“We have filed an appeal to the Superior Court, but zoning appeals can be settled. We have made an offer to settle outside of court, an offer which [City Attorney] Win Smith will present to the Board in Executive Session tonight,” said Karout’s attorney, Thomas Lynch of Milford.
Lynch went on to say, “If the settlement is reached, Sam would agree to abide by all the regulations set forward by the Board and we could have an approval tonight.”
After hearing a number of other items on the agenda, ranging from harbor improvements to proposed subdivisions, Planning and Zoning Board Chairperson Susan Shaw called for an Executive Session to begin. An Executive Session occurs within a private chamber inside City Hall and includes non-members of the Board. Attending the session Tuesday night were nine of 10 board members (with Mark Bender being absent,) along with City Attorney Win Smith, Jr. and City Planner David Sulkis.
While the board met in the private City Hall chambers, Karout sat with his lawyer waiting patiently for some sort of sign of relief from what has been a two-year battle to open his hookah lounge or smoking parlor on Bridgeport Avenue.
The meeting, which began at 7:30 p.m., took about three hours to get to the point of Executive Session at 10:30 p.m. So when the board resumed at 10:45 p.m., anyone still at City Hall prepared for some sort of conclusion to the two-year battle which has existed within the PZB, the Health Department, and Milford Superior Court.
Outside City Hall, Lynch stated, “The Board still has the opportunity to discuss the proposal, but it looks like the Court may have to settle this.”
Other important business included a proposal from Bridges, the Milford-based mental health facility, to build a one-story addition adjacent to their current building.
Engineers employed by Bridges presented the proposal to the Board, telling them that Bridges had a need to expand their operations and had acquired a parcel located to the west of the main building.
Bridges, a business that has been in the town since 1957, provides mental health and addiction services to residents of Milford and the surrounding cities.
Bridges President and CEO Barry Kasdan was also at the meeting to help present the proposal. Kasdan explained to the board, “We have succeeded in getting bonding money from the State of Connecticut and we have the full support of the local legislature. We have seen a growing population of children and families.”
He also went on to say, “By doing this expansion, we will be able to meet more of their needs. It will greatly improve our ability to provide proper service.”
Board member Gregory Vetter made a motion to approve Bridges’ proposal and the motion passed unanimously.
The next Planning and Zoning Board meeting will take place on April 19 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.