Government

We’re writing not only about those municipal bodies that all local media outlets cover—New Canaan Board of Selectmen, Town Council, Department of Public Works—but also the Public Tree Board, Traffic-Calming Work Group, Parking Commission and Park & Recreation Commission.

Recent Articles

Grace Farms Cannot Host Revenue-Generating Events, Must Remove ‘Sound Sculpture’ from Pond Under Draft Conditions for Approval

Grace Farms may not host revenue-generating events, must remove the “sound sculpture” from a pond on its property and may not advertise its food service establishment as a standalone amenity, according to conditions now under consideration by the town as part of the organization’s closely followed application. At the same time, the Lukes Wood Road facility may expand the operating hours of its “Commons” cafeteria, as well as its “Tea Room,” may sell books, souvenirs and other items, can let outside groups use its gym and may continue as a religious organization while also calling itself a club or philanthropic agency, under some of the 25 findings and 99 conditions now in draft form before the Planning & Zoning Commission. P&Z is scheduled to take up the application, again, at its regular 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday at Town Hall. Commissioners in their deliberations since closing the public hearing on Grace Farms have said that the organization is unlike any that’s come before P&Z in the past. That said, if approved, the revised permit expected to set a new standard for what’s allowable with respect to institutional uses in residential zones in town. Continue Reading →

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Officials Void $25 Ticket for Woman Who Parked Too Long on Elm Street

New Canaan’s Parking Commission voided a $25 overtime parking ticket at its most recent meeting after a Stamford woman said she wasn’t aware of Elm Street’s 90-minute parking limit and that there was no visible sign in front of the space where she parked her vehicle. Dr. Cheryl Gross provided a detailed account to the volunteer commission of how she parked her car on Elm Street on June 26 to attend a movie at The Playhouse with her parents and children. “I drove down South [Avenue] and made a left-hand turn [onto Elm Street] and parked in the first parking spot on the left-hand side,” she said. “There was this huge concrete structure [in front] that I think had flowers in it…I just remember thinking that we might bump our doors on it while getting out. It was a very tight fit.”

Gross noted that while she did see the structure, which Parking Superintendent Stacey Miltenberg explained was used to block off the Pop-Up Park, she didn’t notice any parking signs. Continue Reading →

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‘That’s a Parked Car’: Officials Uphold Town Woman’s Ticket

New Canaan’s Parking Commission last week upheld a $25 parking violation issued to a town woman who said that because she sat inside her vehicle while it was running to take a phone call, that she should not have been cited for overtime parking in a 15-minute zone at Morse Court. Alexandra Lawer told the volunteer commission during its Sept. 14 meeting that she received a call on her cell phone as she was driving through town on July 17, so she decided to park at Morse Court in a short-term parking space next to J. Crew to answer the call. “I was sitting there ‘standing’ with my car on,” she told the commissioners at the meeting during her appeal, held at Town Hall. “I only had a 15-minute conversation, so it didn’t make sense for me to turn off my car. Continue Reading →

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Police Commission Votes 2-0 To Extend On-Street Parking on Main and Elm to Two Hours

Municipal officials on Wednesday night voted unanimously to extend on-street parking limits in the center of downtown New Canaan to two hours. Changing to two-hour limits both the one-way stretch of Elm Street and a central piece of Main—both 90 minutes now—will not only give motorists more time to shop and dine, but also create more consistent parking times overall by bringing them in line with areas just beyond the “magic circle,” officials said during the Police Commission’s regular meeting. “I would go for it,” Commissioner Paul Foley said of the change, recommended last week by the Parking Commission. Foley and fellow Police Commissioner Sperry DeCew voted 2-0 to make the change. Chairman Stuart Sawabini was absent. Continue Reading →

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Rising Demand Among Platform Tennis Players Prompts New Push for Fifth Court at Waveny

Saying demand for reservations is rising, platform tennis organizers are asking town officials for guidance on how to see through the creation of a fifth court at Waveny—an estimated $100,000 project that’s lost out in recent years to competing capital needs. Platform or “paddle” tennis players often want use the courts at the same time during peak hours of 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m., according to Tonya Russo, a representative from a women’s league in town. “So you have individuals who are looking for court space but then you also have teams and leagues and groups that are also have reserve time in addition to clinics that are there during those peak hours as well,” Russo told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting, held Sept. 13 at Lapham Community Center. “All of those things are good things. Continue Reading →

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