Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Supreme Court won’t consider ruling in Tracy Drive case

By Max Bakke
Journal Inquirer
Published: Friday, September 26, 2008 11:10 AM EDT

VERNON —The state Supreme Court has denied a Tracy Drive man’s request to reconsider a lower court’s decision to allow a developer to build a road through a parcel of land he’s owned and maintained as a side yard since the 1970s.

Frederick Goff, who’s been involved in a lengthy legal battle with the town after he was ordered to remove a fence and no trespassing signs and allow developers to build a road on the public right-of-way, said he still plans to file a second lawsuit.

That’s despite the town’s excavation of a 35-foot-wide and 9-foot-deep hole to lay sewer and utility lines on the strip of land at 130 Tracy Drive that he and his wife purchased in 2005.

“We’re very disappointed, obviously,” Goff said of the court’s decision. “It feels like justice denied to me, and I feel that we were right … but it’s gone as far as it can go at this point.”

The courts have said the land is considered a public right-of-way that developer Kenneth J. Boynton can use to access 40 acres behind the Goff’s house to build a 41-lot subdivision between West Street and Tracy Drive, which the town already approved.

Goff said he plans to seek an injunction on the work already underway on the strip of land. He has written a letter to Mayor Jason L. McCoy demanding that work halt and the land be restored to its original grade.

While the courts may have affirmed the town’s right-of-way, he said it does not grant the substantial work being done on the property.

Town Attorney Hal Cummings disagreed, saying the injunction allows the town to do whatever work is necessary to complete the roadway, this includes the sewer and utility lines.

Until the Goffs file a second suit, Cummings said he considers the three-year legal ordeal over.

“It was just unfortunate it had to go this far,” Cummings said. “I’m glad the town’s position has been vindicated. I’m glad it’s over, it’s been a long haul.”

Copyright © 2008 - Journal Inquirer