Planning & Zoning Commission

Recent Articles

Letter: Proposed Re-Development of Roger Sherman Property Fails To Meet a Need in New Canaan

The 1-acre zoning law was broken in 2011 for The Maples complex on Oenoke Ridge because of a need for senior housing. That need no longer exists. Empty nesters now have an abundant variety of choices. Andrew Glazer’s application for a planned urban subdivision on the Roger Sherman property should be denied. Planning & Zoning revised the Plan of Conservation & Development in 2014 to drive density downtown. Continue Reading →

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Consultants’ Report on ‘Maple Street Burial Grounds’ Addresses Merritt Village Conditions

Though a tooth, coffin fragments and pieces of arm, finger, leg and pelvis bone turned up following an archeological study of the “Maple Street Burial Grounds,” the only bodies still buried there already have been identified, according to a new report. The body and coffin pieces speak to shoddy work in transferring 13 bodies long ago from the burial grounds to sites such as Lakeview Cemetery, and do not constitute current interments, two experts from a Westport-based archeological and historic structure consulting firm said in a report published last week. As such, construction of a new, 110-unit housing complex approved in November by the New Canaan Planning & Zoning Commission can proceed with a few basic protective measures, Cece Saunders and Dawn Brown of Historical Perspectives Inc. said in their Feb. 16 report. “The archaeological excavations confirmed the presence of three intact Law family burials, the historic removal of eleven Hoyt-Keeler family burials and the historic removal of two St. Continue Reading →

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‘Protect Us from Turning into Greenwich’: P&Z Adopts More Flexible Regulations for Gates and Columns

Seeking more flexible and legally defensible rules, town officials last week voted to expand a section of the New Canaan Zoning Regulations that pertains to the allowable heights of gates and columns, such as those found at the ends of residential driveways. Until now, homeowners in any residential zone seeking to install fences or freestanding walls higher than four feet above finished grade—when in the front yard and located between the front property line and front yard setback line—applied to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a special permit to do so. The across-the-board rule, while ensuring that New Canaan’s larger residential zones don’t appear sealed from the public roadway in a cold and distant way, have brought on “a number of issues,” according to P&Z Chairman John Goodwin. “It just brings us to a point where we are trying to over-regulate a very difficult area,” Goodwin said during the group’s regular meeting on Jan. 31, held at Town Hall. Continue Reading →

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‘Orchards End’ Health and Wellness Organization To Seek Special Permit To Operate at Oenoke Ridge Residence

A special permit application will be filed on behalf of a new health-and-wellness enterprise on Oenoke Ridge Road, according to an attorney representing the organization. Discussed at a Planning & Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday, Orchards End seeks to “to bring preventative and restorative lifelong health solutions to souls looking to enrich their lives through mind, body and spiritual enlightenment,” according to its mission statement. Services include personal and group training classes, yoga, acupuncture, meditation, nutrition counseling, massage and holistic health seminars. Attorney David Rucci of New Canaan-based Lampert Toohey & Rucci, LLC said Orchards End of 544 Oenoke Ridge road “is not an ongoing commercial enterprise.”

“Our special permit application will specifically describe the activities at the property as far as any nonresidential use,” he told NewCanaanite.com. The applicant will file for a special permit as a “Major Home Occupation,” described in the New Canaan Zoning Regulations as follows (see page 24): “The use of a dwelling for a home-based business involve two or more non-resident employees or six or more patron, client or associate visits per week.”

A major home occupation is a permitted accessory use and requires a special permit, under Section 3.3.C.3 of the zoning regulations (see page 49). Continue Reading →

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Prospect of Seventh Public Hearing for ‘Merritt Village’ as Cemetery Questions Linger for P&Z

The owner of the future ‘Merritt Village’ apartment-and-condo complex on the edge of downtown New Canaan is in talks with Planning & Zoning officials about whether yet another public hearing will be needed to sort out whether any of the property to be developed constitutes a cemetery. Approved with 60-plus conditions by the P&Z Commission in November following six public hearings, Merritt Village is to include 110 total units. In December, property owner M2 Partners filed an administrative appeal citing several of the conditions that involve the ‘Maple Street Cemetery.’

The conditions regarding the burial ground are objectionable to M2 because, if upheld, they would require the property owner to seek approval for an amended site plan. P&Z is asking the hopeful property developer to return for a hearing in February, according to New Canaan resident Arnold Karp, a partner in M2. “We are on hold because if they are going to go take a piece of my property, I can’t design a building,” Karp told NewCanaanite.com. Continue Reading →

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