Trumbull files lawsuit against Monroe over big box store application

The saga continues over the construction of a big box store assumed to be Walmart at 2 Victoria Drive, and this time the controversy has led to legal action. The town of Trumbull has filed a lawsuit against the town of Monroe over the Monroe Planning and Zoning Commission’s recent approval of the retailer’s Special Exception Permit application.

Zoning Chairman Pat O’Hara broke the news to fellow commissioners at the body’s regular meeting Thursday night. The matter, he said, has been turned over to the town’s Legal Department. Accordingly, as it is a pending legal matter, commissioners are not permitted to discuss or publicly comment on the issue, he said.

The lawsuit comes as no to surprise, however, to those who have followed the application process. At the commission’s Jan. 23 meeting, during which the big box store permit application was approved, O’Hara reprehended Trumbull for its objections to the retailer. He called attention to a fall meeting of the commission, during which Trumbull Director of Planning and Development Jamie Bratt insisted the store would cause too much of a traffic burden for Trumbull on Route 25. In response, O’Hara argued that “Trumbull is forever building on our border,” and adds more traffic to the area than Monroe businesses do.

“I’m not impressed with our friends in Trumbull and I’d like to think in the future they’d be better neighbors,” O’Hara said at the Jan. 23 meeting.

A few days later, First Selectman of Trumbull Timothy Herbst turned the tables, calling out Monroe for causing the traffic problems on Route 25.

“Much of the traffic problems on 25 have been a direct result of poor planning by the Town of Monroe the last 40 years,” Herbst told  the Trumbull Times.

Herbst also announced that he was considering taking legal action in an effort to prevent the maybe-Walmart from building at the proposed site.

“We continue to have…  concerns and I will be coordinating with town attorneys to see what our options are as far as protecting the best interests of our town,” he said.

We will provide more details about the pending legal matter as they become available.