SOLON — Town officials in a dispute with a property owner about a rock wall he built along Brighton Road will ask residents tonight whether they want to fight the issue in court.

An alternative is for residents to concede that the property owner’s stone wall and nearby cedar barbed wire fence at 274 Brighton Road mark the boundary of the right of way.

“Hopefully we have a good turnout like we did the last time so the town is well represented when we make a decision,” First Selectman Elaine Aloes said Wednesday. “It’s a big decision to make whether to change a right of way on the road or not, or to go to court.”

The special town meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Solon Elementary School.

Selectman say that resident Kirt Olson assembled the wall in 2010 and that it’s nine feet too close to the road, making the town liable if a vehicle crashes into it and someone is injured.

Olson argues that he repaired an existing wall that had been in place long enough to legally become the right of way.

At a special town meeting in August, residents voted to give Olson 90 days to move the wall or else the town would use heavy equipment to move it for him.

Olson did not remove the wall, and he filed for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the town from doing so.

“It is very likely that a very tense confrontation will take place on Plaintiff’s property … when the Town intends to force the issue, and the Plaintiff intends to protect his property,” Olson’s attorney, Warren Shay, wrote in his memorandum supporting a temporary restraining order.

A judge issued the temporary restraining order against the town on Nov. 9.

Tonight, residents will decide how to proceed. “We can fight it in court, and that’s what the selectmen and budget committee are recommending,” Aloes said.

If they vote to challenge the lawsuit, residents will also vote whether to raise $8,000 for legal fees. Aloes said the town has done much of the work already, such as gathering witnesses and documenting evidence. The money would be used mainly for court proceedings.

If residents do not want to fight the lawsuit, they can vote to change the right of way to run along the Olson’s property line, Aloes said. That way if someone was injured when they crashed into the wall, the town would not be liable.

If residents vote not to pursue court proceedings, the town would try to set up an agreement with the Olsons to have them withdraw their court case and pay the costs associated with revising the right of way, she said.

If the Olsons signed the agreement, residents would then have to vote at the annual town meeting in March whether to discontinue the current right of way.

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.