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Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 1-31-19

Asphalt plant should not be in East Canaan

It is more than a little disturbing that a letter dated May 24, 2007, from Michael Mulville to the North Canaan Planning and Zoning commission has turned into this upsetting and expensive issue of a possible warm mix asphalt plant in our town.

The letter states: “This letter is in regards to a few jobs I would like to deliver gravel to. It is our intent to haul gravel to these sites and in return we will be hauling out the old asphalt and concrete. We will be crushing the asphalt and concrete to use on our driveways and roads here at our business. This helps us to hold our dust levels down.”

As a citizen in a town that has zoning regulations that don’t include asphalt as an allowed use, I don’t understand why the letter from Mr. Mulville has allowed B. Metcalf to now manufacture asphalt in our East Canaan neighborhood.

“Crushing of old asphalt and concrete for the use of driveways and roads to be used on site to hold dust levels down.”

This sentence has turned into B. Metcalf making cold patch asphalt.

According to B. Metcalf’s previous lawyer, he makes cold patch using room temperature environmentally green emulsifier in a closed environment.

In December at the Zoning Board of Appeals at the North Canaan Town Hall, B. Metcalf admitted he uses diesel fuel in his 150-degree asphalt binder outdoors.

Many of the citizens of North Canaan would like to know how B.  Metcalf has a prior approval of a  non-conforming pre-existing use for asphalt manufacturing in a residential agricultural zone from Mulville’s letter of 2007.  We are also very frightened of this turning into a warm mix asphalt plant.

Dolores Perotti

East Canaan

 

New sidewalks are sorely needed in Kent

At a town meeting recently, the Kent community heard a presentation by the Streetscape Committee. The presentation put some of the best and the worst of Kent on display. The committee, representing all aspects of Kent, has been at work on this issue since 2010. During those nine years, members have visited towns all over the state to see how other communities have dealt with their sidewalks and crossings.  

This enduring diligence reflects the way Kent residents rise to so many of the town’s challenges. Whether it is supplying a food bank, creating affordable housing, adding social services for families and seniors in need, or organizing events to bolster Main Street merchants, there is a group of volunteers that has organized and worked steadily to address the problem. 

In this particular case, the challenge is Main Street’s sidewalks and crossings, which present three problems. Topping the list of issues is safety, followed by maintenance and appearance. The deteriorated condition of the present sidewalks presents an obstacle course for those on foot, and even more so if a person sports a cane or wheels any kind of walker. In several places, drivers have no sense of where the sidewalk is because there is no longer a curb, so random parking contributes to the obstacle course and exerts further pressure on the blacktop Maintenance is an issue because the blacktop is in such a degraded condition that it is hard to add more patches, or to plow and shovel. 

Although I put aesthetics last, for those of us who take pride in our community, this is not a small matter, as the slide presentation demonstrated. Picture after picture showed the way other towns have handled these same issues and demonstrated that the solution isn’t complicated. Uniformly, towns have replaced old walkways with concrete sidewalks and granite curbs.  The look is so crisp and clean that people probably don’t even notice what is underfoot, unless they come from Kent. Our town can change all this and already has a grant that will set us on our way to paying for it. Now it is up to the residents to vote for this project.

Meanwhile, watch your feet next time you are in Kent! You will begin to see how poorly we are served by what we have, and you will be safer for watching where you step. 

Betty Krasne

Kent

 

North Canaan ZBA: Protect our town

In 2009, B. Metcalf Paving purchased property at 15 Allyndale Road, North Canaan having belonged to M.Mulville & Sons. As a pre-existing, non-conformity use already granted to Mulville, Metcalf was allowed to process existing  brick, concrete and asphalt intermittently with a portable crusher. It is important to note that the word “process” is defined in Mulville’s past use. 

In 2012, B.Metcalf Paving purchased additional adjoining property at 15 Allyndale Road from M.Mulville & Sons and the same pre-existing, non-conformity use was applied for and allowed to continue.

In June of 2018, it was brought to the attention of the town’s zoning enforcement officer that a noxious odor was coming from the property at 15 Allyndale Road. Upon the ZEO’s arrival, a tanker from Peckham Industries marked with a placard “HOT” was unloading a hot steaming liquid asphalt product into a pug-mill. A product identified by Mr. Metcalf as “Cold Patch” was being made/manufactured at 15 Allyndale Road using a hot liquid asphalt product.

Never has B. Metcalf Paving submitted an application to the town of North Canaan Planning and Zoning Commission to make/manufacture the product “Cold Patch” on 15 Allyndale Road, a residential/agricultural zoned property. Nor has any permit been issued by the Planning and Zoning commission to do so. In fact, North Canaan Zoning Regulations prohibit this activity.

In summary, I believe that B. Metcalf Paving is acting outside the pre-existing, non-conformity use it was allowed on a Residential/Agricultural property and therefore is in direct violation of the North Canaan Zoning Regulations. 

I say to the members of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Mr. Metcalf appears to be trying to take advantage of our small trusting community.  This would be an injustice to the livelihoods of those who have worked so hard. I urge all of you to uphold the Cease-and-Desist Order to protect the health, safety and welfare of those you have been sworn to protect.

Sally M. Green

North Canaan