Planning and Zoning Commission

Recent Articles

Neighbor Voices ‘Deep Concern’ Over Canaan Parish Redevelopment; P&Z Hearing Opens Tuesday

Though some of those behind a proposal to redevelop an apartment complex on Lakeview Avenue say its impact on nearby properties will be minimal, one neighbor of Canaan Parish is voicing what he called “deep concern” about the project. In a letter filed last week with Planning & Zoning, a Fitch Lane man who lives across Route 123 from Canaan Parish said that although officials with the New Canaan Housing Authority claim “that this area does not affect any residents, that is inaccurate.”

“Several homes from the Hoyt Farm neighborhood will look straight at this complex when the leaves are off the trees in the fall and winter,” Gregory Pepe said in his July 26 letter, part of the public file on an application for the redevelopment that will come before P&Z at its regular meeting Tuesday. “Our family home will have a direct eye level view of an apartment complex which will impact housing values. Canaan Parish existed long before us and I have no issue with that fact. However, replacing it with something far, far bigger and out of character with the town is not acceptable.”

Pepe also said that the proposed redevelopment appears to be five stories, not four, and urges P&Z not to “change or compromise current rules and regulations when it comes to height or density of housing as that becomes a slippery slope for future development, whether affordable housing or not.”

Those behind the proposal at Canaan Parish are seeking to create a new zone within the New Canaan Zoning Regulations in order to make the project possible. Named for the federally subsidized rental complex that’s stood at Lakeview and 123 for four decades, the “Canaan Parish Housing Zone” would allow the two organizations collaborating on the project to create 100 new units where 60 now stand. 

Specifically, Canaan Parish would be rebuilt with two L-shaped four-story buildings, according to an application filed this month with P&Z: one that replaces the 60 apartments now spread through 10 buildings and a second structure with 40 units built specifically to help New Canaan achieve relief in the future from a punitive state law. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

After years of anticipation, the vacant and deteriorating antique home at 4 Main St. finally has been sold, according to a property transfer recorded Wednesday in the Town Clerk’s office. Arnold Karp bought the ca. 1780-built Greek Revival from James Talbot for $810,000. ***

State officials this week voted in favor of a recommendation from counsel for the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, finding that the town broke the law by withholding a draft document of the New Canaan Planning & Zoning Commission. Continue Reading →

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‘We Really Want to be Part of the Community’: Friends Open Nail Salon on Vitti Street

Longtime friends Silvia Narvaez and Maggie San had already worked for six years in nail salons before they decided a few months ago to open their own business. The pair found a place to realize their shared vision in New Canaan. “About two months ago we found this space” Narvaez said from the floor of ‘Studio 3 Spa & Nails.’

Located on the street-level floor of a single-story building at 36 Vitti St., the newly renovated space features five spa pedicure chairs, numerous manicure stations, a wall rack with color options and a facial room in the back. Much of the labor to make the space ready was done by the women themselves and Narvaez’s brother, they said. “The painting, the decorations, we all did ourselves,” Narvaez said, pointing out the different jobs. Continue Reading →

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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 →

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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 →

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