Connecticut Campground Plan Loses on 3-2 Vote

August 12, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Anger and relief greeted the Plainfield Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision Tuesday night (Aug. 11) to reject an application for a 133-site campground in a residential area of Moosup, Conn.

The commission voted 3-2 to deny a special permit for the campground.

Commission Chairman John Meyer cast the deciding vote, pausing to explain his decision before stating his vote, according to the Norwich Bulletin.

While many residents sighed with relief and thanked the commission, applicant Ernie Collelo Jr. expressed his displeasure before leaving the meeting.

“So that’s it,” Collelo said. “And you all acted in the best interest of the town.”

Residents flocked to the June 8 and July 14 public hearings on the application, expressing grave concerns about the impact to the neighborhood and the town. Town regulations permit campgrounds in residential areas, though none exist now.

Commission members said they struggled with the same issues residents raised at the hearings, which included increased traffic and noise.

Meyer and commission member Virginia Sampietro said despite Collelo’s promise to widen and improve drainage along Squaw Rock Road leading to the proposed campground, they did not believe the campground would be in harmony with the existing neighborhood, as town regulations require.

“My feeling is camping has changed a lot since I camped and the RV campground is a different animal,” Sampietro said.

Meyer said he also considered the passionate participation of the residents and their submission of a petition with 179 signatures in making his decision.

Twenty residents were there Tuesday for the vote. Neighbors of the proposed site said they were happy with the decision.

“The quality of our life will be unchanged,” Squaw Rock Road resident Priscilla Bennett said.

“We’re elated,” resident Joyce King said. “Not that we’re against camping, just not in our backyard.”


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