Convenience Store Plan Draws Opposition at Old Lyme Zoning Hearing

OLD LYME — CPD Properties has applied again for a special exception to allow a convenience store at the gas station at 85 Halls Road, but an attorney for an abutter says the application is untenable because it cannot comply with the town’s zoning regulations.  CPD, also known as CPD Energy Corp. of New Paltz, New York, has proposed the addition of 227 square feet of space to the existing 1,760 sq. building on the .6-acre parcel. The garage bays that were previously used for auto repair would be converted to a retail space. The project would also replace the

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Old Lyme Candidates for Board of Education Speak to the Issues

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As Lyme-Old Lyme’s Board of Education prepares for a sizable turnover in November, slates endorsed by the Democrats and Republicans took questions from CT Examiner about their spending priorities, about communicating with the public, the teaching of History and measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Four incumbent members of the Board — Richard Goulding (D), Stacey Leonardo (R), Jean Wilczynski (D) and chair Diane Linderman (D) — are not seeking re-election. The Old Lyme Democrats have endorsed incumbent Martha Shoemaker (D) and newcomers Alexander Lowry (D), Marisa Calvi-Rogers (D) and Jason Kemp (D). The Old Lyme Republicans have

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State Officials Debate Limits on Equity Licensing for Legal Marijuana

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When Connecticut legislators agreed this spring to legalize recreational marijuana, a number of lawmakers did so with the proviso that the change would also foster an equitable, diverse market, with meaningful benefits for people from communities disproportionately harmed by the criminalization of marijuana.  “There won’t be a cannabis bill in this state until we get equity right,” said State Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, at a press conference before the passage of the law.   Translating those goals into policy is the work of a 15-member social equity council appointed by Gov. Ned Lamont and state lawmakers to iron out the

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Flooding, 7 Dead Beavers, Spark Local Action in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Two years after the town’s Open Space Commission voted to allow beaver activity to continue unhindered on the Ames property, local officals plan to install three beaver management devices at the Whippoorwill Road and Buttonball Road culverts. “We do have a plan to address beaver activity with our mandate, and we will work with abutting property owners who are adversely affected by flooding originating on open space land,” said Gregory Futoma, a member of the Open Space Commission. This summer, during an aerial survey of the Ames property to assess the rising water levels that prevented a

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Meeting Canceled for Storage and Business Units on Shore Road in Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — CN&S Realty of Old Lyme has withdrawn its application for the construction of three storage and service contractor buildings at 250 Shore Road (Rte. 156), canceling tonight’s special meeting of the Zoning Commission at 6 p.m.  A spokesperson from town hall said the applicant withdrew because there was not enough time to comply with a number of conditions set forth by the town engineer and the state Department of Transportation within the 65-day application period.  A letter from the Department of Transportation dated August 5 denied the applicant’s request to work within the state right-of-way, citing seven

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Thursday Zoning Hearing to Consider Business and Storage Units on Shore Road in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — A public hearing by the town’s zoning commission to review three 10,500-square-foot buildings at 250 Shore Road intended for contractor services and storage will continue at Town Hall on August 12 at 6 p.m.  More than 100 neighborhood and area residents have signed a petition in opposition to the project. Many spoke against the proposal at the May 10, June 14, and July 12 Zoning Commission meetings. As currently designed, each building would measure 70’ wide, 150’ long and 35’ high and contain 12 875-square-foot spaces that could be separately rented as storage units or for business services,

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Goulding Talks COVID, Party Politics and 8 Years on the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Ed

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After eight years on the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education, Rick Goulding, along with three other members, including the current chair Diane Linderman, will not seek re-election this November, leaving nearly half of the seats open for first-time members. “Eight years was enough of a contribution to the community for now,” Goulding said. “We decided family-wise and job-wise it just didn’t make sense to continue.”  According to Goulding, when he first took his seat on the board in 2013 it was a very different time politically. “At the time I reached out to both parties before the election and they

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With Growing Enrollments, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools to Hire an Additional 5th Grade Teacher, Add English Sections

