Zoning approves industrial development


By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Civil engineer Michael Lambert discusses plans for an industrial development during the Zoning Commission meeting Aug. 18 in Naugatuck Town Hall. –ANDREAS YILMA

NAUGATUCK — The Zoning Commission on Aug. 17 unanimously approved a special permit application for an industrial development that borough officials hope someday becomes the proposed “Port of Naugatuck.”

The borough submitted the application for the project, which will be built on mostly vacant land off Elm Street between the Naugatuck River and Cherry Street Extension. The project includes a 322,100-square-foot industrial or warehouse building, two pads for future industrial buildings planned to be about 162,000 square feet and 65,000 square feet, respectively, and associated parking.

The project also calls a railroad spur and a container yard between the train tracks on the site and the river as well as a 350-by-60-foot fuel cell pad.

The development will be built on roughly 86 acres of land owned by Lanxess Corporation, which is a successor to Uniroyal Chemical and has an agreement to sell the land to the borough.

A couple of residents who live near the site expressed concerns to the commission via Zoom that the development will increase noise and traffic in the area, and be an eyesore.

“We want it to be done in a way that is as minimally intrusive to the neighbors or anyone else,” Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess told the commission. “When we get to site plans, we’re totally open to finding ways to make it better than it used to be.”

Officials hope the development turns into the “Port of Naugatuck,” a proposed intermodal transportation hub that would use the freight rail line that runs to the site to transport goods to and from trucks and trains. The port would be built using private and public funds.

If the port doesn’t come to fruition, the development would be an industrial park tentatively dubbed “Naugatuck Industrial Commons.”