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Notes from the Sept. 17 Canton Planning and Zoning Meeting (Satan’s Kingdom, LLC Hearing Continued to Oct. 15)

Residents attend a public hearing on the Satan's Kingdom, LLC proposal.

Residents attend a public hearing on the Satan’s Kingdom, LLC proposal.

The Canton Planning and Zoning Commission has continued a public hearing on Satan Kingdom, LLC’s application to rezone 30.386 of its 38.99 acres in Canton (674, 684 Albany Turnpike) from residential to industrial.

After hearing from managing member Allan Borghesi, his attorney and numerous residents, the commission continued the matter to its next regular meeting on Oct. 15.

Editor’s Note: The text that follows below represents live updates typed during the meeting, intended only to give a general sense of what was happening. A story and/or video will follow. Also for those commenting on the site, please use first and last names. I only ask that due to experience with commenting while with a previous employer. Thank you. 

11:05

Chairman said those who spoke so far were just from one of three sign-up sheets.

“It’s inevitable that we’re going to have to continue the hearing.”

Eliot Bryan

Says 150 houses would be affected

“If our property goes down by 27 percent is our assessment going down by 27 percent.”

11:01

Ann Bryan of Buttonwood Hill talks about traffic concerns in the area.

11 p.m.

Corey Tucker talks about the beauty of the area

10:55 p.m.

David Sinish is reading a statement from the Farmington River Coordinating Committee.

Sinish: “Development in the proposed location should be viewed as a detriment to the Farmington River . . . ”

10:51 p.m.

Another gentleman is speaking on behalf of some residents and talking about impact to residential value. I couldn’t catch his name.

10:46 p.m.

Ed Fox references Torrington industrial site and says most homes there built after the park so residential property values did not suffer. Says Canton is a different situation.

talks about gravel operation and says it would impact noise, traffic, environment, etc.

Mr Fox: “There is no plan. The intent of Mr. Borghesi is to turn that into a graveling operation to some degree.”

10:35 p.m.

Logan’s colleague Sigrun Gadwa is speaking about plant communities “natural communities are in a state of constant flux.”

“There is a lot more options for conservation with the cluster residential approach.” Is talking about Nepaug State Forest across the river and to the northeast. “This site is actually the linkage to those two.”

She is referencing selective logging on the site and says it left excellent wildlife habitat. The two have submitted a report with 8 different points/

“This island of ridge on the top = that’s kind of a refuge.”

10:27 p.m.

George Logan of REMA Ecological Services, LLC is talking about the impacts of industrial vs. residential developments

“I’m not only concerned with the neighborhood, I’m concerned about the Farmington River.”

Says it’s a good opportunity for an open space subdivision, which sets aside about 33 percent of the land for open space

Argues that 1951 photo does not show excavation but clearing of trees

Says depression is a dry kettle geological feature.

Open space zone

“This ridge can be protected”

 

10:22 p.m. Phil Griggs says his biggest concern is the massive excavation that would take place on the site.

10:20 p.m.

Man says industrial park has potential, small or not, to harm the river Suggests a place for fly fishermen to stay would be a better option.

 

10:11 p.m.

So far nobody from the Canton public has spoken in favor of the plan.

David Bidmead is talking about local petition of some 700 people. Says 40 more since Monday. Says it is spread well beyond neighborhood.

“For every signature from a NIMBY resident there are two signatures from non NIMBY residents.”

10:01

Resident speaking against, as most have. Man says sarcastically, “Holy c—- we’re suddenly not going to have a tax problem anymore. That’s absurd.”

 

9:49

Public continues to talk. Speaker now says it would absolutely affect the river.

I’m off for a few to shoot some video.

9:34 p.m.

Public about to speak. Begins with Eileen Fielding From the Farmington River Watershed Association. She’s talking about minimizing impact of development.

More restrictive development – She said that asks a lot of developer but also of trust from residents.

9:34 p.m.

Lance Perry is asking assessed value

Borghesi: Tax on land, equipment and inventory guesses Canton would get $30,000 to $40,000 a year per building

 

9:33 p.m.

Kieth August asks: “How can you protect us down the line 15 years from now.” with car dealerships, etc.

Borghesi: Those types of uses require special permit. Says commission has a lot of control.

Talks about tax benefits. “You are going to have six relatively small buildings here.”

9:29

Jonathan Thiesse says environmental accidents do happen.

Borghesi answers that there are a lot of restrictions says about old industrial factories: “That doesn’t exist anymore.”

 

9:26 p.m.

Chairman David B. asks about design district :Is that something you’re willing to do or not?

Borghesi: Yes I am.To the next question he adds that it would need to be a quick process

Commissioner Jonathan Thiesse says CVS was long process but once parameters in place it went more quickly

 

Lance Perry asks several questions about taking down portions of the ridge.

