Developer Makes Move for Unionville Center Corner

Company seeks zoning amendment for possible Mill Street pharmacy.

A Trumbull-based developer has put in an application to the Town Planning and Zoning office — the first step to building a pharmacy at the corner of Mill Street and Route 177 in Unionville.

The company, Sound Development, applied June 7 for an amendment to the zoning regulations for the parcel, asking for permission to build up to a 15,000 square-foot building. The zone currently limits any development to 5,000 square feet.

The parcel, now covered by a heap of rubble, was approved in May 2004 for a three-story building with mixed retail and residential use but was not developed due to economic and other factors, according to Town Planner Jeffrey Ollendorf.

The area was slated for a major development project but contamination was discovered beneath the newly stripped brick building and its owner returned to the zoning commission repeatedly to request extensions and alterations to the plan. According to Ollendorf, Sound Development would purchase the corner parcel.

With a new plan, the developer will face the application process and seek approval from Farmington's Inland Wetlands Watercourse Conservation Commission and the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, and get input from the Unionville Village Architectural Review Design Committee and the State of Connecticut. 

"There was always a plan to put a design on that corner to compliment Unionville center. It's a balance of how big, how many parking spaces, etc.," Ollendorf said.

The Town Council recently approved changes to the intersection of Mill Street and South Main Street to improve traffic flow but the volume of cars in the area is still a subject of concern for many residents. Ollendorf said he doesn't think the proposed pharmacy would worsen the congestion significantly.

"We don't think it would make things appreciably worse," he said. "Most of the traffic is already there. It would not be a magnet for new traffic coming to town."

A formal application has not been submitted to the planning office but Ollendorf said he expected one would follow shortly. The Town Plan and Zoning Commission will consider the zoning amendment for the Mill Street property at its meeting on June 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at .

