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May 12, 2023

South Windsor warehouse moratorium lifted, regulations adjusted

Contributed 555 Nutmeg Road North, South Windsor

A year-long temporary moratorium on warehouses and distribution centers will soon be lifted after the South Windsor Planning and Zoning Commission adopted new regulations related to the facilities.

The moratorium, put in place in April 2022, came at the request of a resident and was enacted by the commission to give officials time to review and adjust zoning regulations.

The new regulations, which will go into effect May 28, help better outline buffers for certain facilities. 

Warehouses more than 40,000 square feet in size and all distribution centers must be a minimum of 500 feet from nearby residential areas. 

Fulfillment centers and all bus and truck storage facilities must be at least 750 feet away from residential areas, and freight terminals must be 1,000 feet away, the new regulations read.

The commission was trying to look at use and intensity, how well a project fits in the community and how it will impact the surrounding community, said South Windsor Director of Planning Michele Lipe.

“These changes help protect the community and the neighborhoods from larger facilities being built right next to them, in hopes of minimizing noise and activity levels,” Lipe said.

“But we also have an industrial corridor that’s developable, so we still need opportunities for projects to occur,” she said. Existing businesses are exempted from the buffers and are able to expand under the new regulations.

The town has numerous large warehouse and distribution facilities, including Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Macy’s, Aldi and a future Amazon Last Mile Facility.

Some applications, in addition to submitting a site plan, may also require a special exception, Lipe said, as “another layer” of review and regulation.

Traffic studies may also be required on future development proposals, and the commission can regulate hours of operation.

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