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Lyme-Old Lyme schools are adding additional class sections to keep up with a growing population of students in the district.  At a Board of Education meeting Tuesday, Superintendent Ian Neviaser said that the district needed to add an additional section of 5th grade at Mile Creek Elementary School, increasing the number of sections from two to three.  The school currently has 50 students registered for 5th grade. Neviaser said the maximum class size for the district is 22. Having three sections of 5th grade will keep the class sizes at around 17 students each.   The district also needs to add

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Democrats Endorse Shoemaker, Lampos to Lead Old Lyme Ticket

OLD LYME — In a surprising move, the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee endorsed Martha Shoemaker, who was elected to the Regional Board of Education in Nov. 2017, to challenge incumbent Republican Timothy Griswold in this November’s election. Incumbent Selectman Mary Jo Nosal, who some expected to run for first selectman, is instead a candidate for the Zoning Commission with a term beginning in 2022.  On the slate with Shoemaker is Jim Lampos as candidate for selectman. Since 2019, Lampos has served on the Community Connectivity Grant Committee, which has overseen the installation of sidewalks along Hartford Ave. and Shore

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Sound View Debates Parking, Shouldering the Costs of the Summer Season

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OLD LYME — A meeting of the Sound View Commission on Monday night debated the cost of parking in the beach community and whether it is fair to expect visitors to balance the cost of additional town services during the summer months. “The townspeople pay for police already and they pay for public works already,” said Commission Chair Frank Pappalardo, “Sound View is an additional drain on public works and police and services that the town operates. What we’re looking to do is to help defray the costs to the taxpayers of the Town of Old Lyme for what it

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Commercial Development Near Miami Beach Draws Questions and Opposition

OLD LYME — A proposal to construct three 10,500-square-foot commercial buildings that would house storage units and businesses at 250 Shore Road (Route 156) will come before the Zoning Commission at a special meeting on August 12 at 6 p.m. CN&S Realty of Old Lyme has applied for a special permit to build three buildings, each measuring 70’ wide by 150’ long, and 35’ in height. Each building would house twelve 875-square-foot spaces that would be rented as storage units or for “business service establishments,” as permitted by the zoning ordinance. Retail establishments would not be permitted.  The 3.77-acre site,

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Griswold and Matt Ward Make Run in Old Lyme, Slate For Democrats Not Announced

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OLD LYME — The Republican Town Committee quickly nominated and unanimously approved its slate of candidates at Town Hall on Thursday night, including incumbent First Selectman Timothy Griswold for another term and Matt Ward, a longtime state trooper and unaffiliated candidate, for selectman.  In the 2019 election, Griswold entered the race late and gained a spot on the ballot by petition. By a 56 to 44 percent margin, he won against incumbent Democrat Bonnie Reemsnyder, who had beaten Griswold in 2011. Griswold previously served as First Selectman from 1997 to 2011.  At Thursday’s meeting, he said this will be his

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Ownership of Tantummaheag Landing in Question, Public Access Offered

OLD LYME — The new owners of property adjacent to the historic Tantummaheag Landing say they have done an extensive title search that proves the landing and associated right-of-way belongs to them rather than the town. The landing provides access to the Connecticut River for kayaks or small craft and the right-of-way has long been used as a public space for walking.   George Frampton and Carla D’Arista, who have owned 12 and 19 Tantummaheag Road since September, say access to the landing and right-of-way will not change. “We have always welcomed people coming down the road and we want to

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Reemsnyder Asks Town to Assume Ownership of Hope Parcels

OLD LYME — Hope Partnership board member Bonnie Reemsnyder has asked the town to assume ownership of land where the nonprofit currently maintains affordable housing. According to a letter from the former first selectman to current First Selectman Timothy Griswold, the change would allow the nonprofit to forgo the burden of yearly requests for tax abatements, and would also encourage Hope to develop two town-owned parcels on Flat Rock Hill Road currently designated for single-family affordable housing.  “With two more lots likely becoming available, I would think that the Board of Selectmen would be interested in resolving this tax issue

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Sidewalk Plans Come Full Circle on Ferry Road

OLD LYME — After considering an alternative on the south side of Ferry Road that would have saved a few trees, the Ferry Road Sidewalk Committee came to a consensus Thursday that the best location for the replacement of the buckling sidewalks was on the north side of the road where the sidewalks are now.  “It’s certainly not ‘the plan’ but we’re moving in that direction. We’re still going to have a public information session,” said First Selectman Timothy Griswold, a member of the committee, after Thursday’s meeting.  The consensus included a requirement that the town consult with a licensed

