Opinion

New Canaan residents share their thoughts and raise issues of importance to our community, on matters touching local residents—property and business owners, taxpayers, students, nonprofit leaders and caregivers. This is a space for New Canaanites to recognize good works that may otherwise go unnoticed or to raise questions and concerns for public vetting. To submit a letter to the editor, email editor@newcanaanite.com.

Recent Articles

Letter: ‘Sober House’ Issue Needs Civil Dialogue, not Diatribes

Dear Editor:

One’s opinion is largely shaped by one’s perspective. Many of the objections I’ve read recently in regards to The Lighthouse’s opening of a ‘sober house’ on West Road come from the perspective of homeowners and parents. They cite neighborhood property devaluing and safety concerns as reasons to why the commercial operation and its cause should not be able to take place there. As a longtime resident of New Canaan (albeit a former one), I know what the price ranges of houses on West Road are. And any family who decides to make their home there works very hard to do so—and with that should come a sense of security. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Letter: Federal Law Allows for Regulation of Sober Houses Such as on West Road in New Canaan

Like many towns, New Canaan has been caught by surprise by the arrival of a recovery house/sober house on West Road. As a result the town suffers from a near complete lack of regulation of sober houses. Please note that the courts have recognized that the rights of the disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act do not mean that sober houses cannot be regulated. There have been at least five overdose deaths in Connecticut sober houses since 2014. It is unknown whether these tragic deaths were the result of the deadly pull of opioids or the lack of proper supervision and procedures within the sober house. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Letter: Sober House on West Road Should Not Be a ‘Fait Accompli’

My wife and family have been residents of New Canaan (720 West Road) since 1989 and have been very happy to be part of this wonderful family community! However my wife and I are very disturbed, to say the least, by the apparent “approval” of the 909 West Road sober house project. It appears to many of us that application was “rushed” secretly through the town officials and supposedly approved with no chance for residents like us to voice our opinions. I would even say that this quick action under hush-hush conditions could be considered a “railroad job”! Our thoughts on this matter follow below:

Does the Planning and Zoning Commission actually permit commercial operation in a residential area? Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Letter: Grace Farms Benefits Wider Community with Other Town Jewels

Dear Editor:

Forty years ago, my husband and I moved to New Canaan to raise a family. We chose New Canaan for its beauty and charm. But in 40 years, we have seen a vocal minority that has time and again resisted embracing anything new even when that change offered a better quality of life for all. As I look at our town’s jewels, I find too many examples where a small group vehemently opposed their development and/or enhancement: The Glass House was decried by a few, but Philip Johnson persevered. Waveny Castle and grounds needed major repairs when they were gifted to the town, but a vocal minority opposed improvements; the swings at Mead Park were rusted derelicts until some brave moms resisted a vocal minority and installed new facilities; the forces-of-no protested lighting the high school athletic fields until parents and coaches overcame this resistance. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Letter: Town Should Work Harder for Taxpayers To Resolve ‘Sober House’ Issue on West Road

The town of New Canaan has taken the position, regarding 909 West Road, that local zoning regulations, health code statutes governing rooming houses, inspections, etc. are not available to towns due to the ADA and anti-discriminatory housing laws that are in place at the state and federal level for sober houses and other similar businesses. I am confused—isn’t the role of the town administration to protect and represent the interests of its residents? When the town was made aware of the circumstance, indeed the town responded, contacted the town attorney, etc., and decided there was nothing the town could do. No effort was made to find a solution, to go further to try and protect the taxpayers. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,