Tobey Harvey June 22, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Just like everything else in this town, the people in charge will do as they please and not care what the residents want or need. Another pharmacy sure why not...more traffic...
Stephanie stewart June 22, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Just like the majority of the comments above: NO to another pharmacy! Where is the Unionville Improvement Association on this? They have done a wonderful job of jump starting the overall look of the 'Ville. Let's not drag it down again. Maybe it's best to wait out this economy before developing the corner into something that will be regretted in the long run?
TS June 22, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I too think Unionville does not need another pharmacy, but I hope that all the people that are against it go to the meetings and voice their opinions from the beginning, and don't wait till the deal is done to start signing petitions against it. I also feel this one artiicle is a far cry from "it's a done deal", it does not even say what pharmacy---my bet Walgreens.
Ann C. Jett June 22, 2012 at 03:44 PM
This is a lesson to all Farmington/Unionville residents. The TPZ approved the Cathedral on Rt. 4. Barbara Brenneman's comments made a huge impact on me. We need to pack that meeting on June 25 at the Town Hall. We've got the huge CVS on the corner of Rt. 10 near Farmstead Lane going up. Why in the world would in anyone in their right mind think that this town needs an additional pharmacy? Whether this may be a "done deal" or not, concerned residents need to get to that meeting and make their voices heard. If the voice of the people is not taken into considersation, we need to make our dissatisfaction known at the polls in November. By attending the meetings we can see who on TPZ supports what the needs & opinions of the residents of Farmington/Unionville.
Roger Sullivan June 22, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Are there that many sick people in Unionville that we need 3 pharmacys? If there are that many sick people, maybe the space would be better used for a doctor's office...
Cornelius (Neil) Lynch June 22, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I would rather have had the Town Planner take a neutral position on the development being proposed instead of already leaning positively towards approval w/o having first been presented with the details, in particular a specific traffic report.
Karen's Dog Training Blog June 22, 2012 at 06:28 PM
The Death of Small Business - we should hold a funeral march
Bob G. June 22, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Are we sure the proposed building would not just be a new location for CVS?? That would not be too bad for Ryan, but I'm afraid that having more traffic coming out of Mill St onto Rte 177 will be a mess. Mill St does not line up well with the exit from the shopping plaza across the street which seems to befuddle motorists and cause really slow/confused traffic flow at the intersection.
Terry June 22, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Why on earth would we want another pharmacy? Why would we want to put a local business (Ryans) at risk for no benefit to the town? I'd love to see a nice sandwich shop like La Salle Market in Collinsville go in that space. Another pharmacy? Makes no sense to me at all.
Wyatt June 22, 2012 at 08:39 PM
While it may not be exactly what everyone would like to see, it would be a big improvement over the current abandoned lot.
DONALD DUCK June 22, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Scott Thompson June 22, 2012 at 09:25 PM
I hope they the town of Farmington takes in consideration of Ryan Pharmacy. Another box store pharmacy going to put a mom and pop pharmacy out of business
Jack R. June 22, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I think Bob G. is correct. Unionville can't support three pharmacies. The scenario that makes the most sense is that CVS is looking to relocate to a stand-alone building with drive through. I like the restaurant idea with a view of the river, but a new pharmacy over the rubble heap is a better option. Yes, traffic will worsen regardless of what goes in there.
Sas June 22, 2012 at 11:18 PM
This is a done deal check The Patch in the next week or so and read the facts! There will not be three pharmacies!
April Rogers June 22, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Wasnt there talk of Walgreens wanting to go in over there somewhere? I dont think its CVS or it would not have been kept a secret of who the proposed builder is.
Greg Tomb June 23, 2012 at 12:49 AM
I heard months ago Walgreens was in negotiations. The worst part, the precedent has been set for a drive-thru with the new CVS, how can you not allow one here?
Greg Tomb June 23, 2012 at 12:50 AM
This is a great location for the Mormon Temple since that will decrease traffic according to a recent post.
Sas June 23, 2012 at 12:51 AM
YES April....it is Walgreens.
Greg Tomb June 23, 2012 at 01:00 AM
^^^^ Congrats April - Post of the year!
Cornelius (Neil) Lynch June 23, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I would not patronize such a pharmacy. Don't we want Unionville to retain its small town charm? So much has been done to enhance the center and this proposal undermines all that the Unionville Beautification Committee has accomplished.
Janet Colturi June 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Actually, The Ryan family views this as a good project. Mr. Griffin said it would be good for his family and his employees.
Farmington resident June 24, 2012 at 04:06 AM
This town has no vision, while other towns improve their centers to attract people all we do is keep adding pharmacies. (CVS on the other side of town). Why not a panera bread or something
LL June 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Farmington needs restaurants not pharmacies. Beyond pizza we don't have much choice. When in-laws are up we inevitably go out to Avon or Canton, and I would rather keep my money in my town but find it hard.
Sas June 24, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I agree we don't necessarily need another pharmacy but we do have restaurants....Apricots, Matthews, Stone Well, Piccolo Arancio, Cugino's, Green Tea and then more casually, Naples, Wood N Tap, Georges, Galleria, ..........we have restaurants! Where do you go to eat in Canton and Avon LL?
LL June 25, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Sas - we don't have enough restaurants for variety. I have patronized almost everyone of those restaurants you mentioned - and add YUME and Flagstead to the mix - and I will continue to patronize them in the future. I am not going to say anything negative about any of them - they all have their loyal fans and deservedly so. Here's the rub: The majority are not family friendly and too expensive to go on a budget (and truly, with the economy who is not on a budget) - A lot of those places are great for a special occasion or Date Night but I have kids. There are only so many Pizzas I can feed my family (And Farmington has KILLER Pizza), and we've worn out on W&T. We need more family friendly and pocket friendly - and don't patronize families by saying there's always Friendly's. As for where I take my -inlaws and visiting friends with families - Why do I want to advertise for outside businesses. But they are on the whole a better atmosphere and price for a families going out together. Anyway - the matter isn't restaurants vs pharmacies - it's about maintaining a village not a strip-mall. Can't we work to make Farmington/Unionville a destination, not a place you drive through to get somewhere else? We don't need another generic Pharmacy - really, this is ridiculous.
Sas June 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM
I agree LL but the government is making it impossible for the small Mom and Pops to survive anymore. The drug industry HAS to be big box now or the pharmacies will just be selling greeting cards and over-the-counter drugs. The reason I asked about Avon and Canton eateries is because I am always in search of new places.
Kaitlin Glanzer (Editor) June 25, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Hi friends, here's more on this story: http://patch.com/A-v3tP
Janet Colturi June 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM
I Hope that everyone that has made negative comments will take the time to attend the TPZ before they make up their minds that they don't want what the property to be developed. I think 8 years is long enough to look at a pile of stones. Sure there is traffic in Unionville and anything they put on that property will increase traffic. In 2004 that property was approved for development. That corner is an embarrassment to Unionville!!! Sure rubble does not create traffic but I for one am sick of looking at it.
Anne June 25, 2012 at 03:33 PM
This is a ridiculous option for that property....another PHARMACY! REALLY!?!?!? Isn't there something else that could go there? We have CVS and Ryan's right there . Why on earth do we need a third pharmacy in such a small area. Can't we find a different type store to go in there?
Sas June 25, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Thanks for putting that up Kaitlin....very few are actually following the story.


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