Around Town

This is our New Canaan news catch-all category—stories about traffic calming, public parks, local weather, human services efforts and other quality of life matters facing New Canaanites.

Recent Articles

Grace Farms Withdraws Re-Filed Permit Application, Opening Questions About Long-Term Operation

An attorney on behalf of Grace Farms this week withdrew the organization’s re-filed application for a special permit. In a short letter to the town planner dated Feb. 5, attorney Ted O’Hanlon of Stamford-based Robinson+Cole said that Grace Farms looks forward “to working with you on the implementation and enforcement” of an existing special permit, approved last fall by the Planning & Zoning Commission with 100-plus conditions. Coming on the heels of a contentious P&Z hearing where several neighbors complained that Grace Farms already has violated that existing permit in many ways, the withdrawal raises new questions about just what set of rules the Lukes Wood Road organization will operate under in the long term. According to a lawsuit filed by neighbors Timothy Curt and Dona Bissonnette of Smith Ridge Road, the post-hearing legal notices of P&Z’s decision last year were “defective, incomplete and misleading” and also failed to meet the requirements of state law and the town’s own zoning regulations. Continue Reading →

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‘We Would Have To Move Our Business’: Local Business Owners on the Prospect of Reduced Rail Service to New Canaan

Delivered with a thud last month and underscored by state transportation officials during a recent forum in town, proposed severe cuts in train service on the New Canaan branch line has prompted residents to decry the effect it would have on property values and the ability of visitors—for example, those traveling up from New York City to see the Philip Johnson Glass House—to get here. Less obvious though no less important is the effect that proposed elimination of weekend service as well as off-peak weekday service to New Canaan would have on local businesses, merchants and service providers say, largely because those who work here rely on the train. Steve Karl, vice president at Karl Chevrolet, said that as a business owner in New Canaan, “the news of limiting the train service to our community is the last thing we want to hear.”

“By cutting back the off-peak service and the complete elimination of weekend service it affects our business in a number of ways,” Karl told “First of all, the employees who use the train to commute will be affected and these are some of our hardest working employees who rely on the train every day. Secondly, due to the proximity of the train station to our store, we frequently sell vehicles to clients who travel by rail to pick them up at our location. Continue Reading →

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VIDEO: New Canaan Family Hosts ‘ALS Hot Pepper Challenge’ To Support Friend

On Saturday, about 30 friends gathered at the home of Katie and James Dunning to participate in an “ALS Hot Pepper Challenge” to support their good friend, Steve Haberstroh. The town resident’s mom, Patty, recently was diagnosed with ALS and the Haberstrohs started the Hot Pepper Challenge to raise awareness of the disease. See video above by videographer Nils Andersson. It features Steve Haberstroh as well as New Canaan First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. See this website for more information on the challenge and how to donate. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

The gallery above shows three prominent buildings downtown that are for sale through Stamford-based Cushman & Wakefield, at 25 South Ave., 191 Elm St. and 50 Pine St. ***

A live bat found Jan. 9 on the floor of a Canoe Hill Road home tested positive for rabies, officials said. Though mammals are meant to be hibernating just now, the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department has already sent 10 bats to a state laboratory for testing—it isn’t clear why they’ve been so active. Continue Reading →

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UPDATED: Community Forum on ‘The Future of Town-Owned Buildings’ To Be Scheduled

[Note:  Originally scheduled for March, this forum will be held some time after budget season. We apologize for any inconvenience.]

The Town of New Canaan in partnership with will present a community-wide forum on “The Future of Town-Owned Buildings.”

Panelists will include:

Town Council Chairman John Engel
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan
Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee Co-Chair and Board of Finance member Amy Murphy Carroll
Architectural preservationist Marty Skrelunas

The forum will be held at Town Hall, moderated by owner and editor Michael Dinan. Refreshments will be served. New Canaan is working toward major decisions about the uses and futures of town-owned buildings. A selectmen-appointed committee in December produced an in-depth review of some 50 such structures in New Canaan, including recommendations in many cases about what could be done with them. Right now, elected and appointed officials are weighing decisions about spending money next fiscal year to study or alter buildings in ways that could rearrange not just where municipal departments are located but whether some buildings continue under town ownership or exist at all. Continue Reading →

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