New Canaan Health Department: Record-High Number of Ticks Submitted in May

The New Canaan Health Department saw a record-high number of ticks submitted last month, officials say. In all, 51 ticks were submitted to the town in May, according to Health Director Jenn Eielson. 

Of those, seven tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease, Eielson said during the June 1 meeting of the Health and Human Services Commission. 

“It’s a topic that is [top of mind] right now because of the amount of ticks, because it wasn’t cold enough this winter,” Eielson said during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “It was too mild. They didn’t die off. In fact, the opposite.

Waveny LifeCare Network Buys Oenoke Ridge Property for $1.5 Million

One year after withdrawing its application to build a senior housing complex on Oenoke Ridge, Waveny LifeCare Network last week purchased a residential property there for $1.5 million. 

Waveny officials had said in the months leading up to applying in October 2019 to build a 70-unit residential retirement building that its purchase of the .88-acre property at 65 Oenoke Ridge was under contract pending approval for its project by the Planning & Zoning Commission. 

Ultimately, following several widely followed hearings before P&Z, the organization on March 18, 2020 withdrew its application, citing its focus on the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, Waveny purchased the parcel, which includes a 1929-built Colonial, from the New Canaan Museum and Historical Society, tax records show. The acquisition “is purely a prudent business decision,” according to a press release issued by Waveny on Monday on behalf of the organization. “This parcel effectively ensures a contiguous connection of important real estate that protects and improves the sustainability of Waveny’s future,” it said. Russ Barksdale, Jr., Waveny’s president and CEO, said in the press release, “Exercising the purchase option now gives us time to evaluate all of our options through an inclusive process to which we remain committed.”

A letter dated Friday and attributed to Barksdale as well as Kathleen Corbet and Leo Karl III—chair and vice chair Waveny’s Board of Directors, respectively—says, in part, “Although there are no specific plans for the property at this time, exercising the purchase option gives Waveny time to evaluate all options.”

It adds, “As you may know, St.

Health Director: Small Private Gatherings Are Driving Community Spread

New Canaan is seeing COVID-19 virus spreading through small private gatherings rather than through outings to restaurants, according to the town’s health director. Though dining out is the number-two cause of transmission statewide, “that’s not what I see here,” Jenn Eielson told members of the Health & Human Services Commission during their regular meeting, held Dec. 3 via videoconference. The virus is spreading “when people let their guard down, when they only ‘have a few friends over,’ but those friends are from outside your house,” Eielson said. 

She added, “And then the test is only a snapshot in time. So they get tested the day before Thanksgiving and then they find out two days later that they’re positive, now that 48-window is your infection period.

Neighbors, Attorneys Criticize Waveny’s Proposed Senior Housing Complex at P&Z Hearing [CORRECTION]

[Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected to show that the site in question is in the half-acre zone, not the two-acre zone as originally reported. The date of the P&Z hearing also has been corrected to Nov. 19, not Nov. 20.]

The proposed senior housing complex on Oenoke Ridge is inconsistent with New Canaan’s regulations and violates some precepts of the town’s guiding document with respect to planning, according to representatives of one neighboring organization. Waveny LifeCare Network’s application for a 70-unit residential retirement building also requires approval of changes to the New Canaan Zoning Regulation that amount to “spot zoning,” attorney Steve Finn, representing St.