Compounce excavation plan draws opposition from homeowners in Southington

Compounce excavation plan draws opposition from homeowners in Southington


SOUTHINGTON — Panthorn Trail residents are opposing an excavation plan for property just south of Lake Compounce recently purchased by the amusement park.

Park officials filed an application to remove 61,000 yards of dirt from the 8-acre parcel “for potential amusement park expansion, parking area or picnic area.” No plans have been filed or indication given as to what might go there.

Property owners on nearby Panthorn Trail are worried about the park expanding closer to their homes and the accompanying increase in noise. During a Planning and Zoning Commission hearing on the plan, neighbors were also worried about what effect the excavation might have on nearby wells.

Commissioners pressed amusement park representatives on what might go on the land.

“That’s not part of this application,” said Andrew Quirk, an engineer representing Lake Compounce.

Festival Fun Parks LLC bought the property on the west side of Mount Vernon Road south of the lake for $400,000 from Briarwood Real Estate Limited, the company that owns the Lincoln College of New England property across the street. The purchased land is zoned R-40 and R-80 as is the land where Lake Compounce is located according to Town Planner Rob Philips.

Amusements, parking lots or picnic areas are allowed in R-40 and R-80 zones but are subject to a special permit application, Philips said, which includes public hearings and zoning board approval.

Commission members closed the public hearing Tuesday night after hearing from Panthorn Trail residents about their opposition to nearby changes. With the public hearing closed, new information cannot be submitted. The commission could make a decision at its next meeting, Philip said.

Philips said the town likely wouldn’t have conducted a water study and that would have required hiring a third party.

“We don’t have the expertise for that,” he said.

Joseph and Barbara Seremet bought their house at the end of Panthorn Trail 27 years ago and other than some noise complaints haven’t had problems with the amusement park.

“Yes, we hear noise and screams from the lake, but they obey the covenants,” Barbara Seremet said.

The couple is concerned that removal of a rise on the nearby property bought by Lake Compounce would eliminate a noise barrier and change the way water runs off the nearby ridge. The property should only be used to build homes, they said.

The next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting is scheduled for August 15. 203-317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

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