Health Director: New Canaan Woman’s COVID-19 Complaint About Local Restaurant Unfounded

Municipal health officials said a New Canaan woman’s complaint last month that a restaurant downtown had been violating COVID-19-related rules was determined to be unfounded. According to a complaint that Tucker Murphy lodged with New Canaan’s highest elected official, the White Buffalo bar and restaurant  was “not following the Sector Rules” on the night of Friday, Dec. 11. Murphy phoned First Selectman Kevin Moynihan to say that the popular local business “was overcrowded,” according to email records obtained by through a public records request. 

Health Director Jenn Eielson referred to the complaint in emailing White Buffalo owner Dom Valente on Dec. 14.

Spray-Painted ‘Trump’ Sign Fuels Ongoing Neighbor Dispute

Saying a next-door neighbor’s political sign has led to harassment of a tenant, the owner of a Locust Avenue home has called for town officials to intervene, records show. Sam Li, owner of an antique Colonial at 113 Locust Ave., told town officials in a Nov. 25 email that neighbors to the east spray-painted sign saying ‘Trump’ on their own fence. “The problem is that the sign is easily mistaken as belonging to my property, as it is literally next to the driveway,” Li said in the email, obtained by through a public records request. “As a result, my tenant is getting all the responses to the sign, often in the form of harassment.”

He added, “Given that the situation is quite disturbing for my tenant, I really appreciate a timely resolution.”

Li sent the email to New Canaan Chief Building Official and Director of Land Use Brian Platz, whose responsibilities include fielding blight complaints.

‘There Has Been a Lot of Abuse’: Commissioner Flags Poor Parking Downtown

The restaurant “bump-outs” and revised parking and sidewalk schemes downtown have led to safety hazards because motorists are pulling into no-parking areas and even blocking crosswalks, official say. Trucks are pulling up along crosswalks so that it’s impossible to see pedestrians, according to Parking Commission Secretary Pam Crum. “There has been a lot of abuse going on as of late,” Crum said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Sept. 10 via videoconference. 

Crum questioned whether appropriately sized planters could be set up in areas such as Elm Street near Dunkin Donuts in order to prevent vehicles from parking where they shouldn’t. “The planters were there before and it wasn’t a problem,” Crum said.

Moynihan Urges Visitors to Downtown New Canaan To Wear Masks Outside As Well As Inside Businesses 

As New Canaan prepares to see some businesses start to reopen later this week, and for restaurants to start offering restricted outdoor dining in addition to take-out and pickup, the town’s highest elected official is urging anyone visiting the downtown to wear protective masks at all times. The business district “is a necessarily congested area, so we really have to have the rule,” according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. 

“That when you are downtown, on any street downtown—that’s Pine Street, Forest Street—you should be wearing a mask. And I say ‘should’ not because it’s not optional but but because we expect you to. And the respectful thing for your fellow citizens is to protect them as they are protecting you. And unfortunately the expectation is we are going to wear masks through the summer and perhaps into the fall, especially to avoid a recurrence.”

The comments came during the “Annual First Selectman’s Report To The Business Community,” organized and hosted by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce.