Beth Jones

Recent Articles

Selectmen Praise New Town Planner in Unanimously Approving His Status as Full-Time

Saying the new town planner has hustled to get up to speed quickly on a number of complex issues that he’s handling well, officials this week moved him to full-time status. The Board of Selectmen during its regular meeting Tuesday voted 3-0 to advance Town Planner Steve Palmer to full-time status. “He has been a real pleasure to work with,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “He has brought himself up to speed very quickly, and I must say [Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman] John Goodwin has been very good with him as well, as a chairman, has really brought him along very well and has not been afraid to give advice as to past philosophies and that kind of thing.”

Hired in November, Palmer came directly from the municipal government of Westport, where he served in the same role, and since arriving in New Canaan has worked with P&Z, applicants and neighbors on a number of divisive land use matters. They include the sober house on West Road, which appears to be headed toward a compromise, the proposed redevelopment of the Roger Sherman Inn, which P&Z denied, Grace Farms, which is ongoing and Merritt Village, including emotionally charged discussions around the cemetery there. Continue Reading →

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New Crosswalk Coming to Park Street Near Mead Park Entrance

Town officials on Tuesday approved a contract with a New Canaan-based company to improve pedestrian access to Mead Park. The Board of Selectmen vote 3-0 in favor of a $12,075 contract with Peter Lanni, Inc. to put in a new crosswalk on Park Street and make the sidewalks approaching the entrance to the park handicapped-accessible. The new crosswalk will be located south of the entrance to Mead Park, near the access road for Lantern Way Condominiums.

Total project costs are $8,325 plus $2,500 for police protection and a $1,250 contingency. “We had several requests from the residents who live across the street in the condo complexes to try to get across Park Street safely and one of the thoughts was to put in a mid-block crosswalk from the Lantern Way Condominiums across the street to the sidewalk that’s on the western side of Park Street,” Director of Public Works Tiger Mann said during the meeting at Town Hall. In addition to the new crosswalk, the project covers the creation of handicapped-accessible ramps that will run from the sidewalk on each end of the entrance to Mead Park. Continue Reading →

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Selectmen Approve First Phase of Reconstructed Trail along Main Road through Waveny

Town officials on Tuesday approved a privately funded project at Waveny that will see one of the park’s most heavily used trails overhauled to improve use and drainage. The Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting unanimously approved a $49,200 contract with a local landscaping company to reconstruct the trail that runs from Waveny’s South Avenue entrance, along the main road through the park to the “four-way intersection” at the foot of the hill. To be completed in four sections, starting at the “four-way” and progressing eastward, is to be funded by the Waveny Park Conservancy. The first section will include two stream crossings and already has been approved by Inland Wetlands officials, according to Tiger Mann, director of the Department of Public works. Three companies put in bids for the job and their proposals were “quite tight,” coming in within $1,000 of each other, Mann told the selectmen during their regular meeting, held at Town Hall. Continue Reading →

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Town Officials Decry Lack of Civility from Cell Tower Critics, Agree To Pursue Alternatives

Taking to heart residents’ concerns about proposed cell towers at Irwin Park and West School, especially with respect to people’s health, town officials said Monday night that they’re actively looking at alternatives. During a meeting that saw members of the Board of Selectmen and Utilities Commission admonish some for what they called disrespectful and uncivilly delivered remarks at a recent public hearing, officials said they’ve asked consultants to find out whether a different location in Irwin would still work and whether there are alternative sites in western New Canaan to the elementary school there. “We are going to set aside West School for now while we look for different choices,” Utilities Commission Chairman Tom Tesluk said during the meeting, held at Town Hall and attended by about 15 people. The commission has discussed its early-stage proposal since last week’s public hearing and concluded that “coming up with additional options and alternatives is an important part of what we are going to enter into.”

Specifically, the commission has asked consultants from Boca Raton, Fla.-based wireless telecom consulting firm Cityscape to look at relocating a proposed cell tower from the southwest corner of Irwin “up the hill, closer to the garage” and “to actively explore and determine what we would need up there” to achieve sufficient cell coverage in that part of town, Tesluk said. “With respect to West School, it is a trickier situation because at the moment finding alternative locations on the west side is difficult. But that is not to say that we are not going to look for alternatives. Continue Reading →

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Apple, Plum Trees Near Town Hall To Be Removed as Part of Beautification Plan

Officials on Tuesday approved a contract for tree pruning and removal throughout New Canaan that includes part of a plan to beautify the area around Town Hall. Two apple and two plum trees above the retaining wall by Vine Cottage will be removed, and work will commence to re-plant the area as per a plan from landscape architect Keith Simpson of the New Canaan Beautification League, members of the Board of Selectmen said during their regular meeting. Representatives of the league “have some low-growing shrubs and items that are going to hang over the wall a little bit, for a very nice planting plan in the area,” according to Department of Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “We passed [the request for tree removal] through [New Canaan Tree Warden] Bob Horan—he wanted to wanted to make sure that there was a plan in place to move forward,” Mann said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. “Once we showed him that, he was happy.”

The plan calls for the addition of a flowering plant—an evergreen shrub called “Euonymus fortunei”—to an area near the top of the retaining wall, while existing ornamental plantings will remain there. Continue Reading →

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