Neighbor Voices ‘Deep Concern’ Over Canaan Parish Redevelopment; P&Z Hearing Opens Tuesday

Though some of those behind a proposal to redevelop an apartment complex on Lakeview Avenue say its impact on nearby properties will be minimal, one neighbor of Canaan Parish is voicing what he called “deep concern” about the project. In a letter filed last week with Planning & Zoning, a Fitch Lane man who lives across Route 123 from Canaan Parish said that although officials with the New Canaan Housing Authority claim “that this area does not affect any residents, that is inaccurate.”

“Several homes from the Hoyt Farm neighborhood will look straight at this complex when the leaves are off the trees in the fall and winter,” Gregory Pepe said in his July 26 letter, part of the public file on an application for the redevelopment that will come before P&Z at its regular meeting Tuesday. “Our family home will have a direct eye level view of an apartment complex which will impact housing values. Canaan Parish existed long before us and I have no issue with that fact. However, replacing it with something far, far bigger and out of character with the town is not acceptable.”

Pepe also said that the proposed redevelopment appears to be five stories, not four, and urges P&Z not to “change or compromise current rules and regulations when it comes to height or density of housing as that becomes a slippery slope for future development, whether affordable housing or not.”

Those behind the proposal at Canaan Parish are seeking to create a new zone within the New Canaan Zoning Regulations in order to make the project possible. Named for the federally subsidized rental complex that’s stood at Lakeview and 123 for four decades, the “Canaan Parish Housing Zone” would allow the two organizations collaborating on the project to create 100 new units where 60 now stand. 

Specifically, Canaan Parish would be rebuilt with two L-shaped four-story buildings, according to an application filed this month with P&Z: one that replaces the 60 apartments now spread through 10 buildings and a second structure with 40 units built specifically to help New Canaan achieve relief in the future from a punitive state law.

Lawsuit: Landscaping Co. Claims It’s Owed $94,350 By Affordable Housing Provider

A landscaping company last week filed a lawsuit that names a New Canaan organization as a defendant, saying it’s owed nearly $100,000 for work done two years ago. New Canaan Neighborhoods Inc.—a nonprofit organization formed in 1980 to provide housing to moderate-income individuals and families—owes Greenwich-based Furanos Landscape LLC $94,350 for salting, snow plowing and landscaping done between December 2013 and November 2014, according to a complaint filed Jan. 25. The civil lawsuit accuses New Canaan Neighborhoods of breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Under the agreement between the two parties—as per the defendant’s agent, Phoenix Corporation—Furanos was to be paid $2,000 per snow plow, $650 per salting and $2,250 per month for landscaping at Canaan Parish, an affordable housing complex on Lakeview Avenue.

New Canaan Man Falls on Ice, Tries to Get Up, Falls Again, Sues Landlord

Saying he suffered “severe injuries” after falling on an icy walkway two years ago because his landlord and a landscaping company had neglected to clear it, a New Canaan man has filed a lawsuit. Kenneth Soderquist’s injuries from the fall at Canaan Parish, according to the Dec. 9 lawsuit, includeL blunt trauma to both knees; contusions to both knees; right knee pain; left knee traumatic tochanteric bursitis; left knee pain; left hip trochanteric bursitis; left hip pain; thoracic sprain/strain; upper back pain; lumbar sprain/strain; low back pain; headaches; insomnia; and a shock to his nervous system. He fell and landed on his back at about 7:15 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2013 while walking toward the parking lot of the Lakeview Avenue apartment complex, according to the complaint, filed on Soderquist’s behalf by Cheshire-based Michael P. Foley, Jr.

“As the plaintiff was attempting to stand up after he had fallen on the ice, he was caused to fall a second time on the ice, where he landed on his knees,” the complaint said.