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Residents Weigh in on Master Plan

When First Selectman Jeb Walker and the Board of Finance announced their intentions for a “master plan” to renovate structures downtown, they said they wanted to get feedback from local residents about how they should go about changes. Well, we decided to do a little bit of Walker’s job for him, and asked you what you thought of the idea. Some of you were well-versed in the town’s proposals, others needed a refresher course. But regardless, everyone had some ideas of their own.

Some, like Bob Fairty, were strongly in favor of an update, especially to the New Canaan Library. “It’s such a vital part of the community,” he said. “And it’s getting a little tired. They really need more space.” Fairty was also happy about the prospects of adding more parking spaces to the Main Street area. “I walk uptown sometimes because it’s so hard to get a space on some days,” he said.

Lucy Hazard wasn’t exactly against the parking revamps, saying, “More parking is always good.” Still Hazard, who lived in Greenwich and Rye, N.Y., before moving to New Canaan two years ago, said parking wasn’t one of her biggest concerns. “It’s so much better than in Greenwich and Rye, I can’t complain,” she said. “It’s pretty cutthroat there.”

Hazard was also wary of the changes to town buildings. Although she admitted that the inside of Town Hall could use some renovations, she hopes the town’s leaders make sure they don’t change the character of the town’s architecture.  “That was part of the draw of moving to New Canaan,” she said.

Norman Toy said he feels the renovations to town hall and the library are “long-needed,” and seemed to have very specific proposals for the update. In particular, Toy said he thinks the library should move from its current location on Main Street, to an area with better parking and accessibility. He’d also like to see the building’s entrance on ground level, so residents would not have to climb as many stairs to get inside the front door.

As for Town Hall, Toy was rather happy that town officials are looking to upgrade. He said, “I think the idea of having a proper town hall, that could be used as a shelter in case of an emergency, makes good sense.”

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