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P&Z Chairman Blasts Trumbull Before Big Box Store Approval

When the Monroe Planning & Zoning Commission deliberated before approving a special permit needed to build a large retail store at 2 Victoria Drive — off Main Street — Thursday night, Chairman Patrick O'Hara took an opportunity to scold the neighboring town of Trumbull for opposing it.

During the hearing, Jamie Brätt, Trumbull's director of planning and development, called for an independent traffic study. Then the town of Trumbull petitioned for intervenor status, so its engineer, Frank Smeriglio, could express flooding concerns.

"We heard from our neighbors in Trumbull," O'Hara said. "I'd like to say to our neighbors in Trumbull: Nuts. First its economic planner expressed concern over traffic. Really?"

O'Hara pointed out how Trumbull has been building commercial developments along Monroe's border for years, making it responsible for many of the approximately 20,000 vehicles that travel on Route 25 per day.

As for the environmental case presented by Smeriglio, which the commission denied, O'Hara said, "Their engineer just shared his opinion and nothing else."

"I'm not impressed with our neighbors in Trumbull," O'Hara said, "and hope in the future they are better neighbors."

momant January 24, 2014 at 09:35 AM
This is not good for Monroe. How long before Swiss Army tires of looking at the big box store and the trash it brings in and they move out of Monroe...
Crown Royal January 24, 2014 at 10:36 AM
No regrets about that tatoo? Like, not even a single letter?
Nancy B. January 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Sure do miss having Mrs. Callo and Mrs. Bartosik on the Board.
Peg January 24, 2014 at 01:52 PM
"Nuts"? From an elected official of our town?. Be assured that Mr. O'Hara is most certainly not speaking for me. Insulting!
Kathleen Alderman January 24, 2014 at 05:16 PM
I don't think walmart is the store for us I think they need to talk to costco that would be perfect it's the middle of milford Danbury and norwalk / costco is a better choice
Cornelius Fleming January 24, 2014 at 07:14 PM
I applaud Mr. O'Hara for blasting Trumbull. It sounds like Mr. O'Hara takes his position seriously, unlike Mr. Guttman on the BOE who giggles and passes notes at meetings.
Wayne Addessi January 24, 2014 at 07:23 PM
I also don't understand why there are only 5 commission members. In Ridgefield where my businesses are there are 9 members plus alternates. Monroe surely could have down zoned this area and restrict sizes of any one store. Talk about poor planning!! Wake up Town officials and residents that care and have a vested interest. This is worthy of legal appeals by the town of Trumbull and concerned citizens and businesses. Time to change your Charter to allow for more commission members too.
Lani January 25, 2014 at 06:54 AM
Kudos to Pat for doing his job. Trumbull doesn't get to decide our zoning. I think it more likely they received pressure from the two Targets in their town to try and squash competition.
kay inderdohnen January 25, 2014 at 06:45 PM
Well, the deed is done. The arrival of this new facility will have impact on our community for years to come. And what we say here will have little affect. I do applaud Cathy Lindstrom for her comments. It shows he did her homework and had concerns about our town.

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