The developer is suing Greenwich and the Planning Commission for asking to raze the access from the bridge to the property


GREENWICH — A wooden bridge at the end of Indian Field Road on Long Island Sound has been the subject of a lawsuit filed against the city of Greenwich and its planning and zoning commission.

Developers are looking to build a large house with swimming pool and pool house at 0 Indian Field Road. The application from Mead Point LLC, whose director is real estate attorney Kenneth Gruder, has been under review by the Planning and Zoning Commission since late last year.

A question from the commission and planning staff arose during the approvals process this spring: what is that bridge doing there, surrounding a small tidal pond?

City and state records show that no permit was ever issued to build a bridge that adjoins a causeway around the tidal pond. The pond is an offshoot of Long Island Sound, and under state and local law, the body of water is a public resource that must be accessible to the public. The bridge was considered an obstacle, both legal and physical, to the pond, the commission determined on April 26.

During this meeting, the commission approved the construction of the new house but with one condition: the wooden bridge must disappear.

The promoters filed a lawsuit and two-page appeal in Stamford Superior Court on May 11 seeking the cancellation of the condition. The legal complaint says Mead Point LLC was “negatively affected” by the decision regarding “an existing bridge that provides access to the property.”

The lawsuit states that “the bridge was constructed in accordance with all necessary and required regulations in force at the time of its construction.”

In April, when reviewing the application, the planning commission was informed in a March 29 letter from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection saying it had no record of approvals for the bridge, which appears to have been built at the end of the causeway artificial more than 50 years ago.

“No one can prove that it’s legal,” President Margarita Alban said at the April 26 meeting, “it’s not allowed.”

“Absolutely” the bridge should be removed, Commissioner Arnold Welles said.

“The public owns this space. Full stop,” concluded Commissioner Peter Lowe.

Alban cited a letter from DEEP stating that the tidal pond is a public space and that “public access to the area should be maintained and not diminished.” Commissioners agreed that the bridge represented a deterrent to public access and should be removed as part of the approval of the new house. The site has another access point for the proposed residence.

Commissioners said the history of the bridge and causeway appears murky and some repair work has been authorized by the city. in 2013. But no approvals or documentation for the span’s authorized construction were uncovered at the city or state level, they concluded.

A formal response has not yet been filed by the municipal administration.

City Attorney Barbara Schellenberg did not respond to a request for comment.

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