‘A Big Loss’: Town Planner Steve Kleppin To Leave New Canaan for Norwalk Job

Steve Kleppin recalled that when took the helm as town planner 11 years ago in New Canaan’s Land Use Department, after spending six months as assistant town planner, the agency’s perception in the community was poor. Some on staff at the time had faced criticism from the public and many relationships between the two had gone sour, he said. Yet “through the people that were here and the other people that came on board, we changed that, as a group,” Kleppin recalled Thursday, hours before the town announced that he had taken the role of town planner in neighboring Norwalk. “It’s a well-run area. Even though people might not always like the outcome or the decisions that are made, they’re treated appropriately, treated well and the decisions are thought-out.”

A steady, soft-spoken figure who is highly respected among colleagues, building professionals and property owners in New Canaan—often delivering unwanted news that touches on the largest single investment that residents will ever make—Kleppin will work his last day here on Oct.

Did You Hear … ?

One of New Canaan’s most prominent, historic and beloved homes has hit the market. The 1897-built Colonial at 299 South Ave.—a favorite home of many New Canaanites who walk and drive along the main corridor into town—is being advertised by Christine Saxe, sales vice president at William Raveis Real Estate in New Canaan (see photos above). A lovingly restored and preserved three-story home, it originally was a tuberculosis hospital established by Dr. Myron Brooks (known as ‘Brooks Sanatorium’), who gave his name to a side street alongside it. ***

Members of a Town Council subcommittee said Tuesday that they’re hearing the new cell tower erected on Silver Hill Hospital property is not, at this point, improving service for residents of eastern New Canaan in any measurable way. ***

Brother kittens, likely abandoned, were found under a bush on Millport Avenue on Monday, according to Officer Allyson Halm of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section.

‘I Have Let It Go in the Past’: Attorney for Silver Hill Calls Out P&Z Member (and Neighbor) at Public Hearing

After the neighbor of a Valley Road hospital who also sits on the Planning & Zoning Commission wrangled with an architect over a multi-faceted application during a recent public hearing, an attorney representing the nonprofit institution called out the commissioner, objecting to the way he participated in the proceeding. Thanks largely to open communications with Silver Hill Hospital President and Medical Director Dr. Sigurd Ackerman, members of the Silvermine River Neighborhood Association—a group that formed following a long-running legal battle involving the psychiatric facility—issued no objections to a new plan to rebuild an admissions building and make some other changes, attorney Michael Sweeney said during P&Z’s most recent meeting. “Dr. Ackerman called a meeting with the group, worked through the application with the group, there were comments, and he also reached out to other sections of the various neighborhoods around the property, including up on the hill and to the side, had separate meetings with several neighborhood who called with questions and the silence from the room speaks to what a good job he did,” Sweeney told P&Z commissioners during their June 28 meeting, held at Town Hall. “The sad part about this is that Mr. [Kent] Turner never elects to participate. He has not joined the Silvermine River Neighborhood Association and has not reached out to the hospital, and we invite him to do so.

Silver Hill Seeks To Rebuild Admissions Building for Greater Privacy, Reduce Traffic on Valley Road

Saying its plan would increase privacy for new patients, decrease neighborhood traffic and further beautify a big chunk of its 44-acre campus, Silver Hill Hospital is applying to the town for a multi-faceted permit that touches on buildings, parking, landscaping, lighting and traffic. Dealing solely with the psychiatric hospital’s 23 acres west of Valley Road, the “Campus Enhancement Plan” calls for a rebuilt admissions building, increased parking, newly configured driveways and walkways, and landscaping improvements described as similar to “a Connecticut country estate,” according to a special permit application filed on behalf of Silver Hill by attorney Michael Sweeney, a partner at Stamford’s Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. While parts of the plan would more than double the size of the admissions building, known as “Grey House,” and increase parking by 36 percent, to 193 total spaces, it also includes a comprehensive landscaping plan that offers screening and would reduce the curb cuts off of Valley Road’s west side from five to two, with newly aligned locations that would allow vehicles traveling to the eastern campus to shoot straight across the road instead of traveling up or down it, the application said. The proposed changes “will not adversely affect neighboring buildings or properties,” according to the application, filed with Planning & Zoning. “The proposed Admissions Building is residential in appearance and will physically complement, and is compatible with, the existing buildings on the Sivler Hill property and in the surrounding neighborhood.

Did You Hear … ?

East School and South School families did the best job attending school on the Friday prior to February break, according to data obtained by NewCanaanite.com. Though each of the New Canaan Public Schools saw a drop from average attendance rates on that day (and it even started on Thursday—see below), none saw a steeper decline than the high school, followed by the fifth grade, and then West. Here’s the data:



The Town Clerk’s office recorded just one property transfer last week:

183 South Avenue, Unit 23 was sold for $800,000 by Rose Parsons Lynch estate to Angelina Carpi. ***

The Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department at 10:13 a.m. on Feb. 25 responded to an Oak Street home on a report of squirrel loose in the house.