Officials: Fire System at Lapham Community Center Has Failed

The fire system at Lapham Community Center has failed and must be replaced on an emergency basis, town officials said this week. The system was original to the 1915-built building and only the panels had been upgraded during an original renovation in 1996, according to Penny Young, co-chair of the Town Council’s Infrastructure and Utilities Committee. “They don’t give any signals,” Young said during an Oct. 15 Committee meeting, held at Town Hall. “So they are working on the replacement of that.

Town Council Seeks To Control Increasingly Popular ‘Airbnb’ Rental-By-Owner Service

Members of the town’s legislative body said Monday that they want to control the rising use in New Canaan of popular online rental-by-owner service after seeing an uptick in activity. Airbnb has been a subject of wide discussion in town and with more properties being offered as short-term rentals through it, the Town Council should “get ahead of abuse of that app,” Steve Karl, a co-chair of the body’s Bylaws and Ordinances Subcommittee said during a meeting at Town Hall. “We have had issues. Folks that are using it on more frequent basis, neighbors that are complaining about some transient activity at homes. So we actually looked into a commercial use tax possibility.

New Canaan Committee Conducted Illegal Meetings, State Official Says

The town of New Canaan violated state sunshine laws by failing to notice or open to the public a series of meetings held over several months last year, state officials say. Site visits conducted by two-person teams of the Building Evaluation & Use Committee—a group charged in February 2017 with studying and making recommendations about town-owned buildings—constituted “special meetings of a subcommittee” and “were subject to public notice and meeting minutes requirements,” according to attorney Valicia Dee Harmon, hearing officer of the state Freedom of Information Commission. After overseeing hearings at the Commission’s offices in Hartford on Dec. 5 and Feb. 6, to address a complaint about the meetings brought by NewCanaanite.com, Harmon found that the town, committee and Co-chairpersons Penny Young and Amy Murphy Carroll violated two provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Town Council Votes 10-0 To Support Boundary of Waveny Described in Application for Listing on National Register

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.