Selectmen Vote 2-1 To Solicit Proposals for Sale of Vine Cottage

The Board of Selectmen voted 2-1 Tuesday to solicit proposals from those interested in acquiring a prominent antique building on Main Street from the town. The request for proposals for Vine Cottage, a turreted ca.-1859 structure located opposite the firehouse, would allow for a sale or ground lease to a prospective buyer. Among other requirements, the Town Council would need to hold a public hearing prior to any sale. Though Selectman Kit Devereaux voted against issuing the RFP, saying it was short-sighted since no one knows what New Canaan’s future needs for such a building would be, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectman Nick Williams voted in favor of it. Williams noted that the New Canaan Department of Human Services is leaving Vine Cottage for the former Outback Teen Center.

Letter: Opposing the Merritt Village Proposal in New Canaan

To the Editor:

Twenty-two years ago lawyers for Avalon came to a New Canaan P&Z meeting with an application to build a housing complex on the large parking lot next to our train station. Its scale and density were massive. These lawyers told our zoning officials that before they joined Avalon they were the lobbyists that changed our state law that removed our home rule that would allow us to form our own town. Thus, to stop this unbelievable loss of controlling our own destiny, Citizens for New Canaan was formed. A group that comprised hundreds of passionate New Canaanites and its leaders to regain control of our Town.

Banning Dogs from Bristow: Town Council To Seek Legal Opinion on 1934 Deed

Faced with a renewed effort to ban dogs from a wooded 17-acre property that adjoins Mead Park, officials said Wednesday night that they will seek a legal opinion to help interpret an 81-year-old deed that restricts its use. Town Council members said during a special meeting that more investigation is needed to determine whether, taken together, two restrictions in the deed for the 17-acre parcel known as ‘Bristow Bird Sanctuary’ amount to a ban even on leashed dogs. While the deed says that Bristow “shall be forever maintained as a Bird Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve, and used for no other purpose whatsoever,” it also specifies “that the public shall enjoy the free use of the property consistent with the purpose described in these conditions.”

“I am not sure dog-walking is not consistent with a ‘free use of the property,’ ” Councilman Kevin Moynihan, a lawyer, said during the meeting, held in the Community Room at the New Canaan Nature Center. Town Council Chairman Bill Walbert agreed, saying of the condition cited by Moynihan: “That statement creates more gray than just the initial look at the deed.”

“As a layman reads the deed, it’s hard not to say, ‘No dogs.’ And it’s hard as a legislative body to ignore the rules. But we are layman reading this deed.

Did You Hear … ?

More than 10 motorists who received parking tickets came to Thursday’s Parking Commission meeting to fight them, and a strange thing happened: Two of those in attendance who by chance sat down next to each other also learned they have the same last name. Michael Dooley on Feb. 11 received a ticket when his fiancée (Jessica, she was there too) punched in the wrong number on a space she in fact had paid for (the car is registered in his name) at Talmadge Hill Station lot. Edward Dooley one week later typed in the wrong space number on the Pay-by-phone app when he parked in the lot on the south side of the train station. Both Dooleys brought receipts to the hearing, and the commission voided their tickets.