Colberg appeals zoning board's denial of Pond Point Avenue housing development

Colberg LLC has filed an appeal with the State Superior Court over the Planning and Zoning Board’s denial of its application to build a 23-unit housing complex on Pond Point Avenue.

The appeal was filed Jan. 8 at Milford Superior Court by Joseph A. Kubic of Harlow, Adams and Friedman, the attorney representing the developer.

Milford’s Planning & Zoning Board voted 5-1 in December to deny the housing application, with board members citing health and safety concerns.

Members said the application would result in a traffic increase, which affects public safety; they said the plan was not consistent with the city's Plan of Conservation and Development, which suggests high-density housing be placed in specific parts of the city; and they said it would remove a natural wildlife buffer.

Residents turned out in droves at several public hearings to protest the development, which called for building 22 triplex and duplex condominium-style units on 2.7 acres of undeveloped woodland at 86 Pond Point Avenue. A house on the property would remain and be part of the development.

Thirty percent of the units would be earmarked as “affordable” and sold to people who make below the median income.

In appealing the decision, the attorney states that experts refuted traffic and other issues that the board cited when it denied the plan.

“In denying the plaintiff’s application the board acted illegally, arbitrarily and in abuse of the discretion vested in it by law as an administrative agency...” the appeal states.

The proposal for the Pond Point Avenue housing development was filed under the state’s affordable housing regulations, which gives developers an advantage in gaining approval for the plan, even if it does not conform to city zoning regulations. A municipal agency must prove that the plan presents a risk to public health and safety to deny the application.

In his appeal, the attorney said the board’s denial “was not necessary to protect substantial public interests in health, safety or other matters which the board could legally consider.”

Kubic is asking that the board’s decision be voided.

Read more in the next issue of the Milford Mirror.