‘Take a Big Step Back’: Neighbors, Residents Voice Opposition to Plans for Roger Sherman Redevelopment

The proposed redevelopment of the Roger Sherman Inn is too dense for its neighborhood and flies in the face of the documents that govern and guide zoning in New Canaan, an attorney representing opponents of the plan said Tuesday night. Creating seven single-family homes on the 1.8-acre lot at 195 Oenoke Ridge Road where the historic inn and restaurant now stand “really is not in keeping with the properties you see along Oenoke Ridge Road,” according to Amy Zabetakis of Darien-based Rucci Law Group. She represents six neighbors of the inn, on Holmewood and Hampton Lanes. “I think you really need to take a big step back and really make sure that this is something you want to encourage in town,” she told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission during the first public hearing regarding the Roger Sherman Inn proposal, held at Town Hall. “I was hoping to come here today that I would hear something from the applicant about how this plan does conform with the Plan of Conservation and Development, how it does conform with existing New Canaan regulations, because I think that is an essential part of your analysis.

Six Candidates To Undergo First-Round Interviews for New Canaan Town Planner Job This Week

Officials say they received a strong response to the open town planner job in New Canaan, and will commence interviews with six final candidates on Thursday and Friday this week. Active town planners in nearby communities are among those conducting the first-round interviews, according to Cheryl Pickering-Jones, director of human resources for the town of New Canaan. “We are trying to move quickly,” Pickering-Jones told NewCanaanite.com. Town Planner Steve Kleppin, whose last day is Thursday as he takes the same job in neighboring Norwalk, will continue to advise New Canaan in a consulting position, she said. Given that New Canaan has received major applications in recent weeks and months—for example, the Merritt Village proposal, (recently modified) Roger Sherman Inn redevelopment plans and effort from Grace Farms to amend its operating permit—Kleppin’s institutional and historical knowledge, and ready familiarity with New Canaan Zoning Regulations, are important assets, officials say.

‘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.

Town Denies Appeal from Neighbor Regarding Use of Guest Cottage on Oenoke Ridge Road

Backed by documents showing that an Oenoke Ridge Road accessory structure received town approval for use as a guesthouse, and citing the many years it has been occupied as such without complaint, officials last month rejected a next-door neighbor’s appeal regarding the building’s use. The Zoning Board of Appeals at its most recent meeting by a 5-0 vote denied an appeal that had been filed this spring on behalf of Peter and Kathleen Streinger, owners of 785 Oenoke Ridge Road. They had sought to halt use of a guest cottage on the property to their west as a dwelling, saying it violated the New Canaan Zoning Regulations and conditions attached to a subdivision approved in 2003. However, the town planner told ZBA members in a memo ahead of the group’s Aug. 1 meeting, a subsequent owner of the property in question (number 757 Oenoke Ridge Road) in 2004 applied for a special permit exempting the historic accessory structure from building coverage under a newly enacted regulation (see page 148 here).