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Democratic Petition for Costco Information Causes Stir

Democrats handed Mayor Timothy Stewart a petition asking for a meeting on Sept. 6 between him, the Coscto Corporation and the planning and zoning commission of the common council to discuss all plans on the Costco Project.

“People have been coming here for the past few months talking about Costco, but we don’t know how much they want to pay for it and it if is Plan A, B or C or if it has gotten to Z yet,” said Alderman Larry Hermanowski. “It is for informational purposes to bring out every plan and every financial aspect of this plan before the public so we all know what they are talking about.”

Mayor Timothy Stewart asked if those involved in the petition were serious.

“We are in a zoning change request. It has nothing to do with the purchase and sale agreement. When we get to that point, we will get all that information,” said Stewart. “There are no plans. They are not going to spend money to get there because they do not have any faith the City will move forward with them.”
He said there are only concepts and ideas available.

“The public comes to meeting and there is a lot of conjecture,” said Hermanowski. “Let’s clear the air and put it down.”

Stewart said the private developer would not come to a meeting when it appears the council will not approve it. He said they appeared at a public hearing to present a concept.
”The City needs to show good faith,” said Stewart.

“I believe this is an effort on behalf of the council to show good faith,” said Alderman Michael Trueworthy. “I think the vote can go either way….I believe there is a lack of information.”

“Any information about the zone change has been given and that is the only thing before us,” said Alderman Lou Salvio. “The Costco Company came here and showed us possible renderings. Since then the mayor has put together a Plan B….What would you have them come and show you. There is nothing to show you until there is a zone change.”
”I don’t know what you are looking for,” added Stewart.

Alderman Paul Catanzaro said he is for this project. He said the zone change is for the possibility of Costco coming to New Britain.

“It’s all tied together,” said Catanzaro. “It’s not being done to shut it down….we need more information even if it is a concept.”

Stewart said making a zone change could be for anyone. It is just a next step.

“I’ll talk to them,” Stewart added.

In June, officials representing Costco brought a few power point discussion pieces before the zoning board of the common council.

Joseph Montesano, regional director of Costco’s real estate division, told the board that

Costco could pay New Britain about $475,000 in property taxes and bring in about 220 new jobs.

He also said Costco would pay for correcting traffic flow problems and pay to move three holes at Stanley Golf Course as it will need 15 acres of land on the present course. He showed a rendering that included three holes of the golf course be moved across the street.

Since then, Stewart released a possible new plan that would not force the golf holes to be moved to the opposite side of the street. Instead three holes would be made on the east side of Hartford Road near Route 9.

Stewart said these were all renderings and ideas and not proposals.

“Costco is not going to spend money on designs until zoning is approved,” said Stewart.

Residents living near the golf course have given the council petitions and various reasons including a violation of the deed of Alix Stanley as reasons not to build Costco at this sight.