$1,000 Fine, Stop Work Order for New Canaan Property Owner Violating Wetlands Regulations

Town officials have fined a New Norwalk Road property owner $1,000 after citing him for violations of the New Canaan Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations. Following a two-day inspection in late March, municipal officials observed “what looked like regulated activities” at 613 New Norwalk Road, according to a citation letter obtained by NewCanaanite.com following a formal request. The citation is listed on the public agenda for Monday’s meeting of the Inland Wetlands Commission. “Staff viewed a significant amount of earth disturbing activities in and over wetlands and within the regulated upland review area” at the .76-acre property, according to the March 21 citation letter. Those activities include: alteration of wetlands and upland review area by the use of an excavator to grub, fill, grade, deposit and spread stockpiled material (including concrete block) over and immediately adjacent to field designated wetlands; installation of several feet of PVC pipes within the upland review area for the discharge of pumped water.

Town To Take Up Modified Application for Overhaul of Little League Baseball Fields at Mead

Town officials are scheduled Monday to vote on a modified application filed on behalf of New Canaan Baseball to improve the little league fields at Mead Park. Unveiled 18 months ago, plans call for installing turf o the infields at Mellick and Gamble Fields as well as increased playability, improved drainage and new backstops, scoreboard and fencing. Originally, the project was to start last fall and also was to include new light poles and a re-oriented Game Field, but higher-than-expected cost estimates connected to lighting forced New Canaan Baseball to push back the work to 2018 and forego replacement of existing light poles and fixtures. According to an application received Feb. 20 by the New Canaan Inland Wetlands Department, changes to the original project include: Moving Mellick field slightly to the east and adjusting the left-field corner so that the existing light pole could be used; concrete dugouts on both fields now will be asphalt; outfield fencing on both fields has been adjusted slightly;

and a playground walkway west of Mellick Field will need to be replaced and that effort will be coordinated with planned improvements to the playground.

‘The Holy Grail’: Land Trust Seeks To Complete Walk-able ‘Greenway’ in New Canaan

Members of a local nonprofit organization dedicated to open space on Monday will seek approval from the town to build a raised walkway in the woods off of Weed Street in order to complete, after years of advocacy and planning, what they call a “dream greenway” in New Canaan. The New Canaan Land Trust’s proposed project—to install four raised walkways over wetlands and a bridge over a brook—is the final piece needed in order to create a walk-able loop that encompasses the downtown, Irwin Park and the Nature Center. “This has been, since I started on the Land Trust, the Holy Grail, to make this connection,” said Chris Schipper, a board member and former president of the organization. The Inland Wetlands Commission is scheduled to take up the Land Trust’s application at its regular meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. If approved, Schipper said, the project could be completed by spring.

Neighbor Objects To Proposed Wider Driveway for Undeveloped Parcel on Hill Street

A newly submitted plan to install a 16-foot-wide driveway to access an undeveloped 2.42-acre property in New Canaan that had been approved for a subdivision in 2014 will negatively affect the wetlands and watercourses that must be disturbed in order to create it, according to a consultant retained by one objecting neighbor. The driveway and utilities proposed for “Lot 72” on Hill Street will also harm an adjacent property “by modifying the naturally occurring drainage patterns in this area, thus increasing the potential for surface flooding on the adjacent properties,” Steven Trinkaus of Southbury-based Trinkaus Engineering LLC said in a Feb. 19 letter and report to the New Canaan Inland Wetlands Commission. “The driveway alignment as proposed is not adequate for the movement of emergency vehicles and should be denied on this basis alone. Additionally, there is a feasible and prudent alternative to the current proposal which is more environmentally friendly and less destructive to the wetland and adjacent upland areas.”

That alternative—described more fully below—would relocate the proposed driveway and change the infrastructure needed to address runoff.

Ridgefield Co., Property Owner Cited for Wetlands Violations at North Wilton Road

A Ridgefield-based landscaping company and North Wilton Road property owner each are facing a $1,000 fine following citations for violations of New Canaan’s wetlands regulations. Town officials this month issued a cease-and-desist order for unpermitted activities taking place at 749 North Wilton Road and instructed the homeowner to contact Planning & Zoning to review the height of a new stone wall and deer fence installed on the 4.02-acre property, according to documents obtained by NewCanaanite.com. Acting on a tip about possible regulated activities there, staff in the New Canaan Inland Wetlands Department “viewed a significant amount of earth disturbing activities around and over wetlands,” according to a Jan. 12 citation letter. They included removal of vegetation from flagged wetlands and upland areas, creation of a stone wall in and adjacent to wetlands and watercourse, disturbance of soils because of that work and dismantling of an existing stone wall from an upland review area, the citation letter said.