There was more expressed opposition than support at the opening of the Planning and Zoning Commission\u2019s public hearing Dec. 10 on Millstone Property Holdings, LLC\u2019s application to create a regulatory change to Wilton\u2019s zoning regulations. There was standing-room only in Room A of the town hall annex, where residents had gathered to share their thoughts on the application, as well as events that have been taking place at Millstone Farm. The 70-acre property at 180 Millstone Road was purchased in 2016 by Volckert and Eliane van Reesema, who opened an equestrian riding facility\u00a0that operates alongside the working farm. Under the name \u201cMillstone Property Holdings, LLC,\u201d the owners are seeking to amend several sections of the zoning regulations to establish regulatory provisions for \u201cagritourism\u201d 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. In a letter to \u201cfriends and supporters,\u201d the Millstone Farm owners said they submitted the application after it was brought to their attention that some of the activities held on the farm \u201cmay not fall within existing zoning regulations.\u201d The property is in an R-2 residential zone. Various events have been held at the farm over the years, said Town Planner Bob Nerney, but when farm-to-table events held there over the summer were brought to his attention, he said, the property was \u201cdirected \u2026 to stop that activity.\u201d The owners wrote that they would like to continue these activities, which is why they are \u201cseeking to create a zoning regulatory change\u201d \u2014\u00a0a new classification called \u201cagritourism\u201d that would allow people to visit a working farm for education, recreation or entertainment activities that would add to the farm\u2019s economic viability. Nerney said agritourism is \u201can interesting concept\u201d that \u201ctends to be helpful for struggling farms.\u201d \u201cOn the other hand,\u201d he said, \u201cthere can be an expansive list of uses, some of which may not be suitable for this particular property or other farm properties in town.\u201d If the commission is \u201cinclined to move toward \u2026 accepting a change in the regulations,\u201d Nerney said, he thinks it\u2019s \u201cvery important to find out what are those anticipated activities.\u201d Approval of the Millstone application, Nerney said, would set up a special permit process requiring property owners to undergo public hearings if they wish to conduct agritourism. Complaints and concerns A number of residents at the hearing complained about loud, late-night weddings at the farm, excessive traffic, and being \u201crun off the road\u201d by vehicles going to or from the farm. Some expressed concerns about opening the farm up to corporate events, weddings, and overnight stays. Ann Klotz, a 55-year resident of Millstone Road, said agritourism will bring \u201cdevastation\u201d to Millstone Farm. She said Millstone farm is \u201ca property worth preserving\u201d and \u201cventure capitalist-type of destruction\u201d doesn\u2019t need to be brought there. Millstone Road resident Mark Rice, who lives across the street from the farm\u2019s entrance, said he believes the farm\u2019s owners are \u201cdoing an end-run around approval in order to operate a commercial operation.\u201d \u201cIn this particular neighborhood,\u201d he said, \u201cI don\u2019t think it is appropriate.\u201d Nod Hill Road resident G.M. O\u2019Connell said the rationale for the proposal \u201cseems to ensure financial viability of the farm.\u201d \u201cIt seems to be that the town in some ways \u2026 is being asked to subsidize a transaction that was made [in 2016]. I don\u2019t think that\u2019s what we\u2019re in the business of doing in this town,\u201d said O\u2019Connell, adding that the farm has been advertising a 500-person capacity for weddings and events. \u201cI just think that there are things going on right now that folks may not be aware of in how the property owners are currently advertising the rental of their property for wedding and events. Five hundred people on that property is just not anything we\u2019d like to see.\u201d Commissioners repeatedly reminded the public that the focus of the hearing isn\u2019t on Millstone Farm and what takes place there, but on a zoning regulation change that would affect all R-1A and R-2 properties in town. For the public hearing, commissioner Rich Tomasetti said, the commission \u201cwould prefer comments on the text changes.\u201d If the application is accepted, Tomasetti said, some of the issues and concerns being brought up about the farm are \u201cthings that would be looked at during a public hearing\u201d if the farm were to apply for agritourism. Commissioner Matthew Murphy said the public hearings would be \u201csite-specific.\u201d Murphy also noted that there are other properties in town that would be affected by the proposed zoning regulation changes, to which a member of the public shouted, \u201cThat\u2019s exactly our concern.\u201d Support Not all public comments were in opposition. Around four or five of commenters expressed support of the application and\/or Millstone Farm\u2019s activities. Justin Ramsteck, a Millstone Road resident of about 15 years,\u00a0for example, said he has \u201cnever been upset with any of the events\u201d held at the farm and hasn\u2019t \u201cseen any downside to what they\u2019re doing there.\u201d Although she understands \u201cthere should be some restrictions on events,\u201d Nod Hill Road resident Kate Throckmorton said she \u201cstrongly\u201d supports the text amendments and believes agritourism could be \u201ca great benefit\u201d to the town. Millstone Road resident Nick Lee said he thinks he approves of the proposed change but would like to see \u201cvery tight restrictions on certain events.\u201d Nerney said it\u2019s the town\u2019s position that \u201cwhat\u2019s been taking place [at Millstone Farm] isn\u2019t permitted\u201d and \u201cdoesn\u2019t fit into a box of regulations that we have today.\u201d \u201cAgritourism can take many, many different forms,\u201d he said, and \u201cif the commission is amenable to passing some sort of regulation, it\u2019s probably [best to] try and limit operations or make them as specific as possible.\u201d The public hearing will continue at the commission\u2019s next meeting, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 14, at 7:15 p.m., in Room A of the town hall annex.