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Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 11-28-19

Salisbury P&Z speaks on Lime Rock Park

Over the past several years I have been approached by individuals, organizations, as well as by the media, to make comments to explain and clarify the position of Salisbury’s Planning and Zoning Commission in regard to our ongoing litigation with Lime Rock Park, LLC. As we were in the midst of a legal proceeding, I felt that it was ill advised to make any such public statements concerning this matter. As our case has been argued (Nov. 13) before the Connecticut Supreme Court, and in consultation with counsel, it is now appropriate that I speak on behalf of the Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission by providing verbatim this excerpt from the upcoming Salisbury Town Annual Report. 

“Litigation initiated by Lime Rock Park (LRP) against the Town of Salisbury’s Planning and Zoning Commission reached the Connecticut Supreme Court in November 2019. The central issue for the Town is whether the PZC has the authority to regulate activities at Lime Rock Park much in the manner that it does for other commercial and not for profit establishments with our Town. LRP’s argument is that they are exempt from local regulation of their hours and days of operation by State statute. The Town’s position is that the State statute is a prohibitive statute that acknowledges a town’s right to regulate race times. Therefore, it does not pre-empt Salisbury’s authority to enact more restrictive local regulations. 

“Over the last several years, misinformation about this issue is ever-present in the media, on line, and in general discourse. Many, though not all, of the proponents of allowing LRP to operate without any local oversight are from other towns.  The PZC does not dispute the economic value that LRP brings to our Town and our region. The impact of that activity is largely borne by the several hundred Salisbury homeowners that live within the ‘sound shadow’ of LRP.

“Expansion or alteration of LRP’s activities, either the days or hours of operation, should be assessed in terms of what additive impacts are created to the immediate neighborhood and how these could be mitigated. Maintaining LRP’s ongoing successful business would also be an important factor in any decision. This is the basic analysis that PZC conducts on every application we receive, maintaining that delicate balance between the rights of landowners, and the welfare and health of our community at large.”

This letter was approved by the Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting on Nov. 19, 2019.

Michael W. Klemens, PhD

Chairman

Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission

Salisbury

 

Environmental repercussions in Canaan

Environmental injustice occurs when certain groups carry a greater share of environmental risks and hazards and lack the power to influence decisions about the environment. Ben Metcalf hopes the people of North Canaan lack the power to influence decisions which will have a significant impact on their environment and their homes. If he wins, he will have carried out environmental injustice.

Ben Metcalf is on his third lawsuit against our town. He is using a writ of mandamus to try to get a judge to command our town to issue him a permit to build an asphalt plant. He is making a motion in limine to preclude any evidence at the trial.  Evidence that should be presented in a town hearing for the townspeople of North Canaan to decide upon.

Ben Metcalf does not want our town to make its own decisions. He wants to be the only decision maker. He does not want to follow town and state regulations.

Being on the Stop the Asphalt Plant Committee (STAP) is different from serving on other boards or committees. We are fighting for our homes and the future of our town. According to the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, asphalt plants have negative effects on property values and health. One study documented property value losses of up to 56%, and another showed nearly half the residents had negative health effects. The EPA lists many chemicals involved in asphalt production as known carcinogens.

STAP is very grateful to the hundreds of citizens of North Canaan for showing up at meetings, signing petitions and even sending donations to cover legal fees and the cost of flyers. The public support is heartening.

Dolores Perotti

North Canaan

 

Why change the configuration?

I have noticed recently that when I go on Comcast, AOL, et cetera, they have changed configurations, moving things from one side to another, or up and down.  Without telling us!  Or at least me.  So I step on the field, with my helmet securely atop, and the goalposts are somewhere else!

I know the tech companies are not interested in fairness, far from it — witness Zuckerberg’s absurd justifications before Congress — but can they give us a little warning that when I am about to play the game, is it Artifical (Intelligence) Turf or Real Grass?  And, Come on, Zuck, your name ‘auf Deutsch’ Sugar Mountain, what, and why, are you Guys Smoking/Vaping?  Rauchen Verboten!

Lonnie Carter

Falls Village