As part of last night’s Planning & Zoning Commission meeting–the first to be held since new members were elected and seated–the  first order of business was for the P&Z commissioners to elect new officers to one-year terms. Longtime member Sally Poundstone was elected unanimously as chair; Lori Bufano was selected unanimously as vice-chair; and Doris Knapp was re-elected as secretary. All three members have served multiple years on the commission.

Knapp pointed out that following last night’s vote, for the first time there are three women in the leadership spots of the commission.

Residents who showed up to the P&Z meeting expecting discussion on the Schlicting property at 183 Ridgefield Rd. might have been surprised to hear that the developer who now owns the 13.5-acre lot had asked for a continuance, delaying his presentation and application.

Developer James Fieber, who purchased the lot on Aug. 21, 2015, was scheduled to present his proposal for a 4-lot subdivision of the property. As part of the development, Fieber has razed almost all of the trees on the property and has posted an “intent to demolish” sign on the property notifying the public that he intends to raze buildings on the property. There is currently a 90-day delay on demolition of any structures on the property imposed by the Wilton Historic District and Historic Building Commission on Oct. 7.

The request to continue the presentation to the next regularly scheduled meeting (Jan. 11, 2016) was made in writing by J. Casey Healy, the Gregory and Adams land use attorney representing the developer. Healy was not present at the meeting but receipt of his letter was entered into the meeting’s record.

As part of the commission’s consideration of the issue, a public hearing on the property had been scheduled on the agenda to begin at the start of last night’s meeting. Although the commissioners delayed the developer’s presentation, they still opened the hearing because technically, the hearing had been posted to the public and thus had to be opened.

“If any of you who, I assume came thinking you might actually hear the application, that’s not going to happen tonight,” Poundstone explained. “If you feel that you want to make a brief statement anyway you’re welcome to do that. But please understand that there will be not action, no presentation by the applicant. All the work will be done starting Jan. 11, so if you feel compelled to speak tonight I will recognize you. But please understand the applicant will have no opportunity to hear, because they are not present, whatever it is you have to say.”

When the P&Z commissioners asked if any member of the public still wished to speak, no member of the public stepped forward to offer comment.

The topic is scheduled to be discussed at the next scheduled meeting, Monday, Jan. 11.