Wallingford hotel plan receives wetlands approval

Wallingford hotel plan receives wetlands approval

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WALLINGFORD — The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission approved a wetlands permit recently for a hotel off of Route 68 near Interstate 91.

The proposal for 4 Miles Drive from Wallingford Lodging Partners LLC, can now go before the Planning and Zoning Commission for site plan approval.

The hotel would be a Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton. The 63,481-square-foot building would be four stories and 105 rooms, with an indoor pool and electric vehicle charging stations in the 105-space parking lot, according to the site map and application.

The 4.36-acre vacant parcel at 4 Miles Drive abuts the Interstate 91 southbound onramp. The proposed development would take up 3.37 acres, or about 77 percent of the site, with a footprint of 17,474 square feet.

Shailesh Patel, of Orange, is president of Wallingford Lodging Partners. Patel said Monday that he’s in the process of registering his business with the Secretary of the State’s office.

The property is currently owned by Chalet Susse International Inc., through CSI Wilton Limited Partnership, of Wilton, New Hampshire.​​​​​​

The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a variance for the hotel plan in February that reduced the front landscaping requirement and front parking buffer to 35 feet instead of the 50-foot requirement.

Jeffrey Gordon, landscape architect and principal planner at Codespodi & Associates, said during the ZBA meeting that because the parcel is a rear lot, the proposal orients the building so the front yard serves as a side yard.

Last week before Inland Wetlands, Gordon said that the history of property is unique.

The parcel was created through a subdivision in early 1980s, when it was assigned to the CB-12 zoning district.

The parcel was rezoned as I-5 zone with the development of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Interstate 91 interchange work, with more pronounced buffers and other requirements.

Running adjacent to the parcel is a watercourse. There’s also a sewer easement that lies between the property line and the watercourse.

The town retains the easement and a retention pond north of the parcel.

There are off-site wetlands to the west and 21,810 square feet, roughly half an acre, on-site of regulated upland review area. There’s a 40-foot change in elevation from the northern corner to southern part of parcel. The plan is to cut-and-fill to level the parking lot.

“What we’re building now meets current standards,” Gordon said. “What’s existing is before our time.”

If built, the hotel would be the sixth hotel in the area. Adjacent to the north is the Fairfield Inn by Marriott, formerly a Susse Chalet hotel, and to the west is Homewood Suites by Hilton.

Nearby are the Courtyard by Marriott and the Hilton Garden Inn.

A new hotel at 1175 Barnes Road, slated to be a TownePlace Suites by Marriott, received a Planning and Zoning site plan permit in May.

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