Luke Tashjian

Recent Articles

Neighbors Voice Concerns Over Proposed Two-Family House on Raymond Street

Saying a new two-family home would bring excessive traffic to their short residential street and that an application to allow for such is without merit and makes no accommodation for parking, neighbors of a vacant .36-acre parcel on Raymond Street at a recent meeting voiced concerns to town officials. Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, a property in the B Residential Zone must have a lot diameter of at least 100 feet in order for its owner to apply for a special permit to build a two-family home on it (see page 42 here). Yet the lot in question is 87.8 feet wide, according to an application for a variance from its owners—a company whose principals are Marcin Pyda, Marta Yaniv and Viktor Lahodyuk, according to records on file with the Connecticut Secretary of the State. Saying he would welcome a single-family home on the lot, William Wartinbee, an immediate neighbor with four kids, urged members of the Zoning Board of Appeals at their most recent meeting to deny the application to build a two-family home there. “The hardship claim for this property does not have any merit,” Wartinbee said during the ZBA’s April 2 meeting, held at Town Hall. Continue Reading →

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Not-So-Youthful Sports Roundup: Recidivists Prevail 20-15 in Annual ‘Rich-Mich’ Softball Game

—submitted by Keith Richey

The 20th Annual Rich-Mich Softball Game was held at St. Luke’s School on Sunday, September 24th. Playing for the Michno Marauders were Roger Bolton, Jim Cullinane, Landon Hafen, Jim Petrus, Luke Tashjian, Kevin Wilder, Charlie Woodman and captain Tim Michno. For the Richey Recidivists were George Benington, Doug Dooley, John Fulkerson, Rick Kilbride, James O’Hora, Chas Timberlake, David Woodman and captain Keith Richey. This once a year men’s softball game has become a New Canaan tradition. Continue Reading →

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‘This Is Completely Inappropriate’: Sober House Operators, Neighbor Fail To Reach Accord

Though they had appeared close to reaching an agreement, the operators of a sober house on West Road home and a neighbor appealing the town’s decision to allow it have failed to reach an accord, representatives said during a public hearing last week. Now, the question of whether the sober house may continue to operate—or, more likely, under exactly what conditions it will continue—is entirely in the hands of town officials who heard attorneys from both sides make their cases at a June 5 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals. During an unusual ZBA hearing that featured spirited interruptions and apologies, appellant Thom Harrow told board members that the owners of The Lighthouse proposed a series of conditions under which they agreed to run a sober house living facility for men at 909 West Road. According to Harrow, just one point of disagreement remained at the time the ZBA hearing opened—a question of whether six or eight clients would be allowed in the 8,000-square-foot home at one time. Harrow, Lighthouse officials and various attorneys took a break following an initial part of the hearing—ostensibly to sort out that final matter. Continue Reading →

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Owner of Historic Park Street Home Seeks Increased Flexibility in Home Office Use

The owner of a prominent Park Street house that’s lingered on the market for two years is seeking more flexibility from town officials than the New Canaan Zoning Regulations normally allow, regarding his home office. Richard Bergmann, an architect who since 1973 has owned the stately and well-preserved Greek revival at 63 Park St.—a house located in New Canaan’s Historic District that had been owned by Maxwell Perkins, masterful Scribners editor of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Wolfe—on Monday night asked zoning officials for permission to allow the home’s owner to not live in the house while still using its first floor as an office. Specifically, he’s seeking a variance to a section of the zoning regulations (see page 47 here) that allows for a home-based business by permit so long as the person working there also uses the same dwelling as his or her primary residence, among other requirements. One of those requirements is that no more than one nonresident of the house can be employed on the premises—Bergmann in 1985 obtained a variance that allowed him to employ two people in addition to himself at the 1837-built Park Street home. In making his statement of hardship, which Bergmann reviewed before the Zoning Board of Appeals at its regular meeting Monday night, the homeowner noted that the house is adjacent to the town’s business district and that a similarly situated residence already has the allowances that he’s seeking. Continue Reading →

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‘We Have Got Something Else’: Town Officials Deny Bid To Redo Century-Old Barn’s Exterior in Stone without New Application

Town officials last week denied a West Road homeowner’s request to amend without an entirely new application the exterior of a renovated barn, from the traditional red-painted wall boards of a century-old structure to stone. Saying a stone exterior would create a more substantive change than what they already had approved, members of the Zoning Board of Appeals during their regular meeting on April 3 said a new variance would be needed in order to redo a barn at 416 West Road with a stone exterior. The ZBA’s rationale for approving an application that came before the board in December was to match existing barns along that stretch of West Road, but “I feel like this is completely in the opposite direction,” board member Luke Tashjian said at the meeting, held at Town Hall. “The only thing still looks like barn is it has got these doors on it,” he said of a new set of drawings. “If you take these doors off, it looks like a stone house to me.”

The ZBA voted 5-0 to approve only a minor change to the windows on the barn, which is to undergo a comprehensive renovation. Continue Reading →

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