Grace Farms

Recent Articles

Letter: Grace Farms a ‘Vital Partner’ to Interfaith Council

Dear Mike,

I write as the Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut to heartily endorse the work of Grace Farms. As an organization passionately interested in the promotion of understanding among religious traditions and the strengthening of individuals, communities, and the world through dialogue, self-discovery, and awareness, Grace Farms has been a vital partner in our efforts. Its staff, programming, and facilities create numerous opportunities throughout the year for people to grow in their spiritual self-understanding, to engage respectfully and meaningfully with others across differences, and to find ways to give back and improve the world around them. Grace Farms’ staff and setting are a unique safe space physically in our community and symbolically beyond. A signature collaboration between the Interfaith Council and Grace Farms is the Interfaith Seder, where people of Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and other faiths come together to discuss freedom and liberation extant within their respective traditions, central to the Jewish Passover. Hundreds of individuals across all faiths and demographics have been inspired and moved by this program, and we look forward to continuing to provide these opportunities for people by collaborating with Grace Farms.

In a short time, Grace Farms has become an important partner in the critical work of interfaith dialogue, understanding, and collaboration. We could not perform our work without its credibility and support. Continue Reading →

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Letter: In Support of Grace Farms, from Voices of September 11th Founders

Dear Editor,

This letter is to offer our support of Grace Farms, both in our role at Voices of September 11th as well as longtime residents of New Canaan. Our family has lived in New Canaan for 30 years, and during that time we raised our three boys and have been involved in a number of local organizations that have supported the community. Following the loss of our 24-year-old son Brad on 9/11 we founded a nonprofit organization, Voices of September 11th which is headquartered in New Canaan. Like so many communities in the tri-state area, New Canaan was impacted by the terrorist attacks—families lost loved ones while others lost colleagues and friends. Many who survived the attacks may have narrowly escaped or witnessed it firsthand, while others bravely responded or worked in the recovery effort. Continue Reading →

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Republican Candidates for Town Council Face Off in Second Debate

Republican candidates for Town Council offered their views on on some of the town’s most controversial planning and zoning applications during the Republican Town Committee’s second candidates’ debate held at Town Hall Wednesday. Currently there are six Republican candidates for Town Council: Roy Abramowitz, Tom Butterworth, Mike Mauro, Rich Townsend and incumbents Penny Young and John Engel. They are jockeying for seats opening up on the Town Council this fall and thus are seeking party backing. When asked for his opinion on the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recent approval of the Merritt Village redevelopment downtown, Engel, who missed the first RTC debate in June, said, “Real estate is what I do—and I have a deep understanding of the Merritt Village project.”

“Number one, I respect the process,” he said of the recent approval. “We heard earlier that the Town Council doesn’t get involved in what P&Z should do—just like the first selectmen doesn’t tell them what to do—and I don’t think we should have a thumb on the scale with P&Z. Continue Reading →

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Letter: One Realtor on Grace Farms as a Property Value-Enhancing New Canaan Asset

Dear Editor:

I am a Realtor in New Canaan. Last year I sold a nearly $4 million house across the street from Grace Farms. The buyers came to Grace Farms immediately after looking at the house, were served tea in the teahouse, and decided that Grace Farms is the perfect neighbor and they bought the house. Just how extraordinary is that? It shouldn’t be. But, this house teaches us a useful lesson about property values in New Canaan. Continue Reading →

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‘Negative Ramifications for the Community of New Canaan’: Consultant on Grace Farms’ Proposed Changes to Zoning Regulations

Proposed changes to the regulations that govern land use in New Canaan, now before the town, appear harmless but in fact have dramatic and harmful implications, according to a consultant hired by a set of neighbors opposed to them. Grace Farms’ proposed text amendments to the New Canaan Zoning Regulations appear “innocuous at first blush,” according to Don Poland, senior vice president and managing director of urban planning at East Hartford-based Goman+York. Yet if the Planning & Zoning Commission were to approve the organization’s application, it would “exacerbate the issues of appropriate scale, intensity of use and threats of encroachment across all zones—residential and commercial—in New Canaan,” Poland said in a report filed with P&Z. Specifically, Grace Farms—a “religious institution,” under the regulations—is for practical reasons seeking permission to have more than one such principal use designation. Yet “if the proposed regulation amendment is approved, not only can Grace Farms Foundation be allowed to continue its request for multiple principal uses, but also could subsequently apply for additional principal uses, such as Elderly Housing, Adult Housing, Congregate Care, Bed and Breakfast, Private School, Day Care and Private Recreation,” according to Poland’s May 15 report. Continue Reading →

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