MONROE, CT — Planning and Zoning Commission members approved a permit allowing a developer to excavate about 46,546 cubic yards of material at 260 Spring Hill Road and truck 36,708 cubic yards of it from the site. The rest of the material will be used as fill to prepare a level pad for the construction of a building in the Cyber Park subdivision, along with a driveway and parking lot.
Patrick Rose, a managing member of Rose Tisio Co. LLC, a Fairfield firm, represented the applicant, Eldorado Holdings LLC, during the hearing.
On Thursday night, Rose told commissioners the majority of the 5.44 acre property is in the industrial park on Technology Drive. Though the address is on Spring Hill Road, he said that portion is much smaller.
Due to a lot of rock on the site, eight-to-10 feet below ground in some areas, Rose said a crusher will be needed, with the possibility of blasting, depending on how hard it is to remove material.
“The first time it came to us there was no crusher, now there’s a crusher,” Commissioner Leon Ambrosey said of discussions at a previous subcommittee meeting. “I just don’t want it to be a long lasting operation. We’ve had a lot of issues with blasting and crushing. I was ready for an approval, now all of a sudden a crusher shows up.”
Rose said crushing the material could result in up to 30 percent less truckloads being needed to haul materials away. The length of the permit is two years.
Ambrosey was the lone dissenter in the 4-1 vote to approve the permit with Chairman Michael O’Reilly, Secretary Ryan Condon and alternates Nicole Lupo and Dominic Smeraglino III voting in favor.
Rose estimated it would take 2,000 truckloads to remove the 36,708 cubic yards of fill from the site.
Crushing materials before taking it away could turn the site into a processing facility, Smeraglino said.
Because the developer owns two existing buildings in the three-lot-subdivision, Condon expressed doubt they would risk losing two tenants due to a rock crushing facility being there. He said he would take that as evidence that a third building will be built.
The resolution for approval restricts the hours of crushing and blasting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Regular site work is restricted to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All work schedules exclude weekends and holidays.
During the public comment portion of the hearing, Derrick Talbot, of Windgate Circle, representing his father, who lives at 257 Spring Hill Road, expressed concerns over blasting.
Talbot claims the owner of another Spring Hill Road property where a storage building was approved had blasted without a permit, and that his father was pelted with rocks while doing yard work. He said his father lives across the street from 260 Spring Hill Road.
Keith Romano, who chairs the Inland Wetlands Commission in town, said the property is Trumbull Self-Storage, which he owns and developed. He said no blasting took place there, only a prank with a firework and a police report in Trumbull to verify that.
Talbot asked about the blasting explosives to be used, about the approval process to blast and how homeowners in the blast zone can protect themselves against property damage.
Rose explained that the fire marshal is the one who approves blasting applications and O’Reilly said the fire marshal also determines the type of explosives that can be used.
Neighboring residents can agree to have a pre-blast survey of their properties done before blasting, so any damage claims after blasting can be compared to photos and other data to determine whether the developer’s insurance company should pay claims to reimburse residents for repairs, according to Rose.
Talbot also asked if blasting would violate the town’s noise ordinance. Rose said they would have to stay within the allowable decibels.
Commercialization of Spring Hill
Karen French, of Blueberry Lane, who grew up in town, recalled how Monroe used to be a farming community, adding now commercial development encroaches upon both the Monroe and Trumbull ends of Spring Hill Road. She expressed concerns over drainage due to the close proximity to a branch of the Pequonnock River.
“I don’t think anything else should be going on Spring Hill Road now,” French said.
Among the recent commercial development, an Amazon warehouse is at the corner of Spring Hill Road and Main Street in Trumbull, and the Monroe side of Spring Hill Road has a Chipotle building under construction and a recent approval for a Starbucks.
David Laurent, of Blueberry Lane, who moved to Monroe about five years ago, agreed with fellow residents who spoke. Laurent said he came from Stamford which had undergone the “same industrialization” that is happening in Monroe. It drove people out of the city, he said.
When commissioners asked questions, alternate member Domenic Paniccia asked about wetlands and Rose told him the site is not wet.
Condon asked if any traffic will dump out onto Spring Hill Road.
Rose said it would not. The approval restricts truck traffic to Technology Drive and Route 111.
Condon also asked about the setback of the building and Rose said it would be 100 feet.
All respectful comments with the commenter’s first and last name are welcome.