Save Our Shelton looks to raise funds for legal defense

Save Our Shelton is trying to raise $50,000 to pay for its two separate legal defenses in lawsuits it has filed against the city.

The group of residents concerned with “high density residential and retail development,” is looking to raise money to support its two legal committees.

SOS has organized one committee focused on an appeal against the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission, and another focused on the Shelter Ridge wetlands. Each committee has its own lawyer.

Attorney Joel Green was hired to handle the lawsuit against the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission for its method of approving the mixed-use Shelter Ridge development. Attorney Keith Ainsworth has been hired to handle the would-be legal battle against the Wetlands Commission.

In late April, Milford Superior Court Judge Judge John Moran scheduled a hearing for the case against the P&Z commission for Jan. 16, 2018.

Fellow S.O.S leader, Greg Tetro said the 2018 court date is a good thing because it means developers cannot do any building this spring.

“If they do we’ll contact our lawyer and get a cease and desist,” said Tetro.

The case against the Wetlands Commission has not yet begun.

One of S.O.S’s leaders Caitlin Augusta said the Shelter Ridge developer has yet to submit a proposal to the Wetlands committee.

Augusta, who is leading the wetlands committee, said before the case can moved forward Attorney Ainsworth would have to review documents, estimated at 600 pages, to determine whether or not the proposal is “sound” or not.

“If it is, we’re not going to waste your time or money defending against it,” said Augusta.

The first monthly meeting

In an effort to rally its supporters, S.O.S organized an open meeting at the Huntington Branch Library on Saturday, April 29 where the group discussed fundraising plans and strategies to encourage “responsible, balanced development.”

The group’s Facebook page currently has 1,682 likes, and SOS recently created a GoFundMe account to assist in their effort to fund their legal team.

The lawyer fee for each committee will cost S.O.S $25,000, or $50,000 in total.

Residents can donate to community group’s effort by visiting its GoFundMe page or by mailing in a check made payable to Save Our Shelton, ℅ Gregory Tetro, 281 Buddington Road, Shelton, CT 06484.

S.O.S is also asking all of its supporters to host their own tag sales and donate a portion of the proceeds to fund their legal team.

Aside from raising money to hire lawyers, the group is also asking its supporters to hold the people responsible for passing the Shelter Ridge development accountable on Election Day this year.

Attendees of the first monthly meeting were given informational handouts, including one sheet that listed all of all city leaders who supported Shelter Ridge. The list included P&Z Chairman Ruth Parkins, P&Z Commissioner Elaine Matto, P&Z Commissioner Ned Miller, P&Z Commissioner Virginia Harger.

The same handout also encouraged residents to support P&Z Commissioner Jimmy Tickey, Alderman Jim Capra, and Board of Aldermen President John Anglace.

The only candidates up for reelection this year are Parkins, Tickey, Anglace and Capra.

Parkins was unavailable for comment as of Tuesday, May 2.