MONROE, CT — A neighbor filed a lawsuit appealing the Monroe Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision to approve a special permit application allowing a new gas station and convenience store to open at 126 Main St.
On April 3, the lawsuit was filed at Fairfield Judicial District Superior Court in Bridgeport on behalf of Armando Braun, who owns property at 521 Purdy Hill Road, by his attorneys John W. Knuff and Sara A. Sharp of the Milford law firm of Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg & Knuff LLC.
Aside from the Monroe Planning and Zoning Commission, Haque LLC of 24 Rachel Drive in Rocky Hill, the applicant for the special permit, is also named as a defendant in the appeal.
Braun’s property is within 100 feet of the nearly one-acre site at 126 Main St. In the complaint, he claims the commission acted “illegally, arbitrarily” and in abuse of its discretion when it approved the application on March 16 by:
- Failing to make requisite findings of fact, identify sufficient or adequate reasons for approving the Application, or determine the Application’s conformity with the applicable conditions and standards of approval set forth in the Regulations;
- Not ensuring the size of the use, intensity of the operation, traffic involved in or connected to the use, and the capacity of the streets are such that the proposed use will be in harmony with the appropriate and orderly development of the area;
- Ignoring and acting in a manner that is inconsistent with and violates the procedural and substantive requirements and provisions of the Regulations, the Connecticut General Statutes and the common law of Connecticut.
The plaintiff asks that the commission’s decision be declared null and void and for “such other relief as is just and proper.”
Haque LLC plans to renovate an existing building, adding Heritage Cream colored vinyl siding for the convenience store and six-pump gas station at 126 Main St., which is located in a Business-2 Zone.
The building would be served by public water and plans were submitted to the Monroe Health Department to construct a new private, onsite subsurface sewage disposal system.
The health department found the plan is in compliance with Connecticut Public Health codes, and approved it. The department also said a food establishment plan review and food license may be required for the convenience store.
The plan also had Inland Wetlands Commission approval for the stormwater management plan. The Pequonnock River runs in back of the property.
The rendering of a sign for the 4,880-square-foot building says “Swift Fresh Market.” The hours of the business would be from 5 a.m. to midnight.
The business would be run by Shiraz Choudhary, principal of Haque LLC. He has experience running gas station/convenience stores with locations on Black Rock Turnpike and Brooklawn Parkway in Fairfield, in Bridgeport and Old Saybrook.
The project includes widening a section of Route 25 to add a left turn lane for south bound traffic, and to restrict drivers leaving the business to right turns only.
On March 16, the commission approved the plan by a vote of 4 to 1 with the lone dissenter being Vice Chairman Bruno Maini, who had expressed concerns over traffic during the hearing.
Those traffic concerns were echoed by some residents who spoke at the hearing, especially because the gas station is close to the four-way intersection with Old Newtown and Judd roads.
The intersection includes Duchess, Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins and 196 apartments are planned for the Pond View property across the street from 126 Main St.
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