8 Ferris Hill Road

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Did You Hear … ?

The town on Tuesday issued a permit for Acme, the Elm Street grocery store known for decades as Food Emporium, to do a $1.5 million interior renovation at the store. The work at 288 Elm St. will include “shelving, display units, refrigerated cases” and checkout areas, according to the building permit, a total of 25,198 square feet. ***

Lindsay Benko, a New Canaan High School graduate whose father, Steve Benko, is the town’s longtime recreation director, is to be married June 9 of next year at First Presbyterian Church with a reception to follow at Waveny House (her dad’s workplace). She met her fiancé, Albany, N.Y. area native Chris Gardner, while the two studied nursing at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. 

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Four members of New Canaan Girl Scout Troop 50121—Olivia Licata, Megan Lydon, Emma Gibbens and Lily Plum—intend to install three bike racks at Waveny, Irwin and Kiwanis Parks as their Silver Award projects. Continue Reading →

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‘It’s Barbie Pink’: Town Officials Require Different Color in Sign for Historic House

Saying they wanted to support a New Canaan couple’s efforts to preserve a historic 18th Century home that narrowly avoided the wrecking ball this past summer, planning officials last week took the unusual step of OK’ing a sign to be planted out front of the property on condition that it’s a different color than originally presented. Despite concerns that the sign to be installed at 8 Ferris Hill Road (in the manner of a demolition sign) also is too large—and strong feelings about the specific language chosen for it—members of the Planning & Zoning unanimously approved it at their regular meeting Tuesday. The sign “is just too big and the color seems wholly inconsistent with the historic house,” P&Z commissioner John Kriz said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. “It’s Barbie pink.”

Homeowner Tom Nissley, who with his wife acquired the home and 2.14-acre property for $1.5 million in June, tax records show, explained that the intention is to have the color of the sign match the shingles on the house. “I had to try to reproduce a color that doesn’t exist on the computer and that is how you got this color,” Nissley said. Continue Reading →

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Historic Ferris Hill Home To Be Rented, Back on Market in ‘Several Years’

Now that the property has been safely transferred, volunteers spent several hours Tuesday afternoon cleaning up a historic farmhouse on Ferris Hill Road in order to make it rentable in the next couple of months. Tom Nissley, who holds title to the property with his wife, Emily, said his long-term goal is to sell the 1735-built house at 8 Ferris Hill Road, though it could be “several years” before it’s ready to go on the market again. “Somebody who loves history is going to have to buy the house,” Nissley said. “My theory is that everything sells. There is always a buyer for things, and there are a lot of people who are interested in history.”

That’s a major reason why the historic farmhouse still stands. Continue Reading →

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Saved: New Canaan Couple Enters Contract To Purchase Historic Ferris Hill Road Home

A New Canaan couple involved with historic preservation on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a contract to purchase the 1735-built farmhouse on Ferris Hill Road that had been slated for demolition this week. Emily and Tom Nissley “will hold the title while a preservation easement is placed on the property with the help of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation,” according to an email that Tom Nissley sent Wednesday to the local press corps. “It is anticipated that the house will be rented as soon as possible and will also be placed on the market for sale to a buyer who appreciates the historic value to the town of New Canaan,” Nissley said. The development marks a positive bookend to a very busy three months for preservationists, who quickly mobilized when the 2.14-acre property’s owner in March filed an application with the New Canaan Building Department to demolish the saltbox structure, following more than one year of unhappy ownership. That owner, Max Abel, joined in a petition Wednesday to the state Historic Preservation Office to have the home at 8 Ferris Hill Road listed on the State Register of Historic Places, according to Nissley. Continue Reading →

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New Canaanites Eye Expansion of State Law That Allows for ‘Demolition Delay’ of 180 Days

New Canaan preservationists are watching the progress of an addendum to a state law that alllows Connecticut towns to delay by 180 days—as opposed to just 90—the razing of a structure, following a demolition application filed with local building officials. Senate Bill 330—an updated version of which arrived on the governor’s desk Monday and was endorsed 4-0 by New Canaan’s delegation to the state legislature—would take effect Oct. 1. The local ordinance that New Canaan developed exactly 10 years ago, outlined in section 12a of the Town Code, allows for a 90-day delay on a proposed demolition in cases where a formal letter of objection is filed with the Town Building Official and a committee then finds that the structure in question has “architectural, historical, or cultural importance.” Under the update to the state law, a homeowner during the delay would not be able to perform asbestos abatement, an important change. The new text reads, in part: “If a waiting period is imposed by a town … the person seeking the permit shall take no action toward demolition of the building, structure or part thereof, including, but not limited to, site remediation and asbestos abatement, during the waiting period. Continue Reading →

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