 

 

9:21 p.m.

Borghesi said he’s willing to work with town on a list of parameters.

 

9:19 p.m.

Lans Perry asks Borghesi if he’s willing to live with constraints why not apply for design district.

Borghesi said he is concerned about potential restriction of design, long process, etc.

Lans Perry responds that it’s possible to set a wide range of possibilities

. . gel process that meets everyone’s needs

9:14 p.m.

Lans Perry:

People love view of farm field.

“You can extinguish that use so it wouldn’t be conserved anyway”

He said opportunity location was intended for a range of uses.

 

9:11 p.m.

Borghesi: “You have a lot of controls on a business use. You have very little control on residential use. ”

9:09 p.m.

Commission members are still

Bill Sarmuk

It doesn’t seem like we have any idea of what’s going to go in there.

Borghesi: It will be office or industrial in nature.

9:05

 

Member Jonathan Thiesse asks about blanket industrial change

says change is till “who knows when.” Round of applause

 

Borghesi: Time does change, things do change: Size constraints protect the site.

Floats idea of selling back to the town, then buy back to place restrictions on site. As far as I’ve heard, he hasn’t mentioned the EDA recommendation of a Design District.

 

8:59

Mr. Borghesi finished his presentation touting benefits such as jobs, environment and more and the commission is now asking questions.

He says, “We intend to take a substantial portion of that mountain down .. .” Woman behind me says “That sucks.”

Developers first and last slides include picture of The Farmington River.

8:45

Borghesi: Site will drain away from the river. More talks about grades, etc.

“We’re protecting the river

“Right now taking to residents down river there’s no protection of the river”

“industrial and business is highly regulated”

Says no loss of value to residents

“There is a demonstrated need for this.”

 

 

 

8:37

Allan Borghesi:

700-foot driveway, come out to Route 44 – smaller buildings 24,000 feet or less, mostly less.

Talking about buffers. Says you would never see it from Mohawk.

2 to 3 percent grades on driveway

 

8:34

Allan Borghesi: History of gravel, cell tower, windmill, motel – He’s saying there is pattern of industrial

“We’re surrounded on three sides by business and/or industrial uses.”

Points out that zoning was established in 1957 – after gravel operation started.

“Met with Mowhawk Drive residents – 4 to 5 times.

I promised them I would provide them with a significant buffer from this development”

 

8:33

Allan Borghesi: Gravel operation occurred in Canton at least as far back as 1951. As he hands out maps to commission members, some muttering and talking among attendees.

It has ben disturbed almost entirely all the way through the site.

 

8:30

Allan Borghesi is talking about the POCD, need for business and the identification of the site as an opportunity location.

8:26

Borghesi starts presentation plan with why he chose industrial zone. He says “industrial probably scares a lot of people” but doesn’t involve smoke, spills, etc. that people envision.

 

8:21 p.m.

Allan Borghesi begins speaking; he says nothing he will do will disturb the river

8:17

Atty. Pearson is touting the credentials of Allan Borghesi, of Satan’s Kingdom, LLC and Borghesi Building and Engineering.

 

8:15

Atty. Robin Pearson is speaking on behalf of the Satan’s Kingdom, LLC applicant. She says the fact that the zone change area is nowhere near the Farmington River – some 500 feet –  has been lost – “the views from the river will not change on iota. ”

 

8:10 p.m.

The main show is about to begin.

Police are in the back but so far it’s quiet.

Chairman announces that if hearing is still going at 11 p.m. it will likely be continued

7:56 p.m.

Public hearing on excavation impacted soil in wetlands at 310 Albany Turnpike begins. Petroleum spill in 2008. Extensive remediation since then.

7:54

Commissioner makes motion to close hearing on lights at CHS but slips up and starts to say move to adjourn.

7:51

Residents given another chance to speak on temporary lights at CHS.

Neighbor asks that commission doesn’t give multi-year approval for lighting at CHS as advised by Neil Pade. Another neighbor says her house was lit up like a Christmas tree.”

7:48 p.m.

Only three members of the public spoke on temporary lights on three nights at CHS. Neil Pade, director of Community and Planning development is giving a report.

First up, at 7:40 is a matter of temporary lights at the CHS track and field facility for alumni weekend – Oct. 23, 24, 25.

P&Z Chairman has reviewed the rules for public speaking. There is a 5-minute limit for public speakers.

The Canton Planning and Zoning Commission is hosting a meeting Wednesday, Sept. 17. Several items are on the agenda but the most attention has been given to an application by Satan’s Kingdom, LLC, to change approximately 30.386 of its 38.99 acres in Canton (674, 684 Albany Turnpike) from residential to industrial.

 

 

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