Dispute rages between developer and town engineer

Adirondack Trail developer Harold Rosnick. — Brad Durrell photo
Adirondack Trail developer Harold Rosnick. — Brad Durrell photo

No resolution appears to be in sight for an ongoing dispute between a developer and the town engineer on whether a new street should be accepted as an official town road.

Developer Harold Rosnick thinks Town Engineer Ed Nagy is being unreasonable in his demands for acceptance of the road,

Adirondack Trail, while Nagy thinks Rosnick hasn’t done everything necessary to receive a positive recommendation.

The matter may be headed to court, with Rosnick saying Nagy is “hell-bent” on stopping Adirondack Trail from becoming a town road at this time.

“I’ve reached my limit,” Rosnick told the Planning and Zoning Commission at its Oct. 16 meeting. “I’m going to let a court decide … I’m finished with Mr. Nagy.”

Nagy insisted he just wants to make sure the road meets all the required specifications to be a municipal road as detailed in town ordinances. “Why can’t we just get the work done? It’s been 11 years,” Nagy said at the meeting.

P&Z Chairman Robert Maquat tried to bring the two sides together, going item by item through a “punch list” of concerns from a letter sent to Rosnick by the town.

“I’m trying to be a facilitator,” said Maquat, adding that “no one wins” if the disagreement goes to court. “I’m trying to avoid another year going by,” he said.

 

Most of Adirondack Trail, a road off Easton’s Tuckahoe Drive that connects to Buttonwood Drive in Trumbull, has yet to be officially accepted as a town road in Easton. — Brad Durrell photo
Most of Adirondack Trail, a road off Easton’s Tuckahoe Drive that connects to Buttonwood Drive in Trumbull, has yet to be officially accepted as a town road in Easton. — Brad Durrell photo

Adirondack Trail is a mostly undeveloped but paved road off Tuckahoe Road, near the Trumbull border. It now connects to Buttonwood Drive in Trumbull. The Easton subdivision should eventually include slightly fewer than 20 homes.

In general, if a developer builds a road to town specifications, a municipality usually agrees to make it a town road and assumes responsibility for maintaining it in the future. This includes plowing, repairing, repaving, and handling drainage issues.

When receiving zoning permission for a project, the developer usually has to pay a bond to the town to ensure the road is built correctly. Rosnick paid such a bond. The bond is returned once the work is satisfactorily completed.

Existing punch list concerns for Adirondack Trail range from alleged damage to existing curbs, the need to put in curb cut openings for future driveways and eliminate some unused curb cuts, the need for an easement to do possible drainage work, and whether all trees required in the landscaping plan have been planted.

The potential impact on municipal plows of curb cut openings along paved but undeveloped parts of Adirondack Trail is one factor in a dispute between developer Harold Rosnick and Town Engineer Ed Nagy on whether Adirondack Trail should become a town road. — Brad Durrell photo
The potential impact on municipal plows of curb cut openings along paved but undeveloped parts of Adirondack Trail is one factor in a dispute between developer Harold Rosnick and Town Engineer Ed Nagy on whether Adirondack Trail should become a town road. — Brad Durrell photo

Rosnick said it makes no sense to put in certain curb cuts now because future homeowners may move the driveway location when developing their lots. He also said the town had enough bond money to do any needed future work. “I’m over-bonded,” he complained, noting he was now responding to “my fifth punch list.”

“There’s nothing in the regulations that requires me to put in what Mr. Nagy is asking me to do,” Rosnick said.

Nagy said roads must be “completed” and not “substantially completed” to be accepted by a municipality. “I’m going by the town ordinance,” he said, later adding, “We’re getting very close.”

Possible curb damage along the paved but undeveloped Adirondack Trail is a factor in the dispute between developer Harold Rosnick and Town Engineer Ed Nagy on whether Adirondack Trail should be accepted as an official town road. — Brad Durrell photo
Possible curb damage along the paved but undeveloped Adirondack Trail is a factor in the dispute between developer Harold Rosnick and Town Engineer Ed Nagy on whether Adirondack Trail should be accepted as an official town road. — Brad Durrell photo

Maquat said it appears only one or two punch-list items remain in dispute. He plans to talk to the P&Z’s outside attorney for advice, as suggested by Rosnick.

The Board of Selectmen ultimately decides whether to accept town roads, based on recommendations by the town engineer and P&Z.

Public hearing

A public hearing will be held Nov. 13 for an application to build a barn within the 100-year flood plain at 420 Black Rock Road. Applicants are James and Deborah Carrier.

New P&Z alternate

At the Oct. 16 meeting, the newest member of the P&Z was present to participate. Justin Giorlando recently was appointed as a P&Z alternate. The P&Z now has four commissioners and two alternates, leaving vacancies for one full member and one alternate.

P&Z Chairman Robert Maquat checks an application, while joined by, from right, new alternate Justin Giorlando, member Ray Martin and alternate Alison Sternberg (partially blocked). — Brad Durrell photo
P&Z Chairman Robert Maquat checks an application, while joined by, from right, new alternate Justin Giorlando, member Ray Martin and alternate Alison Sternberg (partially blocked). — Brad Durrell photo

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