East Lyme agency approves "Twin Valley" application with conditions

East Lyme — The Inland Wetlands Agency voted on Monday to approve an application for a 23-lot re-subdivision at Green Valley Lakes and Spring Rock roads, with a list of conditions the developer must meet.

The conditions added by the Inland Wetlands Agency include that the developer must follow an erosion and sedimentation control plan and sequence for construction and use a shared gravel driveway for three of the lots to lessen the amount of clearing required, according to the resolution.

The agency decided Monday against requiring the developer to relocate a proposed cul-de-sac, an idea the agency had discussed at its August meeting.

Before the Inland Wetlands Agency made its decision, Town Attorney Mark Zamarka told the agency that any decision had to be supported by substantial evidence of fact, meaning there had to be proof that impacts to wetlands or the watercourse would occur.

The plan from Bob Fusari Jr. of Real Estate Service of Conn. represented a revised application for the road and utilities to extend to an existing neighborhood built in the 1960s and 1970s. He had appealed to the state Superior Court the agency's decision in 2017 to deny an earlier application.

Neighbors had weighed in on the application at public hearings and raised concerns over developing the site with the number of lots proposed and its proximity to the Four Mile River and wetlands. Brian Lepkowski, a neighboring property owner, submitted testimony on the impacts, but representatives for the developer had said the application would have no direct impact on wetlands and responded to the Inland Wetlands Agency's previous concerns.

The agency's resolution finds that the application "adequately addresses the reasons for" the 2017 denial and that "there are no irreversible and irretrievable loss of wetlands or watercourse which would be caused by the proposed regulated activity...." The resolution also mentions the application's mitigation efforts, including catch basins and two bio-retention ponds.

During the agency's discussions, member Peter DeRosa said that while he would prefer to see the site kept as woods, it's not in the agency's scope to consider that.

"Our scope is to enforce the regulations and ensure what is presented to us is in line with them," he said.

Five members of the agency voted in favor of the resolution, while Gary Upton said he was abstaining as chairman.

k.drelich@theday.com

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