Commission sets Oct. 20 as hearing date for proposed gravel access road at 9-15 Albany
Correction: An earlier version of this story had the wrong date for the hearing.
By John Fitts
CANTON – On Oct. 20, the Canton Planning and Zoning Commission will host a public hearing on a proposed gravel access road at 9-15 Albany Turnpike.
The owners of the property are looking to export approximately 17,659 cubic yards – or 22,957 tons of material – from the site in order to construct a 540 liner feet gravel access roadway “to support future site development” on the 26-acre property. "The proposed road would cross the properties in Canton from Brass Lantern Road east to the Simsbury town line," according to town documents.
The property was the site of a contentious development proposal for an EV showroom, fueling station and convenience stores with eateries. While most of the land is in Simsbury, much of that development would have been in Canton. While the development team said the previous development with pumps designed to convert EV chargers and “higher level” eateries represented the future of transportation but opponents objected several aspects of the plan including blasting of the traprock ridge and the proximity of the 51 Albany Turnpike, a state superfund site and the former home of J. Swift Chemical. Whether activity could mobilize pollution from that site was a major point of contention.
During that application process, some of the development plans denoted an access road that the development team said was for future residential development on the property and potentially an abutting property. On his real estate web site, Mark Greenberg, manager of the LLC that owns the property, also listed housing and hotel as a potential use for the land.
However, he and Kevin Solli, of Solli Engineering, who filed the application narrative and was a key member of the development team for the last proposal, have not returned messages left late last week.
The new application proposes less blasting than the previous one but does note the plan to remove 22,957 tons, or 957 trucks of material from the site.
While the application estimates 300 working days for the project, it contends blasting would be limited in scope to approximately two to three blasts per month and approximately 90 days of construction dedicated to material export, with about 10 to 11 truck trips on those days.
In addition to its own public hearing, the commission has referred the application to the Conservation Commission for an advisory opinion and set a fee of $6,000 for technical review of the proposal.
At a meeting Sept. 15, when the commission received the application, Neil Pade, the town’s direction of Planning and Community Development, said he was still waiting for a detailed list from the town attorney regarding some aspects of the application. In a staff memo to the commission, Pade noted some legal and logistical questions about the application, including its proposal for an accessory use without a primary use.
Pade also suggested that the commission reference the previous application for the property, which would allow members to incorporate technical information from it into this proceeding.