility could potentially be handling can get “a little scary.”
“These are one of the major things we talked about, what are you handling? What’s coming in? What’s going out?” he said. “We have to be careful as a board to see if this is something we really want. This is something I made clear to the representative of A&B at the subcommittee meetings.”
“As part of an application, I think we would have to have a manifest,” said Commissioner Leon Ambrosey. “I’m afraid someone could come and do something else. We don’t want contaminated soil. We have to do something to make sure we’re covered.”
Ambrosey said the commission also must make sure the guidelines are consistent enough that there will not be a problem if the commission approves one application and denies another.
“We did discuss this at length in subcommittee,” said Commissioner Robert Westlund. “I feel some things got watered down before this meeting. Materials have to be named. We don’t want this to turn into a dump or a recycling facility.”
Westlund asked if no materials other than materials from A&B’s business would come to the facility. Solli said it would only be A&B’s.
When dumpsters are rented out, Westlund said paint cans and other undesirable materials could be tossed in with the permitted materials. “I want at least initial oversight to see how this is working and to ensure all of our environmental concerns are met,” he said.
If a renter puts things in a dumpster that does not belong there, Solli said it would be a violation of the service agreement.
Solli said he understands Ambrosey’s and Westlund’s concerns and could offer additional supplemental language to the application.
Westlund said A&B has a good business and he’s not saying they have bad intentions. He just wants the details.
Secretary Ryan Condon echoed Westlund’s concerns and said he wants more details on materials so “when people apply they won’t be shocked when we say, ‘we don’t want this.'”
Dominic Smeraglino III, an alternate on the commission, said, “this will bring a lot of truck traffic — dump trucks and noise. I don’t see any good with this. How do we know restrictions are being followed?”
Solli said Arnie Jones, owner of A&B Mechanical, would be happy to come before the commission and give more specifics on his business. “We can certainly come with stronger language,” Solli added.
One person spoke during the public comment portion of the hearing.
“The whole thing is very vague,” said Kathleen Alderman of Purdy Hill Road. “It sounds like a garbage disposal area. It could have biohazards. It just sounds like a garbage dump to me, sorry — especially with what happened in Fairfield.”
The hearing was continued to next meeting.
All respectful comments with the commenter’s first and last name are welcome.