By TAYLOR HARTZ
Public hearings are still open regarding proposed zoning changes between Spring Street and West Street.
At a meeting on April 5, the Planning and Zoning Commission heard more opposition from residents who would be affected by zone changes in this area.
The West Street Subcommittee recommended a zone boundary change to four properties located on Spring Street and West Street that would re-zone industrial and residential properties into Mixed Use Transitional zones. No such zone currently exists in town regulations.
PZC vice chairman Paul Chaplinsky, chairman of the West Street Subcommittee, said this type of zoning would allow “for a softer transition to the West Street Business Zone,” during the first public hearing on March 15.
The first property being targeted, said Chaplinsky, would be an industrial (I-2) zone between Curtiss Street and Spring Street, that extends into the existing subdivisions on Spring Hill Road and Summit Farms Road.
Chaplinsky said that having an industrial zone neighboring residential zones was “Not something we thought would be appropriate.” The intent of the MUT zone is to reduce the intensity of allowable industrial uses.
“The thought is that we are looking for a subtle transition as we drive away from the highway and as we get to the West Street Business Zone,” said Chaplinsky.
Several residents spoke in opposition to the proposed changes during the second public hearing.
Angelo Coppolla, a resident of Spring Hill Road, said the proposed rezoning was like a “Queen Street deja vu.”
“We cannot live with another Queen Street,” said Coppolla.
He submitted a petition signed by 75 residents of Spring Street, Summit Farms Road, and Spring Hill Road, who oppose the MUT zone.
Coppollaa said the residents of these streets are “going to see the results of your decision in close proximity to their homes,” and that they are “concerned and worried.”
Twelve other residents also spoke out against the rezoning, concerned with traffic speeds, property values, and wetlands in the area.
Chaplinsky recommended each commissioner visit the site, and consider concerns including building height and residential property to the north.
“It would be really good to walk this property and have a good understanding of what the topography looks like,” said Chaplinsky.
Attorney Mark Sciota recommended a special meeting of the PZC on-site.
The commission agreed to keep the public hearing open until the next meeting, which is scheduled for April 19. A 65-day extension on the zone changes passed unanimously by the PZC.