Sasco Hill neighbors continue to oppose medical offices
Published 5:00 pm, Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Questions over property boundaries snarled discussion at a Town Plan and Zoning Commission public hearing Tuesday on plans for a medical office building on the Post Road, which Sasco Hill neighbors oppose.
Joel Green, the lawyer who represents the recently organized Sasco Hill Neighborhood Association, told the TPZ that the quit claim deed assigning a portion of a neighboring property to the lot facing the Post Road is inaccurate regarding property lines, which he said renders the square footage calculations for the medical building incorrect.
No vote was taken on the application.
Charles Jankovsky, the lawyer for William Christian who wants to develop the medical office building on an empty Post Road lot near the intersection with Sasco Hill Road, said Green's arguments are a "red herring."
"He is incorrect," Jankovsky said. "It is accurate."
Green said his clients have many concerns about the application, which calls for two stories of offices over ground-level parking. He said zoning regulations require all parking that extends more than 10 feet under a building must be enclosed by walls and not open to view. "These parking spaces are entirely beneath the building," Green said, but are not enclosed.
"We have significant concerns on safety," Green added. "There are concerns with traffic and congestion."
The application, he said, does not preserve or enhance the neighborhood's character, but Hank Heck, a Sasco Hill Road resident and member of the neighborhood association, said they would like to work with the zoning officials and developers to come up a more comprehensive plan.
"We see the role of the association as being a business builder," Heck said. "A key objective of the association is to achieve commercial, successful new buildings which also contribute from a design perspective to the New England vernacular which has made Fairfield so special and so attractive for so long."
The neighbors had also opposed a proposal from another developer for One Sasco Hill Road on an adjacent property, which was denied in June by the TPZ.
Christian had received approval for a somewhat larger building on the lot in 2007, but it was never built because of the slowing economy and the zoning permit lapsed. In the current application, the lot size was increased, but the building size trimmed.
"There is no ingress or egress on Sasco Hill Road," Jankovsky said of the neighbors' concerns. "It doesn't abut Sasco Hill Road. It's an extremely conservative use for a designed commercial district. It's a medical building; it has the required parking."