New Canaan Denies Jelliff Mill Housing Project, Now Facing Lawsuits

Jelliff Mill, LLC. is seeking to overturn Inland Wetlands and Planning and Zoning decision to deny the project.


New Canaan Planning and Zoning Commission denied the at their June 26 special meeting and now they are facing a lawsuit.

According to town attorney Ira Bloom, Jelliff Mill, LLC. filed appeals at on June 16 to appeal the Planning and Zoning and Inland Wetland Commission’s denial of the 16-unit two-building affordable housing project at 41 and 47 Jelliff Mill road.

“It was their ,” said Planning and Zoning’s Steve Kleppin of the denial, “It’s a requirement that they obtain one and they never filed for one. I believe they felt that they didn’t need one.”

“The appeal is that the denial was unjustified,” said Tim Hollister of Shipman & Goodwin LLP., representative of Jelliff Mill, LLC. owners Cheryl and Bryan Gardiner.

According to Bloom, Inland Wetlands and Planning and Zoning will spend the next few months preparing a record of transcripts, documents and audio from public hearings to present in a case.

“The town’s position is that the commission made a reasonable, thorough, thoughtful decision based on evidence in their records,” said Bloom.

Planning and Zoning Chairman Lazlo Papp expressed his concern at the special meeting over flooding due to the site’s connection with a dam.

He stated that “it is the Commission's charge to protect health, safety and welfare of future residents, neighbors and the public at large,” and cited the testimony of Todd Ritchie, professional engineer, that part of one of the proposed buildings is in a special flood hazard area, making a floodplain management permit all the more pertinent.

Bloom says there will also be discussion as to whether or not the two separate lawsuits will be combined along with a third lawsuit filed by New Canaan’s Peter Wray.

Bickford Lane resident Pete Wray opposed the project, but is still filing a lawsuit against the town for rejecting his intervention, which focused on .

There are no dates yet available for the next hearing.

Ade July 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Why don't these people just build a beautiful (single) new house that mimics an antique mill converted into a home and take advantage of the what the property has to offer and give up on trying to stick it to the neighborhood with a multi-family unit... or restaurant.... or office park. Perhaps they could even build a small barn type building that someone could run a small home business from if zoning allows for a business. It seems like they have wasted enough of their own (and the town's) time and money.
J.James July 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I agree, why would they want to provide 16 potential families in a tight spot with affordable housing in a nice area of town when they could just build another hideous, gargantuan, disgusting, overindulgent, 16 bedroom behemoth there that could comfortably house one over-privileged family of four?
Esprit de Corps July 16, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Mr. James, why are you defending the construction of a 16 bedroom behemoth in this area? It would be out of character for the neighborhood. Certainly the neighbors would not want a hideous, gargantuan, disgusting or overindulgent house. Nobody except the people filing suit knows why they want to do anything.
Ade July 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM
J.James -- My comment was not meant to take away affordable housing to needy families. I could use a cheaper place to live, too. I don't think the owners of this property give a flying fig about needy families in a tight spot. I think they are looking to all of the money they could make selling the regularly priced units because ALL 16 units are NOT earmarked as affordable. As the wetlands issues that cropped up proved, it wouldn't be affordable for anybody living there if they were socked with bills to repair flood damage. I was in no way pushing for a gargantuan home but the developers, in order to stop wasting NC taxpayer money, not to mention their own, should find something that would fit into the neighborhood and not cause time and money wasting pushback.


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