Public hearing on Route 7 contractor’s yard set for June 19

A proposed contractor’s yard at 800 Ethan Allen Highway will receive public hearing in front of the Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday, June 19.

The proposal calls for a three-acre “multi-unit contractor’s yard and structures” for “excavation, grading, filling and earth processing activities,” according to the meeting agenda.  

Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti said the developer, Larry Leary Development LLC, had indicated that the proposal was identical to one previously approved by the commission in 2015.

That decision was overturned by a court decision in late October of last year, after a judge found that the approval violated the town’s yard setback regulations at the time. The ruling came as the result of a lawsuit filed by residents of The Regency, a nearby townhouse complex also on Route 7.

In the suit, the neighbors alleged that the yard would “negatively impact their property, including but not limited to its fair market value and … use and enjoyment of the property.”

The approved plan included structures, such as fences and walls, in the yard setback of the property — a strip of area around a lot that is supposed to remain empty for curb appeal.

Mucchetti noted that a wetlands application was passed at the same time.

As a result of the ruling, the commission amended the town regulations on setbacks in early January.

Mucchetti said Vice Chairman Joe Fossi will be once again recusing himself from discussing the proposal. Fossi previously recused himself because he had done business with Leary as a builder.

Charles Robbins, who joined the commission in April of last year, also announced he would recuse himself, because he is currently a resident of The Regency complex.

Leary is also requesting that the fees for the application be waived.

Commissioner John Katz asked Richard Baldelli, director of Planning and Zoning, whether he believed the fees Leary had already paid would cover any additional work the department will have to do for this application.

“Oh, absolutely,” Baldelli said.

The bulk of the work was already completed in 2015, he added.