Judge Denies Temporary Injunction, ‘Brick Barn’ Demo To Commence

A state Superior Court judge on Tuesday denied a last-minute application for a temporary injunction on the demolition of a disused publicly owned building on the northern edge of Mead Park. Following a nearly yearlong effort led by the New Canaan Preservation Alliance to fix up and reuse the building, the “Mead Park Brick Barn” or “Richmond Hill Garage” could start to come down as soon as Thursday, town officials say. Town residents Andrea Sandor and Mimi Findlay on April 2 sued the town, Board of Selectmen and Town Council. In a self-filed complaint, the plaintiffs called the town’s plan to demolish the century-old structure—originally a fuel depot for Standard Oil—as “illegal.”

Specifically, the lawsuit said, the selectmen’s 2-1 vote last month to award contracts for the Barn’s demolition “was done in bad faith and without following due process of law” because the Sandor and Findlay don’t have time to file an application that would demonstrate a “conflict of interest” on the part of some officials with the New Canaan Board of Ethics. The lawsuit also faults the logic of the town, based on advice from legal counsel, that it cannot rescind its appropriation from last year of funds that will go toward the demolition of the building.

Did You Hear … ?

As per the Board of Selectmen’s decision earlier this month, the Mead Park Brick Barn is to be demolished over three days next week, starting Monday, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. ***

The Building Department on March 22 issued an after-the-fact permit for $29,000 in work at 306 Smith Ridge Road. The work included interior demolitions, dividing a room off of the master bathroom into smaller rooms, building a wall and installing a privacy door as well as additional cabinetry and a closet. The homeowner is paying $765 in fees for the work. “Kindly note that all the above work was done without obtaining the necessary permits,” the permit said.

Police: Homeless Man Arrested After Living in ‘Mead Park Brick Barn’ for One Month

Police on Wednesday night arrested a 55-year-old homeless man who told them he’s been living in a widely discussed abandoned town-owned building on Richmond Hill Road for one month. At about 9:27 p.m. on March 13, officers were dispatched to the “Mead Park Brick Barn” on a report that someone was inside the building with a flashlight, according to a police. The 100-year-old structure is owned by the town and is to be demolished, as publicly noticed on a sign affixed to its exterior. The “Barn,” or “Richmond Hill Garage,” as some know it, is not open for public access, police said. Arriving, officers found all exterior doors to be secured and didn’t see any flashlights inside, the report said.