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‘This Is Not the Year’: Parking Commission Divided on Whether To Raise Rates of Commuter Lot Permits

As New Canaan faces threats of reduced service on its rail line and the likelihood of devalued real property and increased taxes, it should reduce the fees for permits to park in commuter lots this year, according to one member of the Parking Commission. According to Chris Hering, if New Canaan looks considers its “optics” relative to comparable towns—at “our competitive towns, arguably,” he told fellow commissioners at their regular meeting March 14—then it makes sense to help commuters. Told that doing so would deprive the town of a ready source of revenue, Hering said: “You are basically telling everyone that earns money in this town, that goes and pays for parking, you are going to tell them, ‘Hey, why don’t you move to Darien? It’s another $400 cheaper.’ ”

He proposed a 20 percent reduction to the rates, but found no support from fellow commissioners. Ultimately, the four commissioners who attended the meeting at Town Hall—Hering, Chairman Keith Richey, Pam Crum and Peter Ogilvie (Stuart Stringfellow was absent)—could reach no consensus on whether to reduce or raise the rates, or keep them flat. Continue Reading →

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‘A Worthwhile Project’: New Canaan Firefighters Eye Federal Grant To Help Purchase 1,000 Smoke, CO Detectors for Residents

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to support the New Canaan Fire Department’s application for federal funds that would allow for the purchase of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for town residents. A Federal Emergency Management Agency “Assistance to Firefighters-Fire Prevention and Safety Grant” will allow the department to purchase about 1,000 detectors with New Canaan paying 5 percent of the cost—a breakdown of $6,477 for the feds and $323 for the town, according to Fire Chief Jack Hennessey. The Fire Department applied last year for the grant but was denied, Hennessey told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held at Town Hall. Asked why, he said: “It’s a competitive grant.”

“Other people had bigger priorities and bigger projects last time,” the fire chief continued. “They spent most of the money on research they’re giving to universities to do fire safety research. Continue Reading →

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‘There Was No Line at the Machine’: Parking Commission Upholds $25 Ticket for Greenwich Man Who Claims He Paid for Space at Morse Court

Parking officials on Thursday voted 2-1 to uphold a Greenwich man’s $25 ticket for parking in an unpaid space in the Morse Court lot. Though Robert Golden claimed during an appeal hearing that he received the ticket Feb. 10 while waiting on line at a pay machine, Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg said she spoke with the enforcement officer who issued it, and who had a different story. “Because there have been times in the past where people were at the machine—especially on Saturdays because it’s busy—were at the machines paying and they were missed, he now waits to make sure there is nobody at the machine before he tickets the vehicles,” Miltenberg told members of the Parking Commission at their regular meeting, held in Town Hall. “And so when he went around ticketing there was no line at the machine at that point.”

Golden has a different version of events, saying he parked, went to the pay machine, purchased about one hour’s time, crossed Main Street to New Balance and when he came back to his car, “there was a ticket.”

“It’s a very simple story,” he told the commission. Continue Reading →

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Year-over-Year New Canaan Home Sales Down in February, Data Shows

Year-over-year New Canaan home sales in February declined by more than 50 percent, though pending sales are up in the same timeframe, according to new data supplied by the New Canaan Board of Realtors. Citing statistics from the Multiple Listing Service, the board said that homes in the $2 million to $3 million range dropped from eight to three year-over-year, while overall homes of single-family houses declined by 57 percent, from 14 to 6. Here’s a look at the data:


Janis Hennessy, president of the Board of Realtors and New Canaan MLS, noted in comments on the data that February is a short month, with a quiet week during school break, though “inventory is stable.”

“The spring market is just starting to kick in and we are now seeing buyers coming into our market,” Hennessy said. “We feel they were hesitant because of the potential tax law changes but are realizing we offer tremendous value and that New Canaan is an exceptional town to live in.  Interest rates hikes will also bring more buyers into town as the spring market progresses.”

In a small sample, sales of condominiums in New Canaan increased from six to four in February from last year, according to the MLS data:

Continue Reading →

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Police: Man Who Took Photos, Videos under Women’s Skirts Faces 12 Counts of Felony Voyeurism

Police on Wednesday night arrested a 37-year-old Norwalk man on a felony voyeurism charge following a nearly three-month investigation. Patrick Bowdoin of Fairfield Avenue is accused of using his cellphone to take photographs and videos of women under their skirts without their knowledge or consent, according to a police report. Police launched an investigation in December after a victim contacted the department, the report said. The police department obtained a warrant that included multiple forensic exams and searches of cellphones and computers that Bowdoin owned, it said. Ultimately, police identified 12 incidents of voyeurism that took place in New Canaan, Norwalk and Stamford, the report said. Continue Reading →

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