‘They Missed It’: P&Z, ‘Merritt Village’ Developer at Odds

The developer of an apartment-and-condo complex on the edge of downtown New Canaan is at odds with municipal officials about whether he’s building what they approved. 

Though members of the Planning & Zoning Commission have said that at some point a set of plans for Merritt Village specified that retaining walls would be finished with a “fieldstone veneer,” local builder Arnold Karp of property owner M2 Partners said final approved plans make no such specification. 

“They are making it seem that we didn’t follow plans,” Karp told NewCanaanite.com in an interview after Tuesday night’s regular meeting of P&Z. “The truth is that plans in Town Hall, stamped and approved, did not show a fieldstone veneer. They are going to something prior to that.”

He referred to a set of plans submitted to the Commission and town planner in August of 2016, five months before P&Z approved the 110-unit complex at Park and Maple Streets. According to Karp, an updated final set of plans went into the town the following month, prior to when the public hearing on the Merritt application closed. 

Officials appear not to be able to find those plans, he said. “The best I can say is they missed it,” he said.

Did You Hear … ?

The town on Dec. 21 issued a building permit to M2 Partners and Arnold Karp for the four buildings that will comprise Merritt Village. The permit is for “construction of new multifamily residential units” with 173 underground and 31 surface parking spaces. The units will come to a total of 167,746 square feet and will cost about $16.8 million to build, according to the permit. Its issuance came days after the Planning & Zoning Commission discussed withholding the permit itself until concerns regarding Park Street-facing retaining walls are addressed.