Stratford, CT, Considers MARL Properties Self-Storage Proposal

A zoning hearing for a new self-storage facility in Stratford, Conn., was continued on April 25 to allow the town engineer to address several questions in relation to possible flooding and a sewer line. Property developer MARL Properties LLC purchased the two-parcel, 3.2-acre site at 771-815 Barnum Ave. Cutoff, which is in a light-industrial zone near Main Street. It borders commercial, retail and residential zones. The site also includes wetlands and abuts the Longbrook waterway. It contains two vacant buildings and had been previously used for industrial and other purposes, according to the source.

A zoning hearing for a new self-storage facility in Stratford, Conn., was continued on April 25 to allow the town engineer to address several questions in relation to possible flooding and a sewer line. Property developer MARL Properties LLC purchased the two-parcel, 3.2-acre site at 771-815 Barnum Ave. Cutoff, which is in a light-industrial zone near Main Street. It borders commercial, retail and residential zones. The site also includes wetlands and abuts the Longbrook waterway. It contains two vacant buildings and had been previously used for industrial and other purposes, according to the source.

The plans call for a three-story facility comprising 99,648 square feet of storage space in 900 units. It would include 20 parking spaces as well as loading bays and a basement that can be accessed from the back. The site’s current five driveways would be reduced to two, forcing a combined main entrance and exit.

The building would be 40 feet tall in the front and 51 feet high in the back due to a slope on the property. A tower with glass windows would dominate the front of the structure, according to architect Andrew E. Graves of BL Cos. “It’s in scale with the surrounding uses,” he said.

During the meeting, town engineer John Casey raised questions about flooding, the use of fill in a flood plain and an existing sewer line. Although Jeff Bord, the engineer representing MARL, addressed some of Casey’s concerns, the zoning commission asked the town engineer to review the revised plans, the source reported.

The project has received inland wetlands approval. A 50-foot natural buffer would be built near the brook and wetlands, and new trees would be planted along Barnum Avenue Cutoff. MARL also plans to undertake a “heroic cleanup and restoration of the wetlands” because the area has been used as a dumping ground, said John W. Knuff, the attorney representing the firm.

The sewer line would be relocated. A storm-water management system would treat water run-off before it’s released into the brook, Bord said.

Additional concerns from board members included the impact on abutting properties, driveway access and the facility’s outdoor lighting.

Dr. Louis Pieper, who owns the adjacent Barnum Animal Hospital, also expressed his concerns about the project. Although not entirely opposed to it, adding a driveway adjacent to one of his own could create problems, he said. Pieper also noted the area flooded in 2008, leaving abandoned vehicles and trash on the site.

Zoning chairman Stephanie Philips also questioned why the project doesn’t currently contain a retail element. Knuff noted retail wasn’t permitted in the area’s zoning.

MARL is based in Norwalk, Conn.

Sources:

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