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Kobyluck: I Will Take The Town To Court

Kobyluck Owner Says If Stone Processing Facility Is Rejected, He Will Have No Choice

In a 45-minute interview Monday that touched on a variety of topics, Kobyluck Brothers LLC owner Matt Kobyluck said he would take the town to court if his proposal is rejected by the Conservation Commission or the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“If I feel I’ve done a good job, and we don’t feel like I’ve had fair consideration, of course I’ll do that,” Kobyluck said. “What choice do I have? It is not the way I would like to go about it, but that is the system we have.”

Changes

Kobyluck has changed his plan since originally submitting the application to the . The changes stem from concerns a third-party engineer and Environmental Planner Maureen Fitzgerald had during their review of the project.

A main change is the stormwater will now run more to the north of the property, further away from Jordan Brook. This was done to give the water more time to remove sediment and cool before hitting Jordan Brook, hopefully remediating some of the ill effects, Kobyluck said.

The facility’s footprint was reduced from seven acres to 5.5 acres. Also, the elevation of the facility was raised another 13 feet, according to testimony during the public hearing on the proposal.

In an interview Monday, Planning Director Tom Wagner said these changes are significant and “not really how the town likes to do business.” Generally, a person submits a plan and sticks with it, he said.

“We are not used to an applicant making wholesale changes in the middle of a public hearing,” Wanger said.

Kobyluck disagreed with that categorization, saying the changes were not significant and were in response to concerns by the town. Kobyluck also said Wagner has been difficult, and has at times been “argumentative” with Kobyluck instead of working to find the best solution.

“I don’t know why he would say that,” Kobyluck said. “The changes are all related to concerns raised by the town. You would think if you make changes based on the concerns by the town in the spirit of cooperation, that would be looked at as a good thing.”

Meanwhile, a group of neighbors who live near 28 Industrial Drive continue to question the impact of this proposal.

Court

Kobyluck said he has spent “much more” money than expected on getting the plan through the permitting process. He said a stone processing facility is a “vital part in every single municipality in the world.”

If rejected, Kobyluck said he would appeal the decision in court. over the Planning and Zoning Commission’s .

“I am trying to create jobs, I’m trying to invest in the Town of Waterford,” he said. “I’m trying to create jobs and do something positive, I’m not sure how it can be viewed any different than that.”

