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Lauretti Selling Waterfront Property To Condo Developer
by Ethan Fry | Jul 13, 2012 1:13 pm
Posted to: Shelton
Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti is selling a waterfront property off River Road to a Torrington-based developer that plans to put nearly 40 condominiums there.
Lauretti on Friday declined to disclose the price the developer, ATA Realty, is paying him for the 9.3-acre property, the address of which is 550 River Road.
He said the sale has not yet closed.
The parcel has an appraised value of $771,600, according to city land records’ listing for the property.
A limited liability company controlled by Lauretti acquired the property in 2003 from Maryland-based Emhart Technologies.
The deed of sale on file in Shelton City Hall does not list a price for the 2003 deal, but based on the real estate taxes paid as part of the transaction, it was $325,000.
That purchase was the subject of an ethics complaint brought by two former mayors, Michael Pacowta and Eugene Hope, which was ultimately dismissed in a 2-1 party line vote.
Several residents also complained about the deal during an Aldermen’s meeting in March 2004, the minutes of which are posted below. Article continues after the document.
Click here for a 2009 CT Post story by Michael P. Mayko that includes background on the 2003 controversy and other real estate deals involving the mayor.
‘Get Over It’
Lauretti on Friday brushed off criticism of his real estate activity as politically motivated.
“I’ve bought and sold multiple pieces of property in this town before I was mayor and while I was mayor,” he said. “This is what businesspeople do.”
“It’s just an issue because it’s me,” Lauretti added.
The mayor said that any properties he’s sold in the past have “always ended up to be a very large enhancement to our grand list and consistent with anything else that was being done in the town.”
“These malcontents are just going to have to get over it,” the mayor added. “That’s all I really have to say.”
As for the future of the property, ATA Realty has submitted plans to the city’s Inland Wetlands Commission to put a 39-unit condominium development on the site.
A formal application for the project was not yet on file at City Hall Friday, and wetlands coordinator John Cook was out of the office.
But a memorandum he wrote about the plans recommends that the developer “investigate consolidation of buildings, reduction of units, and shifting of construction to better protect the riparian system.”
Two streams — Ivy Brook and Butternut Hollow Brook — run on the site, and there’s also a tidal lagoon.
“The confluence of these two streams with the Housatonic River and a tidal freshwater lagoon make it a very unique regulated area in Shelton,” Cook wrote in the memo.
A man who answered the phone at the office of the ATA Realty said Friday that he had heard about the project, but that there was no one there who could comment on it.
A padlocked fence with several “Danger” and “No Trespassing” signs stood across the property’s driveway Friday.
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