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Engineer: New Canaan Housing Plan Needs Flood Permit

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – A townhouse development proposed for Jelliff Mill Road will need a flood plain management permit if the project is to go forward in New Canaan, according to an engineer who has reviewed the applicants’ plans.

Todd Ritchie, a senior project manager with GHD Inc. in Middletown, addressed the members of the New Canaan Planning and Zoning Commission and the Inland Wetlands Commission. The planned 16-unit townhouse development planned for 41 and 47 Jelliff Mill Road is in a 100-year base flood zone, he said. It will need the permit through the town’s Department of Inland, Wetlands and Watercourses, which is the local agent of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Tim Hollister, attorney for 47 Jelliff Mill LLC, said the permit is not needed. “We will not apply for a permit we don’t need,” he said.

Ira Bloom, an attorney hired by the town, said he and town attorney Christopher Jarboe will review the question.

Experts hired by applicants 47 Jelliff Mill LLC and project opponent Peter Wray spoke for nearly four hours Tuesday on the proposed development. Bryan and Cheryl Gardiner, owners of 41 Jelliff Mill Road, and 47 Jelliff Mill LLC are seeking a text amendment, a change in the zone’s designation, to go forward with the project. 

Five of the units are intended to be affordable housing units. They also need a permit from the Inland Wetlands Commission to go forward.

Neighbors have spoken at previous meetings to oppose the project, citing concerns about traffic safety and water quality during construction.

The commissions will hold another joint meeting April 24 to talk to Ritchie further. The Inland Wetlands Commission will continue its consideration of the project April 30, while the planning commission will resume its hearings May 1.

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