Grillo's 342-unit apartment plan at wetlands May 17 for slight modification

Grillo Services will be the subject of a public hearing before the Inland Wetlands Agency (IWA) on Wednesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Board of Education meeting room at the Parsons Government Complex, for a modification to an existing permit.

Grillo received wetlands approval from IWA on Sept. 21, 2016, for an apartment complex at 553 West Ave. The company has filed for a permit modification to widen an approved fire access road from 18 to 28 feet wide.

According to Inland Wetlands Officer MaryRose Palumbo, Grillo is filing for the change in response to a request from the Milford Fire Department. Palumbo said the fire department asked for the wider road so its apparatus has room to put down stanchions.

The hearing was originally scheduled for May 3, but had to be postponed because Grillo had not sent out notices to the adjoining neighbors 15 days prior to the public hearing, as required by wetlands regulations.

At the Sept. 21, 2016 meeting, the IWA approved its portion of a plan to construct a 342-unit apartment complex at 553 West Ave. The project will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) at a date to be determined.

The board voted 5-2 to grant Grillo a wetlands permit to construct two buildings with 342 total units and two parking garages with 512 spaces, plus an additional 12 surface parking spaces, with associated access drives and grading with work in and within 150 feet of the Beaver Brook watershed. The project is called The Preserve at Beaver Brook.

The motion to approve cited the project’s benefits to the area, stating that it would have “a minimal adverse environmental impact” and would improve conditions in an on-site detention pond.

The approval comes with a long list of conditions, outlining the steps that must take place during construction, and the monitoring that will take place after the project is completed.

This includes a detailed relocation plan for the on-site box turtles, a plan to control invasive plant species in the developed area of the property, and a maintenance plan with a cleaning schedule for the stormwater system. The use of pesticides and herbicides will be limited on the property. Apartment residents will not be permitted to wash cars or let pets roam freely.

The IWA members who voted in favor of the project complimented the project, saying it would improve water quality on the property, which has been compromised by run-off from I-95, which adjoins the wetlands. The project also creates a preserved area for the estimated five box turtles on the property.

Grillo has a contract to purchase the 57.33-acre property from Kingdom Life Christian Church, pending project approval by the P&Z.