MIDDLEBURY — The Planning and Zoning Commission, meeting Thursday, October 4, held a public hearing for an application submitted by Peter Vileisis at 288 Watertown Rd.

He would like to bring in more than 4,000 cubic yards of material to rough in a new access way, to serve as a new driveway for the existing house on the site.

That driveway might also serve as a subdivision road in the future, but the application was not for that purpose.

The work to bring in material might take just over a week.

The matter has come up before the Conservation Commission because there are wetlands on the site.

When Chair Terry Smith opened the hearing up to the public, two adjoining neighbors spoke against the application.

They claimed that Mr. Vileisis has already added fill on the site without permits, during the night and on weekends.

Suggesting the fill on site be tested, one neighbor expressed concern that the fill brought in may not be clean fill and the permitted work will cover that material.

Another claim was that the property owner had ignored requests from the Planning and Zoning and Conservation Commissions to cease and desist the fill activities.

There was a request to table the application until the activity at and near the wetlands could be considered.

The commission asked how and why the guardrails were removed to make an access to the property and requested proof of permit for the fill that has been added to date.

When the commission confirmed that the applicant was present at the hearing, he was asked to address the concerns.

Mr. Vileisis said he had received a verbal permit from the commission more than 20 years ago.

Chair Terry Smith said the hearing would be left open and agreed that core samples were warranted.

He asked Town Engineer John Calabrese to help identify the location and depth of those samples before commenting that the commission would need to know how much fill had been added.

In other business, the Region 15 Schools presented a plan for a proposed solar field at 65 North Benson Rd.

The solar field will be connected to the Long Meadow Elementary School through a wetlands area; that work already received approval from the Conservation Commission.

The commission questioned the quality of panels to be approved, which will be specified in the contract.

Mr. Smith said he would like to see a temporary chain link fence specified on the plans to protect children from the work area during installation.

A permanent fence will enclose the solar field.

He also asked about safeguards, such as a shutoff, to facilitate fire control in case of an emergency.

There will be no grading for this project but the commission asked for screening to hide the panels, which will not move.

The commission also expressed concerns regarding the safety of the field in proximity to the school.

The application was continued to the next commission meeting, when the application will include screening options.

Before adjourning, the commission learned that the accessory earth excavation application at the town line, at the end of exit 17 from I-84, had been withdrawn in order for the applicant to address concerns from Middlebury and Waterbury.

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