The proposed TicketNetwork Forest concert venue has entered the end stages of its application before the Planning and Zoning Commission in Vernon, CT. Attorney Dorian Reiser Famiglietti, representing applicant TicketNetwork, gave her closing rebuttal on the evening of March 4 after weeks of rigorous debate and public testimony.
In order to meet state-imposed time constraints on the process, the PZC scheduled two additional opportunities for public testimony on February 25 and March 3. During these meetings, as in previous PZC hearings on February 4 and February 18, residents repeatedly voiced concerns about potential noise, pollution, traffic and disorderly conduct that could arise as a direct result of the venue.
“You’re really opening Pandora’s box once you let [TicketNetwork Forest] in under the limited scope that’s being discussed here,” stated Michael Blezard, a certified public accountant whose business property adjoins the proposed venue grounds, on February 25.
On that same evening, venue opponent Sheryl McMullen echoed Blezard’s sentiments. While her testimony focused on possible negative environmental impacts, she had greater concerns that the town would have “a lack of control over the venue” in general.
But during her nearly three-hour rebuttal on March 4, Atty. Famiglietti sought to put some of that control back into the hands of Vernon’s commissioners. Specifically, her presentation featured a lengthy list of conditions of approval in order to give the town a greater level of oversight on the project.
Should the PZC vote in favor of TicketNetwork Forest, she explained, the developer and venue managers would be required to meet a number of yearly and, in some cases, concert-to-concert requirements in order to retain the venue’s special permits and continue operation.
Based on third-party expert testimonies offered during the rebuttal, post-approval requirements could include mandatory widening of a nearby highway off-ramp, continued modifications to on-site parking, as well as increased sound limitations and noise attenuation. Any improvements and constraints outlined in the conditions would ultimately be the direct financial and legal responsibility of developer and TicketNetwork CEO Donald Vaccaro.
With the applicant’s presentation and public testimony now complete, the proposal now faces deliberation by the commission and a vote. Scheduled for March 11, that final meeting will be open to the public though no further comment will be allowed on the subject.
TicketNetwork is the parent company of TicketNews.