Workers at Jacquier farm to get an apartment

NORTH CANAAN — A special permit for an accessory apartment at Elm Knoll Farm was quickly approved, without conditions, at a Nov. 5 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

As described at a public hearing prior to the meeting, owner David Jacquier plans to build housing for his farm workers.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Ruth Mulcahy (who is working on an interim basis following the retirement of Karl Nilsen) said the plan meets all the requirements of the recent addition to the regulations. She also suggested accessory apartment applications be handled administratively whenever it is clear all requirements can be met.

“Accessory dwellings are a common aspect of many towns,� Mulcahy said. “But many don’t go through the formality of a public hearing. It can be done with just a zoning permit, instead of a special permit, if it meets regulations.�

The main concerns are that square footage and sanitation requirements are met, as well as parking.

In other business, it was noted that the situation at a Barlow Street home, where landscaping equipment and large piles of firewood have raised concerns by neighbors, has improved. Mulcahy reported the firewood has been moved back from the edge of the road. Some commissioners said they noticed the property looking better.

The owner “is willing to work with me. I don’t anticipate any problems,� Mulcahy said.

The issues began about five years ago, when Mulcahy was zoning enforcement officer and Chris Jordano’s growing landscape business first became a concern. There have been continuing complaints about the property over the past five years.

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