Third-party review needed for Wilton Heights

The Inland Wetlands Commission has determined that a third-party review is required to provide technical expertise on the Wilton Heights development proposal at the intersection of Routes 7 and 33.

That determination was made July 12 at the town hall annex during the second wetlands public hearing on the proposal to build a two-building, residential-retail development at the Crossways property.

The commission works to stay within the timeline framework established under the town of Wilton’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations and the Connecticut General Statutes, said Mike Conklin, the town’s director of environmental affairs, when asked by The Bulletin if the third-party review could delay the project.

Attorney Casey Healy, who represents the developer, did not immediately return an email seeking comment on the third-party review.

A third-party review is conducted by an independent engineer on behalf of the commission, at the expense of the developer.

Neighbor Anthony Boccanfuso, his wife Alexis Boccanfuso, and neighbor Valerie Pettit were the only residents who attended the hearing that spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting. They seemed glad a third-party review was being called for.

“I’m committed to the idea of a third-party review because this is a big development and a major change to the topography of this area,” Pettit told the commissioners.

Anthony Boccanfuso, who at the opening of the hearing on June 28 raised concerns about dynamite, was also in favor of the third-party review, and pleaded with the commissioners to not act arbitrarily and capriciously. “I’m sure you will give this project the consideration it deserves,” he said.

“A lot of wetlands are at stake,” said his wife, Alexis.

The applicant, Wilton Heights LLC, is seeking wetlands commission approval to tear down five existing buildings and replace them with two buildings that would consist of retail space and residential units within a wetland.

It is the same project that is before the Planning and Zoning Commission for a change of zone at 3, 7, and 11 Whitewood Lane from residential (R-1A) to Wilton Center (WC) District. The applicant also asked for text amendments pertaining to area and bulk requirements for the Wilton Center District. The P&Z hearing will continue July 9.

Wilton Heights LLC, is a partnership of individuals from Fairfield County, that filed plans May 9 with the planning and zoning department for 74 residential units and 15 retail units on the 7.4-acre site.

The wetlands hearing for the project will continue on July 26.