The Planning and Zoning Commission has postponed until next month what is expected to be the last installment of an ongoing public hearing on The Preserve at Newtown, a 23-lot residential subdivision proposed for a 167-acre site in Dodgingtown. P&Z Chairman Robert Mulholland announced at a January 15 session that the public hearing will continue at the P&Z’s February 5 meeting. The P&Z had not yet received from the developer a report of the archaeological significance of the property, he said. P&Z regulations require developers to have the archaeological aspects of properties proposed for subdivisions and resubdivisions reviewed by archaeological experts. Such reviews are intended to preserve any significant archaeologic, historic, and cultural features of the land.
On an electronic weather map, the distance between Newtown and Norwich appears to be inches. But residents on the opposite ends of Connecticut were measuring their differences in feet today, as Winter Storm Juno dealt eastern counties significantly higher snow totals than the most affected neighborhoods in Botsford, Sandy Hook or Dodgingtown. Newtown Emergency Communications Director Maureen Will told The Newtown Bee just after noon, that town Highway Department crews are "doing a great job but we still want people to stay home, visibility is low in some places and nothing open." The Newtown official echoed Governor Dannel Malloy, who held a second press conference of the day at noon, announced that he would lift the statewide travel ban as of 2 pm today.
In a brief press conference from the Capital this morning, Governor Dannel Malloy thanked residents for staying off the roads since a travel ban went into effect last night, and promptly lifted that restriction in western Connecticut. The governor appeared relieved to report only 11 crashes had occurred with just one injury since 9 pm Monday evening. Noting that the western part of Connecticut received less snow than forecasted, he then lifted the imposed travel ban in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties "for local roads." Newtown Police similarly reported that local roads are in passable condition, but Sergeant Jeffrey Silver is recommending residents restrict local travel to only what is necessary.
Juno is still making its presence known, but Newtown does not look like it will be buried under 30 inches of snow. The National Weather Service had predicted that the storm still dropping snow on Newtown — and the entire New England region —would bring up to 35 inches locally. Newtown residents are waking up to snow this morning. But Fairfield County has been downgraded to a Winter Storm Warning, with less snow now expected by the time Juno moves north. Town and state road crews began working to clear roadways by early Monday afternoon. Trucks are still being seen making regular passes, trying to keep up with the continuing precipitation. The Newtown Bee would love hear from residents and Bee followers with their view of Juno.
Residents woke this morning to far less snow than originally forecasted for Tuesday, January 27. With just half a foot of powdery snowfall clinging to windowsills and mounded on rooftops across town, precipitation fell until roughly noon on Tuesday. The prior night's blizzard conditions were downgraded to a winter storm advisory by morning, and the travel ban, which Governor Dannel P. Malloy had ordered for all traffic Monday as of 9 pm, was lifted at 8:30 am.
Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members are reviewing an industrial firm’s modified proposal for new zoning regulations, which would potentially allow it to handle and process scarp tires at an industrial building on High Bridge Road. P&Z held a public hearing on January 15 on MAAK Environmental Corporation’s regulatory proposal for new zoning rules, which would allow solid waste facilities for the storage and recycling of scrap tires in a M-1 (Industrial) zone, such as the zone that exists at an industrial building at 40 High Bridge Road. The current version of tire handling proposal under review by the P&Z would limit activity to shipping whole scrap tires to a site, shredding them there, baling the shredded rubber, and then shipping it out for further processing elsewhere. The proposal would not involve extracting byproducts from those tires, as had been earlier proposed by MAAK. P&Z member Jim Swift said the proposed operation, which would handle 1,000 tires daily, might eventually grow into an operation that is much larger.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy made his first public statements concerning a blizzard that is approaching Connecticut during a 15-minute press conference Monday morning from the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Hartford. All residents across Connecticut should be prepared for heavy snow, accompanied by high winds and coastal flooding all possible, he said. The storm “has to potential to be the largest winter storm we’ve seen since 2013, and that was the February one.” The National Weather Service is predicting up to 35 inches of snow to arrive in Newtown between Monday night and Tuesday night. Governor Malloy announced a travel ban for all Connecticut roads, to go into effect Monday at 9 pm, as part of his press conference.
With New England bracing for a blizzard, due to arrive by tonight, closing and cancellation notices are bound to be part of the process of riding out the storm. Readers, groups and individuals with events that will be affected due to the weather are encouraged to contact Bee Associate Editor Shannon Hicks with this information, which will be posted on The Bee’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.