The Pit and the Town Plan of Development
In evaluating the gravel pit application during the public hearing on October 10, the Planning and Zoning Commission will be focusing on eight "threshold points" as required by section 826 of the Hamden zoning regulations. (All eight are listed in our 9/24 posting below.) The second threshold point is how the gravel pit relates to the Hamden Plan of Conservation and Development (PCD). Here is the relevant quote: “In deciding whether or not to grant a Special Permit, the Commission shall give consideration to, but not be limited by, the following:… 2.Compliance with the Plan of Development.”
You can see the entire PCD – more than 180 pages – online at http://www.hamden.com. (Go to Government/Town Depts N-Z/Planning/Regulations.) If you’d like to receive a document citing extracts from the Plan that are especially relevant to the Pit, contact Sarah Clark at 248-8181.
Several weeks ago, Al Gorman, Councilman-at-Large, president of the Hamden Legislative Council, and a resident of northern Hamden, submitted a letter to the PZC opposing the project. In that letter, he cited in particular several ways in which the developer's plan is inconsistent with the PCD. Here is the letter in its entirety; the highlights are mine (Sarah Clark’s).
September 6, 2006
Hamden Planning & Zoning Commission
Hamden Government Center
2750 Dixwell Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
RE: Special Permit & Site Plan 06-1088/WS
4246 (rear) and 4280 Whitney Avenue R-2 zone
Dear Chairman and Commission members:
“Residential” according to Webster’s Dictionary is an adjective defined as “suitable for residences or homes: as, a residential neighborhood.” The Mount Carmel/West Woods area of northern Hamden, with no stretch of the imagination, is a residential neighborhood even with a state highway dissecting it and businesses dotting that artery. It is not a place for a mining operation or quarry excavation.
Hamden is committed to the goal of “promoting the conservation and preservation of natural resources as part of future development activity,” according to the community’s Plan of Conservation and Development, p. 32. The implication is to preserve what exists, not bulldoze and replant. In particular, the Plan cites in Goal #6, p. 130 “. . . protection of natural resources should be the paramount concern” for the area north of West Woods Road; the objective is to “focus on low density development, no extension of non-residential uses….”
The rationale to deny this special permit is clear. For this neighborhood in northern Hamden, this project is inappropriate and in discord. Traffic safety, noise, possible health issues, and environmental disturbances will impact residents’ lives for up to two years. Once begun, it could be burdensome to monitor this project and it will take decades to reclaim what now exists naturally. Often engineering can provide solutions to complicated situations, but it can not create a natural environment nor can it guarantee any enhancement of our neighborhood and Hamden’s quality of life.
Thank you for your consideration
Al Gorman, Councilman At-Large
270 Willow Street
Hamden, CT 06518
Thank you, Mr. Gorman, for your support.
(This version of Mr. Gorman’s letter was typed by Gus Spohn so it could be posted on the web. A copy of the original letter is on file in the town Planning and Zoning office in the Government Center.)