Letter: PZC secretary addresses public criticism

To the editor:

Given all that has been written about the Planning & Zoning Commission’s approval of the medical office building on Queen St, the e-mail communications that have gone back and forth between the Community Committee to Save Bradley group, P&Z Chairman DelSanto, and myself, and the many articles in the newspapers that contain several inaccuracies, it is time that I state the facts for all to know.

The application first came before the PZC on Nov. 18. The agent for the applicant stated on the record that they were aware of the concerns of several citizens, and that they would be willing to stipulate that no emergency services would occur at this medical office building. At the end of the presentation, the commission had a concern about the traffic flow and the amount of black top in the parking area, so we tabled the application and asked the applicant to consider our feedback and come back with their changes.

During the next PZC meeting on Dec. 2, the agent for the applicant presented their updated site plan, which included a commitment to connect to the abutting property in the future as well as using John Weichsel Dr. once it is improved by the town. They also eliminated a good amount of black top toward the rear of the parking area. The PZC was satisfied with the site plan, and we unanimously approved it, 7-0, with the stipulation of no emergency services.

I now want to address the e-mail communications that were sent.

Following the PZC meeting on Nov. 18, Ms. Sica sent an e-mail to Chairman DelSanto and the council expressing concern about the flow of traffic onto Queen St. and asking that a right-turn-only be stipulated. She also expressed concern about an urgent care facility being opened there. She ended that note by requesting that her note be shared with the PZC members.

Following the meeting on Dec. 2, in which we approved the site plan application, Ms. Sica sent a note to Chairman DelSanto and copied the entire PZC, the council, and several members of the Community Committee to Save Bradley group in which she told the chairman that he cannot think past the paper in front of him; He is an autonomous elected official; Southington zoning is a nightmare; and she was disappointed that the Chairman did not notify her that the application was coming before us again.

I replied to Ms. Sica’s e-mail to tell her that I was appalled with her comments to our Chairman, asking her who the hell she thought she was, and requesting that she apologize to Chairman DelSanto and the PZC. At no time did Ms. Sica reach out to me and request an apology following my note.

It is important to understand that no communications between Chairman DelSanto and Ms. Sica were shared with any members of the PZC prior to the meeting on Dec. 2. I, along with the other members of the PZC, only received a copy of the e-mail trail between Ms. Sica and Chairman DelSanto from Ms. Sica on Dec. 3. There were also previous requests by Ms. Sica for the Chairman to hold a public hearing for this application.

It is also important to understand that this site plan application did not require a public hearing; therefore, Chairman DelSanto made the decision, without input from the PZC, to not schedule a public hearing for this application. This is the Chairman’s responsibility, and I respect his decision.

Many have said that my comments to Ms. Sica were uncharacteristically harsh in response to the accusations that were directed at Chairman DelSanto. In order to bring closure to this issue and allow us all to move on, I would like to apologize to Ms. Sica for the tone of my e-mail to her. I only hope she does the same with Chairman DelSanto.

Stephen C. Kalkowski, Southington PZC Secretary

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