Tuller subdivision plan wins some neighbors' support, but not all are pleased

A seven-lot subdivision application for Tuller Road was back before the Town Plan and Zoning Commission Tuesday, but after a rocky reception previously, this time it has support from some immediate neighbors.

The proposal for the former Tuller School property was rejected by the TPZ in February 2012, with concerns about water runoff and the number of homes on a cul-de-sac cited in the commission's denial -- arguments that nearby residents had lodged against the application.

Nonetheless, other area residents opposing the project remain concerned about runoff and traffic that would be generated by residents of the new homes. The latest public hearing on the revised subdivision application was completed by the TPZ this week, but no vote was taken.

The earlier application called for eight homes on a road to be built off Little Brook Road, which is already a dead-end street.

This time around, one house has been eliminated and the homes will be built on a road that connects with Tuller Road, which would be known as Tuller School Road. The property was once the site of a private school with that name.

William Fitzpatrick, the lawyer representing the developer, presented the commission with a petition in favor of the revised plan signed by 22 Tuller Road residents, along with a resident of nearby Garden Drive.

But residents living on Marian Road, which sits below the former Tuller School property, still have concerns about water runoff from the site.

In an email to the commission, Giovanni and Elizabeth Castro said their property -- on Marian Road where it intersects with Little Brook Road -- collects "an abundance of run-off water from both streets during heavy rain." They said they have had a lot of property damage over the last 11 years and have spent thousands of dollars in an attempt to manage the water problem.

Engineers for the project claim that the storm water system devised for the property will actually slow the flow of water runoff, thereby alleviating problems.

Traffic that would be generated by the new homes was another concern raised during the public hearing.

While Michael Galante, of Frederick P. Clark Associates, a consultant for the developer, said the seven new homes would generate an additional five to seven car trips -- "a minimal increase," he said -- some neighbors weren't buying it. Fairfield Woods Road is heavily traveled during peak hours, with traffic backed up in both directions at the stop sign at the intersection with Morehouse Highway.

Julie Gottlieb, a Representative Town Meeting member from District 6 and resident of Applegate Road, said it often takes her four to seven minutes to get to Stratfield School to pick up her child. "There is a traffic issue as it is now," she said.

Gottlieb also addressed the flooding question. "I've seen firsthand significant flooding," she said. "I ask you not to support this."

Another RTM member, Jay Wolk, D-6, speaking as the president of the Dogwood Green condominiums, said the homes' construction would have a direct impact on the condo complex.

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