November 14, 2019

Old Lyme Historical Society Launches 2019 ‘Now and Then’ Calendar with Reception Tonight; All Welcome

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS) will be celebrating the release of the new 2020 ‘Now & Then’ Old Lyme Community Calendar at a free public reception Thursday, Nov. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the OLHS building at 55 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.  The calendar, along with other publications, will be for sale at the event. All are welcome to attend: light refreshments will be served, and a raffle will be held.

This is the seventh year that the OLHS has published this popular calendar that incorporates a different set of photographs from the organization’s archives juxtaposing the historical images with contemporary ones of the same scene.  The images included in the calendar are a small sampling of the many interesting archived photographs of Old Lyme establishments,  landscapes, and scenes dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century.

Each calendar month is generously sponsored by a different community organization and includes the dates of their events throughout the year.  The intent is to highlight and assist in marketing activities occurring in Old Lyme in 2019 as well as remembering the past.

The 2018 ‘Now & Then’ Old Lyme Community Calendar was designed by James Meehan and edited by Alison Mitchell.  Michaelle Pearson was the copy-editor.

The mission of the OLHS is to “collect, preserve, and interpret the rich history” of Old Lyme.  To find out more about the OLHS and its interesting activities, explore their website at www.oldlymehistoricalsociety.org or stop by its office at 55 Lyme St.

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Old Lyme Boys Advance to State Quarterfinals After Victory Over Hale-Ray

OLD LYME — Old Lyme defeated Hale Ray 3-1 yesterday in the second round of the Class S state tournament at Hale Ray High School.

Jesper Silberberg scored the first goal for the Wildcats unassisted andAngus Tresnan followed up with the second goal for Old Lyme with an assist from Jesper Silberberg. The third goal was a penalty-kick taken by Michael Milazzo.

Michael Quinn scored the lone goal for Hale Ray unassisted.

Ryan Tetreault was in goal for Old Lyme with eight saves while Ethan Marion defended the net for Hale Ray and made nine saves.

Old Lyme now advances to the quarterfinals against Immaculate Friday.

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Enjoy ‘French Fries for Felines’ at Five Guys in Old Saybrook This Evening, Benefits Old Lyme Animal Control

OLD SAYBROOK/OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) hosts ‘French Fries for Felines’ on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Five Guys in Old Saybrook will be donating 20 percent of all sales made during this period when you mention this fundraiser to Old Lyme Animal Control’s Spay and Neuter Fund.

The key is that people need to mention the fundraiser at check-out!

The LOLJWC will be holding their November General Meeting at 7:30 P.M. at Five Guys — new members are always welcome.

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High Hopes Hosts Its Ever-Popular 9th Annual Holiday Market, Sunday

The High Hopes Holiday Market this Sunday is a not-to-be-missed event!

OLD LYME — On Sunday, Nov. 17, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding in Old Lyme, will throw open its gates to over 3000 visitors keen to get a jump start on their holiday shopping. Over 60 carefully-chosen artisan vendors, the ‘hottest’ food trucks in town, the ever-popular Author’s Corner, and kids’ crafts and games will all be back.

Entry to High Hopes Holiday Market, which is held at 36, Town Woods Road just off Rte. 1, is free with a donation to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries and High Hopes is aiming to top last year’s record-breaking collection – just in time for Thanksgiving.

Together with Event Sponsors, Benchmark Wealth Management,  High Hopes will present old favorites like Treefort Naturals, Howards Breads, Milo + Molly, Wild Carrot Cordage, and Fiber & Mud. The Whey Station will be serving their gourmet grilled cheese, and the  sought-afterFryborg will also be back at the food court. “We like to keep the Market fresh,” says Special Events Manager, Trudy Burgess, “and this year there will also be a range of new vendors like Copper Knot Designs, Coastal Creations, and Quilibet.”

Delicious gastronomic offerings will be available at the Tasting Tent.

Back by popular demand is the popular Tasting Tent. Purchase a Passport for beer tastings and bar bites, and be one of the first to try the new Apple Jack Daniels. Join the experts from sponsors Grand Wine & Spirits for wine tastings from vineyards around the world. Passports can be purchased in advance online at $30 – a 25 percent discount. Admittance is open to those age 21 and over, and State or Federal I.D. will be required for admittance. The tent opens at 12 p.m. and the final tasting will be at 3:30 p.m.

