Steve Palmer

Recent Articles

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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‘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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