A long-vacant, prominent antique home on God’s Acre is poised after years of holdups to transfer to a new owner, officials say. The ca. 1780-built Greek Revival at 4 Main St., tied up for more than six years in foreclosure proceedings, is expected to be transferred this month to Arnold Karp, according to Paul Stone, chief operating officer at New Canaan building firm Karp Associates. “It’s an iconic place,” Stone said of the home, located in New Canaan’s Historic District, next to St. Michael’s Lutheran Church.
Police on Thursday afternoon arrested two New Canaan residents—longtime opponents of the 110-unit ‘Merritt Village’ redevelopment on Park and Maple Streets—following what eye-witnesses call their refusal to leave a long disused burial ground adjacent to the property. Terry Spring and Jack Trifero each were charged with third-degree criminal trespass. Spring additionally was charged with interfering with an officer. According to representatives from property owner M2 Partners LLC, Spring and Trifero some time around 12:20 p.m. walked onto what has been called the “Maple Street Burial Ground” after parking in a contiguous private condominium’s lot. After New Canaan’s Planning & Zoning Commission approved the Merritt Village project last November, the question of appropriate protections for (and ownership of) the burial ground—a collection of scattered gravestones, disinterred grave shafts and even bodies that M2 itself discovered—lingered before the property owner could pursue its redevelopment project in earnest.
Being part of commercial interests that see clear and long term benefits to bringing natural gas to town, I know firsthand the influence Kevin Moynihan had in facilitating a deal with Eversource with the town of New Canaan. There is now a pending deal and much of that is due to the efforts of Kevin Moynihan. I know this because I was part of that effort in meetings with Eversource this year. Kevin’s focus and leadership, along with his pragmatic, no-nonsense approach is exactly what we need in our town’s leadership and this is why I am supporting Kevin Moynihan for first selectman. While I do not know all of the details of the previous deal with Eversource and why that fell apart, what I do know is that virtually every other town in Connecticut, including surrounding ones, somehow managed to work out a deal.
Officials are urging the YMCA and neighborhood residents to communicate directly with each other and regularly, after some who live near the facility lodged complaints with Planning & Zoning that conditions of a major renovation, now underway, are not being met. Specifically, residents of eight homes on Surrey Road, Putnam Road and Danvers Lane told P&Z in a recent letter and in person Tuesday night that the Y now that construction is underway isn’t complying with conditions regarding sidewalk repair, safety monitors, screening, drainage and traffic. P&Z Chairman John Goodwin during the group’s regular monthly meeting that the town “can’t police everything” and asked the parties “to try to have a dialogue and see if you can’t work out a lot of these things.”
“My own personal take from reading the respective letters is that technically the Y has not done certain things, but on the other hand there is logic as to why they have not done some things here and now,” Goodwin said at the meeting, held in a Town Hall board room. P&Z in April 2014 approved the Y’s estimated $20 million project on 37 conditions (see meeting minutes here). Construction started about three weeks ago, and is expected to last about 18 months.