RETAIL TARGETS SIMSBURY
Konover Development has obtained an option on land
east of Hopmeadow Street
at the southern end of Simsbury.
They have initiated plans to build a 130,000 square foot, big-box retail
store on the site as the anchor of a retail complex. A building of this size
is twice as big as a Super Stop & Shop and potential tenants would
include a Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes, and Target. Other retail outlets would
accompany the big-box, and ultimately the entire 61 acre parcel would be
built out. Konover’s plan calls for widening a section of Hopmeadow Street to four lanes.
The Town of Simsbury
is currently in the process of revising its ten-year plan and has had
significant direct input from Konover and Mike Goman, its CEO. Zoning
classifications would be changed, as well as the approval process.
Town residents are just now beginning to learn of
this proposal and many are highly concerned about the impact of big-box
development on the town. Citizens’ discussions have focused on three issues…
unique character, beauty and quality of life found in Simsbury. A 130,000 square foot retail
behemoth at the front door of the town
would forever alter its visual signature and environment.
and safety. A 61 acre retail complex anchored by at
least one big-box would overwhelm Hopmeadow
Street with shoppers 12 hours a day, 7 days a
week. In addition, re-supplying these stores would bring a relentless flood
of large trucks thru the center of town 24/7.
on Neighborhoods. People move to Simsbury for its schools and neighborhoods.
Big-box development would send quality-of-life shock waves thru adjoining
All told, the costs would seem to be plain and
profound. As for the benefit….an increase in net tax revenues… skepticism
abounds. And there are other sensible development
opportunities for the same land that would provide higher tax revenues
without the same traffic and safety problems, for example, office buildings
and senior citizen housing.
Simsbury, like all towns and cities today, needs to grow its
tax base and town residents overwhelmingly support economic development. But
they expect development that builds on and enhances the essential character
of the town and that delivers a solid cost/benefit outcome. This proposal
fails those standards for many residents.
As Simsbury Homeowner’s Advocating Responsible
Expansion (SHARE), we encourage
our elected land use officials to adopt a Plan of Conservation and
Development and corresponding land use regulations that will prohibit big-box
development and better protect both Simsbury's
essential character and long-term community interests for the
generations to come.
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