Tense Meeting Yields New Officer on Key Municipal Group

The volunteer municipal body that oversees the preservation of New Canaan’s historic district—God’s Acre and the buildings around it—had a new officer appointed to its commission during an odd, tense meeting Thursday. The former secretary of the Historic District Commission, Terry Spring, who had served on the five-member group since 2005, wasn’t reappointed by town officials earlier in the week. Instead, the Board of Selectmen appointed alternate Carl Rothbart as a regular member. Spring’s ousting meant that a new secretary had to be elected. Yet she attended the commission’s Jan.

Did You Hear … ?

A motorist stopped after striking a roaming dog with his Jeep Grand Cherokee at about 8:13 p.m. last Friday, Dec. 2, according to a police report. The conscientious driver looked for and found the dog lying on the side of Silvermine Road along the straightaway below Carter Street, the report said. The animal was responsive and appeared to have injured its right leg, it said. An owner arrived on scene, saying the animal appeared to have gotten out of the family’s house accidentally and then breached an electric fence, and took the dog to a vet.

‘It’s Barbie Pink’: Town Officials Require Different Color in Sign for Historic House

Saying they wanted to support a New Canaan couple’s efforts to preserve a historic 18th Century home that narrowly avoided the wrecking ball this past summer, planning officials last week took the unusual step of OK’ing a sign to be planted out front of the property on condition that it’s a different color than originally presented. Despite concerns that the sign to be installed at 8 Ferris Hill Road (in the manner of a demolition sign) also is too large—and strong feelings about the specific language chosen for it—members of the Planning & Zoning unanimously approved it at their regular meeting Tuesday. The sign “is just too big and the color seems wholly inconsistent with the historic house,” P&Z commissioner John Kriz said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. “It’s Barbie pink.”

Homeowner Tom Nissley, who with his wife acquired the home and 2.14-acre property for $1.5 million in June, tax records show, explained that the intention is to have the color of the sign match the shingles on the house. “I had to try to reproduce a color that doesn’t exist on the computer and that is how you got this color,” Nissley said.

Historic Ferris Hill Home To Be Rented, Back on Market in ‘Several Years’

Now that the property has been safely transferred, volunteers spent several hours Tuesday afternoon cleaning up a historic farmhouse on Ferris Hill Road in order to make it rentable in the next couple of months. Tom Nissley, who holds title to the property with his wife, Emily, said his long-term goal is to sell the 1735-built house at 8 Ferris Hill Road, though it could be “several years” before it’s ready to go on the market again. “Somebody who loves history is going to have to buy the house,” Nissley said. “My theory is that everything sells. There is always a buyer for things, and there are a lot of people who are interested in history.”

That’s a major reason why the historic farmhouse still stands.