Legal Writes

Land Use Judge Combines Two Branford Land Commission Appeals

by Diana Stricker | May 4, 2017 7:17 am

File Photo A half-acre Branford lot that is prone to coastal flooding is gaining notoriety as its owner takes his failed attempts to develop the property to the Land Use section of Hartford Superior Court.

Arsalan Altaf, through his Pawson Road LLC, is appealing denials by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) regarding a single-family home; and denials by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission regarding affordable housing on the same lot. Both cases were moved to the Land Use section of Hartford Superior Court, where Judge Marshall K. Berger Jr. recently approved the request by Altaf’s attorney to combine the two cases.

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“Negro Heads” Sea Buoy May Become “Sowheag Rocks”

by Bill O'Brien | May 1, 2017 10:47 am | Comments (4)

Bill O'Brien Photo A local landmark that has been identified on United States nautical maps for more than 100 years could have a new name after all the “i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.”

State Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr., D-Branford, has led a campaign for the past year to rename the “Negro Heads” landmark, a buoy and rocks located southeast of Maltby Cove in the Indian Neck section of Branford.

The change requires approval of both federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Atlantic Wharf Project Moves Forward

by Diana Stricker | Apr 27, 2017 7:40 am

With Permission The Atlantic Wharf residential and retail complex in the heart of Branford is another step closer to reality now that the a court appeals process has ended. A permit to demolish the crumbling Atlantic Wire building may be the next step.

The option for further appeals was denied earlier this month by the state’s Appellate Court. The Costanzo family, of 33 Wilford Ave., initially filed an appeal in February 2016 in New Haven state Superior Court to reverse the decision of the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission regarding approval of Atlantic Wharf.  That appeal was dismissed in January 2017 by Superior Court Judge Angela Robinson who issued a 13-page decision. The judge said that “the substantial evidence” in the record “does not support any of the plaintiff’s three claims raised on appeal.”

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Should the RTM Decide the Site of Parkside Village?

by marcia chambers | Apr 25, 2017 7:28 am

Marcia Chambers Photo A group of Democratic Representative Town Meeting (RTM) members rose as one at this month’s RTM meeting to denounce the make-up, legality and the reach of a special RTM sub-committee set up to decide if the Parkside Village affordable housing project will be built at the former site of the Branford Hills Elementary School (pictured above).

The uproar about the RTM sub-committee and its purpose came after RTM Moderator Dennis Flanagan (R-5th) appointed Ray Ingraham (R-5th), RTM Republican majority leader, as chair of the sub-committee. Both Ingraham and Flanagan represent the Fifth District where Parkside Village has been located since the 1970s. The 30-member RTM consists of 19 Republicans and 11 Democrats, representing seven districts.

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Branford Police Canine Officer Sues Over Termination

by marcia chambers | Apr 18, 2017 7:31 am | Comments (6)

File Photo Luigi Amasino (pictured), Branford’s former police canine officer, filed a lawsuit against the town of Branford yesterday, asserting Police Chief Kevin Halloran threatened last December that he either withdraw a grievance against the police department or the chief “would destroy the plaintiff’s career as a law enforcement officer.”

In a four-page civil complaint filed in New Haven Superior Court, John R. Williams, Amasino’s New Haven attorney, says Amasino did not withdraw his grievance, a grievance filed in response to a two- day suspension ordered on Dec. 6 for alleged violations of departmental rules and regulations.

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Daylight Robbery at ATM Employee’s Van

by marcia chambers | Apr 5, 2017 9:21 am

An ATM employee who had just reloaded funds at an ATM inside Allegra’s restaurant and was heading back to his van was pistol whipped by a group of men who forced him into his van where he was ordered to open up a safe and turn over thousands of dollars.

The robbery, which occurred in broad daylight at Lakeview Plaza, left the employee dazed and bleeding from his forehead as he sought help near his Mercedes van, which was in the parking lot, about 15 feet from Allegra’s. A woman came to his aid, giving him tissue wipes to absorb the blood on his face. An ambulance was called and he was taken to a local hospital.

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ICE Given Access To State Data

by marcia chambers | Mar 30, 2017 12:16 pm

Harry Droz Photo U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have been showing up at the nation’s courthouses seeking immigrants about to appear for court dates.  Dan Barrett, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, calls this development “very worrisome.”

“They are becoming aware of when people have court dates,” Barrett stated during an appearance on WNHH radio’s “Legal Eagle” program. In Connecticut, he has not yet heard of ICE going into a courthouse or into a courtroom.  Rather, he said, ICE officials typically corral someone outside the building.

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Demolition Permit Sought for Atlantic Wire Factory

by Diana Stricker | Mar 29, 2017 8:17 am | Comments (1)

Diana Stricker Photo The possibility of demolishing the former Atlantic Wire factory on Church Street could become a reality if a demolition permit is approved.

That could spur development of the property as an upscale apartment and commercial complex, if another legal appeal regarding the housing complex does not materialize. The developer has renamed the property Atlantic Wharf.

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Hope’s Odyssey Resonates

by marcia chambers | Mar 24, 2017 7:14 am

With Permission Sometimes the story of a dog betrayed takes on a life of its own, and sometimes the process is transformative. So it is with Hope.

Laura Burban, the director of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter, says when she and her colleagues first saw Hope more than two weeks ago they reacted with “heartbreak and anger.” Now she and her staff have been uplifted and renewed. It is case like no other, she said. 

The emaciated black pit bull-lab mix dog, frightened and near death, was only 30 pounds when a woman brought her by car to the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter. The woman explained she found her walking and falling down near Branhaven Plaza across town.

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