week, Konover Development Corporation presented designs to the public and
four town commissions at Simsbury High School for a $200 million project called
River Oaks, a mixed-use development proposed for 60 acres off of Route 10
The presentation was in anticipation of their pending development
Oaks will be located near the Avon town
line, partly occupied now by a Connecticut Light and Power maintenance
facility. The project will consist of 210 homes, 159,000 square feet of
office space, and 381,000 square feet of retail space, including a
"big box" Target store.
opposition to River Oaks appears to be growing despite the fact that the
application has yet to be submitted. SHARE continues to pull together
residents concerned about how the project may impact the environment and
resident, Todd Angus, said his concerns about the project stem from the
appearance of numerous conflicts of interest that connect individuals in
positions of influence to the Konover Development.
overall general tone of how Konover is presenting this project is a
concern," said Angus. "They handed out River Oaks water bottles
at the recent MS walk as if the project was a done deal. That has soured
some people. There certainly are connections that have been placed. Some of
the connections seem to be close, fairly well documented. Who do they work
for? Who are their clients? You have to ask, 'How are these decisions being
said the Nod Brook Wildlife Refuge, land owned by
the state of Connecticut,
adjacent to the project, is another concern. He contends water runoff will
contaminate the area.
"All that water will drain off somewhere," said Agnus. "It will drain toward the river."
opposition group, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, turned
out for the Konover presentation.
are in favor of development but in this case, we agree with the local smart
growth advocates," said Tim Sullivan, a representative of the New
England Regional Council of Carpenters who released a prepared statement.
last time that Konover was active around here, they told the town of Canton openly that
they were going to build a strip mall. Local taxpayers shot it down. Now
Konover is presenting this and other ventures as mixed-use projects but
we're pretty sure what they really have in mind is cookie-cutter big box
retail because that's always been their game."