Inland Wetlands Commission begins deliberations on Brubeck property

After months of public hearings and frequent delays, the Inland Wetlands Commission on June 1 began deliberations on a subdivision proposal from the estate of the late jazz great Dave Brubeck and it was clear the matter was as complex as Brubeck’s piano harmonies.

The board met for two hours, frequently poring over some of the dozens of maps of the property and proposal, and continued its discussion to a special meeting June 15.

“It’s a very complicated project,” said member Tom Burgess. “We have to give it our time.”

After the first hour of discussion about what they saw on the maps, the members agreed some of their concerns are that the six houses of the subdivision plan could be smaller, and that the drinking quality water that flows there should be preserved.

Part of what complicates the proposal is that the land is the equivalent of two football fields and is full of wetlands, including the Comstock Brook, members said.

The commissioners have about 40 days remaining to make a decision.

Chris Brubeck in May said 80% of the land would be preserved in the development as a conservation easement, so neighbors need not fear overdevelopment.

Some of the neighbors had signed on with attorney Marjorie Shansky as intervenors in the project, however. They want to protect the wetlands, they say.

“The core value is wetlands protection,” Shansky had told the commissioners.

Shansky attended the deliberations on June 1 but was not asked to speak.

Up for consideration is a six-lot reconfiguration of property owned by the Brubeck Trust. The addresses are 221 Millstone Road and 67, 69, 73, 85, and 87 Hickory Hill Road.

Attorney Casey Healy, who is representing the trust, said more information was provided for this case than is typical for a commercial development, and the Brubeck family has tried very hard to answer all questions and concerns in a spirit of goodwill with the community.

The Brubecks moved to Wilton in 1962.  A subdivision was approved there in 1954 and again in 1968. The approval the trust is seeking shows the boundary lines modified from the existing approval.

The applicant wants to modify existing wetland crossings. There would be two common driveways that serve all six lots, one on Millstone Road and one on Hickory Hill Road. An engineer has shown how a catch basin has been designed to store stormwater runoff from the driveways.