Letters to the Editor


NewCanaanite.com recently received the following letters to the editor. Please email your letter to editor@newcanaanite.com to have it added here.


To the Editor:

Here’s a habit the Planning and Zoning Commission should adopt that would benefit both itself and the town as a whole: P&Z should learn to say, “No.”

That would be a worthwhile solution to the challenges the P&Z routinely faces, and one that might have saved the town many expensive, time-consuming headaches in the not-too-distant past. And it could again, soon: most recently, St. Luke’s School has asked P&Z to agree to a change in the town’s zoning ordinance that would enable the school to build a one-story, 177-car parking garage on its campus.

Hardly anything in the proposal would actually benefit New Canaan residents. Only 20% of St. Luke’s enrollment comes from New Canaan families, for example. The garage would be built in a four-acre residential zone. More parking on St Luke’s campus would mean more cars on campus, so that (regardless of what hired parking consultants might say) the new parking facility would likely further exacerbate the already-heavy traffic backups on North Wilton Road. Further—and this could be the most important result—the ordinance change would allow homeowners to erect large, one-story “parking” structures on their properties if they wanted, even over objections of the Town or the homeowner’s neighbors.

In return, New Canaan residents would get basically . . . nothing. P&Z’s response to St Luke’s proposal should thus be short and to the point: No, you can’t do that. There. New Canaan’s problem is solved. If St Luke’s wants to fix its parking issue, let it come up with a solution that falls within the town’s zoning ordinance.

But P&Z doesn’t say “No” often enough. Instead, too often members of the Commission dither and seem ready to tie themselves into knots to provide some kind of an accommodation. That certainly seems to be the case so far in P&Z’s consideration of the St. Luke’s application. But why?  The town’s zoning regulations were written the way they were for a reason: to preserve the character of New Canaan. If an applicant wants relief from those regulations, the burden should be on the applicant to show why the relief wouldn’t materially hurt the town and its residents. In the case of the St. Luke’s application, the town would clearly be hurt. P&Z should do its job. It should say “No.” 

Matt Stichnoth


The Howard M. Bossa and Peter C. Langenus Post 653 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) wishes to express thanks and gratitude to the many volunteers who placed approximately 1200 flags at the gravesites of all known Veterans at Lakeview Cemetery on Saturday, May 18.  

Volunteers included Community Emergency Response Team, Boy Scout Troop 70, Boy Scout Troop 45, Boy Scout Troop 31, Cub Scout Pack 70, Cub Scout Pack 45, Cub Scout Pack 7, Girl Scouts of New Canaan, Service League of Boys, Daughters of the American Revolution, National Charity League, New Canaan Chapter, New Canaan Democratic Town Committee, New Canaan Republican Town Committee and the many wonderful individual volunteers.  

In addition, the New Canaan Fire Company #1 placed flags on the gravesites of all known Veterans at 14 of the historic cemeteries in town. It is the VFW’s mission to honor and remember each Veteran as part of its Memorial Day service activities and this could not happen without our volunteers. 

Frances Wilson

6 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor

    • Thanks Leslie! I really am at a loss to understand why so many members of the P&Z seem to prefer to bend over backwards to accommodate applicants rather than do their job and make sure the zoning ordinance is followed.

  1. Don’t blame St. Luke’s! P&Z just needs to get in the habit of putting what’s best for the town first when it considers applicants’ requests for variances and zoning-code changes.

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