US: Mansfield residents speak out on greenhouse plan

Citing quality-of-life concerns, many neighbors spoke against a proposed greenhouse project during a public hearing Monday. The applicants, John and Donna Prete, are seeking to build six greenhouses at 438 Browns Road.

The Mansfield Planning and Zoning Commission's public hearing was first opened April 5 and immediately continued that same evening to Monday, with the applicant needing more time to gather information.

On Monday, the commission continued the hearing to June 7, when it is scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m. The hearing will be held virtually unless the town has resumed having in-person meetings, in which case it will be in the town council chamber at the town hall at 4 South Eagleville Road or, if more space is needed, at the middle school auditorium.

The project was also presented during the meeting of the inland wetlands agency, which met before the PZC. The two groups have the same members.

During the hearing, John Prete spoke about his existing Agbotic facility in Sackets Harbor, N. Y., noting that facility is "virtually a duplicate of what we're proposing in Mansfield."

"It's USDA-certified organic and, in fact, a level above that which is real organic, that is, without hydroponics," he said.

According to the statement of use submitted to the town, the property, which the Pretes are in the process of buying, is 111.45 acres and approximately eight acres would be disturbed for the project.

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