Opposition and frustration build on Cannon Road

Neighborhood opposition has been building for months against a proposed eight-lot subdivision on Cannon Road that has been delayed on its course through the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Public frustration is beginning to set in, though, because again on Feb. 12, the applicant was not there to present at a Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing, and asked for a continuation, which was granted by commission, with no discussion or presentation. One person in the audience, Patricia Frisch, asked questions about the ability of the applicant to postpone the hearing and the timing of such a request.

“It is so detrimental to the opponents,” said Frisch. “Now we’re at the mercy of the extensions.”

However, it is a statutory right of the applicant to ask for extensions, Frisch was told by the commission. “It is their application, and they can keep it continued all the way to the end and withdraw,” said Commissioner Rick Tomasetti.

The property is zoned for two-acre residential. The proposal is being made as a conservation subdivision, so a large amount of the land would be conserved while the subdivision would be in a limited area.

“I would like to remind P&Z that the town of Wilton is justly proud of its two-acre zoning to protect our water and wildlife and Cannon Road is part of that zoning area,” said opponent Hannah Kinnersley in an email to the Planning and Zoning Commission asking for denial of the project.

“The development under consideration is not only too large to protect the wildlife and fauna of the wetlands in which it is situated, but there is no way to enforce any protection for the surrounding area once the plan is given the go ahead,” Kinnersley wrote.

Other residents also wrote emails to discourage the commission from approving the project.

It was the third time the opening of the public hearing had been postponed. It’s not uncommon for developers to postpone the start of their public hearing process, especially when they need to coordinate plans with the Inland Wetlands Commission, which in this case they do. The developers have also postponed the opening of hearings with that commission.

Planned is an eight-lot conservation subdivision of 55.261 acres on Cannon Road. According to Wilton’s subdivision regulations, the purpose of conservation subdivisions is to “allow for a more progressive approach to the subdivision of land and preservation of natural resources and visual assets of the town.”

The Cannon Road property is owned by LTWJ LLC under the care of Tom Gunderson, according to the application. Gregory and Adams attorney J. Casey Healy, who is representing the property owners, said the land was purchased by Joanna Bailie Gunderson on May 8, 1980.

According to the application, the plan is to construct eight homes on about 10 acres of upland area and set aside the remaining 45 acres in a conservation easement. The property is in an R-2A residential zone and contains significant wetlands. It is classified as forest land under Public Act 490.