Cheshire PZC to hold third hearing on controversial development

Cheshire PZC to hold third hearing on controversial development

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CHESHIRE — The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold its third hearing Monday on a proposal for six custom-built homes along Cornwall Avenue Extension, near Mountain Road.

The hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. It may be followed by a regular meeting to discuss the plan, including a proposed zoning revision.

When contacted Friday, Commission Chairman Earl J. Kurtz III did not commit to a vote on the proposal.

“It's the third public hearing. We will have plenty of time to vote,” Kurtz said.

The proposed homes would be built on property that was once farmland owned by the Bens family. The first phase of the project, an 11-lot subdivision, saw some setbacks in 2016, when an illegal dumpsite was discovered.

Carolyn Kelly of Cheshire, is the registered principal of Clearview Farm Preserve LLC, the name of the applicant. Clearview's developers are Paul and Phil Bowman. Paul Bowman was a longtime member of the Town Council until his resignation from the council earlier this month.

The project's first phase saw the development Beechwood Court, the 11-lot subdivision off Mountain Road. Paul Bowman previously said that construction had been completed on all but two of the custom-built homes.

A small group of residents, including some neighbors, raised concerns over the six additional homes during a previous hearing on Feb. 10. Residents said they were concerned about waste water, other environmental hazards and whether the narrow road would be able to accommodate traffic around the development.

Commission members had their own concerns about the project. Commissioner Gilbert Linder, who did not attend the previous hearing, addressed his concerns in a letter to his commission colleagues.

In that letter, Linder noted the existing paved roadway that is Cornwall Road Extension is “not up to standards” in terms of width.

The roadway at its narrowest is about 14 feet wide and at its widest is 18 feet wide. Those widths are narrow when compared to the standard width of 30 feet, Linder wrote, adding such width is “barely enough room for two way traffic.”

Attorneys and engineers representing the developers meanwhile, contended that the additional roadway that would be built to accommodate the development would have a cul-de-sac built at the end, allowing large vehicles to make turns, and would be wide enough to accommodate other traffic.

Despite the assurances, commission members didn't sound entirely convinced the roadway would be wide enough to accommodate traffic.

Commissioner Jeff Natale told the developers he made his own visit to the site.

He observed that another vehicle would not have been able to drive by his sport utility vehicle on the street. He added he was concerned about an ambulance “not being able to get by or get down the street.”