Wooded fields at 505 Kent Road (Route 7 North) in New Milford might soon be developed into a 23-acre industrial campus.

Evan Walters, the principal of the property's owner, Eagle Holdings, has requested a special permit to develop the site along Squash Hollow Road's north entrance.

The application asks the New Milford Zoning Commission for approval to construct 95,400 square feet of warehouses, offices and fenced outdoor storage area for use by contractors.

Walters received a zone change from residential to industrial for the 23-acre parcel in the spring.

At that time, he had the support of the town's Economic Development Commission.

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At a glance
Historically: 89 acres along Kent Road (Route 7 North) in the neighborhood of Squash Hollow Road have been mined for sand and gravel.
2006: Zone changed for an active adult community under the name Fox Hollow.
2012: Evan Walters purchases the site; zone changed to residential; single-family home development planned; 25 acres deeded to town for open space.
2014: 23 acres changed to an industrial zone in the spring.

"Having a developer interested in New Milford is a great sign of the commitment to the town's economic growth," said Pete Bass, a commission member and vice chairman of the Town Council.

"I hope this project is pushed through," Bass added. "Any time you can create an environment to grow our commercial grand list, it's a wonderful opportunity."

Scott Melatti, owner of Scott's Landscaping & Nursery at 322 Kent Road, plans to buy the property. He is the principal of Scott's Rentals and has been in business for more than 34 years.

When the zone was changed to industrial, board members were told Melatti planned to store mulch, other landscaping materials and a minimum of equipment at the site.

Melatti has signed forms in the zoning office on Walters' special application.

A petition signed by 24 residents living near the property was submitted at the time of the zone change. They were concerned about the effect on property values and the change to their neighborhood.

Sal Apicella, of Bella Alpacas Bed & Breakfast along Squash Hollow Road, declined comment. In the spring, Judy Apicella had circulated the petition.

Catherine Rawson, executive director of Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust, had spoken last spring against the zone change to industrial, noting concerns about the effect on open space and nearby Tory's Cave.

stuz@newstimes.com; 203-731-3352