Did You Hear … ?

A mother turkey hopped out into Valley Road around 12:30 p.m. on June 7 to keep at bay a town woman walking her dog up near the Grupes Reservoir. The mama turkey apparently was guarding her three baby chicks nearby—unfortunately, a passing motorist struck the big bird and killed her. The pedestrian phoned the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department, and Officer Allyson Halm spotted the baby turkeys but lost them on retrieving a carrier from the van. ***

Congratulations to New Canaan resident Pasquale Poccia, who became a U.S. citizen this week after taking the Oath of Allegiance on Wednesday during the 6th annual Flag Day Naturalization Ceremony at Mystic Seaport. Poccia is owner of Pasquale’s Osteria, an Italian and International/Continental cuisine restaurant on Main Street in Norwalk.

Hopeful Post Office Developer Acquires More Land for Parking

Weeks after putting in for permits that would allow them to create a new building on Locust Avenue that would house New Canaan’s new Post Office, the property’s owners said Tuesday night that they’ve acquired an abutting parcel of land to be used for additional parking. The acquisition of a portion of the .43-acre lot at 56 Forest St.—a 3,000-square-foot sliver that is, in fact, zoned for commercial use—will allow the hopeful Post Office developers to create an additional eight or nine parking spaces behind 18-26 Locust Ave. and “make the site work much better,” attorney Michael Sweeney of Stamford-based Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP told the Planning & Zoning Commission at its regular meeting. “The good news, and kind of rare news, is that we have had excellent pre-application discussions with the Parking Commission,” Sweeney told P&Z at the meeting, held in the Sturgess Room at the New Canaan Nature Center. “They have given us suggestions along the way, and the latest feedback we have had with them is with the additional parking, they are very pleased with way layout seems to be coming to the fore.”

Plans call for a two-story brick, cupola-topped, Federal-style structure with a total of 8,220 square feet and office space on the second floor.

P&Z Approves Weed Street Subdivision, Mixed-Use Building on Cross Street

Town planning officials on Tuesday approved a pair of closely followed land use applications—one for a 2-lot subdivision on Weed Street that includes a conservation easement connecting two New Canaan Land Trust properties, and another for a mixed residential-and-commercial structure on Cross Street that’s designed to accommodate future New Canaan Post Office needs. What follows is a summary of each item. Both were approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission at the group’s regular meeting, held in the Sturgess Room at the New Canaan Nature Center. Weed Street
P&Z on six conditions (see below) approved the 2-lot subdivision at 929 Weed St., a 9-acre property whose current structure—a Midcentury Modern—will remain, while two additional lots will be carved out. As part of the subdivision, the property’s owner is granting as a conservation easement along an approximately 425-foot strip of land that connects two parcels long ago given to the New Canaan Land Trust: One that backs up (eastward) into the woods and connects eventually to the New Canaan Nature Center, and another that includes wetlands and fronts Weed Street itself.

P&Z Approves Text Changes for Cross Street Development

Planning officials on Monday night took a first definitive step in support of a proposed mixed-use Cross Street structure that’s designed to offer a future, long-term location for the Post Office. The Planning & Zoning Commission at its special meeting assigned a Dec. 15 effective date for three text changes to New Canaan’s Zoning Regulations that the group approved 9-0—the necessary first steps in an updated plan that could see a 3-story building go in at 16 Cross St. with 12 residential units above a 7,000-square-foot commercial space. Half of that ground-floor space could house the Post Office, though a meeting with the federal agency likely requires “some approval on this concept,” Arnold Karp, a managing partner of the company that owns 16 Cross St., said during a public hearing.

Town Leaders, Himes Meet with USPS; First Selectman ‘Very Confident’ That Post Office Will Find Long-Term Home in New Canaan

Following a meeting last week with town leaders and U.S. Rep Jim Himes (D-4), New Canaan’s highest elected official said Monday that he’s “very confident” that the U.S. Postal Service will find an appropriate, long-term location here. Given collaboration between the postal service and developers, areas outside of the very center of town—on Cross, Vitti and Pine Streets, say—are among those on the table as possible locations, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said. “We went through the whole myriad of specs, we explained the parking in town” including what ratios the Zoning Regulations require, and explained “what areas of town were more conducive than the dead center of town,” Mallozzi said during a press briefing in his office. A meeting held Thursday at Mallozzi’s office was attended by the first selectman, New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy, Himes, Eryn Bingle, special counsel for economic development and special projects for Himes, and from the USPS, Tatiana Roy from marketing, David LeTourneau from New England Facilities Customer Relations, District Manager David Mastroianni, Jr. and Christine Dugas from corporate communications. Crediting Himes for helping bring the town and postal service together as well as the congressman’s strong support, and calling our local postal workers—Michael, Veronica, Steve and Nancy— “second to none” and part of the “fabric of our town,” Mallozzi said the postal service officials were “very competent” and said they’re making a “50- to 100-year decision.”

The question most New Canaanites are asking themselves now is: Where will the Post Office end up?