Wallingford PZC Approves CT’s First Sonic Drive-In
The meeting at Wallingford’s Town Hall tonight was approaching the 2 hour mark. Many questions were posed by the commission to the applicants, some seemingly more than once. Residents spoke their minds about the proposal, both for and against it, and even though every question was answered and every concern addressed, the final decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission was still in doubt. Finally, at about 9:00 PM, the vote was taken. The first Sonic Drive-In in Connecticut was approved unanimously.
But, not without some conditions. The biggest stumbling block had been how the traffic volume would affect the location and Route 5, and one of the provisions for approval was to have a post-opening traffic study done that would detail what effect, if any, the opening of the restaurant would have during the soft launch and the grand opening. Another provision was to make granting of building permits for the other two buildings on the lot subject to the outcome of the traffic study. There were other provisions as well, including one for controlling access of trucks during the initial opening of the restaurant, and also one to move a proposed crosswalk to be used by the roller skating servers. I think there were a couple other minor ones, but the developers of the site, led by Robert Mesite, Engineer John Mancini and Attorney Dennis Ceneviva, agreed to accommodate them all.
As far as I could determine, the next, and hopefully final, step before construction can start is to submit the plan to the state (Department of Transportation, I believe) for approval of some of the traffic-related changes that are planned for the site before launch. It was not clear how long this process would take or if any other steps would need to be taken prior to beginning construction, but I’m sure a full report will be forthcoming from the Record-Journal in the next few days outlining what’s up next for the long-awaited eatery.
Congratulations to the entire Sonic development team on a great presentation, and we’ll be watching closely for new developments…or to catch that first Sonic burger hot off the grill!
(If anyone sees any inaccuracies in this post, please feel free to bring them to my attention and I will correct them!)