Planning and Zoning Commission

Recent Articles

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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‘The Town Has Never Ever Supported the Society’: New Canaan Historical Society Officials Voice Concerns About Proposed Zoning Regulations

A set of proposed zoning regulations now before the town risks punishing the New Canaan Historical Society as the donor- and member-supported nonprofit pursues a long-term goal of developing an “Education Center” on its campus above God’s Acre, a member of the organization’s Board of Governors said last week. The rather specific requirements for a “child care center” that the interim town planner has proposed for the New Canaan Zoning Regulations “could, under some circumstances, be punitive to the New Canaan Historical Society” by preempting the organization’s plans, Nick Yanicellli told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission at their regular meeting. “I trust that P&Z reviews every site plan for anything that happens, and will have an opportunity modify and deny certain aspects of the plan, under a special permit,” Yanicelli said at the May 29 meeting, held in Town Hall. “But it has to be clear this is not ‘spot zoning’ because somebody has another idea of what should go there instead of an Education Center, and while everything else is grandfathered, the Historical Society shouldn’t be precluded from moving forward.”

He added that, “to my knowledge, the town has never ever supported the Society in any way, shape or form.”

“It is the repository of all the essential facts and reports of the town. It houses all the archival records related to the town’s history and it is a resource for town officials, local businesses and residents throughout the community. Continue Reading →

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Town of New Canaan Broke FOI Law by Withholding Draft P&Z Document, State Official Says

The town of New Canaan failed to comply with state sunshine law when it took more than two months to deliver a public document to a resident who had asked for it, officials said. According to an attorney with the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, “there is no reason why” the town should’ve taken until Nov. 7 to hand over a 15-page document that the Planning & Zoning Commission had discussed at a public meeting on Aug. 29. The document, revised extensively at that August meeting, spelled out in a draft the conditions of approval that P&Z was considering for Grace Farms’s application for an amended permit. Continue Reading →

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P&Z Approves 2-Story Addition on Summer Street, Over Objections

Though two neighbors filed objections citing what they described as potential loom, town officials on Tuesday voted 7-0 to approve a second story addition at a Summer Street home. In approving the addition planned for the rear of 160 Summer St.—a ca. 1870-built, single-family home on about .2 acres, according to tax records—members of the Planning & Zoning Commission that it’s an attractive alternative to what’s there now and planned for the type of awkwardly configured lot for which Special Permits are designed. “I think the proposed design is compatible to the neighborhood and the increase in height is only two or three additional feet,” Commissioner Kent Turner said at the group’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “So I do not believe it creates a significant impact on neighboring properties and I think it should be approved.”

Those voting in favor included Chairman John Goodwin and Commissioners Claire Tiscornia, Dick Ward, Bill Redman, Laszlo Papp, Dan Radman and Turner. Continue Reading →

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‘Sky Blue Poles Seen Against the Sky’: Public Safety Antennas Proposed for West School, St. Luke’s

Town officials have received applications to affix radio antennas to existing structures at West and St. Luke’s Schools, part of a wider effort to improve communications for New Canaan’s first responders. The proposed 20.8-foot antenna at West School would be located atop of a building toward the rear of the campus, on a roof whose peak is about 28 feet from the ground, according to an application submitted to Planning & Zoning. The proposed 20-foot antenna at St. Luke’s would be affixed atop a brick chimney at a building alongside the football field, according to the school’s application. Continue Reading →

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