P&Z Sued Over Pool House Denial on Country Club Road 


The owners of a Country Club Road property have filed a lawsuit against the town seeking to overturn a recent Planning & Zoning Commission decision.

Rendering of proposed Pool House. Specs by SR Projects https://cms3.revize.com/revize/canaan/Departments/Land%20Use/Pending%20P&Z%20Commission%20Applications/STN_POOL%20HOUSE%20SET_2023-05-26.pdf

At its Jan. 30 meeting, P&Z by a 6-2 vote denied an application filed on behalf of the owners of 274 Country Club Road to allow a detached pool house to exceed the allowable lot building coverage by 843 square feet. An attorney representing owner Benjamin Sutton said that in exchange the allowance, they would encumber at least 1,686 square feet of the single-family residence to 18 inches in height. 

Yet members of the Commission said plans for the pool house could have been included in the original building permit application (a new residence currently is being constructed on the two-acre parcel). 

Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, P&Z can issue a Special Permit increasing the maximum building coverage given some conditions, including a limitation on maximum building height (see page 72). During the Jan. 30 meeting, P&Z Secretary Krista Neilson noted that P&Z two years ago denied use of the same regulations to increase coverage on an Old Studio Road property. 

Chair Dan Radman was absent. Those voting against the application included Neilson and Commissioners Art Casavant, Chris Hering, John Kriz, Kent Turner and Kristina Larson. Those voting against the denial were Commissioners John Engel and Allen Swerdlowe. 

According to a complaint filed Feb. 21 in state Superior Court, that denial was “illegal, unlawful, arbitrary and capricious” as well as “in abuse of the powers vested in” P&Z under state law.

“The Defendant Commission ignored and acted in a manner that is inconsistent with and violates the procedural and substantive requirements and provisions of the Zoning Regulations, the Connecticut General Statutes and the common law of the state of Connecticut,” attorney Gregory Williams of New Canaan-based Lampert, Toohey & Rucci LLC said in the complaint.

P&Z also failed to “make required and final findings of fact or identify sufficient or adequate reasons” for its denial, the complaint said.

The plaintiff is seeking to overturn the Commission’s decision and to receive costs.

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