Representatives of the S. Carpenter Construction Company are seeking to create an Earth excavation processing facility at the end of Triano Drive, but their proposal is being met with stiff opposition from neighboring residents concerned about their quality of life.
Nearly 30 residents from along Lazy Lane and Melcon Drive filled several rows in the Council Chambers at as plans were presented for the site during the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Tuesday evening.
Their message was made clear and stated repeatedly - do not allow any construction projects on that property.
“I didn’t just buy my house there. I was born there; this is my life,” said Lazy Lane resident Joan Bradley. “Is the town out to destroy Lazy Lane? First we dealt with problems caused by Solvent Recovery and now we are looking at a ton of issues with this.”
Carpenter Construction, which owns the last parcel along the industrial road known as Triano Drive, is seeking a special permit for the development of an Earth excavation processing facility. The property is located roughly 1,200 feet from Lazy Lane and 1,050 feet from the nearest home, Development Attorney Anthony Denorfia said.
The proposal does not include the development of any buildings, but would instead allow the construction company to operate a “self-operating” processing plant on site. The operation would include the processing of topsoil, sand and crushed stone on site.
Stephen Giudice, a consultant and principal of Harry E. Cole & Sons, told members of the commission that a condition of site plan approval through the Conservation Commission does not allow for any hazardous materials or contaminated soil to be brought onto the site.
In addition, there will be no reclamation work done on site which means there will be no burning of materials or use of added chemicals.
But residents expressed concern that although Denorfia said it will not affect local homes and the location is in an isolated area, it is closer than indicated and would have strong negative effects on quality of life for neighbors.
Robert DeLeon Jr., a resident of Lazy Lane, questioned the analysis made by developers and said the combination of noise, dust and the proximity of the work are all unfair to residents.
“This site is anything but isolated,” DeLeon said. “When I look out my back window, I see the site. I’ve heard the truck on the site for the last two months and watched them as they’ve gone continually up and down Lazy Lane, not Queen Street as this plan represents.”
With workers on site as often as six days a week, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays, Stan Slipski said he’s extremely concerned that residents won’t get a break and will be constantly exposed to dust and other factors that will adversely affect their health.
The plan calls for a maximum of 32 trucks to be taken on the site per day – a total of as many as three trips per hour, Slipski noted – which would adversely affect the noise as well and cause further dust.
Bradley, a 65-year resident at her home on Lazy Lane, said these factors would make it impossible to even consider opening a window in the summer.
“I have a fire pit and one of my favorite activities is to sit on the back porch and enjoy the evening. I won’t be able to do that anymore,” she said. “Just once, I’d like to see someone look out for the residents for a change.”
Residents have been irritated by the ongoing construction and development within the industrial zone along Triano Drive. This is the eighth of nine plots to be developed on the subdivision and lies closest to Lazy Lane and the residential properties.
Giudice and Denorfia said that, despite complaints on Tuesday, their client has not done any work on the site in the last several months. Instead, the work seen has been construction crews hired by the town and other companies completing their construction in that area.
Furthermore, both also said that they would assure residents that work would be done as efficiently as possible, using a water truck to minimize any dust run off. They said the site could also remain dormant at times as well.
“As far as land goes, this is about as isolated a property as there is in Southington,” Denorfia said.
Commission members expressed concerns regarding the proposal as well and chose to keep the public hearing open until staff is able to gather more information. The hearing will resume on May 1.