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.

‘A Reasonable Consensus’: Developer of Proposed ‘Merritt Village’ Complex Reduces Number of Units, Height of Buildings

The owners of a 3.29-acre property on the edge of downtown New Canaan on Thursday night unveiled a scaled-back version of the proposed condominium-and-apartment complex that’s caused wide discussion in town since it was presented in June. Instead of 123 units in four 4-floor multifamily dwellings, Merritt Village would have 116 units (55 condos, 61 apartments) and its townhouse-style buildings would rise no more than 3.5 stories, with some of the proposed structures coming down to two stories, according to representatives for the applicant, property owner M2 Partners. The architects of the proposal would prefer to move forward with what originally had been submitted to the town, though the modified plan takes into consideration reasonable concerns raised by third-party consultants and neighbors, Dan Granniss of project designer SLAM Collaborative of Glastonbury told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission at a special meeting. Though M2 Partners does not expect to garner “100 percent consensus,” still “we want to come to a reasonable consensus and we believe the modified design has done just that,” Granniss said during the meeting, which drew more than 100 attendees to Town Hall. The modified proposal was made public during the fourth hearing on Merritt Village, currently the site of Merritt Apartments, a 38-unit complex.

‘A Reasonable Compromise Has To Be Worked Out’: P&Z Weighs In on Merritt Village Proposal

Questions about the viability of a new parking system, guarantees regarding the set-aside of some below-market units and the potential that a condo-and-apartment complex could loom conspicuously over parts of Park Street rank high among outstanding concerns regarding the proposed development at Merritt Apartments, the chairman of the New Canaan Planning & Zoning Commission said Tuesday night. Most of all, perhaps, the Merritt Village as proposed—a plan that would see 123 units built on a combined 3.29-acre parcel at the edge of downtown New Canaan where 38 now exist—raises questions about “the density of the whole project,” P&Z Chairman John Goodwin said during a public hearing. “One component is—is four stories the right answer or should it be three?—which effectively becomes three-and-a-half [stories] with a roof,” Goodwin said during the hearing, which drew a standing-room only crowd at Town Hall. “And as the planner has noted, there is the issue of how many units. The planner has shared with the commission his analysis that if we were to apply the current most dense project in New Canaan to [the Merritt Village] project, the number that would fall out would be 95 units, so that is a challenge.

Well-Loved New Canaanites Recalled at Peter M. Deane Fitness Center Rededication

New Canaan resident Pete Deane, Jr. remembers a saying his late father had: “You make a living by what you earn. You make a life by what you give.”

As his friends and family recall, the late Peter Deane—a 1959 New Canaan High School graduate and standout athlete who long oversaw the family business, Kitchens by Deane, and died suddenly in 1990—gave back to the community in scores of ways, by connecting with and helping people from all backgrounds, through nonprofit organizations and a gregarious natural instinct. On Saturday morning, Deane’s family gathered with a handful of his closest friends and fellow NCHS ’59 grads and their families, for the rededication of the NCHS fitness center named for him. Created in Deane’s memory through donations to our All Sports Booster Club (est. 1976)—mostly recently with a generous gift from the Dauk family of New Canaan—the center ranks among the very best in the state.