Salisbury Housing Committee
SALISBURY — The Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) opened a public hearing on the Dresser Woods affordable housing complex application Tuesday, Feb. 20 (online).
PZC Chair Michael Klemens said at the outset that the hearing will be continued at the commission’s Monday, March 18, meeting.
Jocelyn Ayer spoke for the applicant, the Salisbury Housing Committee (SHC), which is a private nonprofit organization that owns and operates affordable housing properties in Salisbury, including Sarum Village. Ayer is vice president of the SHC.
The plan for Dresser Woods — named for Jim Dresser, who donated the land to the SHC — will have 20 rental units in nine buildings at the site at 37 Railroad St. in Salisbury village.
The plans showed six one-bedroom units, 10 two-bedroom units, and four three-bedroom units. Three are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Plans call for 31 parking spaces (10 in an overflow area). The application notes this is an average of 1.5 parking spaces per unit, more than required by zoning regulations and similar to other affordable housing complexes in nearby towns.
Traffic engineer Scott Keskith explained the methodology of the traffic study used to project the effect of additional traffic on Railroad, Academy and Library streets and on Main Street (Route 44). He concluded that there would be “virtually no impact to the existing roadway network” if Dresser Woods opened for residents in 2025.
Architect Erin Benken said the design is a “pocket neighborhood” that is walkable and has outdoor spaces for children to play and residents to relax, plus larger spaces for the entire neighborhood to use.
The plan does not call for development of the entire 5.3-acre site. Half of the site will remain undeveloped. These areas include wetlands and vernal pools.
Klemens reiterated that the hearing would continue March 18, and with the clock ticking, suggested the commissioners should ask questions to be answered in the future.
He started off by asking for details about the wildlife fencing mentioned in the plan, and asked that it be extended to protect another vernal pool. He also asked about putting the undeveloped portion of the site into permanent conservation, and asked about plans for lawns and for water service.
Other members asked about possibly reconfiguring the roadways for deliveries and about the cost of adding full basements for storage and utility hookups.
During public comment, Robin Roraback, who is also a contributing writer to The Millerton News, asked about a traffic study that includes all potential affordable housing development in Salisbury, including the Sarum Village expansion, the Pope property, and Grove Street.
Keith Stein wondered if modular construction was feasible for the development.
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Connecticut’s oldest winter race, the Polar Bear Run, was held for the 39th time Sunday, Feb. 24.
As always, the race course circled Lake Waramaug and passed through Kent, Warren and Washington townships. The only course change happened in 2023 when the start/finish was moved to the Hopkins Inn and Vineyard, adding two-tenths of a mile for a total of 7.8 miles in the race.
The change eased the parking situation for participants and spectators but created a challenge for the runners: That extra two-tenths of a mile to the finish is a tough uphill climb.
Beautiful sunshine and “bearable” 30-degree temperatures brought out a huge field of runners. In total, 606 finished the race — close to a record number.
Since 2018, the run has been staged and promoted by Stephanie and Ed Raftery of TrailHeads, a running accessories company. The benefactor of the race is Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a group that trains dogs to assist visually impaired individuals.
The race started promptly at 11 a.m. and last year’s winner, William Sanders, led from the start, winning again in a new record time of 40:49. Women’s race winner Katie Overstrum of Wallingford finished in 50:10.
Complete results can be found online at www.fasttracktiming.com
Tired runners completed the 7.8-mile course around Lake Waramaug on Sunday, Feb. 24.Lans Christensen
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The following information was provided by the Connecticut State Police at Troop B. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Covered bridge accident
On Monday, Feb. 19, at approximately 2:45 p.m., Robert Rende, 39, of Woodbury, was eastbound on Route 128, east of Route 7 at the covered bridge intersection in Sharon in a Hino truck. Kim Fitch, 67, of Gaylordsville, was traveling behind the truck in a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta. Rende entered the intersection with the covered bridge, observed an oncoming vehicle and attempted to back out, striking the Volkwagen. Rende was issued a written warning for unsafe backing.
Falls asleep, hits pole
On Monday, Feb. 19, at approximately 4 p.m., James Picton, 71, of Salisbury, was traveling north on Route 7 in Cornwall in a 2019 Toyota Highlander when he fell asleep. The Toyota left the road and struck a utility pole, and was later towed from the scene. Picton was issued a written warning for failure to maintain lane.
Stolen vehicle arrest
On Thursday, Feb. 22, at approximately 7:50 p.m., Troop B responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in North Canaan. Following an investigation, Edward Humes, 45, of Waterbury, was taken into custody for larceny of a motor vehicle.
Dog struck by car
On Thursday, Feb. 22, at approximately 4 p.m., Paxton Pedersen, 30, of Millerton, was traveling west on Sharon Station Road in a 2022 Nissan Frontier when a dog ran into the road and was struck and killed by the vehicle. No enforcement action was taken.
The Lakeville Journal will publish the outcome of police charges. Contact us by mail at P.O. Box 1688, Lakeville, CT 06039, Attn: Police Blotter, or send an email, with “police blotter” in the subject line, to johnc@lakevillejournal.
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CORNWALL — Goals of adding composting services to the town transfer station have hit another snag.
The plan began in early 2023 with the idea of adding a simple organic compost station. Initial applications to the state were denied due to the lack of leaf composting in Cornwall.
After months of planning and applications, the Board of Selectmen learned the cost of adding composting could end up with a much higher price tag than expected.
In an effort to expedite the process, Cornwall reached out to Fuss and O’Neill Inc. for help designing the composting site and organizing the required documents. For the work, First Selectman Gordon Ridgway received a quote of $19,000.
“I was hoping it would be $3,000, $4,000 or something,” said Ridgway. “Nineteen-thousand we don’t have.”
“I was a little discouraged,” said transfer station coordinator Ted Larson. “I don’t know if we can go anywhere from here. Definitely takes the wind out of the sail, that’s for sure.”
Ridgway has been in communication with state Rep. Maria Horn (D-64) to try to keep the project alive.
“It’s a priority of the policymakers, but getting a permit is not easy,” said Ridgway.
At present, Ridgway’s goal is to “simplify the process” of attaining both leaf composting and food scrap composting permits. His hope is to get personnel on site to review the proposal as opposed to meeting virtually.
By working with Horn at the state level, Ridgway was optimistic that the project can still be accomplished in the near future.
Updates will be released from Town Hall as they arise.
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