‘A Logical and Mandatory Thing’: Millport Avenue Developers Address Concerns About ‘Loom Factor’ of Four-Story Structures

Though neighbors of the public housing development at Mill Pond and at least one member of the Planning & Zoning Commission had voiced concerns about the height and aesthetics of proposed four-story buildings there—concerns that some now say were well-founded, as the units take shape—the new structures will look better once they’re finished with stonework, balconies, trim and landscaping, the project’s architects say. At least as importantly, given the need for elevators and the challenges of expense and space that they bring—particularly when dealing with affordable housing—going “up” in height and leveraging density is an economic and architectural reality, according to Scott Hobbs, chairman of the New Canaan Housing Authority Commission. “In the case of affordable housing, it is especially tricky because it is hard to make it work economically even with seed money from the town and grants from the state,” Hobbs told NewCanaanite.com. “It’s still hard to make it work and you need to get to density, otherwise you cannot pay for the construction. At the end of the day four stories, while large, is still within what is acceptable.

P&Z Commissioner Defends Himself Against Perception of Bias in Glass House Application

A member of the Planning & Zoning Commission last week defended himself against the perception—already voiced at a public meeting—that he should recuse himself from a high-profile matter involving a National Trust For Historic Preservation site because it’s located just a few hundred yards from his house. Commissioner Dick Ward, of Winfield Lane, said that he has never spoken directly to those who oversee the Philip Johnson Glass House. “I have never discussed this matter with any of the neighbors or participated in any other neighbors’ meetings or discussions,” Ward said at P&Z’s April 26 meeting, held at Town Hall. “My house is three properties away from the Glass House, beyond the notification limit. And personally I have not been affected by the activities of the Glass House.”

Officials from the Glass House have said they’re seeking to expand their operations in order to meet the financial realities of managing the 49-acre Ponus Ridge campus and its 14 structures.

Letter: Glass House ‘Critical to the Health of the Town’

I wish to express my feelings on the importance of responsible development of our town asset of the Glass House. Having been involved with downtown issues for decades I feel this development is critical to the health of the town. I believe it was reported that the Glass House brought 15,000 unique visitors to town last year. Many of these visitors came to our shops, restaurants, stayed in our Inn. My belief is our downtown is not healthy.

‘That Property Is Struggling’: P&Z Chairman Voices Support for Expanded Operations at Philip Johnson Glass House

The Philip Johnson Glass House not only anchors the important Modern architecture of New Canaan, the Ponus Ridge site also has caused the Planning & Zoning Commission fewer problems than have other institutions in residential zones, the group’s chairman said Tuesday night. The National Trust for Historic Preservation site is an “amazing” property and the organization that operates it has been “very, very well behaved” since opening to the public in 2007, John Goodwin said during P&Z’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “I’ve also been watching the management of the Glass House, and I know there’s a concern that this just is another director until the next director comes. But I would say that they finally have a business guy. My apologies to the architects, but sometimes it is good to have a business guy.