ZBA To Homeowners: We’d Deny Your Application for an Outdoor Patio

Saying there’s no evidence of a hardship that would warrant a one-off exception from the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, town officials on Monday night told the owners of a Welles Lane home that they would deny an application for a variance to create a covered patio. Though the Zoning Board of Appeals did not formally vote down the application for 54 Welles Lane, the appointed body’s members told homeowners Altin Tirana and Jorida Banda that they should figure out another way to get a covered 530-square-foot patio on the 2.15-acre property. “Unfortunately, our hands tied because these are town ordinances,” Chair Laura Edmonds said during the meeting, held via videoconference. She referred to what’s required for a variance as well as what counts toward building coverage, under the Zoning Regulations. 

The homeowners’ plan for a covered patio—with an outdoor cooking and seating area—would put their home, already over coverage by nearly 500 square feet, about 1,000 square feet over what’s allowed, according to the town planner. Though an uncovered pergola in that spot would require no approval, a roofed structure such as the one the applicants proposed likely would require the homeowners to “subtract enough coverage” from the property first, Board Secretary John Mahoney said.

Selectmen Approve Mosquito Larvicide Contract 3-0

The Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting Tuesday unanimously approved a $9,960 contract with a Branford-based ecological management firm to put mosquito larvicide in New Canaan’s storm drains. Representatives from All Habitat Services LLC dump a product called Vectolex into catch basins in town, Public Works Director Tiger Mann told the Board. The method is designed to control the spread of West Nile Virus. “You will see a couple of guys on scooters, driving from basin to basin and putting the Vectolex in the basins themselves,” Mann said during the meeting, held via videoconference. 

“We had a fourth application for last year for [Eastern Equine Encephalitis], but we reduced that since we were asked to reduce our budget, we reduced it down to the standard three that we have had. If conditions arise whereby we have a concern with EEE, we will find a way to find that additional [funding] to do a fourth application.

Letter: New COVID-19 Cases Merited Faster Outcall from First Selectman

Since Mike Handler “resigned” there has been scant information easily accessible for the citizens of New Canaan.  

The town website has not been updated with the state data of approximately seven new cases since July 1st and our last call out was on July 1, so other than getting information from my town, I am relying on Lucy Dathan’s information that puts new New Canaan new cases since Friday at 7. That kind of jump was worthy of a call out to our town so that people can make choices about where they are willing to go and not go. Our first selectman has been emailed by numerous community members, but seems not to answer emails, many of them begging for Mike’s return or at least more frequent call outs. We are in a global pandemic that has not stopped. To see people walking around town without masks is abhorrent, and scary. For the first selectman not to have more than weekly updates, with reminders to social distance, wear a mask and wash hands, in addition to a spike in cases is also abhorrent. We had such a good OEM for years with Mike Handler now we have nothing. This is gross negligence on the part of the town. Without proper and timely information (not found on the town’s website as of Tuesday evening at 11:10 p.m.) I find the town in dereliction of it’s duty to health and safety of the community. Possible solutions:

1) Reinstate Mike Handler

2) Re-activate OEM and appoint someone (not a Kevin Moynihan appointee) in the community that has similar traits as Mike Handler that will keep the town well informed. 3) Increase the frequency of call outs to 2-3 times a week with special calls to report spikes in our community. 4) during the more frequent calls out reminders to social distance, wear a mask, and wash hands..

Teen Arrested for Trying To Use Fake $100 Bill

Police on Wednesday morning arrested a 19-year-old Bronx, N.Y. woman accused of passing a counterfeit $100 bill in New Canaan in May. On May 26, police launched an investigation after the woman tried to pass the bill at a number of New Canaan businesses, officials said. She was seen trying to use it on video surveillance, according to a police report. She turned herself in 5:15 a.m. on July 8, it said. Police charged her with four counts of first-degree forgery and two counts each of sixth-degree larceny and criminal attempt at sixth-degree larceny. 

Police released her on $1,000 bond and scheduled her to appear Aug.

Town Approves Street Closures for Modified ‘Sidewalk Sale’ Planned for August

The Police Commission voted 3-0 Tuesday to close parts of Elm and Forest Streets to motor vehicle traffic for two days in August so that downtown merchants can set up tables and racks in the roadway for bargain-hunting shoppers. The modified “Sidewalk Sale” would take place on Friday Aug. 21 and Saturday Aug. 22, contingent on state guidance for retailers, spikes in COVID-19 virus here and approval from an administrative team that approves special events in New Canaan. Unlike the traditional Sidewalk Sale of summers past, there would be no food vendors or entertainers at the August event, no nonlocal businesses would be allowed to set up tables in the road, nonprofit organizations would not have displays out in the accustomed way, and Main Street would remain open to vehicular traffic, according to Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. 

“This is not a Sidewalk Sale here,” she told the Commission during a special meeting, held via videoconference.