SOUTHINGTON — Residents had some questions and concerns during a public hearing at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday night over a proposal to transform nine of the 18 holes at Pine Valley Golf Course into a residential subdivision.
Sev Bovino, a planner with Kratzert Jones & Associates in Milldale, representing Lovely Development Inc., explained to the commission that the developer is proposing 94 lots on the property. The single-family homes would be in the price range of $470,000 to $600,000. About 30 applicants have shown interest in the subdivision and many were looking for “smaller homes” with a master bedroom on the first floor. The development, on Welch Road, could take up to five years to complete.
Bovino said the plans are to keep 70 acres of the 138-acre property for open space and said any open space would act as buffers.
“Our goal was to preserve as much open space as possible,” he said.
Mark Lovely, president of Lovely Development, said in July that a contract was signed to purchase the golf course and surveying of the land started that month.
Monica Cusano, of 90 Welch Road, wanted to make sure that the trees on her property were staying and weren’t going to be torn up.
Marcel Lessard, of 75 W. Pine Drive, was concerned that there would be a lot of construction traffic on his road to get to Welch Road. With the recent developments and construction on West Pines Drive, he was concerned about having another “two or three” years of traffic in the area that doesn’t have sidewalks and is populated with a lot of children. Lessard did agree with the open space concept proposed for the subdivision.
“It’s bittersweet to see the golf course go away,” Lessard said.
Andrew Quirk, an engineer with Kratzert Jones & Associates, said they worked closely with the golf course to keep the trees and the character of the area by leaving a lot of open space.
Bovino said they hope to keep the 18 hole golf course open “as long as possible” if and when construction begins.
The issue was unanimously tabled because Dave Lavallee, the acting town planner, was not present at the meeting.