• P&Z Considers New Format For ‘Elderly Housing’

    A local builder/developer is proposing a new set of zoning regulations for “elderly housing,” which would allow detached single-family houses on relatively small lots in a subdivision, with each lot having its own water well and septic system. Kim Danziger of Danziger Homes, Inc., presented his regulatory proposal for elderly housing to the Planning and Zoning Commission at an August 20 public hearing. Mr Danziger told P&Z members that having such zoning rules in place would serve to improve the local housing stock. Elderly housing, also known as age-restricted housing, refers to housing designated for people at least 55 years old. P&Z members will continue the public hearing on the zoning proposal at their September 3 meeting.

  • State Grants To Newtown Down More Than $82k In Latest OPM Report

    In an apparent signal to state towns and cities to step up efforts to find greater efficiencies through regionalizing programs and services to residents, the Office of Policy and management announced late Friday, August 21, that Newtown will be losing about $70,000 in state grants this fiscal year from a PILOT or "Payment In Lieu Of Taxes" program. PILOT grant helps offset property tax losses from state owned operations like the Governor's Horse Guard and the Garner Correctional Facility.

  • Zoning Officials Review Exit 10 Design District

    Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members are reviewing an engineering firm’s proposal for a new set of zoning regulations that would create a “design district” near the Exit 10 interchange of Interstate 84. The move would add some flexibility to the commercial/industrial zoning regulations for an area that currently has B-2 (Business) and M-4 (Industrial) zoning. The land affected by the proposal lies along both sides of Church Hill Road within the area located between the eastbound lanes of I-84 and the Housatonic Railroad overpass. It also would affect land extending northward from Church Hill Road along Edmond Road. Starting in 2016, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to make a variety of road improvements along Church Hill Road, west of the Exit 10 interchange. That area has the town’s highest accident rate.

  • Yale Students Get Their Hands Dirty At Shortt’s Farm

    Shadows cast by a wide-brimmed hat shielded her eyes form late morning sun as Symba Nuruddin, from Berkley, Calif., pulled at weeds crowding a row of beets at Shortt’s Farm & Garden Center Wednesday, August 26. She and other Yale University students in the school's Harvest program spent the week working at the local farm. Ms Nuruddin and another senior, Margaret Shultz, an English major from Iowa City, Iowa, were group leaders this week. Ms Shultz, accompanied by Jacob Middlekauff from Princeton, N.J., and Harry Seavey from New York City, worked a row of tall, purple-green Swiss chard, plucking out damaged leaves.

  • School Supporters Create Newtown Education Foundation

    Residents Kristen Bonacci, Aaron Carlson, and Casey Ragan are behind an effort to launch a Newtown Education Foundation to support the local learning environment. The Newtown Education Foundation’s mission is to “enrich the learning experience for our students by promoting innovation and creativity through collaboration with the community,” according to a press release. As the co-founders, Ms Bonacci, Mr Carlson, and Ms Regan announced the foundation on Wednesday, August 26. Ms Bonacci said she thinks Newtown is the perfect town for an education foundation.

  • Lanza Estate Lawsuit Settlements Continue

    So far, six plaintiffs among the 16 plaintiffs who have lawsuits pending against the estate of Nancy Lanza have received probate court approval for settlements of their civil actions. The lawsuits stem from the December 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which Ms Lanza’s son, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 20 first grade students and six educators. Attorney Angelo A. Ziotas of Silver Golub & Teitell LLP of Stamford said that Probate Judge Joseph A. Egan, Jr, of the Northern Fairfield County probate district has approved settlements for six of the 16 lawsuits. Mr Ziotas said he expects that all 16 settlements would be approved by the probate courts by early October, as the various cases proceed through the legal review process.

  • Fire reports, August 21-27, 2015

  • Facilities Panel: Scrap Hook & Ladder HQ, Renovate Multipurpose Building

    It appears Newtown’s Municipal Building Strategic Plan Committee is poised to recommend the current Hook & Ladder headquarters behind Edmond Town Hall be abandoned for future town use once the volunteer fire company relocates to new quarters next year. The panel, however, agrees the community should invest in several key improvements to the Multipurpose Building on Riverside Road — currently housing the town’s Senior Center and the Adventure Center preschool. It also charged a consultant working on a space needs study and facilities analysis to determine whether Town Hall South at 3 Main Street could continue to serve the Newtown Police Department as a headquarters, once and if it is the sole user of that facility, versus sharing space with the emergency communications department, Parks & Recreation, Social Services and the registrars of Voters.

  • Traffic Issues Raised On Major Hawleyville Development Project

    A major Hawleyville development proposal, which would include a 180-unit multifamily housing complex, a diner, and a church on land off Hawleyville Road (Route 25), has drawn many traffic-related questions and comments from residents of that area. Those residents spoke at a heavily attended August 20 Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) meeting that included two public hearings on different aspects of the development project proposed for land near the Exit 9 interchange of Interstate 84. In one proposal, Covered Bridge Newtown, LLC, seeks to build a 180-unit rental apartment complex at Covered Bridge Road and also to construct a 4,160-square-foot diner at 13 Hawleyville Road.

  • Ready For Lift-Off, 2015-16 School Year Begins

    Head O’ Meadow students were led off their buses to the school on Thursday, August 27, for the first day of the 2015-16 school year. Inside the school teachers and staff waited to greet the students, and near the entrance physical education teachers Steve Dreger and Alex Amaru shared high-fives with students. Mr Amaru, who is new to the school, welcomed the students with a special, “It’s my first day, too!” “Welcome back everybody!” Principal Barbara Gasparine said, smiling as students stepped off a bus.