Arnold Karp

Recent Articles

‘There Is a Hint of Hypocrisy’: P&Z Rejects ‘Cemetery’ Claims, Signaling Cleared Final Hurdle for Merritt Village

Planning officials on Tuesday night voiced support for proposed changes to the town’s approval for the Merritt Village, signaling the clearing of a final hurdle for the 110-unit condo-and-apartment complex. Because archeological excavations have been undertaken since the Planning & Zoning Commission’s November approval—creating a need to reword parts of it—the group at its regular meeting stopped short of formally voting on an application filed on behalf of property owner M2 Partners. Yet P&Z spoke favorably of updating conditions regarding a burial ground on the Maple Street site that M2 had found objectionable because, if upheld, they would have required the property owner to seek approval for an amended site plan. Saying they’re concerned about preserving local history, some in town have called for P&Z to designate as “cemetery” ground areas of the Maple Street property where, archeological experts have said, people who had been buried there were deliberately dug up and moved to more desirable resting places, such as Lakeview Cemetery. The remaining disinterred grave shafts are scattered throughout a substantial parcel at Merritt Apartments. Continue Reading →

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‘Pop Up Park’ Organizers Eye Extended Summer Season Downtown

The organizers of New Canaan’s ‘Pop Up Park’ downtown will seek permission to run it continuously from July 16 to Sept. 4. If approved by the Police Commission, the dates—from just after the Sidewalk Sale through Labor Day—would expand by several weeks the longest continuous run for the Pop Up Park, which was in place for three straight weeks last August. Tucker Murphy, an advisor to the Pop Up Park Steering Committee from the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, said many visitors were disappointed last year when the park—located on South Avenue between Morse Court and Elm Street—was disassembled before what turned out to be a beautiful Labor Day weekend. The committee is “trying to build upon last year while still recognizing that some of the merchants and some people have concerns about traffic flow,” Murphy said. Continue Reading →

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1889-Built ‘Red Cross Building’ on Main Street Under Contract with New Owner

The stately 1889-built structure at 51 Main St. in New Canaan, property of the Red Cross for more than 60 years, is under contract with a new owner. New Canaan resident and builder Arnold Karp of Karp Associates confirmed with that he’s a member of a partnership that is hoping to close on the 2,600-square-foot building and .38-acre property next month. The new ownership group in the early going believes it will return the building to a residential use, though in any case the structure itself will be restored and preserved, Karp said. “We want it to continue as a character piece of New Canaan,” Karp said. Continue Reading →

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Consultants’ Report on ‘Maple Street Burial Grounds’ Addresses Merritt Village Conditions

Though a tooth, coffin fragments and pieces of arm, finger, leg and pelvis bone turned up following an archeological study of the “Maple Street Burial Grounds,” the only bodies still buried there already have been identified, according to a new report. The body and coffin pieces speak to shoddy work in transferring 13 bodies long ago from the burial grounds to sites such as Lakeview Cemetery, and do not constitute current interments, two experts from a Westport-based archeological and historic structure consulting firm said in a report published last week. As such, construction of a new, 110-unit housing complex approved in November by the New Canaan Planning & Zoning Commission can proceed with a few basic protective measures, Cece Saunders and Dawn Brown of Historical Perspectives Inc. said in their Feb. 16 report. “The archaeological excavations confirmed the presence of three intact Law family burials, the historic removal of eleven Hoyt-Keeler family burials and the historic removal of two St. Continue Reading →

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Prospect of Seventh Public Hearing for ‘Merritt Village’ as Cemetery Questions Linger for P&Z

The owner of the future ‘Merritt Village’ apartment-and-condo complex on the edge of downtown New Canaan is in talks with Planning & Zoning officials about whether yet another public hearing will be needed to sort out whether any of the property to be developed constitutes a cemetery. Approved with 60-plus conditions by the P&Z Commission in November following six public hearings, Merritt Village is to include 110 total units. In December, property owner M2 Partners filed an administrative appeal citing several of the conditions that involve the ‘Maple Street Cemetery.’

The conditions regarding the burial ground are objectionable to M2 because, if upheld, they would require the property owner to seek approval for an amended site plan. P&Z is asking the hopeful property developer to return for a hearing in February, according to New Canaan resident Arnold Karp, a partner in M2. “We are on hold because if they are going to go take a piece of my property, I can’t design a building,” Karp told Continue Reading →

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