Wilton Acres subdivision plan spawns lawsuit

Just months after settling a lawsuit filed by The Montessori School, the Wilton Planning and Zoning Commission has been named as a defendant in another lawsuit filed by residents of the Wilton Acres neighborhood.

According to a civil summons filed in Connecticut Superior Court that was received by the town on July 22, Bruce Reznik and Allison Reznik, of 7 Wilton Acres, have filed suit against the Planning and Zoning Commission of Town of Wilton, and Margaret B. DeRose, of 5 Wilton Acres.

Jaroslaw Bukowski and Maria Bukowski, of 19 Wilton Acres, and Lillian Damast, of 9 Wilton Acres, are also listed as plaintiffs in the case.

The suit aims to reverse the commission’s approval of a permit titled Subdivision #910. If the suit is successful, it will prevent Ms. DeRose from acting on the permit, which would have allowed her to subdivide her property at 5 Wilton Acres into two, one-acre residential lots, said the plaintiff’s attorney, Robert Fuller.

Town Planner Bob Nerney said on Thursday, Sept. 12, the lawsuit challenges the planning board’s interpretation of zoning regulations in regards to Subdivision #910.

“This is not a policy-type decision,” he said. “It is based around an interpretation of the regulations of the town. Reading regulations can lead to different interpretations. Subdivision #910 was approved with a resolution that set forth the conditions and requirements. It has now been appealed as is allowed under Connecticut law.”

The permit issued to Ms. DeRose gave her the right to subdivide  land on Wilton Acres into two one-acre parcels, and to build a second home on the property. This project would require approximately 50% of the trees to be removed from the land that would be assigned to the second home. It would also divide the land into oddly shaped parcels, which would cause the second home to be built in close proximity to existing structures.

Mr. Fuller said on Thursday his clients believe the subdivision plan was highly irregular and improperly approved.

“The bottom line is we don’t think this was a properly granted subdivision under the regulations, thanks to the strange configuration of the lot. This thing is so strange and so unusual that the regulations don’t justify it,” he said.

Mr. Reznik, the lead plaintiff, had previously argued against the subdivision plan at the May 13 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. At that meeting he presented a seven-point petition signed by members of the Wilton Acres community asking the commission to deny Ms. DeRose her permit.

According to the civil summons issued to the Town of Wilton, the plaintiffs argue “In approving the subdivision for the subject property the Commission acted illegally, arbitrarily, and in abuse of discretion ...”

The plaintiffs’ main arguments include that the lots are actually undersized, and a 30-foot right of way held by Connecticut Light and Power should not be included when computing the minimum lot size requirements. The rear portion of the lot does not have the required 25-foot accessway, they maintain. And the suit also says “the lot configuration in the two lot subdivision is bizarre and unusual and it is not consistent with the regulations considered in their entirety ...”

The case will be heard at Stamford Superior Court.

Ms. DeRose referred comment to her attorney, Casey Healey of Gregory and Adams, whom The Bulletin could not reach before deadline.