Keep the kids happy with games and activities sponsored by The Williams School or take a walk to visit a very special herd of therapy horses.

All proceeds from the Market are used to support the programs and participants of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding. Their workforce is 96 percent volunteer and the Market also serves as their biggest ‘friendraiser’ of the year. If you are interested in finding out more about High Hopes’ programs, either as a participant or volunteer, be sure to talk to one of their Volunteer Team.

Enter High Hopes’ first ‘Great Apple Pie’ contest or buy a raffle ticket for a chance to drive away in a brand-new car. First prize in this year’s raffle is for a Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium sponsored by our raffle partner Reynolds’ Subaru. Second prize is a beachside home vacation for eight in Panama. Third and fourth place prize-winners will win an iPad mini and an Amazon Echo Show respectively. The draw will take place at 3:45 p.m. and you do not have to be present to win. If you plan to purchase a ticket at the Market, make sure you buy early. Only 1,200 will be sold in total – which means the odds are great. Raffle tickets are available online at highhopestr.org/raffle.

Free parking is available on site (subject to weather,) and as you would expect, the majority of High Hopes’ grounds (and the whole of the market) is wheelchair accessible.

To find out more, follow the event on Facebook or visit High Hopes’ website at highhhopestr.org.

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Musical Masterworks ‘MMModern’ presents ‘Project Fusion–Saxophone Quartet’ in Old Lyme, Friday

Project Fusion will perform at Lyme Art Association, Nov. 15, in the opening concert of the 2019-20 MMModern series.

OLD LYME — This fall experience contemporary chamber music featuring Project Fusion–Saxophone Quartet, an ensemble that is dedicated to creating unique collaborations among musicians. “We are looking forward to welcoming these marvelous young musicians to our community. We know they will inspire our audience with their energy and skill.” said Alden Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks.

Join Musical Masterworks Nov. 15, at the Lyme Art Association to enjoy a concert by Project Fusion, who Splash magazine describes as a “joy to watch — sparkling as much as the instruments in their hands.”

Project Fusion Executive Director and Baritone Saxophonist Matt Evans comments, “We’re thrilled to be performing this program of American music in Old Lyme, including two world premieres and a piece inspired by the paintings of Matisse; very appropriate, considering Old Lyme is the home of innovative art as well as great music. We are also excited to be presenting numerous educational engagement programs in K-12 schools in Norwich and New London the week leading up to the performance.”

Admission is $35; student admission is $5.  Admission includes a reception prior to the concert at 5:30 p.m.; the concert begins at 6:30 p.m.  

After the performance, end your evening with a three-course Prix Fixe dinner for two with a bottle of wine for $100 at the Bee & Thistle, only available to MMModern concertgoers. Make your dinner reservation by calling the Bee & Thistle at 860.434.1667.

For more information and to purchase concert tickets, visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252. 

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Old Lyme Zoning Commission Continues Public Hearing on Controversial Tidal Setback Change Tonight

Zoning Commission Chairman Jane Cable. File photo from OL DTC website.

OLD LYME — Tonight, in an Old Lyme Zoning Commission meeting scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. in Old Lyme Town Hall, the Commission has an agenda item to continue the Public Hearing for a Petition to amend Section 4.3 Tidal Waters Protection of the Old Lyme Zoning Regulations.  The Commission itself is the Petitioner.

The proposed new text to Section 4.3 Tidal Waters Protection has aroused strong feelings and significant controversy for a number of reasons, primarily because it proposes, “no Building or other Structure, including drainage structures, septic systems, wells, and retaining walls, shall extend within less than 100 feet of the coastal jurisdiction line, as defined in Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 22a-359, of any tidal Watercourse or its associated wetlands without obtaining a Special Permit from the Zoning Commission in accordance with the provisions of Section 13B.” 
The current limit is 50 ft.
Jane Cable, Zoning Commission Chair explained the need for the new wording to LymeLine.com in an email, saying, “Through a special permit requirement, the Z.C. regulates water-dependent uses in the areas adjacent to tidal water. These are commercial: marinas mainly. [Sidebar: when acting on a special permit application, the Z.C. can consider effects on neighboring properties, blocking of air and light, etc.]

Residential uses in these areas are subject to the existing regulations, and owners can apply for variances from the ZBA. [Sidebar: a variance may be granted in 2 situations: 1. a hardship, which is a unique property of the land that makes it equitable to vary the regs; and 2. a reduction of the property’s nonconformity – reduce a deck, move the structure, etc.] Jane M. feels that both sorts of properties should be subject to the same scheme of regulation and that a special permit process is fairer to the applicant than the variance process.

