Selectman: More Public Input Is Needed on Future of Vine Cottage, Irwin House

More public input is needed before New Canaan gets closer to funding projects that bring major changes to the use and ownership of town-owned buildings such as Vine Cottage, Irwin House and the former Outback Teen Center, Selectman Kit Devereaux said Tuesday. There hasn’t been any real discussion in public about renting Irwin House to nonprofit organizations, for example, yet a process appears to be underway to start funding work to that end, according to Devereaux. “I am concerned, for instance, that in renovating—and I have no idea how much it would cost to do the full renovation of the Outback,” Devereaux said during the Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “By doing that I presume it would be a fait accompli to move Human Services over there which then creates a vacant building, and I just think before the Vine Cottage is put on the block, that there should be a lot of public discussion and the public should weigh in, even a referendum.”

Her comments came as the selectmen discussed proposed bond resolutions that are to go before municipal funding bodies and are related to future capital projects. They include $50,000 to plan for the renovation of the lower level at the former Outback Teen Center for office use and $80,000 for similar work at Irwin House.

Town Councilman: Two Parties Interested in Leasing Space in Former Outback Teen Center

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.

Did You Hear … ?

The owner of a commercial property in downtown New Canaan on Wednesday filed a lawsuit seeking $10,200 in back rent from a former tenant. According to the complaint, the plaintiff—ANCAR Inc., a company whose managing partners are Knapp Lane residents, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records—is seeking two months’ rent due in March and April for a tenant at 149 Cherry St. at $4,600 per month and $1,000 owed for short payments amassed over the prior 10 months. The defendant is Devonshire Holdings LLC, owned by a Greenwich resident, state records show. ***

The New Canaan Fire Department had a very big turnout at the Katonah Fire Parade, as did the Mount Kisco Pipers.