MONROE, CT — Galbo Provisions Inc.’s refrigerated trucks have been delivering meat to wholesale customers for 43 years, but the business has outgrown its headquarters in Fairfield.
On Thursday night, the Monroe Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved an application allowing the company to relocate to a lot on the former Stevenson Lumber property on Monroe Turnpike.
Anthony Galbo, the company president, said he has been looking for a new site for four years before finding an opportunity in Monroe.
“I’m glad I found it,” he told the commission at a hearing Thursday. “This allows me a permanent home and allows me to expand. I’m really excited about that. We’re a local family business just looking for a permanent home.”
Galbo said his business operates from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. The trucks leave at 3 a.m. and are back by 1 p.m., then he works out of the office until 6, Galbo added.
The former Stevenson Lumber property at 1585 Monroe Turnpike and 421 Old Zoar Road was most recently used by Truss Tech, a manufacturing facility for pre-engineered roof and floor wood trusses.
The property lay dormant for years, before Kimball Family Investments, the Planning and Zoning Commission and land use staff worked together to revitalize the site. Text amendments and a zone change established the new Stevenson Business District 2, expanding permitted uses to attract businesses there.
Galbo Provisions Inc. is the second tenant to be approved for the old lumber yard. In July, the commission approved a site plan for Zwally Hauling, LLC, which provides tri-axle dump trucks to transport construction materials to job sites. That business is moving from Bridgeport to Monroe.
More old buildings are left to refurbish for new tenants, but there is growing interest. John Kimball, a consultant for the applicant, said a manufacturer is currently interested in the Truss building.
Galbo Provisions Inc.
Larry Edwards, an engineer from J. Edwards & Associates in Easton, presented the site plan for Stevenson Properties LLC by Kimball Investments LLC.
Galbo Provisions Inc. will move to Parcel No. 2 on the site, where there is an existing building and a storage shed.
Town Planner Rick Schultz said this is a mixed use development with warehouse distribution, office and retail uses.
The main building, which has a loading dock in back, will have a distribution area and refrigeration units inside. It will also be used for offices with retail space on the higher floor available for at least one more tenant. There will be sidewalks outside the building, according to Edwards.
Edwards said Galbo will have a fleet of 16 trucks. Eight will park in a row of spaces outside the building and the other eight will park in the storage shed, he said.
Town Engineer Scott Schatzlein asked the applicant to have islands on either side of the row of parking spaces for the trucks. But Kimball asked the commission not to require that because his client will want to expand the building in the future.
The commission agreed not to require the islands.
The plan will reduce the amount of impervious surface by 11 percent — reducing stormwater runoff from the site — and include an extensive landscaping plan. The stormwater management plan includes a dynamic separator unit that ties into the existing drainage system on the site.
Christopher Hull, an architect with CAH Architecture and Design LLC, a Cos Cob firm, presented the plan for the buildings. Both will be a gray-blue color.
Tracy Chalifoux, a landscape architect from Danbury, presented the landscaping plan, which includes a tree lined driveway and a planting plan that is 50 to 60 percent native species.
Trees and perennials will be planted, along with grass for lawn areas. There will be a berm area by the east parking lot and evergreens will be planted for beauty and screening, according to Chalifoux.
Part of the inspiration for the landscaping plan comes from an existing old oak tree on the site. “We’re creating a theme of oak trees along Route 111,” Chalifoux said.
There is a slope where grass will not grow, so Chalifoux proposed planting 1,000 vinca minor (periwinkle plants) to “blanket and stabilize the hillside.”
Lois Spence, vice chair of the Inland Wetlands Commission, spoke as a private citizen during the public comment portion of the hearing. She noted periwinkle is an invasive species, so she said the applicant may want to consider something else.
But Chalifoux said the plants would be isolated and expressed confidence it could be contained to its location. Planning and Zoning Commissioners did not see a problem with it.