Rebuffed several times by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, developer James Sakonchick is taking his quest to build on a Homeland Street lot to court.

Sakonchick's latest proposal for the property asked approval for construction -- under the state's affordable housing statute -- of a duplex as well as a single-family home at 206 Homeland St., the side lot to 214 Homeland St., owned by his son, Brian Sakonchick. The lot at 206 Homeland is the site of a pool used by 214 Homeland, as well as a portion of that house's side porch.

Father and son filed suit in Bridgeport Superior Court on Oct. 2 asking that the TPZ denial of the application be overturned and the application approved.

At the heart of the issue is that fact that zoning officials contend the two lots were actually merged into one by the previous owner, pointing to the fact that the porch encroaches onto the corner lot at 206 Homeland and the in-ground pool there was built as an accessory use of the house at 214 Homeland.

In his appeal, James Sakonchick states that in his capacity as a land surveyor, he "represented that the parcels at 214 Homeland St. and 206 Homeland St. are not merged."

At the most recent TPZ hearing on the application, which was opposed by a large group of neighborhood residents, he told the commission members that the former owner, now deceased, always intended to build on the second lot. That was disputed by neighbors, and by a letter from the former owner's son.

Sakonchick also states in his lawsuit that as a professional engineer and "traffic expert," he "verbally presented testimony" indicating the site's driveway would not pose a traffic hazard, there would be adequate parking and the proposal would not produce unsafe traffic conditions on nearby roadways and intersections.

The suit states the only expert comments received during the hearing were from himself and TPZ staff, and contends further that the TPZ's reasons for denial "do not clearly outweigh the need for affordable housing" in town. Under his application, one of the three units would be set aside as affordable.

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