Right now, the western half of the town is subject to the CT River Gateway requirement of a 100’ setback from the CT River and tributaries; but variances can be given to residential properties. An audience member asked why we didn’t just set an elevation requirement, but both Jane and I feel that, as sea levels rise and FEMA makes new determinations, the regulations would have to be revised often to account for the changes. It makes sense that a property owner who wishes to engage in new construction presents the commission with the property’s elevation at the time of the application.”

Without sight of Cable’s opinion, which was written significantly later, Steve Ross, who is a member of the Flood & Erosion Control and Harbor Management Boards, presented a contrasting point of view in the following written comments sent by email to LymeLine.com, “The public hearing held by the Zoning Commission on Oct 15, was well attended by approximately 100 people. The proposed amendment appeared to be opposed by everyone and both the Planning Commission and ZBA have submitted written responses to the referral unanimously opposing the amendment.

The Zoning Board did not respond to the written reply of the Planning Commission which listed numerous reasons why it is redundant, arbitrary, unenforceable, inconsistent with the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development and contrary to established legal zoning practices.

In fact, only Chairman Cable and Jane Marsh responded to questions raised at the hearing. We have yet to hear the opinion of the other members of the commission.

The opinions voiced subsequent to the hearing, which has been continued until Nov., by members of the public, Planning Commission and ZBA is that the Zoning Commission should withdraw the proposal. Pursuing this amendment, could result in costly litigation for the taxpayers for the challenges that are inevitable.”

Here at LymeLine.com, in order to assist our readers in understanding the issues raised by the proposed wording and reactions to date from the various commissions in town on whom this proposal has an impact, we have published several letters from these commissions to Zoning along with one from Nancy Hutchinson, who is chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals but is writing in this context as a private citizen. All the letters are public record.
We are aware there is a great deal of information to digest here but hope readers still find this useful. We start with a reminder of the proposed new text that is under discussion.

Proposed new text of Section 4.3 of Tidal Waters Protection

It is declared that sea level rise and the tidal effects associated therewith are conditions that affect all coastal and riverfront properties in the Town of Old Lyme. Accordingly, no Building or other Structure, including drainage structures, septic systems, wells, and retaining walls, shall extend within less than 100 feet of the coastal jurisdiction line, as defined in Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 22a-359, of any tidal Watercourse or its associated wetlands without obtaining a Special Permit from the Zoning Commission in accordance with the provisions of Section 13B. 

4.3.1 Any Structures and/or Site Development authorized in this section must demonstrate consistency with the standards and purposes of Section 4.2 Coastal Boundary.

4.3.2 The Commission shall consider the impact of Section 4.4 Flood Hazard Regulations on any existing development, including potential increased and advancing flooding conditions and changes in flood mapping. All new development shall demonstrate full compliance with Section 4.4.

4.3.3 The Commission shall consider the impacts on surrounding properties, including visual obstruction of existing views and maintaining consistency with neighborhood characteristics. 

4.3.4 The Commission shall consider whether or not infrastructure such as access roads and utilities will be reasonably available under maximum flooding conditions and have backup utilities and plans for emergency evacuation.

4.3.5 The Commission shall consider the general impact of permitting development in flood prone areas and specifically any policies set forth in Old Lyme’s Plan of Conservation and Development.

4.3.6 A Special Permit shall be required for new construction, alteration or expansion of existing construction and any site improvements within the 100-foot setback.

4.3.7 The Zoning Board of Appeals shall not grant a variance of this Section 4.3.

We now follow with a series of letters published in date order, starting with one from the CT DEEP to the Old Lyme Zoning Commission in response to a request from the Commission for a review of the proposal.

