23 New Canaanites Sue Water Company over Plan To Use Indian Waters Drive in Connection with Proposed Two-Lot Subdivision, Development

Saying Aquarion has no legal right to use their street, 23 of Indian Waters Drive in New Canaan are collectively suing the water company as it pursues a plan to subdivide and develop a wooded parcel that includes use of the private road as an access way. The approximately 10-acre lot owned by Aquarion historically has been served by a driftway running from Weed Street to Frogtown Road, and Indian Waters Drive itself didn’t exist at the time a predecessor water company acquired the parcel in question 110 years ago, according to a complaint filed Oct. 17 in state Superior Court in Stamford. Those who own properties along Indian Waters Drive itself own portions of it up to the centerline, and those who own other homes on the road may pass and repasss it, according to the complaint, filed on the neighbors’ behalf by attorney Amy Zabetakis of Darien-based Rucci Law Group. Yet use of the road is deed-restricted to those property owners, the lawsuit said, so what Aquarion proposes to do “constitutes trespass on the Indian Waters Drive property owners’ property.”

“The Indian Waters property owners request that the court issue a declaratory judgment determining that Aquarion does not have the right to use Indian Waters Drive,” the complaint said.

Developer Seeks To Create New Mixed-Use Building, Townhouses at Forest and Locust

A Westport real estate firm is seeking to create a new, mixed-use building and adjoining row of townhouses at the northwest corner of Forest Street and Locust Avenue—site of the long-vacant former Bank of America building. In an application filed on behalf of Silver Heights Development, officials said they want to put a mixed-use building with 1,500 square feet of ground floor retail uses and two residential units above facing Locust Avenue, and five townhouses fronting Forest Street. Schematics included in the Aug. 24 application show that the mixed-use building would run to the corner of Forest and Locust. The application for the .4-acre lot at 42 Forest St.—from attorney Jacqueline Kaufman, a partner at Stamford-based Carmody, Torrance, Sandak & Hennessey LLP—includes two proposed changes to the New Canaan Zoning Regulations in order to make the project possible as it now is envisioned.

Owners of Historic, Prominent New Canaan Home Seek Subdivision That Would Protect It

The longtime owners of an iconic and prominent New Canaan house—a home that historians say was the first in town to be lighted by gas, in the 1870s—are seeking special permission to subdivide their 1.8-acre lot in order to preserve the historic structure. Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, there isn’t quite enough buildable land at 528 Main St. to carve out a second parcel within the lot that includes the stately white mid-Victorian-style villa home that historians date to about 1852. Yet by expanding a section of the zoning regulations that deals with historic preservation—specifically, to offer some relief from density requirements, as that relief exists now for dimensions and total area—New Canaan could “allow for preservation of a special and significant dwelling and a piece of our history that would otherwise be lost,” according to Michael Sweeney, an attorney with Stamford-based Carmody, Torrance, Sandak & Hennessey LLP. The homes owners for 18 years, Thomas and Marianne Reifenheiser (it’s been in the family since 1946) “have tried to sell the property over the past seven or eight years, and really without success,” Sweeney told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission during their Nov.