WILTON — The Planning Board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve Jarden Plastic Solutions’ application for an employee entrance and expanded parking lot on the condition that employees not use Railroad Street.

The board also recommended the selectboard change Railroad Street to a ‘No Through Traffic’ road and have the Road Committee consider sidewalks on Temple Road to Pleasant Street.

Nearly a dozen residents voiced safety concerns about the plan at a public hearing before the board’s decision.

A tightly-constrained parking area and single Mill Street entrance are shared between employee and delivery truck traffic, plant manager Jason Holman said.

The 98-space parking lot is intended to separate employee parking from truck and plant operations traffic. An employee-designated entrance will reduce vehicle trips on Mill Street but will increase traffic on Pleasant and Temple streets.

Holman said employee traffic would be prohibited on Railroad Street, a narrow cross street.

“My number one priority is for the safety of the employees. Right now, our entrance and parking lot is a safety concern,” Holman said.

Between 40 and 60 vehicles would enter and exit the plant during shift changes, which occur twice a day between 6:30-7:15, he said.

“Your priority is to keep your employees safe, mine is to keep my children safe,” Pleasant Street resident Tammy Mayhew said.

Children use Pleasant and Temple streets to access a bus stop, she pointed out.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish, acting in her capacity as Road Commissioner, said a pedestrian light could be installed in that area. Irish said Jarden’s would purchase ‘No Through Traffic’ sign for Railroad Street.

Irish addressed safety concerns and recommended additional signs along new travel routes, and suggested requesting Maine Department of Transportation lower speed limits on part of Pleasant Street.

Resident Mark Lake asked how a ‘No Through Traffic’ sign would be enforced.

“If it were posted it would mean the Police Department can enforce the issue. If people are seeing employees traveling on Railroad Street, they can let me know and we can address it with Mr. Holman,” Irish said.

Members of the Police and Fire departments said it was a hazard to have just one entrance to the plant, Irish added.

“The job of the Planning Board is to make sure the zoning ordinance is followed,” Chairperson Mike Sherrod reminded the group. “All we can do is decide if applicants have adequately addressed the requirements of the ordinance. This law is actually voted on every couple of years by the town of Wilton.”

The board’s decision can be appealed to the Appeals Board, Sherrod said.

In other matters, the board discussed a potential added-use application from Alden Sylvester.

On Oct. 4, the board approved a permit for Sylvester to operate a soil, nutrients, and growing science retail business at the former Hayden Brothers Shoe Store, 410 Route 2 East.

Sylvester, who is currently a medical marijuana caregiver, is interested in operating a medical marijuana establishment at the location, said Sherrod.

In June, voters amended the zoning ordinance to allow marijuana-related businesses and establishments within the town. The ordinance does not differentiate between medical and adult-use establishments.

“The new law, which will go into effect on Dec. 12, allows for medical caregivers to operate a storefront,” stated Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin.

Prior versions of the law did not allow for medical marijuana storefronts.

“Wilton could potentially decide to not allow for medical retail sales. If we approve this added use, Alden would be grandfathered in. It is a very gray area,” said Irish.

“With as many times as the law has been pushed out and changed, it makes me nervous to consider this,” said planning board member Cherieann Harrison. “Do we want to consider this at our meeting in November or wait until after the law goes into effect in December?”

Board members agreed if Sylvester submitted an added-use application prior to the Nov. 15 meeting, they would entertain approval. However, approval would only come with the condition that a retail medical marijuana establishment not operate in that location, pending the implementation of state law.

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