Did You Hear … ?

The town on May 11 received an application for the owner of the Huguette Clark estate on Dan’s Highway to build a tennis court on the 52-acre property. The 120-by-60-foot court will cost $98,750 to build. The contractor on the job is Oval Tennis Inc. of Somers, N.Y., architect Frangione Engineering LLC of New Canaan. ***

Congratulations to New Canaan High School senior lacrosse player Nick Crovatto, who broke a longstanding Rams record Monday in a game vs. Trumbull with his 676th faceoff win.

New Canaan Grand List Up $85.3 Million; Top-10 Taxpayer Accounts

The total value of taxable property in New Canaan—including homes, commercial properties and motor vehicles—increased by $85.3 million from 2014 to 2015, officials say. The $8,222,215,988 total represents a year-over-year 1.0479 percent increase, according to the New Canaan Assessor’s office, which compiles the town’s Grand List. The Grand List measures the total value of taxable property on Oct. 1 of each calendar year. It’s the denominator that finance officials use to set the tax rate—the higher it is, relative to the total revenue in the town budget, the lower that rate will be.

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The conspicuous commercial space located at a corner of Elm Street and South Avenue, long occupied by Sallea Antiques, will not be vacant for long after that shop closes its doors in the coming weeks. Heather Gaudio Fine Art, for four years located a bit further down South Avenue, is set to move in as early as September. “We’re incredibly excited,” owner Heather Gaudio told NewCanaanite.com. “I think it’s an amazing space.” The longtime Sallea space offers Gaudio more operational space (for example, packaging), and more storage, including for wine to be used at a grand opening party that likely will come in October. Stay tuned.

Did You Hear … ?

Quick update on the closely followed renovation and restoration of the famed former Huguette Clark estate on Dan’s Highway: The New Canaan Building Department issued a permit Jan. 12 for a 60-by-22-foot in-ground pool. The estimated $105,000 job will be completed by Signature Pools of Norwalk, according to the permit. ***

Two of New Canaan’s most prominent and effective nonprofit organizations—the New Canaan Land Trust (membership info here) and New Canaan Community Foundation (information on giving here)—held their annual meetings Thursday night. Some 200 supporters attended each event, held at the Country Club of New Canaan and Waveny House, respectively.

Antique Gates OK’d for Entrance to Former Huguette Clark Property

A set of antique, wrought iron gates may soon grace the entrance to the famed former Huguette Clark estate in New Canaan. Saying the uniquely large size of the 52-acre lot and fact that the gates themselves are to be set back a good 75 feet from the road at 104 Dan’s Highway (well out of the front yard building setback), planning officials on Monday night approved an application for a Special Permit allowing the gates, which otherwise would be too high, under New Canaan’s Zoning Regulations. Local landscape architect Keith Simpson, in presenting to the Planning & Zoning Commission, said part of the work going on at the property—which includes a 1937 mansion undergoing a complete interior renovation—is restoring that main house and part is to “enhance the property in a responsible way” with “a request that we replace the current gates which are certainly failing and replace with some gates that owner have found.”

The gates are nearly nine feet tall and are translucent, so they do not obstruct a view of the property from the road, Simpson said. The gates are “simpler” than some on the west side of town that Simpson cited, saying at the hearing, held in the Sturgess Room at the New Canaan Nature Center, that he was “hoping the commission may consider the scale of the property and the sort of simple-ness and attractiveness of gates may be something suitable for a Special Permit.”

It isn’t clear whether the gates actually will be added to the property, since the owner of the estate—it was sold in April for $14.3 million and the new owners quickly moved to dissolve an approved 10-lot subdivision of the lot—has not yet purchased them, Simpson said. “The owner would like to buy them before someone else does,” he told P&Z.