The town scored a rare legal victory last week, as a state Superior Court judge ruled in the municipality’s favor in a lawsuit brought by a developer seeking to build an affordable housing complex at Weed and Elm Streets. Filed in April, developer Arnold Karp’s appeal of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s widely anticipated denial of an application for a 102-unit, five-story building at 751 Weed St. remains before the courts in Hartford. However, state Superior Court Judge Ted O’Hanlan found in an Aug. 30 ruling that the town did not break the law when its Water Pollution Control Authority or “WPCA” denied a sewer line extension for the same project.
NewCanaanite.com received the following letter(s) ahead of the July 25 Republican caucus. Please send letters to email@example.com to have them published here. We will not publish caucus endorsements after July 11. Letters received through July 11 will be appended to this post. ***
I write to you today to wholeheartedly endorse Kevin Moynihan for the position of First Selectman.
The chair of the Board of Education said Monday night that he will step away from the elected body temporarily. Dan Bennett read out the following prepared statement at the start of the Board’s regular meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School, his first public comments since being arrested last week for drunk-driving:
“I wanted to make a statement to this Board and the public. After the completion of this meeting, I will be absent from Board meetings and participation in Board activities for a few weeks as I deal with a personal situation that requires my and my family’s attention. With the help of my wife and family, we will manage this situation with humility and respect. I will make no further comment on this matter, which I hope that you understand.
In a blow to the town’s highest elected official, New Canaan’s legislative body asserted last week that the town needs an active volunteer commission that advises on utilities. Weeks into his first term in 2017, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said that he wished to dissolve the Utilities Commission while tackling cell coverage in New Canaan himself.
Since then, Moynihan has brought no one forward to populate the six-person commission, which is down to three members—not enough to qualify as a quorum—and hasn’t posted a meeting agenda in four years.
This summer, after it became known that Moynihan was planning to erect a cell tower behind West School, fellow members of the Board of Selectmen pushed back. In October, when Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams called for the reinstitution of the Utilities Commission, Moynihan said he didn’t “see the need” for it.
Even so, Corbet and Williams this month pushed again for a reactivated Utilities Commission.
And last week, the Town Council voted unanimously during an informal straw poll that New Canaan needs an active Utilities Commission and that the Council will do whatever is necessary to flesh that out, including taking input from the Board of Selectmen. “Right now, as we have a very active first selectman—he is having the thought process and the meetings that are not public meetings,” Councilman Cristina A. Ross said during the elected body’s Dec. 14 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.
A committee of New Canaan’s legislative body at its most recent meeting decided against a recommendation to amend a local ordinance in order to allow a private group to have advertising in a makeshift ice rink planned for a public park. Though certain members of the Town Council Bylaws & Ordinances Committee argued in favor of allowing New Canaan Ice Inc. to run 10 to 15 paid “dasher board” ads along the walls of a rink planned for Waveny, others cautioned that making such an exception to a clearly written ordinance would set a bad precedent. Tom Butterworth, a Committee co-chair, noted that there appears to be a lack of enforcement with respect to the Section 42-8(G) of the Town Code, which reads: “No person shall distribute any handbills or circulars or post any bills, notices or advertising matter of any kind and nature in any park.”
Yet “we want a pristine Waveny,” Butterworth said at the Nov. 22 meeting, held via videoconference.
“We want to have a rule that basically tells the world that Waveny gives you this pristine experience with nature,” he said. “And that’s a laudable goal.