26-Unit Residential Development Proposed for Downtown New Canaan

The new owners of contiguous parcels in downtown New Canaan are seeking to develop the property with 26 residential units, according to new filings at Town Hall. Four parcels near the corner of Cherry Street and Burtis Avenue were purchased for a total of $6.1 million, according to property transfers recorded Dec. 13 in the Town Clerk’s office. The owners want “to merge the properties and redevelop them with residential and live-work uses that will reinvigorate this block and contribute to the success and vibrancy of the downtown area,” attorney Jacqueline Kaufman of Stamford-based Carmody, Torrance, Sandak & Hennessey LLP said in a Jan. 20 letter to the town.

P&Z To Seek Legal Advice on Tobacco Shop Application 

Members of the Planning & Zoning Commission at their most recent meeting put off voting on an application to open a tobacco shop in downtown New Canaan, saying they wanted advice from legal counsel prior to voting on a possible denial. The business planned for 13 South Ave. would mainly operate as a cigar shop, with an 18-foot-long humidor taking up most of the commercial space there, according to applicant Laith Mustafa. The storefront used to house South Avenue Butcher and very little work will need to be done, according to Stratford-based architect Andy Cominelli, representing the applicant. “It’s a small retail space, an existing group of stores and the existing landlord has done some renovation work there and we are basically just moving into the space,” Cominelli told members of P&Z at their Nov.

Third P&Z Hearing on Planned Skyview Lane Pool, Pool House and Tennis Court Scheduled for Tuesday 

The owners of a single-family home on the corner of Skyview Lane and Davenport Ridge Road are seeking permission from the Planning & Zoning Commission to construct a pool, pool house and tennis court behind their house. The accessory structures planned for 14 Skyview Lane are “situated in a suitable location for their use and are in harmony with the neighborhood and shall promote the welfare” of the town, according to an application filed on behalf of the homeowners by Charles Mills of Wilton-based Mills Engineering, LLC. The area where they’ll go is screened and “attractive, in character with the surrounding properties and desirable development for the area, and suitable in relation to site characteristics,” Mills said in the application. P&Z took up the application at its Sept. 28 meeting.

P&Z To Vote on Town’s Purchase of Elm Street Office Building Planned for Future Board of Ed Home

Saying it will be good for the community and school district, the head of the Department of Public Works is seeking Planning & Zoning approval for the town to acquire an Elm Street building to house the Board of Education. Public Works Director Tiger Mann in a Friday memo to Town Planner Lynn Brooks Avni said his department is requesting a review and approval of the town’s planned purchase of 220 Elm St. that’s required under state law. “The following sections of the 2014 POCD [Plan of Conservation and Development] show that this purchase is in keeping with our current plan,” Mann said, citing provisions of the guiding document for planning in New Canaan that call for maintaining excellence in both “education programs and facilities” and “community facilities and services.”

“Since the School System is important to the quality of life of residents, and the underlying real estate market, this excellence should be maintained,” Mann said in the memo. “Community facilities include governmental and other buildings (such as the Library) which provide services and functions to all residents.

Town Receives Notice of Lawsuit Objecting to P&Z’s Approval of Large Garage

Town officials recently received notice of a lawsuit following the Planning & Zoning Commission’s approval in September of a North Wilton Road homeowner’s plan to construct an attached four-bay garage. P&Z’s conditioned approval of the plan was “illegal, unlawful, arbitrary and in abuse of the powers vested in” the Commission under state law, according to a complaint written on behalf of a neighbor plaintiff by attorney Joel Green of Bridgeport-based Law Offices of Green and Gross, P.C.

“The Defendant Commission ignored and acted in a manner that is inconsistent with and violates the procedural and substantive requirements and provisions of the Zoning Regulations, the Connecticut General Statutes and the common law of the State of Connecticut,” Green said in a complaint received Oct. 22 by the Town Clerk’s office. It wasn’t clear whether the lawsuit yet has been formally filed in state Superior Court. The lawsuit cannot be found through an online search of Connecticut Judicial Branch records.