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: Proposed Change to Zoning Regulations Threatens All New Canaan Residential Neighborhoods

To the Editor:

At the May 30th P&Z hearing, a change was proposed to New Canaan’s zoning regulations that has the potential to fundamental alter the character of our residential neighborhoods. This proposed text change would allow multiple, independent and unrelated principal uses to co-exist on a single residential lot. Why is this important? If approved, any homeowner in New Canaan could set up one or more businesses and actively operate those businesses at their property in addition to maintaining their primary residence. Some recent examples in town—the Sober House on West Road, Orchards’ End Spa on Oenoke Ridge, and the One King’s Lane “residential retail” design showroom—would all be perfectly legitimate activities in their respective neighborhoods. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Fine Day for a Parade and Tribute to Our Deceased Veterans

As I marched in our abbreviated parade Monday, I heard so many in the crowd offer up their thanks for the decision to hold our Memorial Day parade. Just like last year, when the threat of rain caused neighboring towns to cancel their parades and remembrances, New Canaan marched and remembered. We are a special community and we love our traditions. Some are joyous (the Family Fourth of July) some are religious (gatherings at Hanukkah and Christmas time on God’s Acre) and some are reflective (Veterans Day and Memorial Day observances). All of these form the bonds of our community and are marked on our calendars months in advance. Continue Reading →

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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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