WALLINGFORD — The Planning and Zoning Commission approved special permits Monday for two auto maintenance businesses.
Samer Abdelsalam, of Guilford, intends to establish a used car dealership and repair shop at 1191 N. Colony Road, a property owned by Joan Rivers Bardwell and Allen Bardwell Jr.
The Route 5 property has been home to automotive businesses since 1978, most recently a Meineke Car Care Center. A Gulf gas station abuts the property to the north and the Staples plaza is to the south.
The entire site is located within an aquifer protection area for the town’s public drinking water supply wells on Oak Street.
Car maintenance but not sales is a regulated activity within the protection area, so Abdelsalam had to apply for a special permit to allow auto sales.
Christopher Gagnon, an engineer with BL Cos., said that there’s no new construction or changes being proposed to the existing building.
The 4,000-square-foot building has five car repair bays and an office. The plan is to maintain two bays for minor vehicle maintenance and turn the other three bays into an inventory showroom.
No car washing or body work is allowed on the site. Abdelsalam said he intends to send vehicles to a car wash instead.
The commission also approved a special permit for Carlos Malave, of Meriden, to operate a car repair and sales business at 3 Buel St.
The site is located on a dead-end street off Route 68 to the west of the railroad tracks and Route 5.
The 6,000-square-foot service shop building has four bays. Malave’s area is about 1,500 square feet, he said.
Attorney Jim Loughlin addressed the commission on behalf of Robison Properties, a neighboring property owner at 60 Church St., with concerns about water runoff from the site.
Loughlin said there’s not enough information in the application or the nearly 20-year-old site map about water flow and asked the commission to consider tabling the application until its next meeting.
The property at 60 Church St. already suffers from water problems from runoff from Barnes Park that runs through the Holiday Cinemas site, across Route 5 and down into 60 Church St., he said.
Malave said there’s no car washing, floor washing or car detailing planned for the site and that he intends to utilize an offsite car wash.
Tom Talbot, acting town planner, said he doesn’t think Malave is proposing any use that would add to a problem with water runoff, adding that Robison Properties would need to be more specific in what they’re asking for on a new site map.