The expansion is a minor addition to the north side of the store, which will add a grocery to the building. The addition will make the building a total of 147,000-square-feet, according to John Knuff, an attorney representing Wal-Mart.
The commission’s yes vote was the last step in the approval process for the special permit, paving the way for Wal-Mart to start construction in the spring.
“The plans were very complete, and I was satisfied with all that they’ve done,” Borough Engineer Wayne Zirolli said.
Construction isn’t expected to substantially impact traffic on New Haven Road, but Vice Chairwoman Diana R. Raczkowski requested Wal-Mart use a flag man to direct trucks removing earth as they leave the site.
The commission approved the removal of 1,200 cubic yards of material from the 1100 New Haven Road site in a separate vote. The earth removal will be done over a two to three month period, Knuff said.
The commission required Wal-Mart to test wells within 1,500 feet of the construction site before and after blasting.
The commission also required Wal-Mart to maintain a six-foot safety fence around the construction site and add additional trees and shrubs to soften the parking lot.
The company is also removing pine trees at the entrance, which block drivers’ views and replacing them with smaller shrubs.
Once the expansion is complete, the parking lot will have 65 trees, 226 shrubs, and around 200 perennials, according to John Brodeur, a managing engineer at Doucet & Associates in Northampton, Mass.
“It seems like it’s going to look very nice,” said Raczkowski.
The commission also amended the plan to allow Wal-Mart to expand to a 24 hour store, if they decide it would be profitable in the future. The store is currently open between 7 a.m. and midnight, according to Knuff.
No one from the public spoke on the issue.