The local man who is building the 110-unit Merritt Village complex at the edge of downtown New Canaan is asking for time and rationality from residents complaining about a short stretch of retaining wall that has sprung up along Park Street. Merritt Village is not yet 1 percent finished, according to Arnold Karp of Karp Associates, who won approval for the landmark project two years ago following several months of hearings before the Planning & Zoning Commission. “There is a million-dollar planting plan that obscures and hides the walls,” he told NewCanaanite.com. “Before everybody becomes an architectural critic, let us build the project. We’ve put in 215 feet of wall and have gotten a thumbs-up from some of those who drive by and some nasty comments through New Canaanite.
New Canaan’s legislative body last week voted unanimously in support of a boundary set forth in an application to list Waveny on the National Register of Historic Places. Once a matter of deep division and some agonizing among Town Council members, the elected body’s 10-0 vote marks a big step toward formally seeking the largely honorific designation for Waveny.
Worked out by a Pawtucket, R.I.-based nonprofit organization with input from the New Canaan Preservation Alliance, state historic preservation officials and others, the boundary that will define the Waveny listing encompasses much of the park as regular visitors have come to know it. “The boundary reflects the development of Waveny lands over time from the 18th Century to the present day and the layers of settlement and agriculture and state and town park history that make it such an interesting and attractive place,” Rose Scott Long, co-president of the NCPA, told member of the Town Council at their regular meeting.
“As stated in the nomination documentation, Waveny is a testament to the town’s thoughtful stewardship of the property, in keeping with Ruth Lapham Lloyd’s wishes and use restrictions that she conveyed to the town for public benefit,” Scott Long said at the July 18 meeting, held in Town Hall. “Listing in the National Register is primarily an honor, makes properties eligible for owners to apply for public grants for preservation and consideration for fire and life safety code compliance alternatives.”
The boundary follows the Merritt Parkway to the south and South Avenue to the east. On the west side, it follows the Metro-North Railroad tracks to Old Stamford Road and runs north but does not include the Waveny Care Center property.
The town has selected a Realtor to work with as it tries to find a future use for the former Outback Teen Center building, officials said last week. However, the municipality hasn’t signed a contract with that Realtor “because there are two entities who have expressed interest in leasing space in the building,” according to Town Councilman Penny Young. “And until those negotiations are completed, either effected or rejected, we are not going to engage a Realtor,” Young said at the Council’s regular meeting on July 18, held at Town Hall. “So that process is underway. It takes time, but it’s underway.”
Inherited by the town three summers ago, the Outback has been a subject of wide discussion among New Canaanites ever since.
New Canaan’s pervasive ‘For Sale’ signs next month will disappear from hundreds of properties on the market, following a decision from the organizing bodies for real estate professionals. The “trial ban” on real estate signs will run from July 1 to Jan. 1, according to Janis Hennessy, president of the New Canaan Board of Realtors. The decision was made by members of the Board as well as the New Canaan Multiple Listing Service, “to further improve our already beautiful town,” Hennessy said in a release. “At the end of that time we will re-examine the issue,” Hennessy said.
Citizens’ generosity helped push New Canaan’s legislative body last week to approve taxpayer funding of projects that will enhance Waveny for two sets of park users. Members of the Town Council in approving bond issuances of $50,000 and $70,000, respectively, to improve trails at the popular park and to create a fifth platform tennis court—an additional requested for several years—cited donations from two private groups as reasons to move forward. Specifically, the Waveny Park Conservancy is matching dollar-for-dollar the town’s $50,000 investment in improving trails starting with those that run behind “the cornfields” (soon to become ‘Waveny Meadows’), and platform tennis users are contributing $35,000 upfront toward a fifth court. “Those two projects are just a great example of how lucky we are to have the public and private combination of funds because without the private part of this, we would not be able to get this done,” Town Councilman Steve Karl said at the group’s regular meeting, held May 16 at Town Hall. “With the trails, we are basically doubling the amount of money we are spending there, and in the case of the platform tennis court, it’s another $35,000 in.