Save Prospect pres seeks P&Z seat

PROSPECT — Save Prospect President Tim Reilly announced Tuesday he would be running for the Planning and Zoning Commission as an unaffiliated petitioning candidate.

According to the town clerk’s office, he submitted 47 signatures, and 45 of those were valid. He needed 27 signatures to get on the ballot. Now the paperwork will be sent to the Office of the Secretary of the State.

Reilly, who as Save Prospect president fought to defeat commercial wind turbines in the town, said he is frustrated with the commission’s tepid response to zoning regulations proposed by his group.

The Planning and Zoning Commission closed public hearings on the proposed regulations for smaller residential wind turbines last week, but have not yet made a decision.

During discussions, Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Donald Pomeroy said he agreed the town needs regulations, but wasn’t sure if those proposed by Save Prospect were appropriate. Several commissioners expressed concern that the proposed regulations would zone windmills out of Prospect altogether. Pomeroy pointed out that the town already has regulations restricting structures to less than 35 feet high and noise regulations which would prevent many smaller turbines from being built.

“Every indication I had from the commission members that spoke was that they were going to vote against the regulations,” Reilly said.

Commissioners wanted to wait and see what the state will do with commercial wind turbine regulations, which has nothing to do with local, smaller scale turbines, Reilly said.

“I just feel like I need to do this so the residents have a voice,” Reilly said.

He said he wanted to protect homeowners from the financial burden of having to defend themselves against commercial interests and make sure they have an equal say in development projects.

“I want to make sure I’m objective about my reviews of any pending applications,” Reilly said.

He said he did not originally want to add planning and zoning meetings to his already busy schedule as a Naugatuck school teacher and Save Prospect president, but he didn’t see another choice.

Reilly will be running against endorsed candidates Gregory Ploski, a Democratic incumbent, and Republican Jack Crumb.