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Commission closes hearing for latest 9-15 Albany Turnpike application

Posted at 1 p.m. Feb. 18. Please see the March 4 edition of The Valley Press for an expanded version of this article. We will also periodically update coverage of this issue on this site.

By John Fitts Staff Writer

CANTON – The Canton Planning and Zoning Commission on Feb.16 closed a public hearing for the latest application at 9-15 Albany Turnpike.

Development on the 26-acre plus property has been the subject of much debate and the development team working for the property owner said the proposal for earthwork and grading and the net export of approximately 17,659 cubic yards of material from the site – about 13,000 of which would be in the town of Canton – is a step in the development process.

Town staff, commissioners and a town attorney have raised numerous questions about the application and debate has ensued about whether the Canton Zoning Regulations allow such an activity without a related site plan, defined use and other information that might be needed to evaluate the special permit criteria and conformity to the town’s form-based code governing the property.

The development team contended the grading plan was potentially to support a future access road but argued the application did not include a “use.” They further contended the regulations do allow such an approach, but principal owner Mark Greenberg told the commission the activity would not take place until further plans are filed in Canton and Simsbury. The development team has also contended the applicant’s “fundamental fairness” has been compromised during the process.

At a Jan. 19 meeting he told the commission that the likely scenario for the property would be a Cumberland Farms in Canton and residential housing and a restaurant in Simsbury.

The Feb. 16 hearing was the third installment of the hearing and designed to be limited in scope to the technical engineering issues stemming from a review by a town consultant and the applicant’s summation. The latter did include a submission of a new perspective on the zoning issues.

While the application did not generate the level of resistance as a development plan for an Electric Vehicle Showroom, convenience store and fueling station at the site that the commission denied in June of 2021, several residents and the Canton Advocates for Responsible Expansion wrote in opposition to the plan.

Several residents also spoke during the hearing.

Additionally, the Metropolitan District Commission expressed that it was “very concerned” about the prospect of blasting near and in the same rock formation as its 48-inch water main located in Route 44. Among the requirements MDC said it would implement is professional liability insurance of at least $2 million.

The commission did not start deliberating on the plan Feb. 16, noting that it needs some additional material before members can consider the application. That includes a further opinion from the town attorney and the town’s consultant review of the latest engineering report.

The next regular commission meeting is scheduled for March 16.



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