Milford Planning Board gives conditional approval for warehouse

MILFORD – A warehouse can be built behind the Brennan & MacKay appliance dealership, but the builder must work with planning office to develop a landscaping plan and bring it back to the board.

At the planning board’s April 23 meeting, the board gave conditional approval for a 4,000-square-foot warehouse at 276 South St. The building would be used only for storage and replace storage units.

The decision was a compromise, because board member Paul Amato said the application, which the board looked at for the first time that night, was not even ready for review because it included no landscaping plans.

Initially, board member Janet Langdell and community development director Lincoln Daley said the board should consider the landscaping that’s already on the site and perhaps have them add a tree or two. Langdell said to consider the context: The warehouse would be built on a paved area and there is already some landscapping on the site.

But Amato said the zoning ordinance calls for a specific landscape plan.

“This is a warehouse, and the ordinance says” it needs bushes around it, he said.

Brennan & MacKay has been in Milford for decades. Amato said it should not be treated differently than any applicant and objected to the fact that builder Gerry Tanguay and Glendale Homes offered no landscaping plan and did not request that the town’s landscape requirements be waived.

“We just had an applicant we ran through the ringer for four months” making sure landscaping and other requirements were met, Amato said, referring to the Dollar General Store on Wilton Road that the planning board approved earlier the same night.

“Our job is to treat everybody fairly … I don’t want to be accused of (being) a good-old-boy town,” he said. “Because you’ve been here a long time, you don’t even have to acknowledge we have ordinances?”

Tanguay apologized and said he had no intention of sidestepping town regulations.

To avoid having the applicant wait another month for a waiver, the board voted unanimously that it must indicate on the plans the lighting, work with staff to coordinate the aesthetics of the existing building with the warehouse and bring the plans back on May 7 for a compliance hearing.

Kathy Cleveland may be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.