Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Taking action now...

Neighbors opposed to the gravel pit have begun submitting letters to the Hamden Planning and Zoning Commission, even in advance of the October 10 public hearing. Scroll down to see an eloquent statement from John Mack Faragher, filed Wednesday. All citizens, no matter where they live, can submit testimony in advance -- and can speak at the hearing as well. If you plan to write a letter or submit other types of evidence (photographs, statistics, etc.) in advance, you'll want to be sure that your materials are in the mail (or email) no later than 10/5/06 to ensure that they are on file when the hearing begins.

Verbal testimony can be delivered at the hearing -- and is strongly encouraged -- but it's also recommended that you submit your comments in writing, either before or during the public session. It's also a good idea to cc your written testimony to other Town and State officials, as indicated on Mr. Faragher's letter. For more information on this effort, scroll down to our 9/24/06 posting where you'll see another letter, from Mr. Bartolini, as well as more recommendations on format.

And thank you in advance for your efforts: statements from the public, written and/or verbal, are crucial --

To: Hamden Planning and Zoning Commission, c/o Dan Kops, Assistant Town
Planner (
cc: Leslie A. Creane; Craig Henrici; Alfred Aldinofi; Martin M. Looney; Robert Westervelt; Joe Crisco; Philip Brewer
From: John Mack Faragher, 95 Brooksvale Ave, Hamden CT 06518
Re: Special Permit 06-1088, 4246 (rear) and 4280 Whitney Ave., R-2 Zone

My wife and I have been residents of the Mt. Carmel section of Hamden since 1988, and residents of New Haven County for thirty-five years. We are deeply concerned about the negative impact of the sand and gravel mining operation proposed for the site bordered by Whitney Ave. and the Farmington Canal Trail, which is near our home on Brooksvale Ave.

The operation will be dirty and dusty, noisy, and the fumes of the trucks will pose a public health hazard. It will result in massive environmental degradation to an area identified as a critical part of the region's watershed and located at the very center of the town's best open space and parkland. It will threaten the great recreational and significant historical resource of the Canal Trail. The so-called "ponds," left after the mining is completed, will pose a safety hazard to neighborhood children.

This proposed mining operation is completely contrary to the town's Plan of Development, which calls for low-impact development and open space for the northern portion of the town's Whitney Ave. corridor. It is obviously inappropriate to permit an industrial operation to exist in the midst of a quiet residential neighborhood. The dozens of heavy trucks that will enter
and exit the site every working day will play havoc with traffic on already-crowded Whitney Ave., and will pose a significant safety hazard.

Indeed, I will be interested to hear, at the public hearing scheduled for 10 October, whether the proponents can come up with a single positive feature--other than their own enrichment at the expense of the health, safety, and welfare of the Mt. Carmel neighborhood and the town of Hamden.

Many proposals for development are hard to decide, involving a careful balance of pros and cons. But this is an open and shut case. I urge the Hamden Planning and Zoning Commission to do the right and lawful thing: Deny this application for a special permit.


John Mack Faragher
Arthur Unobskey Professor of American History
Director, Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders
PO Box 208324
Yale University
New Haven CT 06520-8324


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