Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Vernon PZC approves subdivision plan

By Jason Rowe
Journal Inquirer
November 6, 2006

VERNON - The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a subdivision off West Street, which neighbors had objected to. By a 5-2 vote, the PZC approved local developer Kenneth J. Boynton's plan to subdivide 30 acres at 214 West St. into 28 residential lots.

Commission members Lester Finkle, Gregory LaChance, Richard Guttman, Watson "Chip" Bellows, and Pat Settembrino voted in favor, while commissioners Sarah Iacobello and Mary Kelly voted against the plan at Thursday's PZC meeting.

The subdivision would connect to a 13-lot development off Tracy Drive, which was approved by the PZC in December 2005.

It's almost certain that the PZC's decision will be appealed, given that nearly every land-use commission decision regarding Boynton's proposals for the undeveloped property has been challenged in court.

As a condition of Thursday's approval, the town will accept 1.7 acres of undeveloped land as open space. However, the town will not add any recreational attractions to the parcel, Town Planner Neil S. Pade said.

Among the opposition were Tracy Drive residents Frederick and Barbara Goff, who are involved in a number of legal battles with the town regarding its handling of Boynton's proposals.

And Goff said today that he was likely to appeal the PZC's latest decision.

He said that the commission ignored deficiencies in Boynton's application - including a planned roadway that Goff says is designed at a steeper than permitted grade.

"My feeling is, there is a bunch of things that were done incorrectly. ... There is something wrong with the process that allows this stuff to bubble through," Goff said.

In addition to a legal dispute over a 50-foot right-of-way adjacent to the Goffs' house, which would be used to access the Tracy Drive lots, the Goffs have appealed previous approvals of Boynton's plans.

Boynton has appealed the PZC's January rejections of his initial plan to construct 59 units of age-restricted housing on the land that will now house the newly approved residential homes.

Lawyers for both Goff and the town are scheduled to appear in Superior Court Wednesday for oral arguments relating to the right-of-way dispute.

©Journal Inquirer 2006