MONROE, Conn. (WTNH) — As Oxford considers building high-density housing, a Starbucks, banks, restaurants and a Price Chopper grocery store, two neighboring, somewhat-rural communities have been grappling with the approval of a Super Walmart.
Earlier this year, Monroe’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a retail shopping center on Victoria Drive, near the Trumbull border, off Route 25. Trumbull recently settled a lawsuit it filed opposing the approval. The two communities used to be considered rural, but development has increased over time and continues make changes.
According to Monroe Patch and the Wall Street Journal, the new development will be a Super Walmart. The publications cited a Walmart spokesman, East William Wertz, and the local developer. Monroe First Selectman Steve Vavrek said many residents favored bringing a major retailer into town, adding that, “It will bring significant tax revenue.” Some opponents started a Facebook page and a petition while the proposal was under review.
Now proper planning is what is needed, he said. Vavrek noted that Super Walmart will be Monroe’s “first major build” since the Swiss Army facility about 10 years ago. “[Walmart] very easily could have gone [to Trumbull],” he said.
Trumbull objected to store on technical issues such as traffic and water runoff. Still, Trumbull is home to large chains such as the Westfield Mall, Home Depot and two Target stores.
Vavrek acknowledged that Route 25, a state road which connects Bridgeport to Danbury, is busy, but said the Walmart plans include traffic-easing measures for the store. He will still petition the state to improve Route 25 and its major intersections, including where it meets Route 111.
More recently, Trumbull’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a zone change for the former P.J.’s Garden Exchange building on Madison Avenue. The site is in a residential area, and its layout was grandfathered in because it predated Trumbull Zoning regulations. No official plans have been filed for the site, but neighbors have expressed concerns about the impact of any large commercial use.
Another section of Trumbull is undergoing change, and a zoning meeting is scheduled this week for residents to give their input. Lower Main Street, which turns into Main Street in Bridgeport, still has numerous residential neighborhoods on side streets, where one potential business applied to operate. The zoning commission rejected that proposal.
A mixed-use development of businesses and apartments was approved for Trumbull’s Long Hill Green, but it has not entered the building phase yet.