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New Canaan Developers To Revise Jelliff Mill Plan

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The developers who want to transform the former Jelliff Mill site in New Canaan plan to make some adjustments to their application.

Timothy Hollister, attorney for 47 Jelliff Mill LLC, said his clients will make several changes to the proposed housing application as will Bryan and Cheryl Gardiner, owners of 41 Jelliff Mill Road. Those changes include increasing the size of the parking spaces, widening the travel aisle between the two proposed buildings and expanding the driveway so larger trucks can travel on and off the property without crossing the center line on Jelliff Mill Road.

The builders did not think changes were required, Hollister said, but they are “over-engineering” to allay residents’ concerns about the proposed 16-unit townhouse development. The housing plan includes five affordable housing units.

“We are going to make changes that really don’t do anything other than satisfy the opposition’s requests, so there will be some modifications,” Hollister said. “I think the phrase ‘trimming the corners’ is a good way to describe it.” The revised plans will be submitted by Friday, he said.

Peter Wray, a chief opponent of the housing plan, offered a summary of reports presented at a Feb. 28 Inland Wetlands Commission meeting . At that meeting, experts hired by the opponents voiced concerns about possible pollution into the Noroton River and Long Island Sound. Wray called on the planning commission to hire independent experts to review the plan, something Hollister did not think was necessary.

New Canaan resident Thomas McCarthy, who lives adjacent to the proposed building site, said he hopes the commission will do what it can to protect well water. McCarthy said the town and the neighbors don’t owe the builders anything because they knew of the risks associated with planning to build there. “It’s not our job to bear their risk (for) what may be a bad decision,” he said.

Planning Chairman Laszlo Papp said the public hearing will continue at the commission’s next meeting March 27 and again at a special joint meeting with the Inland Wetlands Commission on April 10. Papp said the hearing may close April 10.

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