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Committee Members Will Answer Questions at Halls Road Master Plan Open House

OLD LYME — The Halls Road Improvements Committee will hold an open house on Saturday, July 10, from 9 a.m. to noon in Town Hall at 52 Lyme St. to present phase two of the Halls Road master plan, designed by BSC Group of Glastonbury.  Visual materials will show roadway improvements to be paid for by the town, including a bow bridge spanning the Lieutenant River as well as pedestrian and bike routes, sidewalks, crosswalks, lighting, landscaping and green spaces. Another board will show Village District zoning on Halls Road, which could affect future private investment and development in the

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Lymes’ Senior Center Holds Design Workshop with Point One Architects

OLD LYME — Supplied with red stickers, blue stickers, and gold stars, many of the Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors and a number of selected community members marked their favorite and least favorite areas of the center on large site plans and floor plans Tuesday afternoon. “[Put the] red stickers on the area that you like to see or like to visit — if you have more than one area you love, you can use two stickers… The blue represents the things you do not like about the site,” said Rick Staab, a partner at Point One Architects, which

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Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Gets Back to its Roots, Offers New Classes

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OLD LYME — With a $1.657 million budget for FY21-22, about 120 students enrolled in summer classes, and a small full-time core program that will start in the fall, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is rebounding after two rough years.  “People are so enthusiastic to be able to finally come and receive classes in person and meet other peers, so it’s a really positive atmosphere,” said Amaya Gurpide, director of drawing, who was hired in February along with her husband, Jordan Sokol, who is artistic director for the school.  Sokol said a range of summer classes, landscape workshops and youth

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Workshop Will Gather Public Input on Renovation of Lymes’ Senior Center

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OLD LYME — Point One Architects will conduct a public workshop on Tuesday, July 6 at 1 p.m to talk about options for updating the Lymes’ Senior Center and to gather input from the community. The Lymes’ Senior Center Building Committee has scheduled the workshop, which will take place inside the center, located at 26 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme, with COVID protocols in place, including masks and social distancing.  The committee put out a Request for Qualifications and Proposal for a renovation feasibility study for the center on March 15 and received responses from seven firms. The committee interviewed

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High Bids Stymie Progress on Installing Sewers in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Just two companies bid to install sewers in four beach communities in Old Lyme, and at costs which were significantly in excess of what had been estimated for the project. The bids were $17.5 and $18.5 million — higher than the roughly $10 million estimate from engineering firm Fuss & O’Neill, said Scott Boulanger, said director of the Board of Governors of the Miami Beach Association.  Officials from the three chartered beach communities and the town of Old Lyme told CT Examiner that the high bid had triggered a new bidding process that will split the project

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A Minor Tweak that Doubles Funding for Some Regional Schools

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A minor tweak in Connecticut’s funding formula for school districts will more than double the amount that Lyme-Old Lyme schools receive from the state over the next two years.  In 2021, Lyme received $60,216 and Old Lyme received $238,583. According to projections from the School and State Finance Project, Old Lyme’s state funding will increase to $370,531 in 2022 and $502,478 in 2023. Lyme’s will increase to $89,603 in 2022 and $118,989 in 2023.  The increase is a result of a “regional bonus” that gives regional school districts $100 for every student enrolled in a regional school. A previous bonus

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Hack, Corrigan Head to a Tokyo Olympics ‘More Focused on the Competition’

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By the end of the summer, Louis Zubek, the former rowing coach for Lyme-Old Lyme High School, will be able to say that he has coached not one, but two Olympic athletes.  That’s because Lyme-Old Lyme alumni Austin Hack, 29, and Liam Corrigan, 23, will be part of the U.S. men’s eight boat that races on the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo at this summer’s Olympic Games.  Although Hack and Corrigan are competing in the same boat, Zubek said it was a shame that he didn’t have the opportunity to coach both athletes together at Lyme-Old Lyme — Hack graduated

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Long River Local Approved by Old Lyme Zoning

