OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — A new Whole Foods Market could be coming to Old Saybrook, but the proposed site is causing controversy due to environmental concerns.
Some residents in Old Saybrook like the idea of a Whole Foods grocery store coming to town, but are not on board for the proposed location.
The site of the grocery store would be on Boston Post Road (Route 1) near Spencer Plain Road. The site sits near a large marsh that borders the low-lying Chalker Beach neighborhood.
Dennis Moynihan, who lives in the Chalker Beach neighborhood, said he is afraid that routine flooding would get worse if a Whole Foods Market is built at the proposed site.
“We get routine flooding now. The general concern is the runoff that’s going to come, cause what happens when stores like Whole Foods go up and make the land even bigger and bigger went up all that land we’re downhill from Route 1 so that water runs down here,” Moynihan said.
Sheri Pifferi is concerned as a nearby homeowner however she’s also a bit excited as a customer of the market’s other locations.
“Whole Foods is a wonderful store and I love going to it,” Pifferi said.
Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna (R-Conn.) said the developer is going to help Old Saybrook, not hurt it. The developer is the Carpionato Group out of Rhode Island.
“They will be improving significantly the drainage on the property as well as the drainage that obviously then goes into a marsh area that Chalker Beach sits in,” Fortuna said.
News 8 left a message with the Carpionato Group and we are waiting to hear back.
The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission is expected to vote on the proposal at its next meeting on Oct. 19.
If the site does get approval, it heads to the zoning commission where the public will again have an opportunity to weigh in.
“There’s a tidal gate that needs to be fixed,” Moynihan said. “If they really want our business they should do everything we need to save the area.”