Steve Palmer

Recent Articles

Officials Actively Seeking New CFO, Town Planner

Town officials say they’re actively seeking applicants for two of the most important positions in New Canaan’s municipal government: town planner and finance director. Though it had been suspended temporarily with the idea that a new first selectman should weigh in on the decision, the search for a new CFO very recently has been re-launched and interim Finance Director Sandra Dennies is among the candidates, according to New Canaan Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones. The two candidates for first selectman—Democrat Kit Devereaux and Republican Kevin Moynihan—are sitting on the search committee “so that we can continue to move the process up,” Pickering-Jones told NewCanaanite.com. Dennies is overseeing things in finance in the meantime—Planning & Zoning is in a different situation. Former Town Planner Steve Palmer’s last day was last week after less than one year in the job. Continue Reading →

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‘We Are Going To Miss Him’: Town Planner Steve Palmer To Step Down Next Month

Steve Palmer, town planner of New Canaan since late last year, is stepping down from his position with the municipality to join his family’s business, officials said Friday. Town employees received word from New Canaan Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones in a midmorning email. “We are going to miss Steve and the work he has done in just a  short time for Planning and Zoning,” she said in the email. In a relatively short period of time, Palmer has tackled multiple dense and divisive P&Z applications and appeals before the town, including the Merritt Village, sober house, Grace Farms and Roger Sherman Inn. Asked about the development, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said that Palmer has done “a magnificent job while here.”

“We are going to miss him,” Mallozzi said. Continue Reading →

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Selectmen Praise New Town Planner in Unanimously Approving His Status as Full-Time

Saying the new town planner has hustled to get up to speed quickly on a number of complex issues that he’s handling well, officials this week moved him to full-time status. The Board of Selectmen during its regular meeting Tuesday voted 3-0 to advance Town Planner Steve Palmer to full-time status. “He has been a real pleasure to work with,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “He has brought himself up to speed very quickly, and I must say [Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman] John Goodwin has been very good with him as well, as a chairman, has really brought him along very well and has not been afraid to give advice as to past philosophies and that kind of thing.”

Hired in November, Palmer came directly from the municipal government of Westport, where he served in the same role, and since arriving in New Canaan has worked with P&Z, applicants and neighbors on a number of divisive land use matters. They include the sober house on West Road, which appears to be headed toward a compromise, the proposed redevelopment of the Roger Sherman Inn, which P&Z denied, Grace Farms, which is ongoing and Merritt Village, including emotionally charged discussions around the cemetery there. Continue Reading →

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‘We Will Come Together on Something’: Sober House Operators, Concerned Neighbor Near Agreement

The operators of the “sober house” on West Road and a next-door neighbor who has appealed the town’s finding that the business could run out of a residence there appear close to reaching mutually agreeable terms, according to correspondence on file at Planning & Zoning. Though no formal agreement yet has been finalized, the parties held an “amicable” meeting and “it’s clear to each side that we will come together on something along the lines of” a proposal brought forward by next-door neighbor Thom Harrow, he said in an email last week to the town planner. “The proposal we made incorporated the community contract you were working on with [The Lighthouse] co-founder Tony [Kiniry], plus material from the Pennsylvania statute,” Harrow said. He referred to recommendations that call criminal background checks and town notification within 48 hours in the event of a death, overdose or suicide attempt, physical or sexual assault, serious crime or outbreak of contagious disease. Originally scheduled to come before the Zoning Board of Appeals on April 3 and put off to May 1, the second hearing on Harrow’s appeal—if it’s not withdrawn—now appears as if it could be delayed again. Continue Reading →

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Hopeful Developer of Roger Sherman Inn Is Appealing P&Z’s Denial, Town Planner Says; Timing of Legal Filing in Question

Making good on his word following the town’s denial last month of a plan to redevelop the Roger Sherman Inn property, a Norwalk developer has filed an appeal of the decision in Superior Court, town officials said Tuesday night. The New Canaan town clerk on Monday received an appeal of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s decision, according to Town Planner Steve Palmer. Palmer told members of P&Z during their regular meeting that “it was surprising to receive it [Monday] because Friday the 21st was the end of the 15-day appeal period and the Town Clerk got it yesterday.”

“I was relieved that it came in Monday, but there is still a question of whether it was timely because it may have been in the marshal’s hand in that 15-day period, and there may have been some grace period that is given by the statutes that allows them not to deliver it in 15 days to the town, so [Town Attorney] Ira [Bloom] is researching that. Andrew Glazer of Glazer Group told NewCanaanite.com that he would appeal P&Z’s decision immediately after the group on March 28 denied his application by a 7-2 vote. Glazer had sought to redevelop the property at 195 Oenoke Ridge Road with six single-family homes, and said during an interview just after P&Z’s denial that he was especially disappointed because he had received encouragement from some commissioners to proceed when his plan first came down from eight to seven units, in the fall. Continue Reading →

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