The owners of a major residential project on the edge of downtown New Canaan are seeking permission to forgo building a fence separating an adjacent development from a planned pedestrian accessway through the property—a proposal those neighbors are pushing back on, officials say. According to an attorney representing the owners of The Vue, an apartment-and-condo complex formerly known as Merritt Village, the fence that was to run off of Mead Street, blocking off the planned walkway from Mead Commons is unsafe and unnecessary. Owner M2 Partners “recently learned that the installation of the fence will result in significantly impairing emergency access to the property,” attorney Steve Finn of Stamford-based Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission in a statement attached to an application to amend conditions of his client’s Special Permit. Citing an April 15 email from Fire Marshal Fred Baker, Finn said “that the emergency accessway from Mead Street is already very restrictive and that construction of the fence ‘would reduce the width further yet, making the driveway all but useless for emergency access.’ ”
Additionally, “the installation of the fence is unnecessary because current landscaping and topography provides more than adequate screening and will serve as a significant deterrent to walkers seeking to gain access to the pedestrian accessway from Mead Commons,” Finn said. “[A] dense landscape buffer” already screens the accessway from Mead Commons “and the topography along the property line is relatively steep,” Finn said.