Business and industry have always played an important role in the development of Stafford. Dating from the time when a local factory manufactured cannon and shot for the Colonial Army, to the more modern requirements of producing printed circuits, Stafford has always hosted diverse industries. A fine balance of manufacturing, retail and service industries presently exist. Among the many benefits available to Stafford business and industries.
Stafford currently consists of several different types and levels of commercial development. The downtown area, once was the commercial center of Town, is home to retail shops, restaurants and service-based businesses, among others. Along West Stafford Road is a developing commercial area with newer commercial buildings. Scattered throughout town are areas of small commercial development that generally provide services to local neighborhoods. Commercial development in each case is encouraged to meet the business needs of the community and be complementary with neighboring uses.
HIGHWAY BUSINESS ZONES (HB)
Under current zoning regulations, the principal commercial center of the Town is defined as the Highway Business Zone. The Highway Business Zone is located on both sides of Route 190 or West Stafford Road from the former Borough line to Cooper Lane with varying depths from the highway. The goal is creating a commercial area that is visually attractive and will allow medium-size retail stores and professional offices to succeed. This zone includes the major commercial corridor of the community, containing most of the major retail businesses within Stafford. This zone can best accommodate the contemporary commercial development. Therefore this zone is planned to grow as the Town’s major commercial area. The emphasis here is to encourage continued growth of retail and industrial uses, while enhancing the character of the community. This zone can best accommodate the contemporary commercial development. Therefore this zone is planned to grow as the Town’s major commercial area. The emphasis here is to encourage continued growth of retail and industrial uses, while enhancing the character of the community.
CENTRAL BUSINESS ZONES (CB)
The Central Business Zone represents the historic commercial center of the Town of Stafford. It is surrounded by several mill buildings that are still in industrial use and high density residential areas. At one time this center contained businesses that met all the commercial needs of Stafford residents. Any new development or redevelopment in this area should be required to conform to the historic character of this area. In most cases, the buildings in the Central Business Zone contain commercial spaces that can best be used for light retail, restaurants, historic uses, tourism related uses, professional offices, and services.
INDUSTRIAL BUSINESS ZONES (CB)
The current Industrial Zones in the Town of Stafford consist of older mill and factory buildings, newer manufacturing buildings, and undeveloped industrial land. Preserving existing industry and developing new businesses is a priority. Stafford has an advantage over most other former textile towns in that many of the former mill buildings are still in industrial use. Examples of these are the Warren Woolen buildings on Furnace Avenue, 3M Purification Inc. on River Road, the former Stafford Printers facility on West Street, and the TTM buildings in Stafford Hollow and Staffordville. A second industrial park was the Middle River Drive development off Route 190 which has attracted several businesses. The Town has also designated a large tract of land on the corner of Monson Road and West Stafford Road as an industrial zone.
LOCAL BUSINESS ZONES (LB)
Scattered throughout Town are areas of development that are currently zoned Local Business. The purpose of the Local Business Zone is to encourage developing small retail stores, restaurants, professional offices, and similar businesses that would provide services to local residents without generating a lot of traffic. The downtown Stafford Springs area contains several areas designated as Local Business Zones. A Local Business Zone extends along the west side of West Street from the intersection of Park Street to the railroad tracks. This Zone contains a small grocery store, the entrance to the Stafford Speedway, and a row of older residences. A second Local Business Zone extends on both sides of West Main Street from Church Street to Prospect Street. There are several businesses in this zone, including a national wireless telecommunications provider, retail pharmacy store, and a specialty shops, to name a few. Finally, a third Local Business Zone extends along West Main Street from Green Street past Olympic Circle that is populated by a gas station, a car wash, a tire store, and other business uses.