Government

We’re writing not only about those municipal bodies that all local media outlets cover—New Canaan Board of Selectmen, Town Council, Department of Public Works—but also the Public Tree Board, Traffic-Calming Work Group, Parking Commission and Park & Recreation Commission.

Recent Articles

Police Vow To Slow Traffic on Nursery Road, a Popular Detour for Merritt Parkway Motorists

Saying a residential street in New Canaan has become a popular detour for Merritt Parkway motorists who zip along it, police said Tuesday that they’re taking steps to slow down the traffic. Speed sentry data on Marvin Ridge Road a “high increase of traffic” traveling westbound from about 7 to 9 a.m. and again going eastbound from about 3 to 4 p.m., according to New Canaan Police Capt. John DiFederico. Many drivers are traveling the 25 mph road at 35 mph, “so we are going to put the speed sentries out there again next week,” DiFederico said during a meeting of the Traffic Calming Work Group. The group, which includes members of the Fire, Police, Emergency Management and Public Works Departments, fields requests for traffic calming and makes recommendations to the appropriate municipal agency. DiFederico said he has called on police patrol shifts to boost enforcement during peak times and added that it’s possible the town will install a ‘Bus Stop Ahead’ sign on the street. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Grace Farms’ Neighbor Files Lawsuit Seeking To Reverse P&Z’s Approvals

Saying the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recent approvals of Grace Farms’ closely followed applications will hurt them financially and threaten residential zones in New Canaan, a neighbor of the Lukes Wood Road organization on Monday filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court seeking to reverse those decisions. According to complaints filed on behalf of Smith Ridge Road residents Timothy Curt and Dona Bissonnette by attorney David Sherwood of Glastonbury-based Moriarty, Paetzoid & Sherwood, the neighbors are “aggrieved by the action of” P&Z, because their property “is adversely affected by” changes to New Canaan’s zoning regulations. The lawsuit refers to amendments to the regulations that allow an applicant to seek multiple principal uses for their properties—something Grace Farms wanted in order to be categorized not only as a religious institution but also as a philanthropic agency and club. “The amendments allow applications for multiple principal uses in residential zones and encourage the expansion of commercial and institutional uses in residential zones, to the detriment of established residential uses,” according to the complaint. Further, the complaint says, the plaintiffs are “aggrieved” by P&Z’s decision because they’ve “suffered and will suffer economic damage as a result of the regulation changes and their implementation on the abutting property of Grace Farms Foundation Inc.”

The neighbors are seeking for the court to reverse P&Z decision on the text changes—as well as to nullify the commission’s approval of Grace Farms’ amended special permit application—and to be awarded costs and “such other relief as the court deems appropriate.”

P&Z by a 5-4 margin approved the text amendment application at its July 25 meeting. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

‘Both Classic and Modern’: New Canaan Garden Club Pursues New Planting Plan for ‘Parterre’ Garden at Waveny

One of New Canaan’s most venerable nonprofit organizations is seeking town approvals to improve a conspicuous area just behind Waveny House by re-planting it and adding benches for park users to enjoy. The New Canaan Garden Club since last year has sought to introduce a low-maintenance, deer-proof boxwood design for the parterre garden east of the balcony behind Waveny House—an area that currently is a “pass-through” for visitors, according to the organization’s president, Ellen Zumbach, but could be far more. “It is the entrance in a lot of ways to the park and the intention was to take you through and down the stairs and have a wonderful experience in your park,” Zumbach told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their Oct. 11 meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “But I also felt that if we opened up the parterres so that it allowed for air and movement around them, that they could take their time getting down the stairs and enjoy what is an incredible view of the fields from the north and west wall.”

Zumbach and Tori Frazer of Club’s Waveny Walled Garden Committee presented a design to the commission to replace what currently are boxwood plantings with annuals in the middle, with additional plantings around the perimeter of a brick wall there. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

‘It’s Been Incredibly Humbling’: New Canaan’s Handler Ranks Among Top Republican Gubernatorial Candidates in Individual Contributions for Q3

Michael Handler during the past three months—the first filing period for the New Canaan Republican since announcing in July that he was running for governor—raised more than $116,000 in individual contributions from about 1,200 people. While the $116,985 figure places Handler among the most successful GOP candidates seeking the state’s top-elected seat next year, it’s the second number—representing 1,199 individuals who have contributed to his campaign—for which the town resident said he feels most grateful. “It’s been incredibly humbling, and it has been remarkable,” Handler told NewCanaanite.com. “The sessions that I have been having have given me a lot of hope that people are focused on the issues. They are receptive to solutions and they are drawn to somebody who not only identifies what the problems are and share their vision, but also can very tangibly touch on the solutions they’re looking for. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

‘The Holy Grail’: Land Trust Seeks To Complete Walk-able ‘Greenway’ in New Canaan

Members of a local nonprofit organization dedicated to open space on Monday will seek approval from the town to build a raised walkway in the woods off of Weed Street in order to complete, after years of advocacy and planning, what they call a “dream greenway” in New Canaan. The New Canaan Land Trust’s proposed project—to install four raised walkways over wetlands and a bridge over a brook—is the final piece needed in order to create a walk-able loop that encompasses the downtown, Irwin Park and the Nature Center. “This has been, since I started on the Land Trust, the Holy Grail, to make this connection,” said Chris Schipper, a board member and former president of the organization. The Inland Wetlands Commission is scheduled to take up the Land Trust’s application at its regular meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. If approved, Schipper said, the project could be completed by spring. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,