Court quashes Sports Club suit against Still River project
Published 7:52 pm, Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Warren Rubin is not yet counting his chickens.
The Sherman resident, who plans to construct a sports complex in the Still River district of New Milford, was glad to hear recently a state Superior Court decision regarding an attempt to block construction had been delivered in his favor.
As a businessman, however, Mr. Rubin is laying the groundwork to fight a potential appeal of the decision by the plaintiff, New Milford Sports Club LLC.
"We feel this was a frivolous law suit and a delaying method on New Milford Sports Club's part," said Mr. Rubin, who obtained Zoning Commission approval for the Still River sports complex plans in August 2009.
"I would think there's enough business for two complexes in the town," Mr. Rubin said. "We wouldn't even be competing with them on amenities like their pool."
New Milford Sports Club, through its attorney David Bennett, brought suit against the Zoning Commission and Still River Real Estate in August, shortly after Mr. Rubin's approval was received from the commission.
The suit charged Mr. Bennett had not been given sufficient time to review documentation regarding signage proposed at the Still River complex or on traffic flow there before zoners gave their approval.
The suit further asserts zoners' approval was based on an "improper interpretation" of zoning regulations.
The Superior Court in Danbury dismissed the suit Feb. 24, finding the court does not have jurisdiction over a matter of "adverse business competition." It further found the plaintiff "has not proven it was injured or denied its right to fundamental fairness during the application process."
In late July, Mr. Bennett had said his client "welcomes the competition" of the planned Still River sports complex.
"Competition makes for good business," he had remarked in a July public hearing before zoning on the complex.
Mr. Bennett declined comment when The Spectrum reached him recently. He said he could not speak for his client, New Milford Sports Club, at this time.