Plan for 25 houses north of Farmington’s Morea Road prompts neighbors to organize opposition

Farmington homeowners near the Bristol border are organizing to block a 25-home subdivision planned along Morea Road, and have begun raising money for a professional engineer to argue their case.

The “Save Morea Road” GoFundMe page has raised $1,270 as of Wednesday, and organizers want to drum up another $3,730.


Carrier Group LLC wants to build one-family houses on part of an 87-acre property that’s largely woodland and marsh. The tract is along Swamp Scott Brook and contains extensive wetlands.

“The proposed development will encroach on the wetlands, causing erosion, flooding, contamination, and loss of essential wildlife habitat,” warns the Save Morea Road campaign’s Facebook page.


But earlier this month, the inland wetlands commission approved Carrier’s plan.

“Although the proposed activities avoid wetlands, construction and disturbance within the 150-foot regulated area are significantly more extensive than is typically found to be acceptable,” the commission acknowledged. “Half of the houses are within the regulated area and the 25-foot buffer to wetlands is narrower than most approved projects.”

But the commission noted that Carrier proposed clustering homes in two parts of the land, leaving about 66 acres that it would deed to the town for open space preservation.

That would keep more than three-quarters of the entire property undeveloped, including all wetlands on the site as well as upland sections in the Scott Swamp Brook watershed, the commission said.

Carrier told the commission it would build two clusters of houses: One on the eastern end of its long property fronting Morea Road, and the other on the western end. To the north, a large block of land east of the Snowberry Lane subdivision would be given to the town.

Most of the homes would be in the western cluster. Carrier plans a short street off Morea Road that would split into two cul de sacs, both lined by houses.

Carrier presented plans for erosion control and wildlife management at the commission’s May 18 hearing, but many residents still had doubts.

Shridhar Prabhu, a Snowberry Lane homeowner, said he was particularly concerned about animal species living on the site.

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“As a community that’s neighboring this wetlands, we are very conscious of several wildlife habitats,” Prabhu said.

He praised Carrier and its consultants for listing steps they’d take to prevent wetlands damage and to protect wildlife during construction, but said he still thought the commission should have more specific information about wetlands conservation.

Tom Daly, an engineer with SLR Consulting, emphasized that Carrier’s plan doesn’t including disturbing any wetlands. When questioned about how much of the 87-acre property would be cleared of trees and shrubs Daly replied that it would be no more than 15 to 20 acres.

Tall Timbers Drive resident Dan Cabree expressed concern that destroying wildlife habitats will send animals onto neighbors’ properties.

“There are a lot of things out there other than frogs and salamanders. There are bears and bobcats and things like that, and they’re going to have to go somewhere,” Cabree said.

Numerous residents complained of periodic flooding on and around Morea Road. Two Apache Run and Cobble Court homeowners questioned whether their basements or decks would be at risk of greater flooding, but Daly noted that their properties are at higher elevations than the development site.


The project still must go through the planning and zoning commission for approval.