New Canaan Preservation Alliance Withdraws Lawsuit Against Town’s P&Z Commission

“We are grateful that . . . P&Z took the 1913 building’s historic significance into account in formulating its approval of the Library’s proposal,” says NCPA President Neele Stichnoth.

The New Canaan Preservation Alliance announced today it is withdrawing its lawsuit against the town’s Planning & Zoning Commission related to the Commission’s approval of the New Canaan Library’s plan to re-size the Library’s original building, constructed in 1913, and move it to a different location on the Library’s campus.

“The Library has come a long way, and in the right direction, from its original proposal to raze the 1913 building entirely,” NCPA President Neele Stichnoth said in a statement. “While we are not entirely pleased with the ultimate outcome of this issue, we are gratified that, because of our efforts, a portion of the 1913 building still stands and occupies a place of prominence on the new Library Green. We are confident that the Library will develop a workable plan to functionally integrate the 1913 building into the Library’s overall campus.”

The NCPA’s suit sought to prevent P&Z from approving the Library’s proposal to remove the original building’s rear half and move the remainder of it, on the grounds that the proposal violated the Town’s zoning and preservation codes. The Library had first proposed that the 1913 building be knocked down entirely.

Partly as a result of the NCPA’s efforts to raise awareness of the 1913’s historic value and rally community opinion to save the building, P&Z’s final approval of the construction of the new library came with the condition that the original building be preserved in some manner. The Library’s proposal to re-size and relocate it was how it met that condition.

“We have determined that there is nothing further to be accomplished by continuing the litigation, as this matter has been concluded. In the interest of all parties we are withdrawing our lawsuit,” Stichnoth said. “We are grateful that, as a result of our efforts, P&Z took the 1913 building’s historic significance into account in formulating its approval of the Library’s proposal. In addition, we wish the Library well in its ongoing development efforts.”

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