Residents speak for, against zone change

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Naugatuck resident Chester Cornacchia addresses the Naugatuck Zoning Commission during a hearing at Town Hall Wednesday night on a proposed zone change. –RA ARCHIVE
Naugatuck resident Chester Cornacchia addresses the Naugatuck Zoning Commission during a hearing at Town Hall Wednesday night on a proposed zone change. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — A few residents using their properties for industrial enterprises voiced opposition at a Zoning Commission hearing Wednesday to a proposed industrial-to-residential zone change in parts of the borough.

Homeowners in the Webb Road area who are not using their property industrially, however, said they were in favor of the change.

“Those people bought in there with the expectation that they were moving into a residential area,” said Chester Cornacchia of Graham Ridge Road, chairman of the economic development commission. “Coincidentally, during that time period, we built two industrial parks.”

A petition, signed by 15 people, encouraged residents to support the zone change specifically for the former Millville Nursery property, also known as the Salinardi property, off Webb Road and Rubber Avenue Extension. One of the property’s current owners, Roger Spinelli, proposed an indoor shooting range for that property two years ago, drawing fierce opposition.

Cornacchia and other homeowners, however, agreed that people who already use their properties for industrial reasons need to be taken into account.

Anthony Valentino, who owns the Mattatuck Manor housing complex on Spring Street, uses an adjacent industrial parcel to store snowplows and other trucks for the 104-unit complex, said his attorney, Waterbury-based Robert DeLeon. The complex houses people with special needs, veterans, the elderly and infirm, DeLeon said.

Sam Gold, assistant director at the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley, addresses the Naugatuck Zoning Commission during a hearing at Town Hall Wednesday night on a proposed zone change. –RA ARCHIVE
Sam Gold, assistant director at the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley, addresses the Naugatuck Zoning Commission during a hearing at Town Hall Wednesday night on a proposed zone change. –RA ARCHIVE

“It’s critical that he has this equipment nearby to maintain passibility, especially in the winter,” DeLeon said.

The proposed change is based on a recommendation in the borough’s Plan of Conservation and Development, completed in 2001. The effects of the zone change were considered when the plan was developed, said Sam Gold, assistant director of the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley. Those using their properties for industrial purposes would be able to keep doing so, but plans to expand or sell the properties might be affected, officials said.

“The borough cannot put them out of business by rezoning them and as long as they are in business they will be protected by Connecticut state statutes,” Gold said.

The hearing was continued to the commission’s June meeting.