Denial doesn't derail developer

ORANGE - Ravenswood Homes developer Dean Fiske, of Cheshire, vows to return a third time to the Inland Wetlands Commission in pursuit of developing the "Pepe Property" located behind the town transfer station.

The commission denied the application for a second time last week citing feasible and prudent alternatives needed to be explored.

When asked what his reaction was to the denial Fiske was optimistic.

"We were not unanimous this time. We're making headway with the commission," Fiske said referring to the lone commissioner, Rick Mangione, who did not support the denial.

"We will be back again shortly this time," Fiske promised.

"We will be filing a new application to try to accommodate what the commission wants," Fiske said.

Fiske has been attempting to build on this particular parcel for a number of years. He originally approached the IWC in 2002 with concept plans. He subsequently filed an application and began the process starting with eight buildings totaling 92 units each with a garage.

When asked at what point he would consider the development a loss and stop applying he said he was determined to follow through.

"We own the property and will continue to apply until approved," Fiske said.

"We might try phasing as a prudent and feasible alternative as suggested by commissioner O'Brien," Fiske said.

Prices for the Lakeside Village units will start at under $300,000, officials have said. Twenty-eight of the units will carry a lower price tag because they are being set aside as deed-restricted affordable housing.

Fiske has said Lakeside Village's target customers are active people 55 and older who live in Orange but no longer want to be bothered with yard work or home maintenance.