Glass House Seeks Permission To Modify Hours, Notification Requirements, Parking

A Ponus Ridge historic site and architectural tourist attraction is seeking modest changes to its operating permit, according to papers filed with the town. The Philip Johnson Glass House is requesting permission to increase its hours of operation and to change when town approval is required for certain events, according to an application to modify an existing Special Permit, filed June 26 with Planning & Zoning. The current Special Permit authorizes the use of National Trust for Historic Preservation site as a “limited public access museum,” according to the application. The 49-acre site, which includes 14 buildings designed by the famed architect, opened to the public in 2007. 

An application, filed by attorney Ted O’Hanlan of Robinson + Cole, seeks to extend the public tour season by two weeks at both the beginning and end—meaning it would begin April 16 and end Dec. 15.

Attorney for New Canaan Country School Denies Neighbor’s Major Claims

An attorney for New Canaan Country School is denying a neighbor’s claim that the new athletic facility approved for school’s Frogtown Road campus will diminish the value of her home more in its planned location than it would anywhere else on the 70-plus-acre property. Attorney Steve Finn, a partner at Stamford-based Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky LLP, also is denying the neighbor’s claim that locating the two-story facility near the school’s eastern property line was done “solely for NCCS’s convenience” even though there were other potential sites that would’ve had less impact. In answering a lawsuit filed in August on behalf of the neighbor, Katherine Moore, Finn in several places—for example, in addressing the assertion that one member of the Planning & Zoning Commission who had recused himself from considering the application later actively participated in deliberations—said New Canaan Country School “is unable to admit or deny the allegations … and leaves the plaintiff to her proof.”

P&Z in March voted 9-0 in favor of a Special Permit application filed on behalf of the school, and in June approved the site plan (with 17 conditions) by a 7-1 vote. The town is named as primary defendant in the administrative appeal and is represented by Westport-based Berchem Moses PC. 

Finn filed his answer Sept. 27, according to Connecticut Judicial Branch records, and the case last week was transferred to Superior Court in Hartford.

Town Attorney Seeks To Address ‘Alleged Procedural Defects’ with Grace Farms Approval through Re-Filing

Seeking to address part of a lawsuit filed by neighbors of Grace Farms, New Canaan’s town attorney is asking the Lukes Wood Road organization to re-file its applications for an amended permit and changes to the New Canaan Zoning Regulations. The Planning & Zoning Commission approved the applications in September on a record-high number of conditions following months of public hearings. However, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Smith Ridge Road residents Timothy Curt and Dona Bissonnette, the post-hearing legal notices of P&Z’s decision were “defective, incomplete and misleading” and also failed to meet the requirements of state law or the town’s own zoning regulations. According to the complaint filed by attorney David Sherwood of Glastonbury-based Moriarty, Paetzoid & Sherwood, P&Z also failed to file a copy of the regulation change with the Town Clerk prior to the effective date of the amended regulation, according to the complaint. Though the town would “contest these claims in court,” one way to address “the alleged procedural defects now and thereby reduce the risk of a court later overruling our position and requiring re-filing and new hearing, after the full effort and expense of the administrative appeal process” will be to re-file, according to a Nov.