The love of flying led the owners of Newtown to purchase an estate with an airstrip. The city cancels plans to adjust ownership.

NEWTOWN – Plans for a ridge-top estate with Fairfield County’s only private airstrip to legalize multiple buildings by dividing the 26-acre property into conforming lots have been anchored by the Planning and Development Commission zoning of the city.

While the committee’s unanimous decision to block the subdivision application of New Canaan entrepreneur and aviation enthusiast Santo Silvestro does not affect the viability of its 2,000-foot-long grass airstrip approved by the federal government in Newtown, which has existed since the 1940s as Flying Ridge, the Newtown ruling raises questions about what happens to unauthorized homes on the estate.

Silvestro’s wife said on Friday that the only thing that was certain was that she and her husband loved the Newtown estate where their daughter currently lives, and that they plan to move there when her husband is. less busy with its multiple auto and aircraft businesses in New Canaan and Danbury Airport.

“It is what it is,” Lynda Silvestro said on Friday, a day after Newtown rejected the Silvestros’ plan to divide their estate into four lots. “We don’t know yet what our next step is. “

The Newtown Land Use Commission denial puts an end to the final chapter of Flying Ridge – a famous property that once belonged to famous inventor and world traveler Robert Edison Fulton Jr., but the story continues on the adventurous owners and industrious of property, who love to steal.

Like Fulton, whose accomplishments range from making films to inventing the “Airphibian” flying car that is on display in the Smithsonian today, Silvestro is a man of several companies ranging from limousine and body shops to New Canaan at two airlines at Danbury Airport at a summary of the actor credits which include “Law & Order” and “The Sopranos”.

“Santo is an avid aviation enthusiast, so when we talked about this (Newtown) property and heard that it had a private airstrip, that’s why we bought it,” said Lynda Silvestro said, adding that the only time she flies is when she’s in the passenger seat. .

The Newtown property, which the Silvestros have owned since 2015, also has an observation room in the Fulton Main House built on Orchard Hill Road, overlooking the turf track.

“Fulton wanted it to look like a control tower from the inside,” Lynda Silvestro. “The room has a wonderful view – you can see for miles.

Part of the beauty of the property is an 18-acre oblong parcel of timber for which Newtown purchased the development rights to the Fulton Estate in 2009. This 18-acre property almost cuts the property now owned by the Silvestros in half.

Part of the subdivision agreement that was on the table until Thursday evening was that the Silvestros would move a thin connecting piece of their property to Newtown, giving the city access to Platts’ 18 acres of open space. Hill Road.

Ultimately, the city’s land use planning commission wanted the Silvestros to pay for more infrastructure on the property, as their regulations require for a subdivision.

The Silvestros felt the extra money for driveways and fire suppression was unnecessary as they planned to continue to own the estate for their own use, Lynda Silvestro said.

For example, the family rejected a suggestion from the city to create a new driveway leading to the house from Orchard Hill Road, because the driveway would run through the turf airfield and void Flying Ridge’s license with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The family weren’t about to do this on a property the owner has been landing planes on since the mid-1940s, an entire decade before the FAA was established.

The family wasn’t about to lose its distinction as Fairfield County’s only private airstrip, despite Santo Silvestro no longer landing his plane there.

“You can land other planes there, but hers cannot land – hers is too fast,” says Lynda Silvestro. “He lands his helicopter there.

Instead, Santo Silvestro flies to and from Danbury Airport where it owns two companies, including Business Aircraft Center.

On Friday, the family engineer said the Silvestros were only trying to follow city advice to bring unauthorized homes into compliance.

“If we have to demolish the chalet, we will,” said Steve Trinkaus, the family’s engineer based in Southbury.

Lynda Silvestro accepted.

“We’re going to go with the flow,” she said. “As the old saying goes, you can’t fight the town hall.”

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