A controversial request by the Lagoon Corp. to rezone three pieces of property it owns to commercial use will be discussed again Wednesday night by the Farmington City Council.
A public hearing on the request April 5 brought out more than 50 Farmington residents opposing it, many of whom voiced longstanding resentment of the amusement park.Noise, crowds and what they fear is increasing encroachment by the amusement park into the city's residential neighborhoods were cited by the homeowners at the hearing.
Lagoon officials responded that the park tries to be a good neighbor and has planted hundreds of trees as noise and visual barriers between the park and residential neighborhoods.
The park is requesting three pieces of property, totaling about 13.5 acres, be rezoned from residential or business designations to C-R, the commercial recreation zone the city created for Lagoon.
Lagoon President Peter Freed told the council that of the three parcels, the park has immediate plans for only one, a one-acre piece west of a rental house the firm owns at 300 N. Main and Lagoon Lane. The company wants to clear the weeds and debris from the lot and build a greenhouse, Peter Freed said.
The greenhouse would be at the foot of a steep drop-off, he said, and wouldn't be visible from Main Street.
The other two pieces of land, a 2.4-acre and 10-acre parcel near Lagoon Lane between Main Street and the park's existing boundary, would be set aside for now as a buffer zone, the park president said.
Lagoon Vice President David Freed said long-term plans call for construction of a ride and expansion of a water park into the parcels. Short-term plans would keep them as open space or, under an agreement with the city, for use as soccer and ball fields.
Residents who spoke at the April 5 public hearing oppose the rezoning, saying they fear it's another step in the amusement park's eventual domination of the city's west side.
Lagoon over the years has bought much of the residential property along the west side of Main Street, converting the homes to rental units. Nearby homeowners said they fear all the property could eventually be rezoned to commercial or business use, turning the city's historic Main Street residential area into businesses.
City Council members indicated they don't oppose construction of greenhouses on the one parcel but expressed concerns about the park's long-term plans for its property around Lagoon Lane, including the road's eventual closure.
The council agreed to send the rezoning requests back to the city's Planning Commission for further study and recommendations, putting the requests on the council agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday.