David Rucci

Recent Articles

‘Internal Pressure from Other Places’: Superintendent of Schools Shouldn’t Lead Effort To Study Later Start Times, Parents Say

Because he must pay attention to people in the district who are opposed no matter what, the superintendent of schools isn’t in a good position to lead an internal working group looking into starting school later in the morning, according to members of a parents’ group that wants the change. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi is expected some time in June to share the administrative group’s thoughts on starting school later in the morning, but he should be arriving at a recommendation with input from the wider community, lifelong resident and New Canaan Public Schools parent David Rucci told members of the Board of Education at their most recent regular meeting. “It is very difficult, [according to] all the research that we have done, for the superintendent to be in charge of this,” Rucci said at the meeting, held May 21 in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “He is going to get a lot of internal pressure from other places and we understand that that is a problem for him. And it’s not easy for him to sort of negotiate through that. Continue Reading →

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P&Z Approves 2-Story Addition on Summer Street, Over Objections

Though two neighbors filed objections citing what they described as potential loom, town officials on Tuesday voted 7-0 to approve a second story addition at a Summer Street home. In approving the addition planned for the rear of 160 Summer St.—a ca. 1870-built, single-family home on about .2 acres, according to tax records—members of the Planning & Zoning Commission that it’s an attractive alternative to what’s there now and planned for the type of awkwardly configured lot for which Special Permits are designed. “I think the proposed design is compatible to the neighborhood and the increase in height is only two or three additional feet,” Commissioner Kent Turner said at the group’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “So I do not believe it creates a significant impact on neighboring properties and I think it should be approved.”

Those voting in favor included Chairman John Goodwin and Commissioners Claire Tiscornia, Dick Ward, Bill Redman, Laszlo Papp, Dan Radman and Turner. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Last Week’s School Start Times Survey Lacked Context

On April 19, New Canaan parents and students were asked by New Canaan Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Luizzi to take an unannounced School Start Times Survey. Many adults and children who attempted to respond to the survey found it to be confusing, especially the parents of Saxe students. Furthermore, the survey was conducted before the district made any effort to inform parents about the important impact that school start times have on student health. Thus, many parents and students felt that they did not have enough knowledge of the issue to answer the questions in an informed way. Thanks to the New Canaan League of Women Voters, there is a great opportunity next week for the community to learn more about why the district is evaluating school start times: because decades of research has shown that a 7:30 a.m. start is detrimental to student health; it is harmful to such a degree that every major medical organization in the country has recommended that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later. Parents, students and others in the community are invited to a panel discussion on adolescent sleep on May 3 at 7 p.m. in NCHS Wagner Room. Continue Reading →

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ZBA Green-Lights New Two-Family Home on East Avenue

The Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday approved two variances allowing for the construction of a two-family home at 72 East Ave.—however, the project still needs approval from the Planning & Zoning Commission in order to move forward. William Panella plans to raze an existing 1,400-square-foot home on the property, where his late mother Mary had lived, and remove a non-compliant detached garage in the rear in order to build a new, residential style, two-family dwelling measuring about 4,000 square feet. However, in order to get a special permit for the project he needed relief from a requirement that the property have a minimum of 100 feet of frontage (it has only 93 feet) and that the site allow for a conceptual 100-foot diameter “circle” of open area where there is no building footprint (the “circle” is just short at 97 feet) —both of which were granted at the ZBA meeting. The application was continued from the board’s October meeting after some board members expressed concerns over the driveway shown in a preliminary site plan. The initial plan showed the driveway running from East Avenue all the way to the rear of the property, where it was to connect with the parking lot for a new residential and commercial development currently underway at 23 Vitti St. Continue Reading →

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Plan to Build Two-Family Home on East Avenue Stalls at ZBA

An application for a variance that would allow a two-family residence on East Avenue to replace a 1900-built single family home there was continued Monday night after town officials expressed concerns over the proposed driveway and pedestrian access way included in the project. On its face, property owner William Panella’s request for a variance for 72 East Ave. is straightforward: The applicant is requesting relief from the residential Zone B requirement for a minimum 100 feet of street frontage, as the property only allows for about 93 feet of frontage, and to allow the driveway from East Avenue to connect with another driveway and parking lot for an adjacent commercial property on Vitti Street. Panella plans to tear down the existing 1,400-square-foot home, where his late mother Mary had lived, as well as the detached garage in the rear and construct a new, residential style, two-family dwelling measuring about 4,000 square feet. Before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, attorney David Rucci of Lampert Williams & Toohey LLC explained that he is, in fact, representing two clients on the project, William Panella, son of the late Mary Panella, whose property is the subject of the application, and Panella’s development partner, Art Collins, who is developing an adjacent property on Vitti Street, directly behind the property on East Avenue and in the town’s Business B zone (see map below). Continue Reading →

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