Proposed CT Humane Society regional HQ project gains Wilton Conservation Commission support

WILTON — The Conservation Commission is reviewing a proposal to build the Connecticut Humane Society’s headquarters in town.

The proposal would have the more than 14,200 square-foot project be built on Danbury Road. The Planning and Zoning Commission passed it along Wednesday ahead of any official approval.

“I think it’s a pretty positive use for the current property as it presently exists and I will be for it,” Conservation Commission member Frank Simone said.

The large, one-story building will serve as a regional headquarters for the nonprofit. Within the project, space will be allocated for live animals that will be temporarily held at the premises with playgrounds for them to romp and exercise.

Chairman Jackie Algon said that one possible concern for the property is its topography and slope. She wondered if water runoff could cause flooding on the nearby Danbury Road. At the bottom of the slope, Algon noticed blocks and pervious surfaces will be placed to prevent water runoff from flooding the street, but she asked that the project incorporate some sort of “mechanism to ensure” the organization will take responsibility to clean those surfaces on an annual basis to avoid clogging.

Director of Environmental Affairs Mike Conklin said that stormwater management features on site are requirements by the Inland Wetland Commission. He added that overflow is “said to be going into the stormwater system under Danbury Road.”

“The purpose is not to just flow into the road,” Conklin said. Another portion of the water could drain into a nearby pond or the nearby Norwalk River, he said.

The lot that is expected to be used for the project is 863-875 Danbury Road. Currently, there are four scattered buildings on the property, as well as some miscellaneous farm equipment, Conklin said.

“Anything has got to be an improvement over those four little buildings that are scattered around there,” Simone said.

A portion of the property is also being used as a contractor’s storage yard where lumber is cut.

“Somebody at some time” piped a stream that runs from the pond on the premises, Conklin said.

“The number one thing that stuck out to me is, they are going to take this piped stream and ‘daylight’ it,” Conklin said, adding it would basically restore the stream channel.

The pond, Conklin said, is “in pretty rough shape” with many invasive species living in it that will be tackled in a different project. A number of trees will have to be cut down for the construction of the building as well.