A Lot of Talk but Little Action on Kobyluck’s Proposal

Waterford’s Planning and Zoning Commission breaks little new ground on the proposal for a rock processing plant.

Two items relating to Kobyluck Brothers’ bid to establish a rock processing plant at 28 Industrial Drive were on the agenda at last night’s Waterford Planning and Zoning Commission meeting but, though there was a lot of talk about both, the commissioners opted to take no action on either.

In the wake of the due to environmental concerns, many people expected that the Planning and Zoning Commission would follow suit. Indeed, that’s certainly the way the commissioners seem to be leaning.

Town Planning Director Thomas Wagner said he came to the meeting looking to get a clear sense of direction from the commissioners. They, in turn, were looking to get some clarification from him as to what they may or may not be able to do in light of the Conservation Commission’s decision.

Essentially, Wagner said, it boiled down to two questions: “Where is the buildable area? And what use is permissible?”

The first item before the Planning and Zoning Commission was Kobyluck’s application for a two-lot resubdivision at the site. After some discussion, commissioners agreed that the area in question at the top of the cul de sac was a buildable lot and, moreover, it was one that they’d like to see cleaned up. With that in mind, they said it could be resubdivided.

However, they also noted that since the Conservation Commission had ruled against constructing a bridge over Jordan Brook and, as the town has no interest in extending the existing road, there wasn’t much hope for a permanent roadway to the lot.

The second item, which was by far the more controversial, is Kobyluck’s application for a special permit and site plan approval to locate a building materials manufacturing facility on the site. Based on recently enacted changes to the town’s planning and zoning regulations, the kind of activity proposed by Kobyluck would be prohibited.

but, in the meantime, Wagner said the rules are clear.

“Ultimately, the commission is bound by its regulations,” he said. “The commission would need to deny the application.”

The commissioners seemed inclined to agree but they didn’t take any action on either item at the June 11 meeting. The Planning and Zoning Commission will most likely vote on both issues at its next meeting but Commission Chairman Edwin Maguire said that no matter what the commission decides, ultimately the entire proposal is likely to end up in a court case that will probably take quite some time to resolve.

The Planning and Zoning Commission also voted to postpone any decision on another issue last night. , LLC, is asking the commission to change zoning regulations in an area that currently calls for “age restricted housing” to “planned residential development.” The developer is also asking for a rule change to reduce the minimum acreage for a housing development from 50 to 10 acres.

White Knight argued that its proposed housing estate would be a good fit for Waterford’s long-term plan, which calls for low-impact development and for greater diversification of residential housing. The relatively small (less than 2,000-square-foot) homes it proposes to build on a 9.6 acre estate off Rope Ferry Road, White Knight representatives said, would suit the needs of the town’s aging population and the town’s desire for more affordable housing.

White Knight is asking the planning and zoning commission to lift the age restrictions that are currently placed on housing development in that area, representatives said, because it’s more in-line with what the aging population desires and because the properties would be easier to resell in the current housing market.

Planning and Zoning commissioners seemed amenable to the idea but one commissioner, who did have a few questions about the proposal, was unable to attend last night’s meeting. Accordingly, commissioners opted to postpone further discussion and continue the public hearing to the next meeting, when all the commissioners are expected to be present.

William Terry June 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM
If a simple bridge cannot be carefully built over a small brook, how can we ever expect Route 11 to be finished? With the technology, environmental protection available today, I am sure Kobyluck can have a bridge built without disturbing the frogs. Perhaps they could develop a program to relocate the displaced frogs to Milers Pond and provide flys for the rest of their natural lives.
Jenelle June 12, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Multi-family homes on Rope Ferry Road? They want to put up four-plexes. How many of these four-family homes are being proposed?
Jayne Keedle June 12, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Hi Jenelle, as you can imagine, the development doesn't call for too many properties on the site, as it's less than 10 acres but the public hearing will be continued at the next Planning and Zoning meeting, as will the discussion on Kobyluck's proposal. The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on June 25, and there will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions.


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