Saturday, September 25, 2021

Local News

North Branford Medical Office Park Proposed on Route 139 Near Branford Town Line

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Permit drawings include these rendered views of the building design for a professional medical office park being proposed at 28 Branford Road/Route 139 in North Branford.

Pam Johnson/The Sound

Permit drawings include these rendered views of the building design for a professional medical office park being proposed at 28 Branford Road/Route 139 in North Branford. (Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

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The location plan shows the project site location off Route 139 in North Branford near the Branford town line.Pam Johnson/The Sound

The location plan shows the project site location off Route 139 in North Branford near the Branford town line.(Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

A brief overview of plans to develop a substantial professional medical office park in North Branford, on property which falls within 500 of the Branford town line, were introduced to North Branford’s Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) on Feb. 7.

Applicant Connecticut Center for Health and Wellness of North Branford is anticipating developing a center to include two buildings with a net square-footage business use of approximately 45,000 square feet, according to permit drawings submitted to the Town in January. The professional medical park would be situated on five acres of mostly undeveloped land (the property includes a single-family home to be razed) at 28 Branford Road/Route 139 (across from Valley Road), just over the North Branford/Branford town line. Vehicle access would be by a driveway off Route 139 which would loop around the buildings’ front and rear parking lots. The center is intended for day-patient professional medical offices and will not include an emergency medical center, according to information shared by the project team with the PZC on Feb. 7.

The project team also noted the Town of Branford is being apprised of the project not only due to its town-line proximity, but also because plans call for engineering a storm water management system that would connect to a state drainage system beneath Route 139 and ultimately let out into the Branford River off School Ground Road.

On Feb. 7, project architect Kenneth Boroson of Kenneth Boroson Architects, LLC (New Haven) described the Arts and Crafts-style building design being proposed for the center’s two side-by-side, two-story buildings, each of which will be topped by a cupola. A notable feature is the center’s pedestrian bridge connecting the second floors of both buildings (in effect, creating what Boroson described as a single building). An outdoor walkway would cross between buildings beneath the pedestrian bridge. Proposed building heights meet the town’s Industrial (I-2) zoning standards of no more than 35 feet.

Project engineer Mike Ott (Madison) gave the PZC an overview of the project on Feb. 7. In particular, Ott described two “challenges” the project team is working to address at the site. One issue is the parcel’s extremely limited driveway/street intersection sight-distance to the south (looking toward Branford) on Route 139. The other issue is storm water management. Due to constraints on the site and with neighboring properties, the plan calls for storing storm water runoff, then draining it at what Ott termed a “prescribed rate,” to a connection with the state’s underground drain system. The state system discharges on the southern side of Valley Road and ultimately enters the Branford River at School Ground Road.

Ott told the PZC water quality would be addressed as part of the plan’s proposed storm water management system. The plan proposes an extensive subsurface storm water infiltration system to include two holding tanks beneath the rear parking lot of the complex. The tanks would store storm water runoff and use an outlet control to release the water into the state drain system at a governed rate of flow.

On Feb.7, Ott told the North Branford PZC he’d recently reviewed plans and storm drainage proposals with Branford’s Town Engineer and was awaiting his comments. The project will also need to be referred to the Branford PZC, due to falling within 500 feet of the town line.

Ott said the project team also had an initial meeting with representatives of ConnDOT to review the storm water management proposal and driveway sight-line issues, with ConnDOT comments anticipated to be received in the coming weeks, hopefully in time to share with the PZC at it's next meeting, set for Thurs. Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. at North Branford Town Hall.

In addition, Ott noted engineering consultant firm Milone & MacBroom (Cheshire) has been hired to conduct a traffic analysis study to provide input to the PZC on anticipated traffic volume created by the medical center.

North Branford Planning and Zoning Commission's next regular meeting is set for Thurs. Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. at North Branford Town Hall, 909 Foxon Road.


Pam Johnson covers news for Branford and North Branford for Zip06. Email Pam at p.johnson@shorepublishing.com.

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