The Canton Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on a site plan modification for the 'CVS Plaza' that would result in a shared-use path along the east side of Lawton Road rather than sidewalk.
According to documents by Town Planner Neil Pade, there are pros and cons to be weighed. On one hand, a shared-use path would continue the Farmington River Trail, a loop off the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail that starts in Farmington and is designed to connect back in Simsbury. The portion from Farmington to Route 44 in Canton is completed.
However, there could be potential downsides to some in constructing the path, Pade wrote in a memo. One is its width of 8-feet, along with 3-feet buffers, as opposed to the 5-foot wide sidewalk. While a change in trajectory could minimize the impact, the additional width might affect planned screening to the commercial area, where CVS is being built and two other development areas planned, Pade wrote.
There has also been no study as to whether a path should go along the east or west side of Lawton Road, officials said. The towns of Canton and Simsbury applied for a grant to study the best way to complete the loop but did not receive it. Possibilities included a path along the roadway, utilizing state- and town-owned land on Lawton Road and elsewhere or a combination of those factors.
Canton selectman David Gilchrist has also raised the idea that connecting the path back to Avon may be another possibility.
For those that want to offer thoughts on the 400-foot portion along Lawton Road, the meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at the Library/Community Center. Click here to view the full agenda.
The commission will likely make a decision that night as Konover Development Corp. said it needs to know which way contractors will proceed. The town is filing the shared-use path application since it would own the right away and be responsible for trail maintenance.