Two weeks ago, Ridegview Estate residents and members of the Planning and Zoning Commission expressed concerns after a traffic study included with a proposal to bring "The Learning Center" daycare to West Street indicated that the heavily used state road had seen a decrease in traffic over the past eight years.
Further discussion on the issue will have to wait, however.
The commission continued a public hearing into the matter on Tuesday after Attorney Andy Denorfia, representing MC Realty and "The Learning Center," said Traffic Engineer Scott Hesketh, of F.A. Hesketh and Associates in East Granby, is still completing an updated study.
"We are expectingthe study to be complete in the next week and will bring it to (town) staff at that time," Denorfia said.
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The latest proposal calls for the development of a facility to serve a maximum of 149 clients on a business-zoned property at 2003 West St. The initial proposal called for 181 clients, with 19 employees and 44 parking spaces, but was rejected in January 2011 due to concerns regarding safety of traffic patterns and a lack of parking.
The prospect of having a daycare on West Street next to a 55 and over community has drawn mixed reactions from local residents, with some opposed and others saying it's a better option than other commercial businesses that could be placed at the location.
“A few of us visited the Learning Experience facility in Cromwell and I feel that, at least to me, it looks like a clown town. That does not fit with character and harmony within Ridgeview Estates,” said Richard Drouin, a 7-year resident of Ridgeview Estates. “It’s a very beautiful community and if drive by and see complex of that nature, I feel that there’s got to be a better use for facility.”
Condominium Association Director Martin Rizzi said, however, that in a survey conducted in the complex, all 34 current residents were questioned on how they felt about the proposal.
A total of 17 responded with 11 in favor, five opposed, one neutral and one “who took a position I could not understand,” he said.
The project will come back before the Southington Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 6 at Southington Town Hall.
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