Steve Palmer

Recent Articles

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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‘Respect for the Neighborhood’: One Kings Lane Officials Alter Plan To Welcome Prospective Customers at Residence

After meeting with town officials, representatives from a home décor company say they’ve decided that interior designers will meet prospective customers at their own homes instead of a private residence originally intended as a kind of showcase for various offerings. A spokesperson from One Kings Lane said that after talking with Town Planner Steve Palmer “and with many customers and local residents over the past week, we think we have found a model that’s best for everyone, and that is to take our complimentary design consultations into our customer’s homes.”

“We’ve heard clearly from customers that they would find it valuable to have the designer come to them to see the space with which they’re looking for help,” said Alex DeAngelo, public relations manager for the Manhattan-based company. She continued: “Additionally, our hope is to be a long-term part of this community, and given how the response has significantly exceeded our expectations, we want to proceed cautiously and with respect for the neighborhood.”

Palmer last week had fielded a concern regarding the planned use of a home on Cross Ridge Road that had been purchased recently by the company’s president. Parts of a description online of how the residence would be used had been updated as of Tuesday evening. New Canaan Zoning Regulations require that a homeowner obtain a special permit in order to operate a business in a residential zone. Continue Reading →

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Town Officials To Determine Whether ‘One Kings Lane Connecticut House’ Complies with Zoning Regulations

Town officials say they likely will conduct a site visit to a New Canaan home in order to determine whether its use by a new owner complies with local regulations that govern businesses in residential zones. A home décor company is describing the northeastern New Canaan residence as the “first-ever shoppable show house” for its “new foray into residential retail.”

Asked about the matter, Town Planner Steve Palmer confirmed that he had been made aware of the property last week and has connected with its owner. Palmer said he likely would make a site visit to “make a determination about its compliance or lack thereof.”

The 4,761-square-foot Colonial was sold in October for $1,495,000, tax records show. A public relations manager for Manhattan-based One Kings Lane told NewCanaanite.com in an email that the company’s president recently moved to town “and decorated her home with the help of one of our in-house interior designers.”

“The idea to open up her home to the local residents grew from the passion that she has for our brand and customer, and desire to meet some people in the community,” DeAngelo said. “She welcomed the local community into her home via an open house format this week, which is ending [Friday].”

DeAngelo continued: “We are not conducting any retail transactions in the space—we are simply giving people the chance to come in, say hi, and see how she decorated. Continue Reading →

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Town Planner: New Canaan May Look at More Closely Defining Core Retail Area Downtown

Protecting New Canaan’s core retail district may require greater flexibility in what types of businesses can occupy street-level storefronts in other areas of the downtown, officials said last week. Though non-retail uses of street-level commercial spaces are heavily restricted on parts of Main and Elm Streets now, it has become increasingly important to determine exactly what are “the proper limits of retail in town, so that we do not over-commit our zoning to acquiring retail to saturate the market,” Town Planner Steve Palmer told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission at their regular meeting. “I think there is a supply and demand, and we have too much supply,” he said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “So we have to be careful with that, too. We know where it [retail] works best, we know where it is important, so let’s focus on those areas, the outskirts areas—we have to be careful with how we do that.”

The comments come as P&Z guides a discussion with business and town officials on whether the New Canaan Zoning Regulations as regards the “Retail A” zone (in purple here) should be amended—for example, to accommodate more types of service businesses. Continue Reading →

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‘There Is a Hint of Hypocrisy’: P&Z Rejects ‘Cemetery’ Claims, Signaling Cleared Final Hurdle for Merritt Village

Planning officials on Tuesday night voiced support for proposed changes to the town’s approval for the Merritt Village, signaling the clearing of a final hurdle for the 110-unit condo-and-apartment complex. Because archeological excavations have been undertaken since the Planning & Zoning Commission’s November approval—creating a need to reword parts of it—the group at its regular meeting stopped short of formally voting on an application filed on behalf of property owner M2 Partners. Yet P&Z spoke favorably of updating conditions regarding a burial ground on the Maple Street site that M2 had found objectionable because, if upheld, they would have required the property owner to seek approval for an amended site plan. Saying they’re concerned about preserving local history, some in town have called for P&Z to designate as “cemetery” ground areas of the Maple Street property where, archeological experts have said, people who had been buried there were deliberately dug up and moved to more desirable resting places, such as Lakeview Cemetery. The remaining disinterred grave shafts are scattered throughout a substantial parcel at Merritt Apartments. Continue Reading →

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