Planning and Zoning Commission

Recent Articles

Grace Farms’ Neighbor Files Lawsuit Seeking To Reverse P&Z’s Approvals

Saying the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recent approvals of Grace Farms’ closely followed applications will hurt them financially and threaten residential zones in New Canaan, a neighbor of the Lukes Wood Road organization on Monday filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court seeking to reverse those decisions. According to complaints filed on behalf of Smith Ridge Road residents Timothy Curt and Dona Bissonnette by attorney David Sherwood of Glastonbury-based Moriarty, Paetzoid & Sherwood, the neighbors are “aggrieved by the action of” P&Z, because their property “is adversely affected by” changes to New Canaan’s zoning regulations. The lawsuit refers to amendments to the regulations that allow an applicant to seek multiple principal uses for their properties—something Grace Farms wanted in order to be categorized not only as a religious institution but also as a philanthropic agency and club. “The amendments allow applications for multiple principal uses in residential zones and encourage the expansion of commercial and institutional uses in residential zones, to the detriment of established residential uses,” according to the complaint. Further, the complaint says, the plaintiffs are “aggrieved” by P&Z’s decision because they’ve “suffered and will suffer economic damage as a result of the regulation changes and their implementation on the abutting property of Grace Farms Foundation Inc.”

The neighbors are seeking for the court to reverse P&Z decision on the text changes—as well as to nullify the commission’s approval of Grace Farms’ amended special permit application—and to be awarded costs and “such other relief as the court deems appropriate.”

P&Z by a 5-4 margin approved the text amendment application at its July 25 meeting. Continue Reading →

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Commission Seeks Feedback On Cell Tower Proposal

New Canaan residents are invited to public hearing to be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Town Hall to share their views on a proposal from the Utilities Commission to install 110-foot tall cellular towers at Irwin Park and West School. For the past several years the Utilities Commission, under the direction of the Board of Selectmen, has been studying various approaches to improving wireless coverage in town. The northern sections of New Canaan, in particular the northwest quadrant, suffer from serious wireless coverage gaps—some as large as 10 square miles—due to the town’s unique topography. Not only is this an inconvenience for residents, it also presents a serious public safety risk, as the town’s police, fire and EMS services all rely on cellular technology for emergency communications. During Thursday’s Town Council meeting, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said “there have been incidents in the past where people have tried to make 911 calls from the north section of town and have not been able to get through.” He said a few months ago, a tradesman who was working in the northwest corner of town seriously injured his leg and almost bled to death because he was unable to reach 911 using his cell phone. “There have also been incidents of motor vehicle accidents where people couldn’t get through,” Krolikowski told the council members, adding that people who have been in accidents have sometimes had to “drive toward town until they get a signal.”

Wendy Dixon Fog, captain of New Canaan EMS, added that emergency medical technicians rely on the cellular network to get data and information about patients while they are on scene or in transit. Continue Reading →

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Latest Plan from Hopeful Developer of Roger Sherman Inn: Move the Historic Building [CORRECTION]

[Editor’s Note: The first version of this article state incorrectly that the oldest part of the Roger Sherman Inn would be razed rather than moved. The developer has since clarified that it will be moved only but preserved in the plan described below. We apologize for the error. See more here.]

For the third time since an initial application came in last fall, the hopeful developer of the Roger Sherman Inn property has filed a new proposal for the 1.89-acre Oenoke Ridge Road property. Under an application filed last week on behalf of Andrew Glazer of Norwalk-based Glazer Group, six single-family dwellings would be built on the property where a 135-seat restaurant and 17-room inn now stand. Continue Reading →

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‘Take a Big Step Back’: Neighbors, Residents Voice Opposition to Plans for Roger Sherman Redevelopment

The proposed redevelopment of the Roger Sherman Inn is too dense for its neighborhood and flies in the face of the documents that govern and guide zoning in New Canaan, an attorney representing opponents of the plan said Tuesday night. Creating seven single-family homes on the 1.8-acre lot at 195 Oenoke Ridge Road where the historic inn and restaurant now stand “really is not in keeping with the properties you see along Oenoke Ridge Road,” according to Amy Zabetakis of Darien-based Rucci Law Group. She represents six neighbors of the inn, on Holmewood and Hampton Lanes. “I think you really need to take a big step back and really make sure that this is something you want to encourage in town,” she told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission during the first public hearing regarding the Roger Sherman Inn proposal, held at Town Hall. “I was hoping to come here today that I would hear something from the applicant about how this plan does conform with the Plan of Conservation and Development, how it does conform with existing New Canaan regulations, because I think that is an essential part of your analysis. Continue Reading →

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‘It Seems Like It’s Overkill’: P&Z Denies Application for Tall Pillars and Gate Proposed for Jonathan Road Driveway

Calling the taller-than-allowed pillars and gate proposed for a second entrance to a home in northern New Canaan excessive, planning officials on Tuesday night rejected a homeowner’s application to install them. The Planning & Zoning Commission voted 7-2 to deny an application to allow 6-foot-high pillars and a slightly smaller gate at 76 Jonathan Road. That property had been purchased (the ranch-style home there razed) and combined earlier this year with 65 Barnegat Road, now a 9.2-acre parcel whose main driveway already has a similar set-up. Making the two entrances match is a major reason for the property owners’ application, according to the attorney who represented them at P&Z’s regularly monthly meeting, held in Town Hall. Yet there’s “no reason for it,” commissioner John Flinn said by way of making a motion to deny the application (P&Z members Dick Ward and Claire Tiscornia cast dissenting votes). Continue Reading →

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