NAUGATUCK — The Zoning Commission has cleared the way for a Tractor Supply Company to be built on New Haven Road.
The commission unanimously approved last week special permits for NERP Holding and Acquisitions, LLC, for earth excavation and commercial development at 1160 New Haven Road. The permits will allow the construction of a Tractor Supply Company on the property.
The Tennessee-based national chain store, which bills itself as a “rural lifestyle retail store,” is set to build a roughly 19,000-square-foot building on the property. In addition, the site will include a 15,000-square-foot concrete pad for storage.
Jim Cassidy, owner and project engineer at the Rocky Hill-based Hallisey, Pearson & Cassidy Engineering Associates, presented the plans to the commission. He said the concrete pad will be used to store items that are too big to fit into the store, such as sections of fence or brush hogs, which are large mowers that attach to the back of tractors.
The store will be built on the 3.6 acre parcel of land at the corner of New Haven Road and Candee Road. It will also have a tractor trailer turnaround located on a 0.5 acre parcel of land at 1152 New Haven Road, Cassidy said.
Both parcels of land are located in the New Haven Road Design District.
According to borough officials, construction is expected to start in September and take about 160 days to complete.
Tractor Supply Company operates over 1,500 retail stores in 49 states, according to the company’s website. According to the website, it offers a variety of merchandise, including equine, livestock, pet and small animal products; hardware, truck, towing and tool products; clothing and footwear; and maintenance products for agricultural and rural use.
The store will have 76 parking spaces, not including the spaces designated for its display trailers.
“Believe me, for all the Tractor Supply stores we have done, 76 spaces is going to be more than adequate,” Cassidy said.
The land has a fairly steep grade, rising from 326 feet near New Haven Road to 380 feet at the back of the property. Cassidy said the company will regrade the lot so the portion for the store is flat and the parking lot is at a 2 percent grade, which will help stream rain water towards the catch basin at the edge of the lot.
While the commission favored the project, residents of Candee Road weren’t pleased with the location for the store.
Although the store’s address will be on New Haven Road, the driveway will be located on Candee Road due to the steep grade.
Kelly Bratchell, whose property is directly across from the proposed driveway, said she is concerned about the safety of her children.
“We’re a little freaked out right now. We have two young kids. I don’t want a commercial property directly across from my house. If we knew that we would never have bought this house,” Bratchell said.
Bratchell wants to see the entrance moved to New Haven Road.
“Why can’t it be on New Haven Road? It is a commercial property so it should be on New Haven Road. It shouldn’t be coming up a residential street,” Bratchell said. “I know because of the incline it will cost too much money for them. But that’s them. We live there, this is part of our daily life.”
Due to the steep incline, Cassidy said, the project would need extremely steep retaining walls along a driveway coming off New Haven Road. These walls would make the project unfeasible, he said.
Lorrie Millette, who lives next door to the proposed store, was concerned about a commercial building in a residential neighborhood.
“First of all, we are concerned about decreasing our property values. Having a commercial business right in our back yard is not something that makes us very comfortable,” Millette said.
Millette added the store will impact the day-to-day lives of Candee Road residents.
“What is that going to do to our lifestyles in the neighborhood? It is going to decrease our privacy and decrease the security in the area, which means more noise, more pollution, increased activity. This means more people in our neighborhood that wouldn’t normally be there, maybe wandering around in our property,” Millette said.
Millette felt a Tractor Supply Company isn’t needed in the borough.
“A Tractor Supply Company in Naugatuck that bills itself as a rural lifestyle retail store. I don’t see much need for that type of store in a town where zoning changes have taken away many families’ rights to raise livestock on their properties. Farm equipment, livestock feed, and supplies don’t seem to be a real demand in this town,” Millette said. “Naugatuck may have been a rural town at one time, but not now. And talking about tearing down even more homes to replace with a commercial building is not my idea of rural.”
The Zoning Commission, Inland Wetlands Commission and Fire Commission have all approved the project with conditions. The conditions include that the routes for the trucks excavating the property be submitted to the borough; fire officials inspect where the company places its propane tank and be allowed to determine whether the company needs to install sprinklers; trucks must wash their tires before leaving the site while under construction; cement trucks may not wash their tailings within 50 feet of any wetlands; one year after the project is complete a design engineer will inspect the storm water system.