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The original item was published from 10/29/2019 5:49:43 PM to 11/17/2019 12:00:01 AM.

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Town News

Posted on: October 29, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Town Attorney's Statement on Moorefield Farms Application Process

Town of Trumbull Seal

Over the last month, a group of residents has been actively opposing a land use proposal for 11 age-restricted houses on a six-acre parcel on Huntington Turnpike.  Under long standing town zoning regulations, this is a permitted use at this property.

These residents have written letters and engaged on social media. They’ve launched a petition in opposition. In a general sense, community activism is a positive thing. When people feel heard, they’re encouraged and empowered.

But in this case, some residents have misrepresented the facts and the process in ways that seek to discredit community volunteers, our town staff and our institutions.  These residents claim “unethical development,” but they present no evidence. Nor is there any, because the accusations are false. Bare accusations in the absence of facts are unfair. Any evidence should be immediately reported to the Town Attorneys.  Here are some facts about the Moorefield Farms application process; many more facts exist.

  • There was no “rush to close” the Planning & Zoning Commission’s public hearing. For any application, when commissioners feel there is no further clarification required from the applicant and that the public has been heard, they close a hearing. In this instance, every attendee who wished to speak did so.  At length.
  • This application, reviewed by a licensed Professional Engineer, does not require Inland Wetlands Commission approval. There is no disturbance of the upland review area unlike a previous application, which was withdrawn and is not relevant. 
  • The Planning and Zoning Commission has no legal authority to refer this application back to the Wetlands Commission.
  • The zoning regulations, in Article I, Section 5.3, lay out comprehensive requirements for storm water management. They state that any “proposed development shall be planned so that there will be no increase in the post-development peak flow rate from the site, under conditions up to and including the 100 yr. storm.” They further state that “zero incremental runoff shall be accomplished.”
  • In short, an applicant and the town engineer must meet stringent standards to mitigate flooding.  These standards will be enforced in this application.
  • There was no delay in the vote on this application. Rather, there was an inability to coordinate schedules. Two commissioners and an attorney are recused, leaving no margin for flexible scheduling. One commissioner was unavailable the second half of September. The town attorney was unavailable some dates.

These are facts. I empathize with people seeking to protect their neighborhoods. But an emotional investment must never extend to false accusations, attacking municipal staff, defaming town volunteers and tarnishing our processes. 

Town Attorney James M. Nugent

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