Letter from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection to Old Lyme Zoning Commission, dated Aug. 5, 2019

ReProposed zoning text amendments to Section 4.3, Tidal Waters protection 

Dear Chairman Cable and Commissioners

Thank you for notifying this office of the proposed zoning regulation amendments noted above. Acting as the Commissioners staff, our office has reviewed the amendments for consistency with the policies and standards of the Connecticut Coastal Management Act (CCMA), and DEEP has the following comments the Commission may wish to consider

First, DEEP would like to take this opportunity to applaud the Zoning Commission on this initial revision of Section 4.3 to increase protection of critical coastal resource management areas within the community and addressing the impacts of future sea level rise to people and property. In reviewing the proposed text amendments based on their text alone (i.e., without any background support documentation), DEEP has noted a number of positive attributes and some potential concerns which may need consideration or clarification. We hope these comments will help strengthen the proposed revision of section 4.3 of the towns local zoning regulations

Positive Features of the Proposed Zoning Text Amendments

  • Will increase the minimum setback and associated protection of sensitive coastal resources by requiring a 100-foot, rather than the existing 50-foot buffer from the coastal jurisdiction line;
  • Will provide the Zoning Commission more control over development in coastal resource areas;
  • Will restrict the circumvention of the requirements of Section 4.3 by an applicant since the changes would prohibit the Zoning Board of Appeals from granting a variance from compliance with this section of the zoning regulations;
  • Will place more emphasis on compliance with local floodplain management regulations for construction in coastal resource areas, and the need for dry access; and
  • Will require a Special Permit for any type of construction or development within the revised 100 foot setback area – no exemptions or exceptions would be allowed. 

Potential Concerns with the Proposed Zoning Text Amendments

Many of the specific proposed text amendments have implications that the Commission may want to consider and perhaps revise to ensure that the purposes of the revisions to Section 4.3 are met

  • Text in the first paragraph of section 4.3 is somewhat confusing, since coastal wetlands are not delineated by the coastal jurisdiction line. If the Commission wishes to establish a setback from tidal wetlands, we suggest that, along with the citation of Section 22a-359, the text should also cite Section 22a-29 for the definition of a tidal wetland.
  • Section 4.3.2 would benefit from additional clarification as to the intent of the new language. It is unclear as to what is truly meant by the first sentence, and how all existing development would comply with Section 4.4. Does this only mean existing development that would now be located within this new 100-foot setback area? How would this pertain to existing development if the need for a special permit arises for the installation of drainage structures, wells, septic system upgrades, etc. for the functioning of an existing residence that would require this upgrade to be located within the proposed 100-foot setback? Has the Commission considered potential situations for which a Special Permit associated with an existing residence might be denied?
  • Section 4.3.3 discusses the consideration the Commission must make with respect to impacts to surrounding properties and neighborhood characteristics. However, the set of specific criteria that will guide the Zoning Commission’s decisions on this issue is not included or referred to in the proposed text amendments. Without specific criteria this requirement may unfairly and negatively impact an applicant that would want to develop a new residence on his/her property which otherwise complies with all requirements of Sections 4.3, 4.4, and 4.10.3. This may result in a potential exclusionary situation for applicants, who would have no relief through an appeal process. How will the Commission ensure that a “level playing field” has been created for all applicants given that the Special Permit process will be required for any construction, whether it be for a water-dependent use, upgrades to drainage, septic systems, walls, etc., or new construction of a residence?
  • In section 4.3.4, the term “reasonably” is used – what are the specific criteria that Commissioners would use in order to determine a proposed development has been planned with reasonable protective measures? No specific criteria have been included or referred to in the amendment.
  • In section 4.3.5, it refers to the requirement that the Commission shall consider permitting in flood prone areas and any policies specified in the community’s POCD. The current version of this document is somewhat general with respect to specific floodplain development policies and recommendations with respect to future development in coastal resource areas. How will the Commission move forward to consider the general impact from a development with respect to any policies set forth in the POCD? What are the specific policies, as presented in the local POCD, which the Commission will use in their consideration of a new development? In addition, this statement appears to focus on a larger area, the community’s delineated Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) as defined by FEMA or any area not delineated as a SFHA but is currently prone to flooding, rather than within the newly proposed 100-foot setback area.
  • The proposed text amendments are silent with respect to water-dependent uses and their construction and existence within the 100-foot setback area. This is a major change from what is stated in the existing text of Section 4.3. As presented, it is unclear as to whether the proposed zoning text changes are consistent with the goals and policies of the CCMA due to the issue of water dependent uses, their need for construction in the 100-foot setback area, and the prohibition of obtaining a variance from strict compliance from the proposed requirements. Accordingly, clarification as to how water dependent uses will be treated with respect to Section 4.3 should be considered.
  • Other uses as well as the proposed prohibition of a variance from any portion of the newly revised zoning section may have legal implications with respect to water-dependent uses, since it does not allow an applicant any form of relief or the ability to appeal a decision by the Commission except to Superior Court. It is unknown whether the Commission has studied the effect such a prohibition would have on any unusual existing situations in which a variance from the regulation may be warranted. The Commission may want to have the town’s legal counsel review the proposed text amendments to identify potential legal issues that may arise if an applicant chose to challenge the this prohibition from the receipt of a variance or lack of an appropriate appeal process.
  • The proposed revisions do not discuss the Connecticut River Gateway Conservation Zone or make reference to the specific purposes for the creation of this conservation zone. It is unclear as to whether the proposed setback increase from 50-feet to 100-feet makes this existing conservation zone redundant, or whether as defined in the first paragraph of the proposed text amendments, it is a greater setback than the defined setback of the Connecticut River Gateway Conservation Zone.
  • Finally, the proposed text changes remove the reference to section 4.10.3, Connecticut River Setbacks, of the local zoning regulations. The Commission may want to reconsider this omission from section 4.3. 

