SOUTHINGTON – Town planners approve the purchase of a Plantsville corner lot, a sale that heads to the Town Council for final approval.
Linda Zommer, owner of the tenth of an acre property on South Main Street, offered the land to the town for $40,000. Since 2017, four vehicles have traveled through the intersection and over Zommer 's property to hit the building at 26 W. Main St.
Some town officials have emphasized the safety improvement that would result from the town owning the lot, while others have touted the potential aesthetic boost it could be to Plantsville.
The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the purchase during a meeting Tuesday night. The Town Council must also vote in favor of the purchase to close the deal.
The contract stipulates that the property will be used for a mini park and the beautification of Plantsville. Robert Salka, planning commission vice chairman, said that use could be modified by the council however.
Town officials have suggested seating, a decorative wall and other improvements for the vacant lot that would encourage pedestrians and provide a place for patrons of local businesses to gather.
“It’d be a nice touch for that piece of property downtown,” Salka said.
Peter Santago, a commission member, asked about increased town liability by putting a wall in the area where cars have crashed.
“A car goes into the wall and we just increased our liability?” he said.
Jim Grappone, assistant town engineer, said any state or local fixed object near a road could be a liability but that there is statutory protection against lawsuits.
He said town’s purchase and improvement of the lot would tie in nicely with a larger beautification project in Plantsville going out to bid this year.
“I think that would be perfect for this area,” he said of the mini park. “I think the project is going to provide more impetus on revitalizing this area.”
Santago ultimately supported the purchase and was optimistic about the revitalization.
“Right now, it’s kind of an eyesore,” he said. “It’s taking away from Plantsville in its current state.”
Town records show the property assessed for $66,000.