Health Director: 100 Free Radon-Testing Kits Now Available to New Canaan Residents

In an effort to help residents find out whether they’re exposed to a cancer-causing radioactive gas, the New Canaan Health Department has partnered with the state to provide 100 locals with free home-testing kits. Those interested in obtaining a free radon test kit should contact the department at 203-594-3037 or email New Canaan Director of Health Jen Eielson at jen.eielson@newcanaanct.gov. Supplies are limited and test kits will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Invisible and odorless, radon is “released in rock, soil, and water formed from the breakdown of uranium,” Eielson said in a press release. 

Asked about the prevalence of radon in homes here, she estimated that “roughly 30 percent of the homes tested that I see have elevated levels of radon in New Canaan.”

“New Canaan is also geographically in Zone 1 which has the highest potential for radon,” Eielson added in an email. Exposure to radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers in the United States, she said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the country each year. 

The Health Department partnered with the Connecticut Department of Public Health Lead, Radon, & Healthy Homes program to offer the free radon home test kits for New Canaan residents.

‘We Need To Do Everything We Can’: P&Z Approves First-Floor Office Use for ‘Second Ring’ of Downtown New Canaan

Municipal officials last week unanimously approved changes to the New Canaan Zoning Regulations that are designed to help commercial property owners, downtown retailers and the wider community. 

The Planning & Zoning Commission voted 9-0 in favor of text changes to the regulations that re-establish first floor office use in the “Business A” zone with site plan review. The Business A zone includes nearly all of the two-way stretch of Elm Street in New Canaan, parts of Grove Street, all of Pine Street and commercial lots on both sides of Cherry Street as it curls past Cross Street, almost to Locust Avenue (see map here). As local land use attorney David Rucci of New Canaan-based Lampert, Toohey & Rucci LLC said in applying to the Commission for the text changes (on behalf of the the new owners of the former Beval Saddlery building on Pine Street), though the Business A zone was created in 1985—at a time when the owner of the Lumberyard site was considering building an office park—more than half of it serves first-floor general office use on a legally nonconforming basis. Re-establishing first-floor office use will help the zone become more viable for both the owners of buildings, some of which are vacant, and the town, he said. “The office use itself is actually already occurring,” Rucci said at the Commission’s regular meeting, held Nov.

New Canaan Woman Trips and Falls Outside High School, Breaks Nose, Sues Town

The town on Monday received a lawsuit filed on behalf of a local woman who last spring fell outside New Canaan High School and broke her nose. It happened at about 6:45 p.m. on a Thursday in April 2017, outside the high school’s main entrance, according to a lawsuit filed by Lawrence F. Reilly of the Ridgefield-based Reilly Law Firm. Joan Holloway tripped on a protruding, bent, defective and uneven piece of metal rebar where a paved walkway meets the grass on the southern end of the main entrance, according to the lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court. “As Ms. Holloway fell to the ground, she was unable to brace herself and her face slammed into the paving stones covering the entranceway to the High School, thus causing injuries and losses described herein,” the complaint said. Those include “massive bruising above and around her left eye” so that it was swollen shut for a time, “abrasions, scarring, severe bruising and discoloration throughout her face,” contusions and swelling of her left knee and “ongoing tenderness of her injured body parts,” according to the lawsuit.

‘Not Only Ugly But Unnecessary’: P&Z Critical of Sign Proposed for South Avenue Doctor’s Office

Though a conspicuous South Avenue property has seen significant improvements since a local doctor acquired it for his medical practice, town officials this week voiced criticism for a sign proposed for its front yard. 

New England Healthcare LLC, owned by family medicine practitioner and longtime New Canaan resident Dr. David Dayya has done a “really nice job” with the doctor’s offices at South Avenue and Oak Street and “super” work in addressing what had been traffic problems under past occupants of the two-story building there, Planning & Zoning Commissioner Bill Redman said Tuesday night. Yet an approximately seven-foot-high, cedar post sign proposed for the front yard 194 South Ave. is “a really ugly sign,” Redman said. “It’s huge,” he said during P&Z’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “I have been up and down South Avenue.