‘The White Buffalo’ Seeks Permission for Twice-Weekly Outdoor Music through October

Saying the business has met a number of Planning & Zoning conditions, the owners of a popular bar in downtown New Canaan are seeking permission to have outdoor music twice-weekly from May through October. Located down an alley just past Chef Luis on Elm Street since it launched in 2019, The White Buffalo has reviewed letters of complaint about past outdoor events, established an acceptable decibel level, produced a site plan for the access, talked to neighbors and produced documentation requested by the Planning & Zoning Commission, owners Rich Hewitt and Chris Meier said in a letter to P&Z. “We have combed through each complaint and made sure that we have addressed each complaint with sensitivity and empathy,” their letter said. “We feel we have addressed those complaints with our compliant actions. We have met with Chef Luis and feel we have come up with a great compromise to work together in order to generate business for both our restaurants.

New Bakery and Café Planned for Main Street

A new bakery and café is planned for downtown New Canaan. The owners of a vacant commercial space on Main Street are seeking approval from the Planning & Zoning Commission for a new food use at 90 Main St. Formerly home to Sorelle Gallery, the 2,085-square-foot space would have café seating closest to the street, with a serving counter that has pastry display cases and an espresso machine located behind it, deeper into the store, according to plans submitted to P&Z by Joseph Thompson of Peekskill, N.Y.-based Joseph Thompson Architect. Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations (see page 77 here), food shops are permitted in the Retail A Zone with site plan approval from P&Z. In her memo to P&Z on the application, Town Planner Sarah Carey said the proposal “also includes façade changes to the first floor.”

“The applicant proposes to remove the existing first floor windows and a portion of the brick façade to replace them with retractable glass doors to have an indoor/outdoor seating area,” Carey said.

P&Z Sued Over Pool House Denial on Country Club Road 

The owners of a Country Club Road property have filed a lawsuit against the town seeking to overturn a recent Planning & Zoning Commission decision. At its Jan. 30 meeting, P&Z by a 6-2 vote denied an application filed on behalf of the owners of 274 Country Club Road to allow a detached pool house to exceed the allowable lot building coverage by 843 square feet. An attorney representing owner Benjamin Sutton said that in exchange the allowance, they would encumber at least 1,686 square feet of the single-family residence to 18 inches in height. 

Yet members of the Commission said plans for the pool house could have been included in the original building permit application (a new residence currently is being constructed on the two-acre parcel). 

Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, P&Z can issue a Special Permit increasing the maximum building coverage given some conditions, including a limitation on maximum building height (see page 72). During the Jan.

Two Detached Single-Family Homes Planned for Down River Road

The owners of a Down River Road property are seeking permission to raze an existing two-family house and build two detached single-family homes there. The plan for 6 Down River Road will “contribute positively to the surrounding area and align with the zoning regulations,” according to a statement that accompanies a Special Permit application filed with the Planning & Zoning Commission. Each 2.5-story unit will offer 1,250 square feet of living space and a two-car garage, the application said. “The proposed structures, including buildings, walls and fences, as well as planned activities and landscaping, are meticulously designed to complement the surroundings without hindering adjacent land use or diminishing property values,” it said. “The decision to opt for detached units is in response to the lot’s narrowness, avoiding a large, incongruent structure.