Planning and zoning commission members Monday, July 18 voted to “moo-ve” the Farmer’s Cow Café public hearing to Aug. 1 after realizing the proposed café is within 500 feet of the Windham line.
“It was a technicality,” said Rudy Favretti, commission chairman. “Because of the strange way the boundary is at that particular point, the staff didn’t realize it was that close to Windham.”
The area in question runs along the river, south of the expressway, according to Windham Town Planner James Finger, who said Windham received the notification from Mansfield and doesn’t anticipate any issues with it.
“I think it will be a nice addition over there,” said Finger. “We are hoping to see some revitalization there, it all helps the area to bring in traffic and make Willimantic a destination.”
The proposed café is slated to open at 82-86 Storrs Road, College Mart – the plaza across from the East Brook Mall. The plaza is currently anchored by The Hoot and Staples.
Farmer’s Cow, which is proposing to take up approximately 1,400 square feet next to Staples, is the brand name for dairy products produced at six local family-owned dairy farms in Woodstock, Lebanon, Hebron, Franklin, Thompson and Coventry.
It produces milk, creamers and seasonal beverages such as lemonade, as well as fresh apple cider, eggs and ice cream.
Farmer’s Cow promotes its products as ” fresh, humanely-produced” foods free of artificial growth hormones.
Plans for the café are still in the works, but along with selling local products, it is expected to operate as an ice cream stand and sell light sandwiches.
Mansfield officials have already sent a letter to Windham officials notifying them of the special permit application. As a result, the Aug. 1 public hearing will be open to residents of Windham as well as those of Mansfield.
Because of the relative location, any new business means potential business for the Windham/ Willimantic area as well. The East Brook Mall has a Willimantic mailing address and, as a result, has often confused people who don’t realize it is in Mansfield.
The hearing will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers in the Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building.
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