Offers to clarify the Garlasco suit saga
To the Editor:
I am writing to clarify certain issues regarding the Garlasco lawsuit(s) in Bridgewater.
In recent weeks, I have heard and read inaccurate statements relative to the cost to defend these lawsuits as well as the town agencies involved.
As a long-standing member of the Bridgewater Planning and Zoning Commission, I have followed this case closely since its beginning nine years ago and would like to set the record straight.
First, a bit of history: Having acquired the land-locked property in question, Paul Garlasco first applied to the Bridgewater Zoning Board of Appeals seeking a variance to overcome the fact that he did not have a legal lot and lacked frontage on any town road.
He was denied by the ZBA, sued the ZBA and lost.
He subsequently applied to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a zoning permit in the name of Hanna Anderson, to whom he had transferred title.
This application, which claimed to have adequate frontage on an "abandoned" town road, was denied by Planning and Zoning primarily due to lack of road frontage and a driveway permit.
Mr. Garlasco then sued the Planning and Zoning Commission -- not Bill Stuart or the selectmen.
Early in this lawsuit, it became clear Mr. Garlasco's claim of adequate frontage on an "abandoned" town road would be crucial.
For that reason, Planning and Zoning asked the selectmen, who are responsible for town roads, to take on that part of the case.
The selectmen -- Bill Stuart, Curtis Read and Ed Bennett -- agreed to take on this fight, in effect to help the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The selectmen, primarily Bill Stuart, did an excellent job and won the case when the court agreed there was no such "abandoned" road and therefore no frontage.
So, instead of applause for a job well done, we hear complaints about the cost of defending the town.
We hear and read costs were $500,000 when in fact they were closer to $275,000.
We also hear the selectmen were somehow at fault, when in reality they saved the day.