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Attorney Calls New Canaan Housing Plan a Plus

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – A proposed townhouse project at 41 and 47 Jelliff Mill Road would be beneficial to the New Canaan community, says the attorney representing the developers.

“This development will bring economic diversity in housing,” said Tim Hollister, the attorney for 47 Jelliff Mill LLC. The company was formed by developers who want to raze an old warehouse and build 16 housing units, including five that would be affordable housing units under state rules. “I’m sure that’s a value that not everybody shares, but it is a fact that economically diverse communities do better than those that are not economically diverse.”

Hollister’s comments came Tuesday night as the Planning and Zoning Commission closed the public hearings on three requests from the developers.

The plan would rid the area of an eyesore, Hollister said. He asked the commission to put aside pressure from opponents and focus on legal standards. “There’s nothing wrong, lots of things right. That should be enough for an approval,” he said.

Many neighbors oppose the project, pointing to concerns about traffic and impacts on nearby waterways as reasons the site is not suitable for so much housing.

Planning Chairman Laszlo Papp said the commission will decide matters based on “facts and the law” and will not be swayed by public opinions. Nobody can say the Jelliff Mill site is ideal for multifamily housing, Papp said. But if it were not an affordable housing application, it could have been rejected because of the intensity of the use planned and road conditions, among other reasons.  

The commission has 65 days to approve or deny the applications. The Inland Wetlands Commission closed its hearing on the development proposal Monday.

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