Inland Wetlands Considers Complex off Spencer Plains Road


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The Old Saybrook Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission agreed to move forward with an area electrical contractor’s application to build an office and warehouse building off of Interstate 95.

The commission unanimously voted to accept and consider John Muir’s application for approval to build a 12,000 square foot building to serve as office and warehouse space, and a parking lot within 100 feet of wetlands on property he has contracted to buy at the corner of Spencer Plains and Buck Hill roads, just north of I-95 at exit 66. Muir said that he will use some of the space for his electrical contracting business.

The three-acre property includes about six-tenths of an acre of wetlands, on the southern side of the property, near I-95. The wetland drains through a culvert under Spencer Plains Road, engineer Joe Wren explained in a presentation to the commission for the applicant.

According to Wren, the lack of a culvert beneath the driveway bisecting the southern edge of the property created the wetland near Muir’s proposed building. The land had been cleared and stripped of its topsoil 20-30 years ago and was now overgrown.

Wren also said that invasive plants had taken root on part of the property, including on a man-made mound alongside the wetland. Muir plans to remove that mound entirely, Wren said, taking the invasive plants with it, restoring the area to its natural grade.

Wren told the commission that the design does not include curbing, to prevent water gathering, and uses crushed-stone aprons wherever water would flow off the pavement.

Commission member Alyse Oziolor said she would prefer they have a plan to manage invasives without using herbicides near the wetland. Wren said that the applicant would consult with soil and wetland scientist Richard Snarski on how they could be managed.

The commission is scheduled to decide on the approval of Muir’s application at its next meeting on July 16. Wren said that the project will also need a special exception as part of the zoning process, which will require a public hearing and engineering review.