The Warehouse Is Wrong — Part 1
To the Editor:
Part I — Alex Villamil and I are sharing in this Letter to the Editor for continuity purposes. Please read Alex’s Part II that follows.
I attended the 5/5/22, 5/19/22 and 6/2/22, Planning and Zoning Commission meetings. I am a trial attorney who has tried more than 100 civil jury cases and have legal knowledge in zoning. The “Warehouse” proposal of 10 Hawleyville Road is simply wrong. It’s too large, too much traffic at the location, too noisy, and too much lack of transparency.
All Newtowners attending the meetings opposed the Warehouse Applicant. (100% to 0%).
The amount of legal misinformation by the applicant’s lawyer is disturbing. He represents that the applicant has a “concept” of a long-term storage warehouse. Just as easily, the applicant may have a “concept” of a short-term storage with multiple factored tractor-trailer trucks and vehicles.
The lawyer refuses to disclose the applicant’s warehouse buyer which would provide transparency as to not only the issue of short-term versus long-term warehousing intentions, but also where the trucks will be heading … multiple businesses in Monroe, Trumbull and the I-95 corridor.
Next, the lawyer tells us that not all of the 55 truck bays may be used, some may just be used as trailer parking … so let’s be real … America is built on the great concept of capitalism and capitalism says these Developers will rightfully optimize profits.
It is the Zoning Commission’s job to prevent capitalism from devouring the rightful property rights of Newtown residents. When Newtowners invest in perhaps the largest dollar asset in their lives, a home, they have the right to rely on the existing zoning laws present at the time. Zoning must look at the worst option, not the pie in the sky scenario.
I was shocked listening to the Wharton lawyer tell the Zoning Commission that they had to accept their traffic engineer opinions because neither the intervenors nor the Town had employed a traffic engineer. A finder of fact can rightly reject any expert whose testimony he or she deems not credible … for whatever reasons.
In fact, both traffic expert opinions lack any credible foundation as they are premised on unsubstantiated and totally speculative assumptions. Wharton refuses to disclose buyers, short-term versus long-term, direction of truck traffic, etc. They tell the traffic engineers to just speculate since their proposal is next to I-84 and therefore only 20% traffic will go down Main Street.
Their lack of transparency is a significant tell as to this project’s toxicity to Newtown and particularly, Main Street. The lack of credible foundation is always a valid reason to reject an alleged expert’s opinion.
(These are my personal opinions and not those of any Board or Commission I may sit on).