Wilton Acres decision expected June 24

On Monday, June 10, the Wilton Planning and Zoning Commission met for a continued public hearing on a subdivision of land at 5 Wilton Acres, and the adjoining lot by owner Margaret DeRose. A number of neighbors of Ms. DeRose had previously argued against this plan at the commission’s June 13 meeting. 

Ms. DeRose’s attorney, Casey Healy, argued that contrary to questions raised over the past two months, the plan submitted as subdivision 910 fell within town regulations. He and Brian McMahon, an engineer representing Ms. DeRose’s plan, said the original plan shows the septic system is feasible, and the drainage plan proposed conforms to the Department of Public Works (DPW) requests: that there should be no increase in the runoff in the neighborhood up to and including runoff from a “25-year storm.”

Mr. McMahon also noted there was no change to the proposed plan needed in order to conform to the DPW’s request. In order to verify the plan, he said he used a computer program that demonstrated visually the drainage plan maintains the runoff “status quo as required by the town,” he said.

Mr. Healy also addressed previous arguments made by members of the public, and of the commission, that the shape of the subdivision was a violation of the letter and intent of zoning statutes regarding the definition of a “yard,” and arguments that the lot should be treated by the commission as an “odd-shaped lot.”

Commissioner Marilyn Gould said during the hearing she was worried this lot was a “highly unusual configuration,” and “a highly unusual way for calculating area for calculating a subdivision.”

Mr. Healy said the lot assigned to the hypothetical new home on Wilton Acres Road meets setback and acreage requirements, and therefore could not be treated as an odd-shaped lot. He pointed out the size of the lot at 5 Wilton Acres, plus “Lot 45,” comes out to a total of 2.077 acres — more than enough for two houses in a one-acre zoning area. He said it also conforms to the town’s “150-foot-box” rule, which Town Planner Robert Nerney said is intended to maintain a consistent shape of lots in town.

Mr. Nerney said that “as far as he could see,” the plan was in line with the basic statutory zoning requirements of Wilton.

Commissioner Bas Nabulsi said that as far as he could tell, the plan conformed with Wilton town statutes, and the lot could not be treated as odd-shaped.

“What I’m seeing is a proposal that positions a 150-by-150-foot building space within lot 1 that complies with all of the required setbacks,” he said, “which I think tells me that this does not need to be treated as an odd-shaped lot, because we are able to apply as written, the requirements of the regulations.”

Kathy Zalantis, of 31 Ridge Road, argued in opposition of subdivision 910. She said that although the plan conformed to “five of six” statutory requirements, its lot did not adhere to the town’s definition of a “yard,” as an area that can be connected to a point on the hypothetical structure area by a 90-degree angle. She also argued that the two areas of the lot connected by a 12-foot-bridge did not represent “contiguous land.”

She also said the acceptance of subdivision 910 would set a very dangerous zoning precedent for the town.

The commission will formally consider subdivision 910 on Monday, June 24.