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New Canaan Board Rejects Jelliff Mill Housing Plan

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – A townhouse development planned for Jelliff Mill Road failed to receive the necessary approvals from the New Canaan Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission voted unanimously at a special meeting Tuesday to reject all three requests from 47 Jelliff Mill LLC and Bryan and Cheryl Gardiner that would have allowed them to build a 16-unit townhouse development at 41 and 47 Jelliff Mill Road.

The town supports affordable housing, Commission Chairman Laszlo Papp said, but it had issues with the location. “This site, however, presented some very difficult possibilities, especially due to its connection to a river dam,” Papp said.

The applicants also did not seek a floodplain management permit, he said. “Lack of such (a) permit was found to be an omission, which indicates that a direct threat exists of possible flooding, endangering health and safety of the public,” Papp said.

Not having a flood plain permit was the primary reason the inland wetlands commission rejected a wetlands permit request last month. The developers and opponents of the proposed housing have both appealed that decision in court.

The developers want to build a 16-unit townhouse complex at the former mill site with five of the units deemed as affording housing under state rules. Several neighbors opposed the housing plan, citing concerns with the nearby dam, potential pollution and increased traffic.

Town Attorney Chris Jarboe said he would not be surprised if an appeal was filed against the Planning and Zoning Commission. “We followed the instructions from the commission given at the last meeting,” Jarboe said. “The consensus of the commission last week was that there should be a denial.”

The decisions will not stand in the way of the developers’ intention to raze the vacant mill building at 47 Jelliff Mill Road.

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