WALLINGFORD — The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission approved a wetlands permit Wednesday night for the Community Pool project.
The vote was unanimous to approve a plan for demolition activities and installation of new facilities at the 7.12-acre North Main Street Extension property.
The proposed renovation has been in the works for more than a year. In September, the Town Council approved a full design concept, including several optional amenities, at an estimated cost of $5.65 million.
The existing site includes the 43,000-square-foot asphalt-coated pool, 3,124-square-foot bath house, a 98-space parking lot and other amenities.
The redeveloped park plan includes a new 8,000-square-foot pool, large splash pad, a new 3,060-square-foot bathhouse, a 116-space parking lot, shade structures and 12 new trees.
Optional amenities include 52 trees, sand volleyball, playground, picnic pavilion, activity lawn, planting beds and walking trail. It’s unknown how many of these amenities will be included in the final design.Frustrations
Commissioners considered tabling the discussion after Chairman James Vitali, Vice Chairman David Parent and Secretary Nicholas Kern became frustrated when Town Environmental Planner Erin O’Hare had questions for project presenters from Martinez Couch & Associates, a Rocky Hill-based civil engineering group. The commissioners felt the questions would take up too much discussion time.
Michael Savenelli Sr., Parks and Recreation Commission member and pool committee chairman, said that the project is on a tight timetable and is slated to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission before the wetlands commission’s next meeting, but commissioners said that the application could have been submitted to them sooner.
The town and TLBA Architecture applied for the wetlands permit in November.
O’Hare said her concerns would be satisfied under conditions of approval, which the commissioners seemed to be hesitant to consider.
After a time limit was imposed by Vitali for discussion between O’Hare and the presenters, O’Hare went over her conditions of approval, which included adding wetlands placards, using a biodegradable wetland control blanket, eliminating a walking trail, submitting a sediment control plan and providing a revised stormwater plan.Wetlands impact
According to a report by Martinez Couch & Associates, the total area of the wetlands is .76 of an acre.
Two small pockets of wetland located on the south side of the parking lot on the embankment are slated to be filled. The total area of the wetlands proposed to be altered is 230 square feet, or about .01 acres.
Included in the proposal is a new 5-foot gabion retaining wall along the southern edge of the property line, with a swale at its base, underground piping to convey ground and surface water and underdrainage behind to capture groundwater.
There’s about .59 of an acre of wetlands within the project site associated with Padens Brook, which flows from east to west along the northern boundary of the property and exits the site through two culverts under North Main Street Extension.
The Padens Brook watercourse size is about .3 of an acre, but there’s no planned activities within Padens Brook or the adjacent wetlands. A pedestrian bridge crosses Padens Brook and a dam structure within the brook are slated to be left in their current condition.
The report states that proposed demolition work includes removing the entire existing pool, deck and walkways, buildings, parking lot, driveway and underground storm drainage network.
Items to be constructed include an expanded parking lot that allows for bus circulation, an underground stormwater detention system, pool and deck, splash pad, bath house, maintenance building, picnic pavilion and shade structures, sidewalks, activity lawn, sand volleyball court and playscape.
New landscaping and site lighting also are included.
The increase in stormwater runoff would be controlled by a modular concrete underground stormwater detention system. Measures to improve runoff water quality have been integrated into the design of the drainage system, including filtering out heavy particles, grit and other sediments and trapping oil and floatables, the report states.Next steps
The Parks and Recreation pool committee is working on obtaining permits from town land use commissions, and hopes to complete the final construction documents by the end of February 2020. Bidding and contracting would be in spring 2020 and construction would begin as soon as the ground was ready, around June 2020. After a year of construction, the pool would reopen in 2021.