New Wine Store Planned for Cherry Street

The town has received a building permit application to divide in two an existing retail space on Cherry Street and install a new wine shop into one of them. According to application filed Feb. 14 with the New Canaan Building Department, the space currently occupied by consignment shop Severed Ties at 111 Cherry St. would become two retail stores. 

The new tenant would be ‘DB Fine Wines,’ according to the application. (Severed Ties would  remain as the other occupant of the newly divided space.)

DB Fine Wines registered Feb. 6 with the Connecticut Secretary of the State, the state agency’s records show, and its principal is listed as a Carter Street man.

‘It’s Just Not Possible’: Public Works on Belgian Block Patterns Around Trees Downtown

Responding to an inquiry about a lack of uniformity, officials said the reason Belgian blocks laid around sidewalk trees in downtown New Canaan have different patterns is because the trees themselves grow at different rates. Some trees also have roots that rise from the ground, which leads town workers to remove the blocks and open up the tree well, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “It’s very difficult to keep it as a uniform three-by-three-by-three,” Mann said during a recent meeting of a Planning & Zoning Commission subcommittee. “It’s just not possible.”

“The original design was made for the brick and then inside the tree well there was going to be small Belgian blocks, the little squares. Basically they were designed to be tucked up against the tree trunk, and then as the tree grows, you start to remove the Belgian block to open up the tree well.

Town Seeks To Enforce Rules About Keeping Downtown Sidewalks Clear

Seeking to ensure that downtown sidewalks are clear for pedestrians, officials said last week that a Planning & Zoning officer could be assigned to enforce local rules. Under the Town Code, items such as benches, tables, chairs, signs or commercial displays cannot obstruct sight lines or pedestrian passage on sidewalks. Though the town allows for “certain things that are considered good,” merchants sometimes take advantage by going too far, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “It’s nice to have bench and put a table out there, but four chairs around it as a display case in front of the building, it’s a little too much,” Mann said during a Jan. 29 meeting of a Planning & Zoning Commission subcommittee.

‘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 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.

‘Fresh Green Light Driving School’ Seeks To Open New Canaan Location

A driving school with 10 Fairfield County locations is seeking to open up on Cherry Street in New Canaan. Fresh Green Light Driving School has applied to the Planning & Zoning Commission for site plan approval at 111 Cherry St., a site that includes Swirl frozen yogurt shop, Club Sandwich, a salon and podiatrist Dr. Jennifer Tauber. Owned by Cherry Street LLC, the property is in the Business A Zone. According to its website, Fresh Green Light was founded by Laura Shuler and Steve Mochel, parents to four children, seeking to improve safety and confidence among teenage drivers. Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations for the Business A Zone, any non-office use is permitted with site plan approval and general office use is permitted so long as no more than 10,000 square feet is used as such in any one building, unless permitted by Special Permit (see page 77).