Winsted Town Seal
Winsted Town Seal
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At the Planning and Zoning Commission’s regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 8, the board discussed an application for a special permit for a landscape, a construction yard, and a mini mix concrete business at 100 New Hartford Road with building owner James Kloczko.
The property, a former Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) building was purchased by Kloczko in September for $160,000.
Back in 2018, the property was at one point considered for a marijuana dispensary, but plans for the dispensary eventually fell through.
When Commission Chairman George Closson asked Kloczko if he had a completed special permit application, Kloczko admitted he did not.
“The soil scientists are delayed because of the snow,” Kloczko said. “You can’t do anything until soil scientists delineate the wetlands again, which I was told needed to be done. I just want to point out that everything that I am doing and proposing to do is within the boundaries of the pavement [of the property]. I am not encroaching anywhere further on any wetlands at all. With the weather and the snowstorm, it’s just impossible for the engineers and the soil scientists to get anything done.”
However, Land Use Assistant Pamela Colombie told the board that Kloczko has been operating his business at the former KFC location despite not getting the proper permits from the town.
“I have advised him that there may be an abatement order soon to him soon by the building department,” Colombie said. “The Planning and Zoning Commission cannot do anything until he gets approval from the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission. Since we have had snow, there has not been a formal cease and desist order issued. But I think he should receive some type of guidance as far as operating his business there because there has been no information provided to the town. Also, there has been a fire there already.”
“There was a fire there because I burned some leftover Christmas trees,” Kloczko said. “There was an outside gathering with some friends and family. I discussed it with the Fire Marshall and he was fine with that. He was even apologetic that I wasn’t able to complete it. I had some outdoor grill and we were cooking some food. I didn’t realize at the time that you couldn’t have a fire on a grill on a commercial property, but he allowed me to keep the thing going.”
Colombie asked the commission if she should issue a cease and desist order to Kloczko.
In response, Chairman Closson told Colombie not to.
“Frankly, he just stopped because of the weather,” Closson said. “I think we have to get this stuff cleared up. It’s important to get these steps taken. You are not going to be able to get the wetlands delineated in the middle of the snow.”
Both Closson and Colombie said that the Planning and Zoning Commission would not be able to any application from Kloczko unless he gets his plans approved by the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission, which is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
The next scheduled regular Planning and Zoning Commission meeting is on Monday, Feb. 22.
“We are trying to expedite the process here,” Closson said.
“But we don’t have anything, so it is tough,” Colombie added.
“Right now he is not conducting any business, but he has been since September,” commission member Peter Marchand added. “He’s had plenty of time since back then to do the engineering, to get wetlands [approval] and come to the town. So, there was a lot of time without any snow on the ground. I know we feel bad for business people and everything else, but he should not be conducting any business until he gets all the approvals from the town, period.”
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