Planning Commission delays acceptance of age-restricted plan

Town Attorney Ira Bloom advised the Planning and Zoning Commission July 24 to not take any type of action on a new application from a developer seeking to restore the Age-Restricted Overlay District.

It was on the agenda under “acceptance of new applications,” with no date for a public hearing, but Bloom told the commissioners that a lawsuit against the town over the unpopular zone on Ridgefield Road resulted in a court directive to withhold action until further notice of the court. That would be Aug. 14, when the lawsuit has its next day in court, Bloom said.

“I agree we should abide by that,” Bloom said. “One of the claims for relief in the lawsuit requests the court to order the commission to not accept, hear or approve any future applications for the age-restricted overlay.”

Developer Jim Fieber and his 183 Ridgefield Road LLC withdrew his application for a change of zone at that address for an age-restricted housing development on July 19. The developer declined to comment through his spokesperson, Fran DiMeglio, but his attorney, Casey Healy, indicated the point was moot because the commission had rescinded its age-restricted zoning regulations, adopted last fall, that would have made it possible to build age-restricted housing on Ridgefield Road.

A judge ruled a week ago that if Fieber decided to go forward with his application, the hearing would be opened on July 24 but immediately continued. Neighbors there and other town residents strongly resisted the plan, turning out at Planning and Zoning hearings in numbers more than 100.

Then, Healy filed the application to revisit the Age-Restricted Overlay zones.

An attorney for Fieber tried to speak at the meeting, but was silenced by Chairman Joe Fiteni because no action or discussion was being taken.

The Planning and Zoning Commission had been planning to take the month of August off for vacation. It remains to be seen whether it will meet during the month or wait until September on the latest Age-Restricted Zoning application.