The Lighthouse

Recent Articles

Judge Denies New Canaan Homeowner’s Motion To Quash; ‘Sober House’ Lawsuit Headed Toward Trial

In a closely followed lawsuit that appears headed to trial, a judge last week denied a motion filed on behalf of the New Canaan woman who owns a West Road property where a “sober house” is operating. An attorney representing the owner of 909 West Road had argued in a March 9 filing that his client should not need to appear and testify in court this week, as spelled out in a subpoena from a next-door neighbor who is suing her in order to halt the facility’s operation. The subpoena filed on behalf of neighbor Thom Harrow also is “unreasonable, oppressive and burdensome because it seeks production of documents that are plainly irrelevant,” according to the Motion to Quash filed by attorney Robert Maslan of Darien-based Maslan Associates PC. “The subpoena’s overly broad document requests for ‘any communications … concerning the use and/or occupancy of the subject premises’ go far beyond the scope of this purported private zoning enforcement and/or nuisance action, in which Plaintiff bears the burden to prove that defendants’ conduct constitutes an unreasonable interference with his use and enjoyment of his own property … or violates the Town of New Canaan’s zoning regulations … It is difficult to see how defendants’ communications regarding the property at issue are relevant to plaintiff’s allegations that defendants have already interfered with plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of his property (which allegations the evidence will show are entirely false) or violated the zoning regulations (which must, to the extent defendants’ proposed use of the property is inconsistent with them, be waived or modified pursuant to the federal Fair Housing Act).”

Judge Kevin Tierney of the state Superior Court in Stamford on March 9 denied the motion. The matter is scheduled to go to trial May 16, according to Connecticut Judicial Branch records. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Considerations of Safety, Valuation and the Law Should Pause ‘Sober House’ Operation on West Road

Dear Editor:

We recently built our home at 488 West Road and moved in with our three little girls two yeas ago. We are outraged at the lack of action by the town to allow 909 West Road to operate as a commercial business in our residential neighborhood. This is not a monitored operation, nor does it have a live-in trained addiction supervisor that will highly monitor the residents inhabiting this residential home. It is a commercial use facility operating out of a home. This home is being used for an unregulated profit operation. Continue Reading →

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Letter: ‘Sober House’ on West Road Openly Addresses Prevalent, Unspoken New Canaan Problem

Dear editor,

This is in response to the published commentary last week and the statements made by Mr. and Mrs. Russell. My name is Nick deSpoelberch and I am a Darien resident living in recovery. First, I find it difficult to continue reading the comments of an author who within four paragraphs admits to lying in order to gather information through deceitful action, or to believe anything following that is worth reading or believing. If residents of New Canaan, Wilton, Darien, and Greenwich do not believe people struggling with addiction are already living all around them, I would like to officially welcome you to Fairfield County in 2017. In our state, 50 to 100 more people die every consecutive year from overdoses. Continue Reading →

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Letter from The Lighthouse: ‘We Could Have Better Handled the Communication’

We are the operators of The Lighthouse sober living residence in New Canaan. The Lighthouse was conceived as a solution to a very specific need. A place where professional men could go after treatment to be immersed in sober fellowship and surrounded by a supportive community. A place that helps support the transition back to work and allows families time and space to build a solid foundation for recovery. The Lighthouse has the goal of being the gold standard in sober living. Continue Reading →

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Opponents of Planned ‘Sober House’ in New Canaan Will Appeal Decision To Allow It without Permits

Saying a planned “sober house” on West Road will devalue their homes and open the door to similar for-profit facilities launching in New Canaan’s residential neighborhoods, more than 20 residents filed a formal letter this week voicing concerns to municipal officials. Neighbors have retained an attorney and plan to challenge before the Zoning Board of Appeals the town planner’s finding—rooted in advice from the town attorney—that a business called The Lighthouse can operate without a permit as a post-rehab facility for men recovering from addiction. New Canaanites “should be concerned that these homes have no restrictions as to how they’re operated and are under no legal supervision,” according to the letter. “They are allowed to insert themselves as a business in any residential community. The fact that our town is known for being a child-friendly, family-oriented community has no bearing.”

Town officials have confirmed that The Lighthouse has signed a two-year lease to operate out of an 8,000-square-foot home that sits on more than four acres on upper West Road. Continue Reading →

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