Developer appealing East Lyme wetlands commission's denial

East Lyme — A developer said he is appealing the town Inland Wetlands Agency's denial of a permit application for a road and utilities for a proposed 25-lot resubdivision at Green Valley Lakes and Spring Rock Roads.

The Inland Wetlands Agency met in executive session on Monday to discuss the litigation related to the application from Bob Fusari Jr. of Real Estate Service of Conn. Inc.

The appeal asks the state Superior Court in New London to rule that the town commission's denial was "unlawful" and order the commission to approve the permit application. The Old Saybrook company also is seeking any other "relief at law or in equity" that the court finds appropriate.

The permit application submitted to the Inland Wetlands Agency was for the road and infrastructure to support 25 lots on 97 acres of undeveloped land within the "Green Valley Lakes" subdivision built in the 1960s and '70s, according to the developer's appeal. 

The Inland Wetlands Agency on Aug. 28 issued a six-page decision that stated it was denying the permit application based on reasons that included that the proposed stormwater management system would not sufficiently reduce pollutants from the proposed development, "which will result or is reasonably likely to result in harmful pollutant loads being discharged into the wetlands and watercourses." The soils have "limited potential" "to remediate effluent before it reaches the wetlands and watercourse," the decision further stated.

Real Estate Service of Conn. Inc. said in its appeal that the "denial is illegal and unlawful because it is not supported by substantial evidence in the record, and is based on speculation, possibility, and conjecture."

The wetlands commission is asking for the appeal to be dismissed, according to a court document. Attorney Mark Zamarka, a lawyer for the Inland Wetlands Agency, declined to comment on the case.

Residents of the neighborhood had expressed concerns over the proposed development's impact on wetlands at public hearings last summer and on the 'Protect Green Valley Lakes' Facebook page.

Diane and Brian Lepkowski, whose house would abut the proposed road, filed for intervenor status in the case. 

"We are so thankful to the Town of East Lyme for all the long hours and effort spent with this application and the decision they reached was not without substantial reason and careful consideration," Brian Lepkowski said in an emailed statement. "We have intervened in this appeal to continue to represent the neighborhood along with all the concerned residents of East Lyme and we intend to work alongside the town in the defense of their decision."

k.drelich@theday.com

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