OLD LYME — Construction has accelerated on a nine-lot subdivision project at 16 Neck Road more than a week after the town’s Zoning Enforcement Officer instructed the Westport-based developer, Frank Nocito, to halt work until he agreed to supervision by a town-approved engineer.
“We asked our engineer Jacobson Associates for a proposal to supervise the work that is being done there. We have received a quote for that proposal and we have provided it to the property owner. We have instructed the property owner not to do further work until they agree to have a supervisor by Jacobson,” Eric Knapp, the town’s zoning enforcement officer, told CT Examiner on Dec. 21.
As of Jan. 2, Knapp told CT Examiner that he still had not heard from Nocito, who is developing the property as Keystone Capital Corp.
“I have not heard back from him or anybody else regarding the engineering that needs to get done for that site – or the review of the work rather by the engineer – for that site. I am still pressing on this issue and I hope to have news shortly,” Knapp said in response to a query by CT Examiner.
Knapp said that he had not issued a cease and desist to the developer to halt work on the 12.3-acre parcel. “We don’t really issue cease and desists particularly,” in the case of subdivisions, Knapp told CT Examiner.
Knapp said that such work does not need to be inspected continuously but that an engineer needs to check at key points of construction.
“There are certain points where there need to be inspections of certain improvements to make sure they meet the quality and the performance as set forth in the approved subdivision. There are certain things that need to happen regarding the retention basin regarding the base road quality,” said Knapp.
“The point,” Knapp explained, “is that before they get too far along, we want to inspect to make sure that the work has been done correctly. Otherwise, it leads to problems down the road.”
Nocito, who hasn’t responded to questions shared by CT Examiner before the Christmas holiday, was sued by a former partner in a dispute over purchasing the 16 Neck Road property. That lawsuit was later withdrawn.
As Old Lyme CT Properties Corp., Nocito is also named in an unresolved lawsuit filed in August in New London Superior Court by a local family regarding the long-stalled completion of a house in the Lords Meadow Subdivision in Old Lyme.
After that lawsuit was filed, William Pitt Sotheby’s Realty in Old Lyme continued to sell and advertise projects in the Lords Meadow Subdivision.
Questions asked prior to the Christmas holiday regarding the company’s business practices, and the decision to continue its business relationship with Nocito, were not returned by William Pitt Sotheby’s.
Asked earlier in June about the apparent lack of erosion controls on the 16 Neck Road parcel, which drains into the Connecticut and Lieutenant Rivers, two town commissions – Planning and Inland Wetlands – placed the burden of enforcing erosion controls on the zoning enforcement officer.
Knapp explained to CT Examiner at the time that enforcement in the case of a subdivision would be a matter for the town’s Planning Commission.
“The remedy would be to bring the developer back to planning and to revoke the subdivision,” Knapp said. “But we are hoping not to get there.”