Son of Milford auto shop owner to open auto body shop
The son of a long-time Milford mechanic plans to open his own autobody shop in town.
The Planning and Zoning board unanimously approved an auto body shop recently at 11 Warfield Street, which would replace an existing tool shop in a 5,200 square foot building on 0.3-acres of land in a light industrial zone, adjacent to the Metro North Railroad tracks in Devon.
Attorney Thomas Lynch said Excello Tool and Manufacturing Company, which is a machine shop, is selling the building to Gary Dulin Jr., who plans to convert the building into an auto body shop. Gary Dulin Sr. owns and operates Dulin Automotive, 79 Bridgeport Ave., in Devon.
Michael J. Zahornocky of Shelton, is listed as the member of XLO Realty LLC, owner of the property at 11 Warfield St., and is the president and owner of Excello Tool.
Lynch said four variances were required, and two were granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in December 2014. Lynch said the light industrial zone requires auto body shops to have a minimum lot size of one acre, and a minimum width of 100 feet. The property is only 52 feet wide. At the Dec. 8, 2014 meeting, the ZBA voted to include a stipulation that the building be used only for auto bodywork and not for general automobile repair. Three residents expressed opposition to the request at the December ZBA meeting.
Lynch said a residential neighbor at 16 Warfield Street appealed the decision to Superior Court. XLO and the neighbor reached a settlement calling for the installation of a landscaping buffer along the border of the two properties.
The property also required two variances from the P&Z, one for parking and one for zoning requirements, since auto repair and bodywork is a special use in the zone.
Lynch said there will be no changes to the building. All work will be done inside with the doors closed. Operating hours will be Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking will be in the rear of the parcel in an area screened from the street.
“There will be a state-of-the-art painting and ventilation system and an updated air conditioning system,” said Lynch. “We would like to think this will be an improvement of the operation in terms of outside noise.”
Jeffrey Solomon of 109 Paschal Drive, was the only one to comment on the auto body proposal, and he spoke in favor of it. Solomon said he has been a 37-year employee of Excello Tool and has known Gary Dulin for 20 years.
“He is a very good community servant,” said Solomon, saying Dulin is very supportive of the Devon Rotary Club and the Beth-El Shelter. “I think it's a great opportunity for Warfield Street to have another successful business there.”
In a phone call on June 10, Zahornocky indicated Excello Tool is continuing its machine shop operations at its main facility at 37 Warfield Street. Excello also owns property at 23, 27, and 41 Warfield Street. The four parcels total 0.70 acres.
“We are in full operation and have expanded two buildings down,” said Zahornocky. The company was founded in 1960 by his father, Michael J. Zahornocky Sr.