The town received a notice of intent to sue from a New Canaan man injured when his Vespa presumably skidded out on Lambert Road one morning in June. At about 7:04 a.m. on June 12 (a Tuesday), he sustained “permanent injuries” including an ankle fracture and knee sprain, due to “deposits of gravel and/or sand and/or a slippery oil like substance upon Lambert Road which was open to traffic and concerning which no warnings or cautions were posted,” according to a notice filed Aug. 2 by attorney James Hyland, a partner in Hamden-based Mulvey, Oliver, Gould & Crotta. The man was traveling at or below the speed limit, the notice said. ***
The Planning & Zoning Commission on Tuesday voted 8-1 to approve Grace Farms for 12 events at the Lukes Wood Road organization to be auctioned off as fundraising items during its annual benefit in October.
Town officials on Tuesday are expected to decide whether Grace Farms may host a dozen events planned as auction items for the organization’s annual fundraiser in October. In approving Grace Farms for its amended Special Permit last year, the Planning & Zoning Commission specified that the Lukes Wood Road organization may not host so-called “Sustainability Events,” where space is used by commercial entities to generate revenue. Yet raising funds by auctioning off specific events at Grace Farms—planned events include cooking, baking, cocktail, March Madness and college football parties—may amount to the same thing, meaning they would be prohibited under the approved permit, P&Z members said at their most recent meeting. “This sounds like the equivalent of renting the property out for a kids’ dinner, kids’ party and everything else, except that it’s through a charity,” Commissioner John Kriz said at P&Z’s July 31 meeting, held at Town Hall. “Somehow that is stressing more of a distinction than a difference.
A 37-year-old chef at Grace Farms is scheduled this month for a pre-trial hearing in state Superior Court connection with his arrest on 12 counts of felony voyeurism. The accused, Patrick Bowdoin of Norwalk, followed a 29-year-old woman into the women’s bathroom at Grace Farms’s restaurant, ‘The Commons,’ one Saturday afternoon in December, entered the stall next to her, then slid a Samsung phone underneath and started recording—until she screamed and he fled, according to New Canaan Police Department arrest and search-and-seizure warrant applications filed in court in Stamford. Though the charges against Bowdoin’s had been reported in March following NCPD’s months-long investigation, police withheld many details as well as information about where the offense had occurred, saying they did so in order to protect the victim. Referred to generally as a “security incident” in an email from Grace Farms officials to the interim town planner and in Grace Farms’s monthly reports to the town, the arrest also has not been detailed in either and no connection to the publicly reported arrest of Bowdoin in March was disclosed. The victim went to police headquarters to report the incident at 1:40 p.m. on Dec.
Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section, on Thursday morning assisted a snapping turtle that had fallen into the window well of a home on Sleepy Hollow Road. Now is the time when females are setting out from ponds and other water sources to lay eggs, so motorists should be on the lookout for the prehistoric reptiles on local roads and try to avoid them or else help the animals across in the direction they’re already headed. ***
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said during a press briefing Thursday that New Canaan filed a Freedom of Information Act request in connection with the antique Valley Road home and 4-acre property that the New Canaan Land Trust has offered to purchase and preserve. The town is seeking documentation from the First Taxing District of the Norwalk Water Department about its plans for the future. “They are known to be a very difficult party to deal with, and that is why we have taken the stance we have,” Moynihan said.
Grace Farms must revert to the terms of its 2013 special permit, as a religious institution only, because the validity of a more recent approval is now in question, according to a recent legal filing from one of the organization’s neighbors. According to a motion filed on behalf of Smith Ridge Road residents Tim Curt and Dona Bissonnette, though Grace Farms itself is appealing some of the 100 conditions imposed by the Planning & Zoning Commission in an approval from last fall, both that Lukes Wood Road organization and the Planning & Zoning Commission “have been proceeding as if the special permit which is the subject of this appeal were in full force and effect, and have been pursuing activities which would only be permitted if this court determines after a hearing that the special permit is valid.”
The motion filed by attorney David Sherwood of Glastonbury-based Moriarty, Paetzold & Sherwood also notes that the validity of a prior P&Z decision regarding Grace Farms—specifically, a decision to amend the New Canaan Zoning Regulations in order to allow for more than one “principle use”—may be invalid due to a filing mistake, as described in a separate lawsuit. Because of that mistake and on the advice of Town Attorney Ira Bloom, Grace in November re-filed its applications for a text change and special permit—then in January withdrew them, saying only that it was satisfied, after all, with the earlier approval. Yet “by reapplying for the text amendment and the special permit on which it depends, at the request of counsel to the commission, the plaintiff and the commission are acknowledging the previous approvals are invalid,” according to the motion filed by Sherwood. “There is simply no other logical explanation for the resubmission of identical applications incorporating thousands of pages of documents nor justification for the inordinate time and expense required t process and consider them if not to correct the errors identified in the Curt/Bisonnette appeals.