Wetlands panel denies Southport plan for senior care complex
Published 11:44 am, Wednesday, February 18, 2015
A proposed senior living/care complex in the Southport section of town has been rejected by the Inland Wetlands Commission.
The commission voted unanimously last week to deny the application for Maplewood at Southport without prejudice, which means a new application can be re-submitted at any time. John Fallon, the lawyer representing the developer, said Tuesday a new filing is planned.
The proposal calls for a 98-unit residential facility, specializing in people with Alzheimer's, in a three-story, 92,000-square-foot building that would be closer to the Pease Avenue side of the 27-acre parcel. The property includes two lots on Mill Hill Terrace, near Mill Hill School, and one lot on Pease Avenue. The property is also the site of the Sherwood ice pond, created in the 19th century. The pond is about three acres and remnants of an ice house foundation still exist.
The main concern cited by commission members when they denied the application from Hunter Gregory Realty Group was the lack of "phase two" soil testing.
Phase one testing relies on any data and reports that already exist about a property, while phase two testing would include testing for contamination. Neighbors testified at public hearings that dumping had taken place at the property for many years.
Conservation Administrator Annette Jacobson provided the panel with photos of the property, showing rusting barrels, an old oil tank, an old car and a tractor, a refrigerator and construction debris.
"Obviously, we did submit a comprehensive application that included a phase one environmental report," Fallon said. "That said, we appreciate the time and constructive effort that the commission put into reviewing the application."
In that report, by Hygenix, Inc., of Stamford, based on a phase one environmental report, the applicant did not believe more extensive testing was warranted.
"We want to, and are going to, constructively respond to their request for additional information with regard to additional soil testing in the specified areas of the project," Fallon said.
When that is done, he said, a new application will be submitted.
Another commission concern was the existing 8-inch sewer line to the site. The Sewer Department indicated that the plans appear to be inconsistent with its concerns and a plan must be submitted to the Water Pollution Control Authority for consideration and approval.