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

Police Chief: ‘We Are Making the Investigation of Youth Parties Where Alcohol and Drugs Are Consumed a Priority’

As parents, we worry constantly about our children’s safety, especially when they grow old enough to be influenced by friends, the media, the Internet and other adults. The State of Connecticut’s Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking estimates that high-school student drinkers consume 35 percent of all wine coolers and 1.1 billion cans of beer annually. Subsequent risks and effects of underage drinking include an increase in injuries and fatalities, sexual offenses, and youthful involvement with illegal drugs. The New Canaan Perspective

The media and some adults (including parents) regard drinking (and recently the use of marijuana) as an essential element of socializing. Additionally, some underage drinkers obtain alcohol from their parents, from their own homes or from other adults who legitimize alcohol consumption as a rite of passage for minors. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Grace Farms’ Proposed Changes To Zoning Regulations Opens ‘Pandora’s Box’ throughout Town

To the Editor:

Saturday, May 13th, marks the one year anniversary since our neighborhood formally asked the Planning and Zoning Commission to investigate the activities taking place at Grace Farms. Twelve months later, notwithstanding the former Town Planner’s June 2016 report to the Commission that the Foundation is conducting a myriad of unpermitted activities at Grace Farms, our neighborhood is confronted with no enforcement of the conditions set forth in the 2013 Special Permit, and an applicant overtly refusing to come into compliance with that permit. This begs the question: Is there enforcement of zoning regulations in New Canaan? Reflecting on the past year with Orchard’s End Spa on Oenoke Ridge, One Kings Lane’s “residential retail” decorating showroom on Cross Ridge Road, the “sober house” on West Road, the long-standing parked RV on Hoyt Street, and the Luke’s Wood Road house with imposing driveway gates and pillars, we know that enforcement, while ephemeral, does exist. As residents of New Canaan, we are all required to follow the zoning regulations; they are intended to guide land use activities in New Canaan in ways that will enhance community character, provide assurances and certainty to property owners when they buy into a neighborhood of its general characteristics, and protect public health, safety, and welfare. In other words, these regulations form one of the principal building blocks of the social contract we share living in New Canaan. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Grace Farms’ Credibility ‘Eroding’ As Story Changes

To the Editor:

Saturday May 13th marks one year since our neighborhood formally asked the Planning and Zoning Commission to investigate the stark differences between the activities taking place at Grace Farms and what their zoning permit allowed. Over the past year, we have been gratified by a groundswell of support. People are thanking us for protecting the values that New Canaan families want to teach their children: that the end does not justify the means; that rules need to be applied equally to everyone; that promises need to be kept; and that actions have consequences. People have told us they can’t believe this is happening. They see the orchestrated campaign to highlight Grace Farms Foundation’s good deeds as an effort to change the subject. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Grace Farms ‘Enriches Our Community’

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my appreciation and support of a New Canaan community asset, Grace Farms. Grace Farms run by the Grace Farms Foundation has multiple functions: including community and religious. This year I had the opportunity to become better acquainted with Grace Farms, when as a board member of a local community organization I was able to hold a meeting for our members in its West Barn Hall. The staff at Grace Farms is highly professional and at all times exhibit the utmost concern for their operations and any events they host. Our group was very made to feel welcome and well taken care of. In addition, I am very impressed by the commitment of the Grace Farms Foundation to the preservation of the environment. Continue Reading →

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Op-Ed: Hopeful Developer of Roger Sherman Makes a Case for Pursuing Appeal of P&Z Denial

I want to clarify some of the statements that have been made regarding our possible appeal of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s rejection of our plans for the Roger Sherman. As I have written before, I went to contract on the Roger Sherman with the understanding and support from commission members and the town planner for the project. The contract I signed was non-contingent on zoning approval, meaning my money was at risk if I was turned down. The owners who had been trying to sell for over four years and were tired of trying to maintain a tough business and infrastructure wanted to move on. They priced it at the highest and best use, which was housing. Continue Reading →

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