Did You Hear … ?

New Canaan on Thursday put a lien on the Forest Street property cited for violating the town’s blight ordinance. Signed by Blight Officer Brian Platz, the town’s chief building official, the 1829-built multi-family home at 74 Forest St. is deteriorating and its .3-acre property is unkempt. The “Blight Lien and Certification of Continuing Lien” notice in the Town Clerk’s office says that $9,800 was owed as of May 22 and $100 per day additional is to be assessed as of that date (bringing the total to $11,500 as of Monday, June 8). ***

More than 40 residents attended NewCanaanite.com’s inaugural Community Coffee on Friday, and the sole topic of discussion for the hour-long talk was the Pop Up Park downtown, suspended by the committee that created and managed it after some merchants raised concerns about traffic and the makeshift plaza’s effect on business.

At Public Hearing, Locals Agree That Norway Maple at Town Hall Should Come Down

Though New Canaan’s tree warden hasn’t yet made a formal decision, and opinions range on what landscaping is best long-term for the front lawn of the renovated and expanded Town Hall, the consensus among those attending a public hearing Tuesday night regarding the Norway maple tree there—including a town woman who originally had objected to the tree’s removal—was to take it down. Tree Warden Bruce Pauley’s idea of removing the Norway maple and planting a sugar maple on either side of the main path up to Town Hall appeals to Dave Hunt, a town resident for nearly 40 years and one of more than 50 people who attended the hearing. Hunt said his first reaction on hearing that the Norway maple was slated for removal was that he hates to lose a big old tree, “same as in my yard.”

“But then I think about [how] we have this quintessential town, and we saved the façade of Town Hall—we really did all the right things, in my mind, to keep that perfect little New England community—and the idea of putting in quintessential New England trees like two sugar maples just seems to fit that to a tee,” Hunt said at the hearing, held in the Training Room at the New Canaan Police Department. “Especially given what I am hearing tonight about the issues with this tree.”

Those issues—outlined mostly by New Canaan’s Andrea Sandor, whose objection to Pauley’s posting had prompted the hearing—include that the tree is non-native, appears to be brittle and breaking and has suffered from soil compaction. “The tree has to be taken down—it is hazardous,” Sandor said, citing the “structural opinion” of a master arborist she had retained.

Public Hearing on Norway Maple Tree at Town Hall Scheduled for June 2

Prompted by a request from a town resident, New Canaan’s tree warden has scheduled a public hearing regarding the widely discussed Norway maple out front of the recently renovated and expanded Town Hall. Tree Warden Bruce Pauley said the hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2 in the Training Room at the New Canaan Police Department. “In accordance with Sec. 23-59 of the CT State Statutes, anyone may voice their concerns, objections, and/or other grievances regarding this, and only this, tree,” Pauley said in a public notice. “All those persons wishing to be heard on this issue are invited to attend and let their thoughts be heard.”

The Norway maple, a non-native species that Pauley has described as “breaking up” and which used to have a companion tree on the north side of the main walkway on the front lawn of Town Hall, made headlines last month when town resident Andrea Sandor objected to the tree warden’s tagging it for removal.

Did You Hear … ?

Police have told an out-of-town man to keep his 5-year-old female golden-doodle out of the dog park at Waveny until he gets the animal spayed. The dog (her name is Amber) is in heat and on a recent weekday evening her owner upset other Spencer’s Run users when he got angry about male dogs in the park trying to mount her. We’re hearing that the man grabbed the male dogs and yanked them off of his fetching female, as though it was their fault. Officials say that if the out-of-towner returns with the dog un-spayed, he’ll be ticketed and his PIN number to enter Spencer’s Run revoked. ***

Though the property owner at the Bank of America building on Elm Street could not be reached for comment after town officials blasted the condition of the planters out front, he appears to have taken at least one major step toward addressing the problem. Within days of a meeting of the Plan of Conservation & Development Implementation Committee that saw some members refer to the area as a “non-garden,” a crew appeared in the morning to install new flowers, topsoil, gravel and plants there.

With Wide Community Support, Tree Warden Re-Posts Norway Maple at Town Hall for Removal

Saying he’s “overwhelmed” by the community support for his original decision to remove a brittle Norway maple from the front of Town Hall and replace it with sugar maples on either side of the main walkway up to the renovated building, New Canaan Tree Warden Bruce Pauley on Tuesday afternoon re-posted the tree for removal. When news spread that a resident’s complaint had prompted Pauley to “un-post” the non-native tree—in other words, leave it be, instead of planting what he called the “quintessential New England tree” instead—locals in comment threads on New Canaanite and on Facebook voiced support for the tree warden. At first, Pauley said, he was surprised by the response, “but the more I thought about it, the less surprised I am, because I know how strongly people feel about trees in New Canaan.”

“And I am happy for that,” said the tree warden, a fourth-generation New Canaanite and 1964 NCHS graduate. “But I was overwhelmed with the amount of support that I saw. Secondly, it was very gratifying to see people who I have worked for over the years and to hear their comments.