May 5—GLASTONBURY — The Town Plan and Zoning Commission tonight approved an application for an Amazon distribution hub in a vacant industrial building at 107 Eastern Boulevard.
The commission voted 4-2 in favor of approving the proposal at a meeting held via teleconference. Commission Chairman Robert Zanlungo, members Michael Botelho and Christopher Griffin, and alternate member Alice Sexton backed the proposal, while members Sharon Purtill and Keith Shaw opposed it.
The major concern Purtill expressed was about the large increase in the paved area on the site, where the number of parking spaces be increased from about 100 now to 325. But Matthew Bruton of BL Cos., the architecture, engineering, and environmental firm working on the project for the developers, said there is considerable paved area on the site now that isn't striped for parking.
Bruton said Amazon expects to need parking for 300 to 315 vehicles during its peak business periods, such as the holidays, explaining that it needs a few extra spaces for when employees arrive on time or early for work.
Shaw expressed concern about tractor trailer traffic to the site, although developer Adam Winstanley said it would be only about a third the level of tractor trailer traffic generated by the last business that operated at the site.
Two neighbors who spoke expressed concern about the traffic that would be generated. But Michael Dion of BL Cos. said the traffic would be about equivalent to a McDonald's — and that it would be in off-peak traffic period because Amazon schedules its operations to avoid the peaks. A traffic study by the developers showed that the Amazon operation wouldn't affect the "level of service" at any of the surrounding intersections in the morning, mid-day, or afternoon, Dion added.
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