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Development proposed for 100 Nod Road in Avon

By John Fitts

Staff Writer

This aerial, taken from the Inland Wetlands application, shows the site of the proposed development.

AVON – A local developer is proposing 55 residential units on a 9.3-acre parcel along Nod Road and is seeking a wetlands permit for regulated activities, one of the first approvals needed for the project.

After determining at a Dec. 6 meeting that the project would have substantial public interest, the Inland Wetlands commission scheduled a public hearing for the evening of Jan. 9.

The development, which is dubbed Eagles’ Point, is being proposed by 100 Nod Way, LLC, which is associated with The Keystone Companies, based in Simsbury.

The plan for 100 Nod Road calls for 13 single family homes set on small lots of 0.26 acres or less and 8 separate duplexes containing a total of 42 units on a 6.52-acre portion of the land.

The homes would include separate driveways to Nod Way and the townhouses would be accessed from a private driveway intersecting Nod Way and Nod Road, the application states.

The land was once part of the Blue Fox Run Golf Course but in 1997, the town straightened a portion of Nod Road by paving a connection between two sharp curves, according to the application.

That curve was renamed Nod Way and the land now sits between it and Nod Road.

The application asserts that no wetlands would be negatively affected by the development.

According to the application, the town’s activities “channelized” an open watercourse of the south end of the property – a segment of a small stream, - which runs east to west and enters and exits the property through underground culverts installed by the town, the application states. A “fringe” of woodland wetland borders that stream on site, according to the application

The town also channelized an intermittent watercourse in the northeast corner of the site, according to the application. The development would not change existing discharge and drainage, according to the application.

The northwest and southwestern portions of the development are within the 100-foot upland review area, but only small portions, the application states.

One driveway and related site improvements in the northwestern part of construction would be within 100-foot upland review area but that area does not drain toward the stream, according to the application.

On the southwestern portion of the property, the only activity within the 100-foot upland review area would be the extension of a water main within the paved portion of Nod Road, a relatively brief activity, the application states.

“No activities are proposed within wetlands and watercourses, and, as such, no direct impacts will occur,” Timothy S. Hollister, partner at Hartford-based Hinckley Allen wrote in the application. “The proposed site improvements are designed to avoid indirect impacts to any function of a wetland or watercourse, in the short and long-term, through the incorporation of various best management practices such as a soil erosion and sediment control measures and stormwater management measures.

Overall, the development will result in an increase in impervious coverage. To mitigate and manage stormwater runoff from these impervious surfaces, three water quality treatment basins are proposed. These basins will manage runoff from each of the single-family residences as well as the multi-family buildings and the associated impervious surfaces. In addition to managing onsite stormwater runoff, the development has been designed to also manage the stormwater runoff from Nod Way and from land to the east that currently discharges to the property via a culvert from Nod Way.”

The application also asserts that wetlands delineation determined that other wetlands or watercourses indicated or suggested in published records for the property do not actually exist.

The property is owned by 100 Nod Way, LLC. the principal of that company is The Keystone Companies, based in Simsbury, which purchased the property from Nod Road Properties, Lisa Wilson Foley principal, for $800,000 in February of 2020, according to town records.

The property was then deeded to 100 Nod Way, LLC, records indicate.

P. Anthony Giorgio, PhD is managing director of Nod Road Properties, according to the application. He is also principal of the Keystone Companies, according to state filings.

Nod Road development has been the subject of fierce debate in the past few years and the Inland Wetlands Commission twice denied proposals by Keystone and other partners to amend the town’s wetlands map for a planned development on a portion of the Blue Fox Run Golf Course in 2019 and 2020. The Planning and Zoning Commission also denied a proposed zone change in 2019.

Central in the those applications was formal resistance from Nod Road Preservation, Inc., which ran a Save Nod Road Campaign and those meetings on the proposed development were, at times, quite contentious.

Nod Road Preservation Inc. president Chris Carville noted that the group has been expecting the application for 100 Nod Road.

“We’ve been watching and waiting for an application on this property,” Carville wrote in a message to the Valley Press. “We knew it was just a matter of time. We’ve been talking with our supporters, and we are all paying close attention to how this application proceeds.”

Carville did not go into detail about how the group would react at the public hearings or if it would put in the professional resources it did for the development proposal for a portion of the golf course, but he did add, “We stand behind our mission statement, which, in part reads: Nod Road Preservation, Inc. (NRP) aims to protect the natural beauty, country peacefulness, and authentic charm associated with Nod Road and the greater Farmington Valley through responsible land management.”

Giorgio has responded to the Valley Press’ inquiries on the property but as of press time had not presented a formal statement on the project beyond what is in the application.

On Dec. 6, the Inland Wetlands Commission concurred with a recommendation by town staff to have the North Central Conservation District review the wetlands report included with the application for 100 Nod Road. Additionally, members set the hearing for Jan. 9, 2023. While the commission has a scheduled meeting earlier in January, at least one member would be away and there were concerns about making sure a quorum was reached, especially since members Michael Feldman and Gary Giannini have recused themselves from the application. They did not specify their reasons, but Feldman is on the abutters list for the application, indicating he lives near the project. And while Feldman said he felt he could be objective, he stated it was best he recused himself for any appearance of lack of objectivity.

In addition to the wetlands commission, the project would need some approvals from the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission but at press time it was not clear how exactly that application would be filed and when.

Sources indicated that the application could come in under the state’s 8-30g affordable housing statute, under which allow the developer to potentially streamline some parts of the typical zoning process, such as not being required to seek a zone change for the agriculturally zoned land.

Developments under the statute also put more of a burden on the town, limiting – but not fully eliminating - the reasons for which a zoning commission in a municipality can deny a development.

The meeting has been set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9. See the agenda at https://www.avonct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif151/f/agendas/2023_jan9_specialmeeting.pdf


This drawing, submitted as part of the Inland Wetlands application, shows the proposed housing layout on site.

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