Please be advised that this consistency determination was based on coastal management considerations only, and does not necessarily reflect other municipal planning and zoning considerations that may apply. These comments are made in response to the review requirement contained in Section 22a-104(e) of the Connecticut General Statutes, which requires that notification be sent to the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection at least 35 days prior to the commencement of the public hearing. Once notified, our office is responsible for reviewing the proposal’s consistency with the policies of Section 22a-92 and the criteria of Section 22a-102(b) of the CCMA. 

Should you have any questions regarding this letter, please feel free to contact me at (860) 424-3779 or by email at karen.michaels@ct.gov. 

Karen A. Michaels
Environmental Analyst III Land and Water Resources Division

Letter from Planning Commission Chair Harold Thompson, on behalf of the full Commission, to Old Lyme Zoning Commission, dated Oct. 10, 2019

The Planning Commission discussed the proposed new text to Section 4.3 Tidal Waters Protection, and voted unanimously to determine that the proposed Text Amendment to Section 4.3 is NOT consistent with the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development.  The members of the Planning Commission feel that the proposed text is redundant and that the existing Zoning Regulations, including the existing Tidal Waters Protection, Coastal Boundary, Flood Hazard Regulations and Conservation Zone Review – Gateway provide substantial regulation of the Town’s coastal areas.  Further, we feel the new text is over reaching, in some parts unenforceable, arbitrary and contrary to what is considered established legal zoning practices. Our objections and reasons for finding this amendment inconsistent with the Plan of Conservation and Development, include but are not limited to the following: 

In the 2017 update to the Plan of Conservation and Development, the Commission included the following: “Where applicable, the Town and the implementation of zoning regulations and review of Coastal Management Act, Connecticut General Statutes Section 22a-90 et seq., should balance the private property ownership rights of individuals who live in coastal areas with resource protection, and improvement where possible, for features such as areas with fragile tidal marshes, flood plains, beaches, dunes and other areas that are protected.  The Town’s shoreline/beach communities and neighborhoods are a major economic driver of the Town of Old Lyme. Those communities are the most at risk of the threats of sea level rise.  

As the sea levels rise, property owners should be allowed to take reasonable measures as specified above to protect their properties through the adaption measures specified above, including elevating their homes and/or construction of living shorelines and living shorelines incorporating stone.”  This amendment completely tips the scale toward coastal resources protection (or over protection) and minimizes any consideration of private property rights.  

This proposal appears to change numerous properties from conforming to non-conforming. This has the effect of diminishing property rights or possibly eliminating the right to use completely.  Many municipalities apply a 50-foot setback from the Tidal Wetlands, which is the norm and should not be extended without justification.   

Property values would also be diminished by changing many properties to non-conforming. This change is being proposed with no compensation.  Also, it provides an argument for owners to appeal property assessments due to reduced value. This will have a negative impact on the Town’s Grand List total.  Our waterfront and water proximity lots are a key to the Town’s Grand List and should not be unreasonably restricted in use or value.   

Prohibiting application for a variance is certain to be challenged legally. This is a major overreach of authority by the Zoning Commission and an affront to the process where a property owner can seek relief based upon hardship or exceptional difficulty.  This appears to be an overreach of authority and lack of concern for property owner rights. 

Proposed Section 4.3.3 gives the Zoning Commission subjective judgement that is arbitrary and without ascertainable standards. 

