Objection Letter Filed on Husted Lane Demolition 


The town last week received a letter objecting to the demolition of a multifamily house on Husted Lane.

8 Husted Lane, New Canaan.

According to a letter filed by email July 1 by New Canaan resident Mimi Findlay, the house at 8 Husted Lane is a “late Greek Revival style clapboard and filedstone home” that “retains many of its 6 over 6 antique windows and the entrance door with sidelights.”

“In the two earlier architectural surveys of downtown New Canaan (1987 and 2010), the house was said to have been built by ‘William Edson Husted, a shoe-cutter for whom the street is named,’ ” Findlay wrote (no citation). 

“However, the 1851 deed in vol. 10 page 337 indicates that W.E. Husted, along with his two brothers and a sister, inherited the house from their mother Jane and it was on a ‘certain parcel of land being the homestead which our father, Alfred Husted, now dead, formerly lived, in quantity one acre more or less with the buildings thereon,’ ” she continued (no citation). 

Under Section 12A-9 of the Town Code, if the Town Building Official “receives a pertinent written objection to the application within 15 days following publication of the [demolition] notice, then the Building Official shall promptly refer such objection to the Historical Review Committee.” 

The legal notice for demolishing 8 and 10 Husted Lane was published June 16 on NewCanaanite.com and appeared in the June 17 newsletter.

Under the Code, the Historical Review Committee “shall review and decide all pertinent objections within 15 days of receipt of the objection by the Building Official. If the Committee fails to notify the Building Official of its decision within such fifteen-day period, or if the Committee makes a written finding that the structure is not of an age, style, condition or character that is of historical, architectural or cultural significance to the Town of New Canaan, then the Building Official shall issue the demolition permit, provided the time for filing objections has passed, and provided that all other requirements of the State Demolition Code have been satisfied.”

The Committee also may find that “that the structure is of historical, architectural or cultural significance” to the town, and delay demolition by up to 90 days.

Findlay said in her letter that “[t]he early date” of the house “and its relatively unchanged appearance” were noted by architectural surveyors in 1987 and 2010, “one of whom noted this ‘side-passage Greek Revival-style residence,’ representing a style and form not often seen in the 2020 survey area (eastern segment of downtown.”

Numbers 8 and 10 Husted Lane received approval in 2020 from the Planning & Zoning Commission for development into a 12-unit residential building with a 315-square-foot commercial space. The owners of a neighbor property filed a lawsuit objecting to the approval, but that complaint was withdrawn in December, court records show.

Findlay had described the houses as historic during public hearings on the application for redevelopment, though attorneys for the applicant noted that they’re not listed on local, state or national registries of historic buildings.

8 thoughts on “Objection Letter Filed on Husted Lane Demolition 

  1. I concur. What is happening when scale or style of new development complexes (one very nearby) do not have to adhere to any style or fit in with buildings near it? How could an 1800s style house be out of historical context? Or of little value? Where are the keepers of the historical society? This house also was the home of a former tax accessor and later first selectman Charles P. Morton who also was a member of the historical society and cared very much about keeping the integrity of this historical town intact. Sincerely, Jill Morton daughter-in-law of C.P. Morton.

  2. Any house of that era is unlikely
    to have viable mechanichal, electrical or plumbing systems. Further, it is highly likely that all of the interior surfaces and building envelope contain lead paint. Lastly, the structure would surely fail to satisfy any contemporary insulation requirements. The house in question is likely a highly contaminated energy hog.

    It may be argued that the shape and size of the structure are the only remaining meritorious qualities. Both of these are easily replicated.

    More importantly, the science of housing has changed significantly between the time the structure was built and the present day. It is now possible to build a house made of safe materials that generates enough energy to be autonomous. Celebrating the difference might make better sense than mourning the loss.

    • I agree with you about viable mechanical, electrical, plumbing materials, etc. in a 19th century building, in this case, 2 buildings 19th century buildings:Numbers 8 and 10 Husted Lane.

      But there is more to this story. If you click on the words “development” and “filed” in red color, Mike included details of the application and subsequent withdrawal of the complaint by the Oenoke Association and a Historic District landlord.

      Briefly, the application for 8 and 10 Husted Lane was already approved in June 2020. P + Z voted 9-0 to approve the demolition of these two 19th century buildings to be replaced by a 2.5 story building with 12-units (comprised of one and two-bedrooms), a small 315 sq foot commercial unit, and 26 parking spaces. It involved a Zoning Boundary change, Special Permit, and would be classified as moderate density under New Canaan’s 2014 Plan of Conservation and Development according to the developer’s attorney. Details of the pending application are on the Town’s website:


      See: May 22, 2020 Narrative from Attorney Jacqueline Kaufman

      Ms. Findlay opposition letter will be referred to the Historic Review Committee.

  3. The scale and Historic village elements are being threatened like never before. Every month a shoe drops of one project bigger than the last. For decades residents did not have to fear that zoning changes would destroy property values. Certainly zoning officials made great efforts to preserve the Town’s character and value. One never felt that developers were running the show. That is not the case any more. Quietly zoning changes have been made ,that it is now evident, run against the very things of scale and unique character that attack people here. I believe a moratorium on building is in order to let the citizens speak through a voting cycle or maybe two on this important issue before more damage to this special community is done by developers and their government proxies.

  4. The question of energy efficiency should be put in the larger context of expense, impact on the community, wastefulness of demolisions, overbuilt properties and neighborhoods.

    One comment here: “The house in question is likely a highly contaminated energy hog.” If the people are not being negatively impacted by living in the house then what’s the problem? There is a lot more toxic material stirred up with teardowns and attempts to dispose of them than leaving them alone. And primarily in the winter are the energy drains that much worse. Not everyone has ridiculous requirements for ice cold air in the summer or higher than necessary temperatures in the winter. Some people use fans and have higher tolerance for air temperatures. The amount of fuel and other resources burned up in teardowns and rebuilds are huge. There are many other options usually to make buildings more efficient as most of the people in the rest of New England do.

  5. I grew up on Husted Lane , it was a beautiful neighborhood and still is, the whole plan is to take down the 2 houses and the apartments that are in the circle. It’s all about money. It’s sad that we don’t restore the old homes. And the time will come when many people will have to find a place to live. Sad to see the way New Canaan has changed.

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