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

First Selectman: Town Looking at Expansion of Locust Avenue Parking Lot

New Canaan’s highest elected official last week indicated that the town is eyeing properties north of the Locust Avenue Lot as part of its effort to increase the number of parking spaces there. Though plans to deck Locust have been scuttled in favor of a project at the Lumberyard Lot, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said the town remains interested in creating more parking at the 155-space Locust Lot. “If you are not going to go up, you go laterally,” Moynihan said Thursday during a media briefing at Town Hall. He continued: “It is pretty obvious over there, there are properties that are” right for razing. “They are blighted properties,” Moynihan said. Continue Reading →

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Cease-and-Desist Issued at White Oak Shade Home After Unpermitted Partial Demolition

Building officials this week issued a cease-and-desist order to the owners of an antique White Oak Shade Road home that appears already to have undergone a partial demolition though no such approvals have been granted, documents show. The New Canaan Building Department last week issued a permit for an interior renovation on the first and second floors of the 18th Century Cape Cod style-home at 251 White Oak Shade Road. The homeowners on Wednesday applied for a demolition permit. Yet a look at the ca. 1700-built Cape on Thursday showed that the second floor already had been completely demolished. Continue Reading →

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Facing Fines, Parade Hill Road Homeowner To Move Big Shed Off Property Line

Addressing a zoning violation that dates back to the fall, the owner of a Parade Hill Road property has vowed to move this spring a large freestanding shed located at the end of his driveway away a property line, enforcement officials say. According to a Zoning Fine Warning Notice obtained by NewCanaanite.com following a Freedom of Information Act request, a zoning enforcement officer on Oct. 20 notified the owner of the .17-acre property at 37 Parade Hill Road that the large shed set against a side yard property line to the south is in violation of the New Canaan Zoning Regulations. Specifically, an accessory structure in the B Residential zone must allow for an 8-foot setback (see page 58 here). The property includes a 1,147-square-foot ranch-style house, and the shed as seen from the public roadway appears to sit along its edge, up against a fence that separates 37 Parade Hill Road from its neighbor. Continue Reading →

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Grace Farms Withdraws Re-Filed Permit Application, Opening Questions About Long-Term Operation

An attorney on behalf of Grace Farms this week withdrew the organization’s re-filed application for a special permit. In a short letter to the town planner dated Feb. 5, attorney Ted O’Hanlon of Stamford-based Robinson+Cole said that Grace Farms looks forward “to working with you on the implementation and enforcement” of an existing special permit, approved last fall by the Planning & Zoning Commission with 100-plus conditions. Coming on the heels of a contentious P&Z hearing where several neighbors complained that Grace Farms already has violated that existing permit in many ways, the withdrawal raises new questions about just what set of rules the Lukes Wood Road organization will operate under in the long term. According to a lawsuit filed by neighbors Timothy Curt and Dona Bissonnette of Smith Ridge Road, the post-hearing legal notices of P&Z’s decision last year were “defective, incomplete and misleading” and also failed to meet the requirements of state law and the town’s own zoning regulations. Continue Reading →

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Local Tree Company To Address Pines That Pose Safety Concern along Irwin Park

Members of the Board of Selectmen at their most recent meeting voted unanimously to approve a contract with a well-established, local tree care company to address what officials say has become a safety concern along a heavily used road and public park. Hutchinson Tree Care Specialists Inc. will prune a long row of tall pine trees fronting Irwin Park along Wahackme Road following a 3-0 vote at the board’s Jan. 23 meeting. Bob Horan told the board that he’s been watching the trees “for a while.”

“The trees are loaded with dead and broken branches and more importantly there are a lot of invasive vines growing up in the crowns of the trees,” Horan said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “For safety, for the future health of the trees and aesthetically, it’s a project that I have been kind of keeping an eye on.”

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams approved the $9,100 contract. Continue Reading →

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