The regulation asks the Zoning Commission to consider “potential increased and advanced flooding conditions.”  This standard requires the Zoning Commission to try to predict future flooding patterns, which will be a very difficult standard to meet. 

The regulations also require that the Zoning Commission to consider “consistency with neighborhood characteristics.” This is wide open for Zoning Commission interpretation and personal likes and dislikes. There is no real consistency or specific criteria in the shoreline properties to use as a baseline; they vary considerably in size, style, height, color, construction, siding and roof types, etc.  We believe this is another example of disregard for property owner rights.  There is no relief for the property owner in this process.

The proposal would also severely limit or exclude any changes and/or improvements at all the commercial marine businesses. This is contrary to economic development and overly restrictive of an already highly regulated industry.  Again, looking toward the Town development, marine businesses are crucial to boating and tourism – two major aspects of our Town economy.  

Further, the Planning Commission commented on the letter from Karen A. Michaels, Environmental Analyst III at DEEP in support of the amendment.  We have learned that Ms. Michaels did not copy, review or discuss this letter to either Brian Golembiewski at DEEP who typically reviews such letters before their submission, nor Brian Thompson, Director of LIS Programs at DEEP.  In fact, neither of them was aware of the letter until a month after it had been sent to the Zoning Commission and released to the press (CT Examiner). This is highly irregular and against procedure at DEEP. When contacted to ask if this letter represented an official position of the DEEP.  Mr. Bryan Thompson did not take a position. Harold Thompson, Chairman of the Old Lyme Planning Commission contacted Bryan Thompson to ask if the letter represented the position of the DEEP. Bryan Thompson stated that he had read the letter within hour of receiving the phone call from Harold Thompson and he stated that he would not comment on the letter until he had an opportunity to review the letter in more detail.  To date we have heard nothing more. 

The letter from Ms. Michaels, DEEP, to the Old Lyme Zoning Commission on August 5, 2019, did address a number of concerns that the Planning Commission believes should also be addressed for this proposed revision.  

The proposed amendment, as written, appears to have been drafted with a narrow focus.  The proposed revision failed to review possible consequences of this revision beyond the original intent of revising Section 4.3 of the Old Lyme Zoning Commission Regulations.  

The Planning Commission feels this proposed amendment is not consistent with the Town Plan of Conservation and Development and existing Section 4.3 provides adequate protection provided in existing State and local regulations.

Letter from Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals to Old Lyme Zoning Commission, dated Oct. 10, 2019
Attached, please find a communication to the Zoning Commission from the Zoning Board of Appeals.  The intent of this communication is to support the Zoning Commission in making a fully informed decision related to its proposed amendment to Section 4.3 of the Old Lyme Zoning regulations, which we understand to be based, at least in part, on concerns about “variances granted” at 131 Shore Rd.

The attached communication provides a fact-based summary of the variance application for 131 Shore Rd, along with supporting documentation from 2016 to 2019. 

Unfortunately, no one from the ZBA will be able to attend the Oct 15th Zoning Commission Public Hearing, as it conflicts with our regularly scheduled Oct ZBA meeting.  Therefore, please have this communication be read at the Oct 15th Public Hearing, and please add it and its attachments to the written record.

The ZBA hopes the Zoning Commission and the public finds this information helpful.

Date: Oct. 10, 2019
Subject: Information Related to Proposed Amendment to Section 4.3. 

Thank you for copying the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on the proposed amendment to Old Lyme Zoning Regulations Section 4.3. The ZBA learned via a news article that part of the genesis of the proposed amendment may have been due to a concern about “variances granted” at 131 Shore Road ( https://ctexaminer.com/2019/09/10/old-lyme-zoning-commission-proposes-limits-on- waterfront-building/ ). Therefore, to support the Zoning Commission in making a fully informed decision regarding the proposed amendment, the ZBA is providing a fact-based summary of the variance application for 131 Shore Rd. Please read this note into the record at the public hearing and add attachments into the record.

➢ The original dwelling at 131 Shore Rd, built in 1976, had multiple legal pre-existing non- conformities, including its location within 50 feet of regulated tidal wetland and within the 100- foot setback for CT River Gateway “Conservation Zone”. 

➢ The original dwelling also spanned two coastal flood zones: the more dangerous VE flood zone (wave action greater than 3 feet) and the AE flood zone (wave action less than 3 feet); thus, any renovation exceeding 50% fair market value of the structure required it be elevated and comply with applicable FEMA requirements.

