Saying they’re already experiencing unwanted light from the new athletic facility that New Canaan Country School is building off of Frogtown Road, neighbors are urging the town to deny a request to modify a condition of the project’s approval. An attorney representing the private school applied to the Planning & Zoning Commission to remove a requirement that “black-out shades” be installed for all windows visible from a property to the east “and including any window from which light can be projected or reflected.”
Attorney Steve Finn of Stamford-based Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin. Kuriansky LLP noted that the abutting neighbor whose concerns prompted the Commission to create the condition—a woman who sued the town in appealing the original approval—no longer resides at 579 Frogtown Road. In fact, Finn said, she sold the property to New Canaan Country School as part of a settlement agreement.
He also cited a lighting company’s finding that “that there will be no measurable light at or beyond the property line [between the school campus and 579 Frogtown Road]” and that “the use of black-out shades will not reduce the exterior light levels because the interior lighting has no impact on the exterior light levels.”
Yet two neighbors who live directly across Frogtown Road from the school—Joseph and Kim Bozzella of 584 Frogtown Road and Jack and Carol Liebau of 568 Frogtown Road—filed letters of objection with P&Z urging them to deny the application.
The Liebaus said in their letter that “the lighting from the interior of the athletic facility, shining through the glassed-in portion near its ceiling, is quite glaring after dark from both the first and second stories of our home—including our kitchen; home office; play/study room; and glassed-in library where we frequently entertain.”
“We have always been glad to be neighbors to both Country School (where our children have attended since 2011) and the Winter Club,” the letter said. “We want to be good neighbors; the problem with this light, however, is that every evening, our home feels like it is now located in much more of a ‘mixed use’ area than the darker suburban location into which we thought we had purchased.