OLD LYME — A new retail food shop slated for the little yellow house at 96 Halls Road received approval from the Zoning Commission on Monday night for a special exception change of use from retail to food service. Long River Local will feature coffee, prepared foods, sandwiches, baked goods and local farm produce, with a menu designed by local chef Shelley DeProto, who owned the former Red Hen in Old Saybrook and Lupo in Chester.  A soft opening for the shop is expected in late July, said Walker Potts, owner of Long River Farm, one of the produce suppliers for

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Long River Local in Old Lyme Expected to Open Early July

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OLD LYME — “The menu will be driven by local farms so it will be changing regularly based on the availability of the produce that we will be using,” said Chef Shelley DeProto, who is preparing to open Long River Local, a farm-to-consumer retail food shop at 96 Halls Road.  “We won’t be focused on any one type of cuisine but rather a variety of cuisines to bring out the best in the ingredients,” she said in an email to CT Examiner.  The shop, which is expected to open in early July, will serve breakfast made to order as well

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Drop Masks for the Fall

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LYME-OLD LYME –The Lyme-Old Lyme School District has decided that it will not be requiring students to wear masks in the fall.  Superintendent Ian Neviaser said at a Board of Education meeting on Wednesday that this was part of a plan for in-person re-opening that the district would submit to the state by the end of the month. The plan is a requirement for districts in order to receive funds from the American Rescue Plan, the most recent — and largest —  grant allocations from the federal government.  Neviaser said that the district’s intention was to create a school year

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Witness Stones Arrive in Old Lyme, Project Will Mark Local Slave Narratives

OLD LYME — Up and down Lyme Street, cement and bronze markers arrived today showing where enslaved people once lived in the town of Old Lyme. The markers are part of the Witness Stones Project, which “seeks to restore the history and honor the humanity of the enslaved individuals who helped build our communities” through research, education and civic engagement. The project grew out of research on slavery in Connecticut by Dennis Culliton, a local historian and teacher in Guilford, where the first stones in the state were laid. Since then, 12 towns including Old Lyme have joined the project.  In

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School Officials Draw Line Between School Curriculum and Local Activist Preacher

LYME-OLD LYME — After parent complaints and comments by school Superintendent Ian Neviaser were the subject of news coverage on Wednesday, Board of Education Chair Diane Linderman sent an email to local elected school officials on Friday warning board members against speaking with the press. “As per Board policy 1112.2, the Board Chair is the official spokesperson for the Board and the Superintendent is the official spokesperson for the district. If there is an issue that you feel needs to be addressed in the media, you need to contact me or Ian and an official statement/press release will be drafted

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Claims Spark Complaints from Parents, Sharp Denials from Lyme-Old Lyme Superintendent

LYME-OLD LYME — Claims by Rev. Steve Jungkeit in a number of recent press stories have sparked complaints from local parents, and sharp denials by school Superintendent Ian Neviaser.  In a profile, Jungkeit told The Day that he was collaborating with the district on an “educational initiative” to “teach the history of racism and slavery in the area.” Weeks earlier in a news story published by the Middletown Press, he made similar claims.  In response to a query, Neviaser replied, “No. It is not correct. We have no association with Mr. Jungkeit.” One member of the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of

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A Contentious Meeting as Halls Road Committee Debates Speed and Scope of Planning

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OLD LYME — In light of a controversial gas station proposal that was withdrawn on Monday, and another service plaza rumored to be underway, the Halls Road Improvements Committee grappled with how to expedite zoning changes at a virtual meeting Thursday night.  The discussion, which became contentious at times, followed a presentation from BSC Group of phase two of the Halls Road master plan. The conceptual drawings showed town investments along the Halls Road right-of-way and municipally-owned land, including a sidewalk-bikeway beginning at Lyme St. that would entail building a boardwalk in one area and a bow bridge to cross

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Schools Across the Region Outline Varying Ideas for Spending Federal Dollars

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School districts across southeastern Connecticut are in the process of drawing up plans for how they intend to spend millions of dollars of federal funding that will be available over the next two years. The money comes in the form of two anticipated grants, known as ESSER II and the American Rescue Plan.  The proposals include a variety of projects, from outdoor classrooms to bilingual therapists, summer enrichment and chromebooks.  Here is a rundown, district by district:  Lyme-Old Lyme Ian Neviaser, superintendent at Lyme-Old Lyme schools, said the district won’t be using the combined $1.48 million in federal aid for

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