PZC rejects commercial zone plan for Talcottville Road
By Jason Rowe
VERNON - The Planning and Zoning Commission has unanimously rejected a requested commercial zoning designation for 36 acres of land on Talcottville Road.
In a 7-0 vote Thursday, the commission affirmed the consensus reached last month that the current Planned Development Zone status for the property was adequate.
Faith R. Lyman, 93, who owns most of the property 243 and 253 Talcottville Road, asked the commission to change the parcel's zoning. A smaller parcel owned by Robert and Carol Bardin was also included in the 36 acres under consideration for the zone change.
After the vote, Lyman's lawyer, Joseph Capossela, said he was uncertain if the PZC's decision would be appealed.
Lyman's property is one of the last remaining undeveloped parcels in the 275-acre Gerber Farm area and most of the surrounding parcels have been developed to include multi-family housing including the Quail Hollow age-restricted housing developments on Dart Hill Road, and some industrial development.
In arguing for the zone change on behalf of Lyman, Capossela said the town has always intended that commercial development be allowed along the parts of the property fronting Talcottville Road.
But while the town's intentions might have been to allow commercial uses on that property, PZC members said they did not want to give up the density controls granted to the town through the Planned Development Zone.
Commercial development is allowed in the Planned Development Zone, but with lower densities. The PZC must also grant a special use permit for any commercial operations in the zone.
During the public hearing process, a number of residents expressed concern about large-scale developments on the site.
Among those speaking against the zone change were representatives of the Friends of the Hockanum River Linear Park, who urged the commission to consider how the project might affect the stream, which flows across the property, located on the west side of Talcottville Road, across from Allan Drive.
©Journal Inquirer 2006