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Easton Developers Get More Time To Post Bonds

EASTON, Conn. — Applicants for a subdivision or site plan will be able to choose when to post their bond starting Oct. 1.

The bond is a guarantee from the applicant to the town that the work will be completed. In Easton, the Planning & Zoning Commission won't sign a final approval on a map if the applicant hasn't posted a bond, John Hayes, land use director, said at a meeting Aug. 22. Without that final approval, an applicant cannot obtain building permits or sell the lots.

"The town loses the opportunity to make sure the work is done at the right time," said Hayes. Under the amended law, applicants can sell all lots – even if they are not completed. Hayes said this is a "serious problem" because of the liability of the lots being sold.

Public Act 11-79 says the planning and zoning commission may require a bond no more than the cost of the project plus up to 10 percent. It also says, "Such bond or surety may, at the discretion of the person posting such bond or surety, be posted at any time before all modifications of the site plan are complete."

One subdivision in Easton — Adirondack Estates – has been waiting more than five years to start work because the applicant never posted a bond, said Hayes.

The town holds the bond in escrow. The applicant gets the money back, plus interest, when the project is properly completed, said Hayes. Now, the site plan or subdivision won't be recorded in the town's land records without the applicant posting a bond. After Oct. 1, "the commission will not have the option of not signing the plan until the bond is in hand," said Hayes.

"The town has no control over the work. The applicant can develop and sell lots with no roads in place. There is a distinct public interest in making sure the work is done," said Hayes.

What do you think about this new law? How will it affect you? Leave your comments in the box below.

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