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Letter to the Editor: Canton Town Garage Must be Relocated

October 19, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum No Comments

To the Editor:

The Canton town garage must be relocated to a more suitable site than the beautiful Farmington River, as a matter of law, to add to local employment and business and  for recreation and enjoyment.

The Canton Plan Of Conservation And Development (POCD) is a legal document (Section 823  CT General Statute) and  the result of a bipartisan effort by a  Planning Commission Committee, and  approved by Town voters, and made  every 10 years as required by law.  It is often referred to in State Court decisions as a basis for either approving or denying a planning and zoning commission decision.    Any party seeking approval for new construction ignores the POCD at their peril.  Including the most recent POCD and going back more than 20 years, among the major goals identified by the POCD for conservation and development of town assets has been to relocate the town garage.

Non-residents visit Canton, other than to see friends and relatives, for economic or recreational reasons.  We  are all familiar with the growing popularity of Collinsville and the bike and pedestrian trail.  New shops and restaurants have opened.  If the Farmington River was polluted or hidden from view, we would not have experienced this growth.  The Town garage is not a welcoming gateway to Collinsville.  Removing obstacles for a better bike and pedestrian  trail experience and facilitating access to the River will only increase the number of out of town visitors, add to local employment, and grow our local businesses.

The Farmington River is one of Canton’s greatest natural resources.  If the River was polluted or its banks lined with warehouses, it would not be the treasure it has become.  Better access and views all surely increase its use and attraction.  Most of us seek out waterfront places, often spending great sums of money to vacation, dine, and recreate by the water, whether it be riverfront, lakefront, or oceanfront.  Before you vote, think about your own experience with waterfront visits.  How many town garages are located on Cape Cod beaches or on our many New England lakes?  What other Farmington Valley Towns have town garages on the Farmington River?  Waterfront is finite; new waterfront is not being created; and it is just too precious to obstruct with a use incompatible with public recreation and enjoyment.  For more facts and details please log onto www.cantonnotonourriver.com. Thank all of you who have taken the time to read this and who will exercise their right to vote on November 8.

Jay B. Weintraub
Member, Canton Zoning Commission 1988-2012; Chairman 2006-2012

 

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