Feelings ran high Monday at a Wilton Planning and Zoning meeting on changes to allow a townhome development in Cannondale. "I feel as though I have been dropped into burning acid," Cannondale resident Sally Hasted said of a proposed regulation change to the Cannondale overlay.
The changes would allow Marc Gueron's to build 25 townhomes and a bed and breakfast a tract of land measuring about 10 acres.
Hasted was not alone in her dislike for the proposal. She was joined by about 40 of her Cannondale neighbors, some of whom spoke as well.
Most Cannondale residents spoke of environmental, noise and esthetic concerns if the regulation changes are approved.
"Walk the property before the leaves come out," said David Kahal , owner of a historic property in Cannondale. "There is no buffer zone that exists between historical buildings and the development."
Other residents said they were not opposed to development of this area but that these regulations would allow for too much development.
"Marc Gueron, our applicant, has a pretty tough situation, said Amy Quigley of Cannondale. He needs to do something with his property ... [but] the problem is that his plan, as far as I am considered, is too big and covers too much open space -- it is just overwhelming."
Gueron explained that he is required to spend up to five figures every year to maintain Cannondales historic buildings.
"For the last 20 years we have been subsidizing these properties with substantial amounts of our family money," said Gueron. "This is a liability. I have been carrying this liability on my back for 20 years. A liability without an asset doesn't work."
Gueron said a change to the overlay regulation would enable him to develop his property and give him the money to restore the historic buildings, making them viable.
"The asset for liability is the property in the back," Gueron said, referring to land he would develop. "This will allow for investment in historical society. I am sure the neighbors want that. They don't want a slum next door, a ghost town."
Another public hearing on this issue will be held April 25.
What do you think about the proposed regulation changes? Please leave comments below.
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