Council rejects proposal for club land Pool owners want to build 4 houses


The Westminster City Council said no last night to George F. and Timothy Grogan's plan to raze the closed Middlebrooke Swim Club and build four houses on the property.

George Grogan, who owns the swimming pool in partnership with his son Timothy, said he will file a lawsuit as soon as he receives the official written decision from Westminster's attorney.

Timothy Grogan, in an impassioned speech to the council, indicated that he would mortgage his house if necessary to finance a suit. "You have just warranted my property totally worthless," he said.

Several Middlebrooke residents who had opposed the Grogans' request to change the property use from recreational to residential attended last night's council meeting. They heard a reminder from Mayor W. Benjamin Brown that the pool situation remains unresolved.

"I feel compelled to point out to everyone that this is not a solution," Mr. Brown said after the vote. "It's still going to be a hole in the ground."

He urged the Middlebrooke Homeowners Association and the swim club owners to try to agree on a use for the property.

Timothy Grogan accepted a conflict resolution mediator's card from Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein, saying he would consider help in resolving the clash between his and his father's efforts to generate income from the property and residents' interest in maintaining it as open space.

To obtain a quorum for the vote on the issue, Council President Kenneth A. Yowan joined Ms. Orenstein and Councilman Edward S. Calwell in the unanimous decision. Councilman Stephen R. Chapin Sr. was absent and Councilman Damian L. Halstad, a lawyer, recused himself because he had once represented the Grogans and their development company, Macro Management.

George and Timothy Grogan closed the swimming pool in 1991, saying they could not run it at a profit. They had bought it three years earlier for $25,000.

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