Property Owner March 09, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Suing is not the only recourse. Respecting the decision of the boards when they make it, and moving on is another. They don't approve every application they get. What would be the point of a vote? Some things are good for the town. A rock quarry/processing facility isn't. I commend the Conservation Commission and Planning and Zoning standing behind the residents that think this will have a negative impact in Waterford.
Water Ford March 09, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the town approved this industrial park before Matt Kobyluck was even born. Didn’t the town create the industrial park with the intention of having industry in it and not scattered all over town? So, we have an entrepreneur, land in an industrial park, private investment money and job creation….shame on the town for not working harder find some kind of solution. Also, every home built, every construction job in America and even the town of Waterford needs products that this plant or one just like it produces.
Joe S. March 09, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Mr. Water Ford, Again and again it has been explained that a quarry is not part of the standard permissible industries allowed in this industrial park. That is the reason for the 'special permit' which the applicant is applying for. I think everyone involved with opposing this operation is not anti-industry. Far from it. But this is not a standard operating manufacturing industry. There are inherent risks with this type of industry, even if it was to be built somewhere that is not surrounded by sensitive wetlands and multiple neiborhoods. In addition, at the last couple Conservation Commission meetings there has been evidence of DEEP permit violations by the applicant in not only surrounding towns, but also violations at the current facility on Industrial Drive. There has also been serious concerns with the design of this facility raised by not only members of the commission, but also by the 3rd party reviewers hired by the town. This is not a personal attack on the applicant. It is all part of due dilligence on the part of the town to hear all sides - not just the story being told by the applicant. I commend the town for taking the time to review all sides thoroughly. So, if the application is rejected, then respect the fact that the decision was made with consideration of all facts available and move on. If not, it will be your tax money that will be spend on further litigation.
Concerned Resident March 09, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Mr. Kobyluck doesn't believe he's been given fair consideration??? His professionals have spent HOURS doing a lot of presenting, without answering the same questions that have been put before them on the various changes to his application. The Conservation Commission is doing it's duty as stated in the DEP "Local inland wetlands and watercourses commissions regulate activities that affect inland wetlands and watercourses within their municipal boundaries. Regulated activities are broadly defined to mean "…any operation within or use of a wetland or watercourse involving removal or deposition of material, or any obstruction, construction, alteration or pollution, of such wetlands or watercourses…"(CGS section 22a-38(13)). These activities are subject to local review and approval when proposed or conducted by all persons or entities other than state agencies." I personally want to thank all the commission members for their due dilligence!
Concerned Resident March 09, 2012 at 04:31 PM
One more thought...why would Mr. Kobyluck feel the need to threaten the town with a lawsuit in the middle of a public hearing when facts are being presented? Kind of sounds like intimidation.
Matt Kobyluck March 09, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I will continue to make myself available for any questions or comments that anyone may have in order to make sure that the articles/comments that are being written are the facts, not opinions. My email address is matt@kobyluckinc.com and my office number is 860-444-9604 x5. Please contact me at any time to make an appointment to walk the property with me in order to fully evaluate the information being presented or if there is a question that I may be able to provide an answer to. Sincerely, Matt K.
Kevin Girard March 09, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Paul: You might want to check facts on sending all the water to the North. At the last mtg, we heard the 3rd plan in total, and that had the water coming back to the south and toward the brook. Plan #2 had the water going in the opposite direction. Plan #3 puts the burden of cleaning the storm runoff from the entire site onto a number of basins that are part of a designed stormwater quality system. A number of very broad assumptions are made in designing these systems, such as that the amount of infiltration (water seeping into the ground) are predicatable. All of these assumptions are tenuous at best. The assumptions around infiltration do not take into account the very fine (1-5 micron) dust that will be produced from crushing rock. At this particle size, it is the same size as inhalable medications targetted for the deep lung. It can also clog the soil and prevent permeation. The second assumption, that the system will be properly maintained is also tenuous. There's significant history of compliance issues on record (Google Oxoboxo and Kobyluck, or look at Salem and Montville Conservation Minutes). In my opinion, the town has been very dilligent and patient hearing the application and is giving it the due diligence that such an operation deserves - kudos to both commissions for doing their job for all parties. Having this type of facility in close proximity to a watercourse deemed to be of high value to the town is playing with fire. Continued...
Paul Petrone (Editor) March 09, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I think it is worth noting that Mr. Kobyluck did not just come and say he was going to take the town to court. I asked him what he would do if the plan was rejected, and I think he answered honestly. It was part of a longer interview about the changes in the application and everything else surrounding it.
Property Owner March 09, 2012 at 06:16 PM
They (Kobyluck) have already filed suit against the town even before a decision on his application was approved or denied. Yes or no? I believe a suit was filed after the overwhelming vote by P&Z to ban these types of operations in town was made. It's ironic that tax payer money is being used to defend a suit brought on by a town taxpayer himself.
Joe S. March 09, 2012 at 06:42 PM
To The Patch - In the interest of impartial journalism, I would request that the intervenors (and other concerned citizens) in this case also be granted an interview. It seems that the tone of the articles in the Patch portray the applicant as 'the poor business man just trying to make a buck'. Presenting to the public, all the DEEP violations, as well as other reasons for opposition to this permit, in a step by step manner will go a long way toward explaining our position. With total disclosure of the facts to the public it will be clear that those opposed here are not out for a 'witch hunt' - are not a big group of 'tree-huggers' - are not anti-industry or anti-development - and don't have just a 'not in my back yard' mentality. The facts are clear - as long as they are presented impartially by those reporting them.
Kevin Girard March 09, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I also wanted to say, that I've seen a number of criticisms leveled against either the residents or the applicant. The applicant has a right to try and operate his business on land he owns, and the residents have a right to oppose the application. If it were your business, you would do whatever you could to see it be successful - cannot fault anyone there, and if you were going to have this operation close to your yard, you'd fight against it - can't fault anyone there. My hat is off to the commissions for doing their very difficult jobs and hearing the evidence from all sides.
David Irons March 09, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Kobyluck has shown its true colors in its operations in other towns. The last thing we need is for them to be allowed to continue their past practices of ignoring zoning restrictions and agreements in Waterford. I support our town in its position to protect our lands and waterways. While I support business and progress, I want to see it done reasonably and in a manner that does not impair our quality of life.
Paul Petrone (Editor) March 09, 2012 at 07:02 PM
At Patch we've had many stories about the history of Kobyluck's violations, even visiting the homes of the people in Salem to see their complaints. Many of my articles have given plenty of coverage to the protestors. For example, I made a video of all the complaints about quarries as recently as a few months ago. I also allow Kobyluck to speak his mind and explain his side. That being said, if you would like I would be happy to do an interview. My e-mail is paul.petrone@patch.com and my number is 860-287-5265, I'd be happy to talk to a representative of the group.
Margaret Ormond March 09, 2012 at 07:08 PM
As a sixty-six year resident of Waterford, I want to commend our land use staff and both boards, Planning & Zoning and Conservation, for being so diligent in protecting Waterford's natural resources. Please continue your due diligence and do not permit threats to deter you in the continuance of your good efforts to protect us. Thank you!
William Terry March 10, 2012 at 05:10 AM
If the officials do not follow the law not using their feelings. The Kobluck property is not in a commercial park, it is a industrial park. As long as the emmissions are controlled, they should be able to grow their business and create jobs and wealth. The same thing happened with the Waterford Airport. The property developed beside the airport, then the new homeowners complained about the noise. If the Town officials make arbitrary restrictions, they should be held accountable either for or against the project.
Property Owner March 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM
The same way people will be held accountable for noise pollution and/or health issues if this is passed.
William Terry March 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Rt 395 Kobyluck's neighbor produces a lot more noise and pollution 24 hours 7 days a week.
Concerned Resident March 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Have you actually gone to the hearings and listened to Kobyluck's plans AND the 3rd party concerns? You can't get the full story by reading news articles such as this. Go to the meetings and then form an opinion.
David Irons March 10, 2012 at 05:46 PM
The noise is but one small part of the pollution this will involve. And even so, I'm not sure that your assumption is right. Do you have facts to show this?
Paul March 11, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Mr. Water Ford, There are rules that go along with an industrial park. If there were none than Mr. Kobyluck could put anything that he would like at that location. I am glad that Mr. Kobyluck would like to bring jobs to this area. However, at what costs to the home owners whom live in that area. Believe it or not Mr Kobyluck probably has a better chance of opening an extotic dance club in that location. In addition, one can not hold previous violations against an applicant. But it is disturbing that Mr. Kobyluck has had alleged violations against his company for not following environmental regulations. It is equally disturbing that because Mr Kobyluck does volunteer in town that some believe that he should be allowed to do what ever he wants at that location. These are separate issues. The town has had multiple meetings on this application all ready. Have you been to any of them? Its pretty clear to me that Mr. Kobyluck has changed his tone a bit since this process has started. It went from its my land and I can do what I want to approximately 3 application changes and I would like to work with the town to get an approval. I think its great that he wants people to call him and visit the site with any questions! But the bigger question is will he and his company follow the regulations if he gets the approval? His companies track record has been questionable at best in other towns.

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