by Michael TorelliHerald Staff
The lack of a lighting plan resulted in the Planning and Zoning Commission taking no action on a proposed new office trailer at the bus depot along Sandbank Road.
On July 22, Commissioners reviewed a special permit application submitted by the Town of Cheshire for the relocation and enlargement of the office space at the Cheshire School District’s bus depot, located at 157 Sandbank Rd.
After reviewing the application, however, Commissioner Matt Bowman asked if any new lighting was being proposed as part of the project. He questioned if a lighting plan had been submitted to the Planning Department.
John Milone, president of engineering firm Milone & MacBroom Inc., said that there would be light fixtures mounted on the building, but that there were no other proposed changes to on-site lighting.
Despite Milone’s assurances, Bowman requested to see a lighting plan before the Commission took a vote. Milone offered to provide specific information to Bowman, but Bowman said the application was incomplete without such a plan and, thus, should not be voted on.
“I’d like to see the application complete,” he said. “We’re in a public hearing … it needs to be addressed during the public hearing.”
Milone confirmed that a plan would be submitted.
“That’s fine,” stated Milone. “We’ll address the lighting question.”
As proposed, the existing double-wide 1,400-square-foot trailer will be replaced with a new triple-wide, 2,160-square-foot unit, which includes increases to both the square footage of the space and the number of restrooms available for men and women — from one each to two. The new trailer will also be compliant with the American with Disabilities Act, according to Vincent Masciana, chief operating officer for the District.
Acquiring the trailer is part of the new contract between the District and its bus service provider, Dattco. The two parties entered into a five-year agreement that began on July 1 and will conclude on June 30, 2024 and, as part of the contract, Dattco is supposed to bring a new office trailer, Masciana said.
“It was agreed that Dattco would replace the existing trailer,” explained Masciana. “That trailer is well past its useful life–I’m being kind–and it’s being replaced with a new, larger trailer.”
Milone said that the bus depot covers approximately 2.4 acres of the 3.26-acre lot made leased to the Town by the state of Connecticut. The bus depot abuts the Cheshire Correctional Institution.
The plan is for Dattco to situate the new unit so that it runs parallel, lengthwise, to Sandbank Road. Once installed, Dattco will remove the existing trailer.
In the five-year capital expenditure plan being considered by the Town Council, the Board of Education requested $125,000 to improve the remaining .85 acres of bus depot land. The upgrades would “provide sufficient parking and maneuvering room for the transportation vehicle fleet, as well as to improve traffic flow onto and from Sandbank Road,” according to the capital budget request.
Other necessary work associated with the new trailer includes addressing the old septic system.
“As part of this application, we’ll be upgrading and improving the septic system, which supports this building,” Milone said.
The public hearing was held open until the Commission’s Sept. 9 meeting.