➢ The applicants proposed replacing the original dwelling with a FEMA-compliant dwelling in a more conforming location: outside the 50-foot tidal wetland restriction and 29 feet farther from CT River tidal wetlands. The more conforming location would also be outside the more dangerous VE Coastal flood zone.

➢ The Zoning Enforcement Officer, in his capacity as agent of the Zoning Commission, determined the only variances required were to the 100-ft CT River Gateway “Conservation Zone” setback: Section 4.3.1 and 4.10.3. After its review, the CT River Gateway Commission stated they would not oppose the granting of the variances with certain conditions.

➢ After reviewing the CAM Application, CT-DEEP supported relocating the dwelling landward, beyond the VE Flood Zone. CT-DEEP also suggested the applicant voluntarily build to more stringent VE-flood zone standards, as it is not currently required by either FEMA or the Old Lyme Zoning Regulations. Recommendations that were incorporated included planting riparian buffer.

➢ In alignment with CT River Gateway and CT-DEEP feedback, and with all requests from CT River Gateway Commission added as “Conditions”, the ZBA granted only the requested variances (Sections 4.3.1 & 4.10.3), due to increased safety of a more landward FEMA-compliant dwelling; reduced encroachment into tidal and coastal areas; and reductions in pre-existing non- conformities. 

Attachments: 2016 Property Record Card; Aug2016 Zoning Compliance Permit Application with 

Health Approval and ZEO Compliance Report; Variance Application; CAM Application; Letters from CT River Gateway Commission and CT-DEEP; Sep2016 ZBA Variance granted; an Aug2019 Zoning Permit denoting the ZEO’s independent authorization of fill and retaining wall revisions. 

Please note, the ZBA cannot vary a requirement for a Special Permit, including that required for accessory structures located within 50-feet of a regulated tidal wetland per current Section 4.3, or any new requirements for Special Permits in the proposed amendment to Section 4.3.

Letter from Nancy Hutchinson to Zoning Commission, dated Oct. 10, 2019

Subject:  Section 4.3 Proposed Amendment.

I am providing these comments as a private citizen with 5-years’ experience involved CT Land Use and having completed numerous UConn CLEAR, CT Bar Association, and CAZEO training programs related to CT Land Use and Zoning Enforcement.  These comments are not being provided on behalf of any Old Lyme Land Use Board or Commission or in my capacity as a member of such Board or Commission.  

Also, as I am not an attorney, I will not attempt to address potential legal considerations related to the proposed amendments, and simply request that the Zoning Commission’s Legal Counsel provide a review in that regard, particularly with respect to the legal concerns raised by the Planning Commission and CT-DEEP. 

Please know that the considerations offered below are intended to support the Zoning Commission’s effort to protect Old Lyme’s tidal and coastal resources, while also protecting public health, safety and property, in anticipation of predicted sea level rise and in alignment with Old Lyme’s Plan of Conservation and Development.

