Town and intervenor oppose Saddle Ridge’s appellate court petitions

Saddle Ridge Village. Easton Courier archives

Two town commissions and the Coalition to Save Easton have filed memos opposing Petitions for Certification to the appellate court by Saddle Ridge Development LLC, et al, to hear their case on appeal.

The memos cap a multi-year dispute over Saddle Ridge Development LLC’s proposal to build Saddle Ridge Village, a 99-unit townhouse development with affordable housing units on watershed land bordering Cedar Hill, Silver Hill, Sport Hill, and Westport roads.

The developer sued to overturn Easton’s land use commissions denials of the dense housing development, which was to be located on the 124.7-acre site, which drains into the Aspetuck and Easton reservoirs and provides drinking water to more than 400,000 Fairfield County residents.

The reservoirs are part of an interconnected system of reservoirs that serve Stratford, Bridgeport, Trumbull, Shelton, Monroe, Fairfield and Westport. During the summer months, they are also used to supplement water demands in New Canaan, Wilton, Ridgefield, Stamford and Greenwich.

A Petition for Certification is a request for the Appellate Court to hear the case on appeal. Appeals in land use cases are not automatic, according to attorney Ira Bloom of Berchem, Moses & Devlin of Westport, who represented the Planning and Zoning and Conservation commissions and filed the memos on their behalf.

Bloom sent the memos to the appellate court on March 2 and said that Attorney Jan Brooks, representing the Coalition to Save Easton, intervenor in the case, sent a memo opposing Saddle Ridge’s petitions the same day.

The legal wrangling follows Hartford Superior Court Judge Marshall K. Berger’s Jan. 25 decision to dismiss the appeals of Saddle Ridge Development LLC and Silver Sports LP against the Easton Planning and Zoning Commission and the Easton Conservation Commission.

Berger’s decision was based on the finding that the public drinking water watershed is an important public interest that merits strong protection.

The appellate court court may decide to hear one, two or none of neither of the cases and likely will will make a decision in one to four months.

“My experience is they can take a few months to make a decision,” Bloom said.

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