Farmer eyes lot in industrial park for goats

NAUGATUCK — A borough resident is hoping to bring his goats to Naugatuck. More specifically, the Naugatuck Industrial Park.

David Buck is looking to buy a roughly 4.1-acre lot in the Naugatuck Industrial Park to expand his goat milk soap and lotion business.

“We make all of our products in Prospect. Our goats are housed in Prospect,” Buck told the Board of Mayor and Burgesses last week. “To expand a goat milk soap and lotion business, you need more milk. For more milk, you need more goats. We are kind of at capacity where we are in Prospect.”

Buck lives on East Waterbury Road near the industrial park. He said the property he’s interested in buying, which is near the corner of East Waterbury Road and Great Hill Road, would allow him to bring his business, Guardians Farm, completely into the borough.

Buck presented preliminary plans for the property, which include a barn and a farm store, to the board. He said would like to have everything he needs to produce the soaps and lotions on site at the property.

“Our end goal is to become a registered dairy,” Buck said.

The property is zoned as Planned Development District #2 (PDD #2). Under the zoning regulations, farms and farm stands are an allowable use in the zone. The plan for the farm would have to go through the land use process. The board referred the proposal to the Planning Commission for its recommendation.

The borough owns the lot Buck is considering buying, and the land has been vacant for decades.

In an interview the day after the meeting, Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation CEO and President Ronald Pugliese said the property is hard to sell because it’s hilly and difficult to develop.

Pugliese said he hadn’t heard from Buck, but he wasn’t against the idea of a farm on the land.

“I would certainly not be opposed to it,” Pugliese said.

Buck said the lot’s hilly terrain would not be a problem. Much of the land would be used as a pasture for his goats, he said.

“Goats like to climb on hills,” Buck said.

If the plan moves forward, the borough and Buck would have to negotiate a price for the land, which is appraised at $165,830, according to the property card.

Burgess Rock Vitale, who lives on East Waterbury Road, said the neighborhood is in favor of the farm.

“It would certainly be unique for Naugatuck,” Vitale said.

Susan Vitale, Rocky Vitale’s wife, said the farm would be a good business. She said by working with Buck, borough officials would also show they are willing to work with all types of small businesses to help them succeed.

“Mr. and Mrs. Buck are extremely conscious of the environment and their neighbors, so they would never do anything to aggravate anybody,” Susan Vitale said. “This seems like a win-win for everybody.”

Buck said the neighborhood is the reason he and his wife want to make the farm work in the borough.

“We get along great with our neighbors. We can find another town that has a barn, has a farm store, has the fencing, but we like our neighbors,” Buck said.