John Goodwin

Recent Articles

New Canaan Selects Town Planner, Hires Budget Director

Two-and-a-half years after losing its budget director to one neighbor, the town is hiring a new one away from another. New Canaan also has selected a new town planner, officials said Tuesday. The Board of Selectmen during a special meeting voted 3-0 to hire Lunda Asmani as budget director. He currently serves as director of management and budgets for Norwalk. 

During a night meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission, Chairman John Goodwin also announced that Lynn Avni has been selected as town planner. 

Though Avni’s full professional background was not immediately available, Goodwin said that she has “nine years of experience across the country,” including in New Orleans and New York state.  Avni is expected to be in place for P&Z’s next meeting, he said. According to a LinkedIn profile under ‘Lynn Avni,’ she has served for more than two years as director of planning and development for Ossining, N.Y., a village of 25,000 in Westchester. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Butler Lane Man’s Complaint Opens ‘Airbnb’ Discussion on P&Z

Town officials say they’ll examine the New Canaan Zoning Regulations in light of one resident’s concerns about a popular online rental-by-owner service. According to Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman John Goodwin, “there is a disconnect” in applying the regulations to Airbnb. “It’s definitely an item to discuss,” Goodwin said at P&Z’s May 29 meeting. He referred to an email from Butler Lane resident Dave Hunt that NewCanaanite.com obtained following a formal request. According to Hunt, it’s “quite disconcerting to have transient, total strangers in a very much family-friendly neighborhood.”

“They park overnight on the street illegally, and we have had several vehicles driving over the curb on the edge of our lawn—though I can’t say that any have been her customers, the frequency of problems has risen since she started running the Airbnb,” Hunt said in the letter. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

‘The Town Has Never Ever Supported the Society’: New Canaan Historical Society Officials Voice Concerns About Proposed Zoning Regulations

A set of proposed zoning regulations now before the town risks punishing the New Canaan Historical Society as the donor- and member-supported nonprofit pursues a long-term goal of developing an “Education Center” on its campus above God’s Acre, a member of the organization’s Board of Governors said last week. The rather specific requirements for a “child care center” that the interim town planner has proposed for the New Canaan Zoning Regulations “could, under some circumstances, be punitive to the New Canaan Historical Society” by preempting the organization’s plans, Nick Yanicellli told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission at their regular meeting. “I trust that P&Z reviews every site plan for anything that happens, and will have an opportunity modify and deny certain aspects of the plan, under a special permit,” Yanicelli said at the May 29 meeting, held in Town Hall. “But it has to be clear this is not ‘spot zoning’ because somebody has another idea of what should go there instead of an Education Center, and while everything else is grandfathered, the Historical Society shouldn’t be precluded from moving forward.”

He added that, “to my knowledge, the town has never ever supported the Society in any way, shape or form.”

“It is the repository of all the essential facts and reports of the town. It houses all the archival records related to the town’s history and it is a resource for town officials, local businesses and residents throughout the community. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Town of New Canaan Broke FOI Law by Withholding Draft P&Z Document, State Official Says

The town of New Canaan failed to comply with state sunshine law when it took more than two months to deliver a public document to a resident who had asked for it, officials said. According to an attorney with the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, “there is no reason why” the town should’ve taken until Nov. 7 to hand over a 15-page document that the Planning & Zoning Commission had discussed at a public meeting on Aug. 29. The document, revised extensively at that August meeting, spelled out in a draft the conditions of approval that P&Z was considering for Grace Farms’s application for an amended permit. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

‘This Is a Massive Building’: Neighbors Voice Concerns Over Proposed Athletic Facility at New Canaan Country School

Saying a proposed new athletic facility at New Canaan Country School would loom too close to their property line as currently envisioned, neighbors of the private Frogtown Road institution are calling on officials to deny an application now before the town. To be located east and a bit further away from Frogtown Road from an existing and outdated facility that will be razed, the new structure would sit 40 feet from the eastern property line—a distance that, though it technically meets the setback requirement of 35 feet laid out in the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, is at “astonishingly close range” to the residential property that’s been in George Moore’s family since about 1938, he said. “We respectfully ask that the New Canaan Planning & Zoning board reject this proposal,” Moore told members of the P&Z Commission at their Jan. 30 regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “We feel like this is a real affront to our family’s property and property value. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,