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MDC (The Metropolitan District) letter to TOWN OF CANTON, CT PZC expressing concern - December 15, 2021

53; 9-15 Albany; MDC Letter of Concerns 12-15-21.pdf


"It is clear that the applicant and consultants have not fulfilled their obligation to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents for which the Commission is charged. The application should be denied," says William Warzecha, retired D.E.E.P. (CT) geologist and expert on the Swift Chemical site.


THE FOLLOWING STREETS IN CANTON, AVON, AND SIMSBURY WITH WELLS IN THE AQUIFER NEAR 9-15 ALBANY TURNPIKE COULD BE IMPACTED BY GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION; ALL COULD BE AFFECTED BY CONSTRUCTION NOISE AND POLLUTION, POOR AIR QUALITY, INCREASED TRAFFIC ON SECONDARY ROADS, AND EVENTUAL LIGHT POLLUTION: [ Canton, CT Aquifer Protection Areas | The area in red on this map is marked by CT DEEP (Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection) as an Aquifer Protection Area; Connecticut Water Company's Well 5 draws water from within this aquifer ]

While a minority of houses on these streets receive public water supplied through the Connecticut Water Company (CWC), if CWC's water supply is contaminated, the residents' drinking water will be contaminated. [CLICK TO EXPAND]

  • Andrea Lane

  • Arbor Road

  • Birch Road

  • Birchwood Road

  • Brentwood Dr.

  • Bushy Hill Lane

  • Canton Springs Road

  • Canton Valley Circle

  • Cedar Road

  • Cliff Dr.

  • Craigemore Circle & Drive

  • Delbon Lane

  • Dowd Ave.

  • Drake Lane,

  • Elizabeth Road

  • Evergreen Road

  • Fernwood Road

  • Fiddlehead Farms

  • Forest Lane

  • Goodwill Trail

  • Hillcrest Drive

  • Juniper Dr.

  • Lakeview Blvd.

  • Lawton Road

  • Lovely Street

  • Maple Avenue

  • Maureen Dr.

  • Michael Drive

  • Mountain Ledge Road

  • Old Albany Turnpike

  • Park Road

  • Parkview Dr.

  • Pine Trail

  • Pond Road

  • Pond View Drive

  • Red Mountain Lane

  • Ridge Drive

  • Secret Lake Road*

  • Sunset Trail

  • Trailsend Drive

  • Washburn Road

  • W. Mountain Road

*Some homes in Secret Lake are on wells, but some were hooked up to public water due to the groundwater contamination from the The J. Swift Chemical Company Superfund site, 1,500 feet from the proposed blasting area, that still contains buried chemicals to this day.


Summary of the original 9-15 albany turnpike Plan

  • 26-acre site at 9-15 Albany Turnpike runs along the trap rock ridge, between the former La Trattoria Restaurant and Best Buy.

  • Blast, grind, and remove 118,450 cubic yards of trap rock stone from the ridge to level an area for commercial development and to permit a road to the ridgeline for future houses. Blasting, rock removal and grading will take 1 year and 4 months, followed by site preparation and building for a total of 2 years. Blasting and mining will be done up to 6 days/week with an average of 20-35 dump trucks daily.

  • Construct a commercial development that will be 23,500 sq. ft. with associated paved areas, parking areas, and roads. Be aware that there is no guarantee that the developer will use this property for the proposed "green" use, a two-story electric vehicle showroom. Plans include a service area, 20-pump gas station, 8,300 sq. ft. drive-through restaurant, convenience and coffee store. P&Z regulates land use, not specific businesses, and the developer could choose to change uses within the approval constraints.

  • Build houses along the ridge with an access road that will go through the commercial development.

  • Add a traffic light at Brass Lantern Road and, east of that, add an additional entrance and exit as 'right-turn in' & 'right-turn out.'

Problems with the Proposal

  • Expert geologists predict that the proposed blasting may release toxic chemicals in the ground into the aquifer from the John Swift Chemical Company Superfund Site, which is about 1,500 feet west of the proposed rock mining operation (where Mitchell Volkswagen is now).

  • Blasting can also cause wells to go dry or experience a lower flow. Irreparable damage to wells and the aquifer can result from the mining, forever ruining the water for many, possibly hundreds of homes in Canton, Simsbury, and Avon. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the Swift site could be released into the air during blasting and scraping.

  • Application requests nine special permits such as earth removal and grading over 2,000 cubic yards; excessively high retaining walls; retail greater than 2,500 square feet; outdoor dining; drive-thru restaurant; car dealership; gasoline filling station; and excess signage.

  • Proposal conflicts with Canton's (2014) Town Plan of Conservation and Development for retaining the historic and natural character of town, planning for traffic, protecting the town's natural resources and landscape, and protecting clean water and air for residents. The applicant's representative puts the additional tax revenue at $103K, or 0.3% of the town's revenue.

  • Development is planned for Route 44, the single main road access to Canton. Motorists trying to avoid the traffic tie-ups caused by this project will use secondary roads such as Rtes. 177 and 167, West Mountain, Lawton, Washburn, and Bahre Corner Roads. Traffic on Route 44 is already horrendous and dangerous; the applicant has not formally submitted any traffic studies. The applicant will be seeking a new traffic light on Route 44. Approval without this information is premature and naive.

  • Because of these reasons, the plan has been opposed by the Canton Conservation Commission and the Farmington River Watershed Association, and grave concerns have been raised by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) and Connecticut Water Company (CWC).

C.A.R.E. Response to the Proposal

  1. Not opposed to developing the site, just this plan.

  2. Ask the Town of Canton to approve a use that is appropriate to the land, in accord with the Town Plan, does not require special permits, and protects the health and property values of residents.

  3. Blasting and removing this ridge threatens residents' and businesses' quality of life and the town's character.

  4. One person's right to develop their property does not supersede thousands of residents' right to have safe, potable drinking water and clean air, safe roads, and a peaceful existence in their homes.

  5. Tax revenue from the development would be insignificant to the town's overall budget, bringing in only an estimated $103,000 of additional tax revenue, which is 0.3 % of the town budget.

Questions? Contact C.A.R.E. (Canton Advocates for Responsible Expansion, Inc.)