An attorney representing one of New Canaan’s best-established businesses is seeking permission from the town to maintain a rooftop condenser unit that reaches .75 inches higher than regulations allow. Installed two summers ago, the condenser atop Walter Stewart’s Market also is located about four feet closer to the westerly edge of the roof at 229 Elm St. than allowed in the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, according to an application filed with the town by Steve Finn of Stamford-based Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky LLP.
In making his case for the variance to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Finn noted that “the Walter Stewart’s Market buildings were build prior to the enactment of the zoning regulations” whose limits in the Business A zone on the maximum height of buildings and location of rooftop appurtenances such as the condenser now require formal permission from the town. “The location and height of the new condenser unit would be in compliance with the zoning regulations up until approximately 1982 when the current restrictions on height first started to appear in the New Canaan Zoning Regulations,” Finn said in a statement of hardship filed on behalf of the market.
“The application of the height requirement retroactively to buildings constructed in 1978 and 1957 would make it virtually impossible to have environmentally efficient up-to-date code and industry-compliant mechanicals necessary to safety operate the Applicant’s grocery store,” he said.
Finn continued: “A hardship results from the amendment to the zoning regulations decreasing the maximum building height which was enacted after the [Applicant] bought the property for its grocery business and constructed the buildings on the site. It would not only be a hardship but unfair to require the Applicant to comply with a zoning regulation which was changed after the property was purchased and the buildings were constructed.