Preston to hold zoning hearing on Mashantucket request to allow RV campground on Route 2 land

Preston — The Mashantucket Pequot tribe is considering creating an RV campground resort on three parcels on Route 2, where tribal officials initially had proposed hosting the Revolution Rock Festival in 2016.

The town Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on a proposed zoning regulation text amendment to add recreational campgrounds to the Vacation Resort section of the existing Resort Commercial District. Tribal officials requested the zoning regulation language change for the three parcels at 451, 455 and 495 Route 2 in the Resort Commercial District.

The land is an expansive field with wooded areas at the edges located between the Route 164 intersection and the Hilton Garden Inn hotel at the Watson Road intersection, about a half-mile from Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Town Planner Kathy Warzecha said Tuesday’s hearing is only for the regulation wording change. The tribe would need to apply for a specific development plan if the text amendment is approved. The amendment would allow recreational campgrounds in the zone with a special exception, which also would require a public hearing.

“We continue to work with the town of Preston as we consider all potential options for the use of properties owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation along the Rt. 2 corridor,” tribal spokesman Lori Potter said in an email response to a question about the tribe’s pan.

In a letter dated May 22 to commission Chairman Arthur Moran Jr., Mashantucket Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler said tribal officials met with Warzecha in March to discuss the possible development of an RV campground resort at the properties. Butler said tribal officials were told the regulations did not include the specific language for RV campgrounds within the zone, but the commission was in the process of reviewing regulations.

“It will provide economic benefit to the region by attracting visitors that will use the region’s businesses therefore improving viability,” the tribe’s text amendment application stated. “It will diversify the business environment and encourage a positive sustainable economy. It will promote appropriate economic development along Route 2.”

c.bessette@theday.com

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