Commission proposes transition zone to provide buffer

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BEACON FALLS — The Planning and Zoning Commission is looking to create a mixed-use transition zone on a section of Pines Bridge Road to provide a buffer between industrial park and residential zones.

The proposed zone would stretch from Dr. Sudipta Dey’s office at 127 Pines Bridge Road to Breault Road. Under the proposal, the north side of Pines Bridge Road will stay an industrial park zone. The south side of the road from the doctor’s office to Breault Road will be a transition zone.

The transition zone would allow a mix of residential and business uses, but industrial uses won’t be allowed.

“We’re trying to make it one clean zone,” Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Kevin McDuffie said.

According to officials, there is usually a buffer zone between an industrial and a residential zone. Beacon Falls doesn’t have such a zone.

The commission opened a hearing Oct. 17 on an amendment to the zoning regulations to create the transition zone.

Resident Sergio Felix, who lives on Pines Bridge Road, raised concerns about how the proposed zone would be enforced. He argued the commission hasn’t done enough in the past to enforce regulations already in place.

“Whatever it says in the regulations, when it comes to business, it seems not to apply. All the proposed amendments are in the regulations and they apply to industrial, especially the area where the [industrial park zone], it’s exactly the same,” Felix said. “All the regulations, they’re already here. They’re not being enforced and that’s why I’m here.”

Commission Vice Chairman William Giglio told Sergio the commission is focused on protecting people.

“It’s a buffer zone, so nowhere will you have that R1 (residential zone) touching an industrial park zone property,” Giglio said. “What we’re doing is pushing back that industrial zone to the other side of Route 42 and we’re going to have this transition zone.”

The commission continued the hearing to its Nov. 21 meeting at 7:15 p.m.