‘Hire Quality Contractors’: Two More Non-Permitted Demolitions in New Canaan

The New Canaan Building Department has received two applications for demolition jobs after-the-fact, one for a garage on Oak Street and another for what officials are calling a significant interior demolition on West Road.

The 480-square-foot garage at 64 Oak St. has been demolished without a permit. Credit: Michael Dinan

The non-permitted demolition at 534 West Road covers the interior of an entire wing of the 1928-built, 5,779-square-foot Colonial there, officials said. That work appears to have been done by an owner of the home, purchased last May for $1,950,000, according to tax records.

The garage at 64 Oak St., a property that sold in March for $3,350,000, appears to have been done by a non-local contractor, officials said.

New Canaan Chief Building Official Brian Platz urged homeowners to work with reputable contractors and check in with his office to ask any questions about what requires a permit.

“Hire quality contractors, first and foremost,” Platz said. “And if they are unsure, phone calls are free.”

When the Building Department receives a proper application for a demolition permit, part of its work involves ensuring that contractors are insured, among other qualifications. Those who fail to vet contractors take on significant liability, officials said—for example, in cases where workers are injured on jobs.

Prompted by a widely discussed case on White Oak Shade Road, municipal officials recently have taken up the question of whether the town should impose stiffer penalties in cases where homeowners move forward with demolishing structures or parts of structures without getting permits.

The after-the-fact applications on West Road and Oak Street came in on June 4 and May 29, respectively.

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