Jack Trifero

Recent Articles

‘I Fear for My Life’: Silvermine Residents Seek More Substantial Changes To Slow Motor Vehicle Traffic in Neighborhood

Though officials two months ago lowered the speed limit on Silvermine Road from 30 to 25 mph, motor vehicle traffic still whizzes through the neighborhood and its increasingly popular, pedestrian-oriented commercial area, residents said last week. Describing Silvermine as unique in that it has its own market, arts center and soon-to-reopen inn and restaurant, residents told members of the Police Commission at their regular meeting that more must be done in order to reduce the speed of cars and trucks to safe levels. Mark Thorsheim said that reducing the speed limit hasn’t changed the behavior of drivers. “There need to be physical infrastructure changes beyond the 25 mph,” he told members of the Police Commission at their June 14 meeting, held in the New Canaan Police Department’s training room. “Silvermine, the road, the neighborhood is different than other roads. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Seeking Results of Town-Directed Survey of Maple Street Cemetery

To the Editor:

We are writing to request the complete town-directed, state-supervised study M2 conducted on the Maple Street Cemetery. Our understanding, from the State Archaeologist’s office, was that M2 was asked to present the findings to P&Z two weeks ago, but as of Monday morning that has not occurred. The report will be made public via the Dodd Archives at the University of Connecticut (where the Connecticut State Archaeologist’s office is located), but we are requesting the information sooner so it can be released to the public. Our concerns are:

1) The argument has been made that M2 owns title to the portions of the Maple Street Cemetery because they believe certain plots never contained remains, which, in their opinion, would make this section of the cemetery, “not a cemetery”; and

2) Now that human remains have been found, M2’s argument seems to be that current laws do not apply because the human remains were interred before the laws were enacted. However, Connecticut statutes state that (italics our own): Sec. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Opposing the Merritt Village Proposal in New Canaan

To the Editor:

Twenty-two years ago lawyers for Avalon came to a New Canaan P&Z meeting with an application to build a housing complex on the large parking lot next to our train station. Its scale and density were massive. These lawyers told our zoning officials that before they joined Avalon they were the lobbyists that changed our state law that removed our home rule that would allow us to form our own town. Thus, to stop this unbelievable loss of controlling our own destiny, Citizens for New Canaan was formed. A group that comprised hundreds of passionate New Canaanites and its leaders to regain control of our Town. Continue Reading →

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‘A Logical and Mandatory Thing’: Millport Avenue Developers Address Concerns About ‘Loom Factor’ of Four-Story Structures

Though neighbors of the public housing development at Mill Pond and at least one member of the Planning & Zoning Commission had voiced concerns about the height and aesthetics of proposed four-story buildings there—concerns that some now say were well-founded, as the units take shape—the new structures will look better once they’re finished with stonework, balconies, trim and landscaping, the project’s architects say. At least as importantly, given the need for elevators and the challenges of expense and space that they bring—particularly when dealing with affordable housing—going “up” in height and leveraging density is an economic and architectural reality, according to Scott Hobbs, chairman of the New Canaan Housing Authority Commission. “In the case of affordable housing, it is especially tricky because it is hard to make it work economically even with seed money from the town and grants from the state,” Hobbs told NewCanaanite.com. “It’s still hard to make it work and you need to get to density, otherwise you cannot pay for the construction. At the end of the day four stories, while large, is still within what is acceptable. Continue Reading →

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P&Z Commissioner Defends Himself Against Perception of Bias in Glass House Application

A member of the Planning & Zoning Commission last week defended himself against the perception—already voiced at a public meeting—that he should recuse himself from a high-profile matter involving a National Trust For Historic Preservation site because it’s located just a few hundred yards from his house. Commissioner Dick Ward, of Winfield Lane, said that he has never spoken directly to those who oversee the Philip Johnson Glass House. “I have never discussed this matter with any of the neighbors or participated in any other neighbors’ meetings or discussions,” Ward said at P&Z’s April 26 meeting, held at Town Hall. “My house is three properties away from the Glass House, beyond the notification limit. And personally I have not been affected by the activities of the Glass House.”

Officials from the Glass House have said they’re seeking to expand their operations in order to meet the financial realities of managing the 49-acre Ponus Ridge campus and its 14 structures. Continue Reading →

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