Milford’s Grant Street residents concerned over house development

MILFORD — Grant Street neighborhood residents are growing frustrated by the city’s allowance of an elevated house construction in their neighborhood.

“This is a monstrosity. That’s what this is. I don’t know how this was allowed,” said Laurie Mullenix, a Grant Street resident.

According to neighbor Dennis O’Grady, when the developer, AR Housing, raised the grade of his building he redirected the surface water to adjacent neighbors and created a building height not in harmony with the neighborhood.

“One of the residents used to always have problems with water in his backyard before they started building,” he said. “When they raised the ground by three feet, I started getting water in my shed too.”

When O’Grady went to City Hall and raised questions about the construction, he said the builder put a retaining wall with drainage to solve the water issue.

“They are trying to address that, but the bigger concern is why is it so high and why did they raise the dirt to make the building even higher?” he said. “It’s already high, and the raising of the dirt made it higher.”

Kevin Curseaden, an attorney representing AR Housing, in an email said, “The project fully complies, and will continue to fully comply, with all zoning regulations and the building code.”

City Planner David Sulkis said the zoning office issues permits based on the information and documents submitted by the owner/developer at the time of permit application. He said the permit for the house construction “is in compliance” with the city’s regulations.

“At the completion, the owner must submit an as-built A-2 Survey showing what was actually built is in compliance with the original plans submitted as well as the regulations,” said Sulkis. “If everything is in order, the city will issue a certificate of zoning compliance, and, ultimately, a certificate of occupancy. In this particular case, the changing of grade and/or drainage course does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Milford zoning regulations.”

O’Grady said if the certificate of compliance is issued, he can go to the zoning board of appeals, but he said all they are going to do is see that planning and zoning deemed it compliant.

A separate issue the neighborhood residents are concerned about are three propane tanks beside the house.

“I was concerned when I saw those three tanks,” said Henri Czarny, a Grant Street resident. “It’s rare they explode, but it can happen. There are about 600 tanks that explode around the U.S.” each year.

Erik Smith, another concerned neighbor who works as a real estate agent, said the house was marketed as being heated by natural gas, which made him wonder why the builder decided to put propane tanks instead. He said there is natural gas available on Grant Street.

“This guy came in with zero care about the neighborhood or the impact to the neighbors,” said Smith.

O’Grady said now with all the remote work, people are trying to get out of the cities and live near the beach.

“You see these tall houses going up and people have money to do whatever they want,” he said.

Sara Newell said there are going to be three more houses across the street from the Grant Street construction.

“They are using this plan, “she said. “It’s absurd.”