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June 2, 2022

Warehouse hesitancy continues as Enfield officials discuss regulation changes


Enfield officials are contemplating tighter controls over creation of new warehouses in another example of pushback from north-of-Hartford towns following several years of intense logistics development.

Enfield’s discussion comes as upset residents have filed legal challenges to land-use approvals for a new 817,000-square-foot logistics center off Bacon Road. It also follows recent curbs to warehouse development in nearby towns.
In April, South Windsor’s Planning and Zoning Commission adopted a year-long moratorium on applications for new warehouses and logistics centers. That moratorium was first proposed by a resident upset by traffic and quality-of-life impacts and was bolstered by like-minded residents.

The temporary ban is intended to allow South Windsor officials time to craft regulations giving locals greater control.
Windsor officials adopted tighter regulations in May without resorting to a moratorium. Under the new rules, warehouses are no longer allowed by right in industrial and warehousing districts. Instead, applicants must gain a special permit from Windsor’s Planning and Zoning Commission. That means the application is subject to a public hearing, and the commission can consider residents’ concerns when setting conditions for new developments.

Lewis Fiore, chair of Enfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission, said commission members began looking at tighter controls after hearing concerns about traffic, noise and other impacts from people in various parts of town. Enfield leaders also wanted the commission to look into tighter regulations after seeing action in other towns, he said.
Fiore personally would like to see a special use permit, much like the one employed by Windsor. He said he doesn’t want to stop development, but rather allow for stronger local control and input.

Fiore said warehouse developers have worked to be good neighbors, but that hasn’t completely cured concerns of traffic, flooding and other impacts.

“My perception is I believe there is a majority of commissioners interested in looking at what Windsor did and looking at if it’s feasible for us to make some of those changes,” Fiore said.

In two meetings in May, Enfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission dismissed the idea of a moratorium, but largely agreed to explore changes to regulation. Enfield officials have reached out to Windsor to learn more about their recent changes. 

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