Conservation concerns about Millstone application

Wilton’s conservation commissioners expressed concerns about Millstone Property Holdings, LLC’s application to create a regulatory change to Wilton’s zoning regulations at their Dec. 5 meeting.

Through the application, Millstone Farm owners Volckert and Eliane van Reesema are seeking to amend several sections in order to establish regulatory provisions for “agritourism” as a special permitted use in single-family residential districts and allow offices accessory to a farm or riding stable as a permitted accessory use.

Wilton’s environmental affairs director, Mike Conklin, suggested that the commission’s comments on the application include protecting and preserving the natural resources on the site, including — but not limited to — soil, water, air and existing vegetation.

Conservation commissioner Jackie Algon suggested keeping the comments “in line with ensuring water, soil and all woody and herbaceous plants, as well as noise and light pollution and vehicular traffic,” according to the Conservation Commission’s Dec. 5 meeting minutes.

Conklin added that parking cars on the sites should also be considered a conservation matter due to soil compaction.

Conservation commissioner Susan DiLoreto said she would like the Planning and Zoning Commission to define “agritourism.”

The commission also discussed the possibility of farms holding large entertainment events like weddings, which could bring “many cars, noise and lights into the nighttime hours” — things undesired in residential settings. DiLoreto noted that neighbors of Ambler Farm were “adamant that weddings could not be held at the farm.”

The commission emphasized that the Planning and Zoning Commission’s definition of “agritourism” should be defined to “reflect the activities that could be allowed by special permit on all farm properties in residential neighborhoods,” according to the meeting minutes.

Conservation commissioner Frank Simone said he wants the Planning and Zoning Commission to “be aware of the easement agreement discrepancies and the non-conformance,” and to “examine the current conditions on the Millstone Farm property” and how the proposed regulation change would affect it.

Conservation commissioners agreed that they would like to receive communication from the Planning and Zoning Commission on the final outcome of the application.

The public hearing on the Millstone application will continue at the Planning and Zoning Commission’s next meeting, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 14, at 7:15 p.m., in Room A of the town hall annex.