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Planning & Zoning Commission: Connor Resigns

The Goshen News - Staff Photo - Create Article
Town Planner and ZEO Martin Connor listens to PZC discussion shortly after announcing his resignation/Eric Warner photo
Eric Warner and Staff Writer

Tuesday 03/26/24

Selectman Scott Olson withdrew his special permit application to build the town’s first indoor pickleball facility at his 777 North Street property. Following February’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting where over 60 Goshen residents spoke for or against the facility. Due to this withdrawal, the continued public hearing for the application scheduled for Tuesday, April 23rd was canceled. 

The commission motioned to table February’s meeting minutes due to its length and most commission members having not been able to review them. This was unanimously approved.

New Business: discussion of potential changes on the ways agendas, minutes, and other corresponding documents are organized and distributed. Shilo Garceau suggested that minutes be sent directly to commission members. Land Use Commission Clerk Lori Clinton noted that residents can sign up for notices on the town website to have board or commission documents sent directly to them when they’re uploaded. Chairman Jonathan Carroll suggested document packets for meetings be printed by the Thursday before each meeting begins in order for members to have enough time to review them.

 Martin Connor read his ZEO report. Connor spoke with First Selectman Todd Carusillo earlier and announced that he will tender his official resignation from the PZC. “I’d like to spend a little more time with the family,” Connor explained. “We’re committed to spend time with our grandkids this summer and honestly, I’ve been getting a lot of calls to do consulting work…”

In a March 28th Waterbury Republican American article on Connor’s resignation, Connor is reported to have said he missed working with former PZC Chair Don Wilkes, who was resoundingly rejected in his bid for re-nomination by Goshen Republican Town Committee caucus voters last July. Wilkes lost favor within his party due to his role in the development of the Town’s widely unpopular Affordable Housing Plan in 2022 and had been criticized as being excessively acquiescent to Connor’s recommendations. Connor was quoted in the Republican American article as saying: “There’s a new regime in place, and I believe it will be healthy for me to step aside and let the commission move ahead.” The PZC’s current chair views it as the responsibility of elected commissioners to do their own due diligence and represent the will of the townspeople, rather than just accepting the recommendations of hired professionals. (See SPOTLIGHT: PZC Chairman Jon Carroll, p. 12)

Connor will officially resign from the PZC following the April 23rd meeting. Carusillo thanked Connor during Public Comment. Connor recommended that the PZC begin working on Goshen’s Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) before its mandated adoption in 2026. The PZC will contact the Conservation Commission, Goshen Land Trust, and Economic Development Commission to assist in creating the POCD. The PZC will begin reviewing sections 1-4 of the town’s current POCD for April’s meeting.

Note: Mr. Connor has served as Town Planner in addition to his roles as Enforcement Officer for PZC and IWC (Inland Wetland Commission).  He has served for a few decades and has been responsible for many new sites in Goshen. His critics site the misinformation he gave to his commissioners regarding FOIA law and right to communicate with townspeople and even other commissioners.

He was active in promoting the previous Affordable Housing plan as well.  His proponents found him affable and learned in building permit information and how to get things through both commissions.