Brookwood Lane Property Owner Files Formal Complaint about Neighbor’s Fence

Months after complaining that a neighbor’s new privacy fence is one inch higher than allowed under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, a Brookwood Lane couple has filed a formal appeal with the town. The fence that runs along a dead-end lane shared by three homeowners presents a safety concern, according to Chris and Carolyn Susanin of 34 Brookwood Lane. “Our primary concern is the safety of our children (6 and 10 years old) and our 2 dogs,” the Susanins wrote in an appeal. “When you are traveling on the accessway, our yard cannot be visualized until you are directly on the property where the fence ends,” according to their written statement of appeal. “This is the point where the fence is at its highest point above finished grade (over 7 feet).

First Selectmen: Memorial Day Parade, Waveny Fireworks Canceled 

New Canaan’s highest elected official said Friday that the town is canceling two of its most cherished annual community events due to the COVID-19 virus public health emergency. An “appropriate alternative ceremony” will be held Memorial Day instead of the parade, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, and municipal leaders are taking suggestions on how to hold a safe alternative to the traditional July 4 fireworks at Waveny. As of Sunday evening, 25 people in New Canaan had succumbed to coronavirus disease, officials said. “We grieve for these losses and our thoughts and prayers are with their families,” Moynihan said. The news of cancellations came days after local leaders reopened public parks for trail-walking only, and as the community pursues what Moynihan called the “measured and disciplined reopening of our local economy.” 

Gov. Ned Lamont last week sketched out a plan that would see businesses including “nonessential” retail shops, salons and outdoor areas at restaurants reopen as long as coronavirus disease hospitalizations decline, more testing is made available and a program for contact tracing is established.

Town Opts Not To Offer Senior Discount on Dump Sticker Fee

Town officials said last week that they won’t offer seniors a discount on annual sticker fees at the dump, as one resident had suggested. Among peer towns, only Darien offers such a discount, but the sticker fee there is $120 whereas New Canaan’s is going up from $45 to $75, officials said during the April 21 meeting of the Board of Selectmen. Wilton, Westport, Weston and Ridgefield offer no such discount, according to Don Smith, the Department of Public Works’ assistant superintendent of solid waste at the Transfer Station. A senior discount therefore “is not prevalent,” First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said at the meeting, held via videoconference. 

“Keep in mind, many seniors are in congregate areas where they have contractural services with their rents, such as all the apartment buildings and all the condos and co-ops,” Moynihan said. “So there will be some seniors, obviously—but anyway, we are not going to bring forth a recommendation on a senior discount.

New Canaan Country School Neighbors Voice Concerns Over Light from Athletic Facility

Saying they’re already experiencing unwanted light from the new athletic facility that New Canaan Country School is building off of Frogtown Road, neighbors are urging the town to deny a request to modify a condition of the project’s approval. An attorney representing the private school applied to the Planning & Zoning Commission to remove a requirement that “black-out shades” be installed for all windows visible from a property to the east “and including any window from which light can be projected or reflected.”

Attorney Steve Finn of Stamford-based Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin. Kuriansky LLP noted that the abutting neighbor whose concerns prompted the Commission to create the condition—a woman who sued the town in appealing the original approval—no longer resides at 579 Frogtown Road. In fact, Finn said, she sold the property to New Canaan Country School as part of a settlement agreement. 

He also cited a lighting company’s finding that “that there will be no measurable light at or beyond the property line [between the school campus and 579 Frogtown Road]” and that “the use of black-out shades will not reduce the exterior light levels because the interior lighting has no impact on the exterior light levels.”

Yet two neighbors who live directly across Frogtown Road from the school—Joseph and Kim Bozzella of 584 Frogtown Road and Jack and Carol Liebau of 568 Frogtown Road—filed letters of objection with P&Z urging them to deny the application. 

The Liebaus said in their letter that “the lighting from the interior of the athletic facility, shining through the glassed-in portion near its ceiling, is quite glaring after dark from both the first and second stories of our home—including our kitchen; home office; play/study room; and glassed-in library where we frequently entertain.”

“We have always been glad to be neighbors to both Country School (where our children have attended since 2011) and the Winter Club,” the letter said. “We want to be good neighbors; the problem with this light, however, is that every evening, our home feels like it is now located in much more of a ‘mixed use’ area than the darker suburban location into which we thought we had purchased.