  • Elevation vs Distance:  If the objective is to both protect vulnerable tidal/coastal areas and protect public safety and property in anticipation of sea level rise, would a more useful increase in proposed protection be related to elevation rather than linear distance?  For example, rather than increasing the linear distance of prohibited construction from 50 feet to 100 feet from regulated tidal wetlands (which depending upon local topography may or may not be relevant to sea level rise), consider relating the prohibition (or Special Permit requirement) to structures contiguous to AND within a specified vertical elevation of regulated tidal wetlands (e.g.:  NAVD88). The exact elevation could potentially be linked to either the sea level rise predicted by a relevant organization or regulatory body by a specific date, or a specific number of feet.  
  • AE vs VE coastal flood zone requirements:  In at least some AE Coastal Flood Zones, consider revising the Coastal Flood Zone regulations to require construction meet the more stringent VE Coastal Flood Zone requirements (as often recommended by CT-DEEP); e.g.: AE Coastal Flood Zones that are contiguous to and within X feet elevation of VE Coastal Flood Zones or regulated tidal wetlands.  Adding these requirements may have several potential benefits: 1) preventing the use of “fill” to elevate structures to meet FEMA compliance near these highly sensitive areas (“fill” elevation is allowed in AE, but not VE, Flood Zones), 2) improving public safety by elevating construction standards in highly vulnerable areas; and 3) potentially increasing the Town’s NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) credits, which may help lower the Town’s NFIP flood insurance premiums, especially if combined with an increase in required free-board from 1 to 2 feet.  
  • Limit Enclosure of areas below Base Flood Elevation (BFE):  Consider limiting the area below Base Flood Elevation (BFE) that can be enclosed with “breakaway walls”, in accordance with FEMA VE Flood Zone recommendations, but not requirements.  This may help to reduce “obstructions” and “floating debris” during a flood; facilitate the ability to enforce the use of areas below BFE to only limited storage and parking; and has the potential increase the Town’s NFIP CRS credits and reduce flood insurance premiums.
  • Maximum Height and FEMA Requirements:  Consider revising the maximum height regulations within the R-10 district to allow up to an extra 10-12 feet – solely to the extent necessary to elevate a dwelling (existing or reconstructed) to meet Coastal Flood Zone requirements (including the required Free Board).  This would improve public safety by facilitating the ability of applicants to comply with Coastal Flood Zone requirements – assuming no other increases in zoning non-conformity.  Variances should still be required if the plan would result in any other increases in non-conformity; and a Special Permit may also be required, for example, when the elevated dwelling is located on a non-conforming R-10 lot (Section 9.1.3.2).     
  • Unintended consequence of removing Section 4.3 prohibitions:  It is possible that by removing prohibitions for new construction, other than marine facility or accessory structure per Special Permit, within 50 or 100 feet of tidal wetlands (depending upon whether outside or within the CT River Gateway “Conservation Zone”, respectively) and replacing them exclusively with a requirement for a Special Permit, that the Commission may inadvertently be making it easier for construction of new dwellings or other uses in these sensitive coastal areas.  Unlike prohibitions, which can only be varied upon demonstration of a legal hardship or, in some instances, when an overall reduction in legal pre-existing non-conformities are proposed/agreed, Special Permits must be approved if the permitted use meets the specific criteria defined in the Zoning Regulations – however they are defined.  Under the current Section 4.3, Special Permits are only allowed for marine facilities or accessory structures; however, under the proposed amendment to Section 4.3, a permitted use by Special Permit within 50 or 100 feet of tidal wetlands is expanded because the prohibition of non-marine or non-accessory uses has been removed.  Of note, a change to Section 4.3 also impacts Section 4.2.13 Construction or Enlargement of Certain Buildings Adjoining Coastal Resources, because that section also refers to regulated Tidal Wetlands and defines an exception based on Section 4.3.
  • Variance, Special Permit & CAM Applications:  Consider opportunities to improve the process and communication between applicants, ZEO and Boards/Commission in situations where an application requires a both a variance and a Special Permit (see Section 13B.4.2), including requiring the ZEO to denote on the Zoning Compliance Permit Application and on his Compliance Table when a Special Permit will be required – in addition to a variance.  Also, in situations where an application requires a variance, a Special Permit, AND a Municipal Coastal Site Plan Review Application (CAM application), consider recommending that the CAM application be reviewed as part of the Special Permit review, such that the Zoning Board of Appeals may condition its variance approval on approval of the CAM application by the Board/Commission performing the Special Permit review.  This would allow the CAM review to occur with the full complement of more detailed information required for a Special Permit application, and reduce potential conflicts between variance and Special Permit reviews.   
  • Interpretations based on Flood Zone elevations:  It may be helpful for the Zoning Commission to clarify how the application of standard zoning regulations are affected (or not) when a dwelling is being elevated to comply with Flood Zone requirements.  Of note, a homeowner is required to elevate their home if planned renovations exceed 50% of the fair market value of the structure in a flood zone.  Several areas where there appears to be some ambiguity in enforcement include:
    • whether FEMA elevation meets the definition of “Enlargement” per definition Section 3.57: “Any addition to the Floor Area or volume of an existing Building, and increase in the size of any other Structure, or an increase in that portion of a tract of land occupied and existing Use.”  Specifically, whether the area below base flood elevation, which can only be used for limited storage and parking, is an increase in “volume” of the dwelling even though it does not count as Floor Area. 
    • whether FEMA elevation meets the definition of increased “Bulk” per Section 3.25 (even if the area under BFE is not enclosed); thus, whether elevation of an existing home that encroaches into a property line setback results in an increase in non-conformity due to increased “Bulk” in the setback.  
  • Enforcement of Zoning Regulations:  If the Zoning Commission is concerned that some regulations are not being adequately enforced, particularly requirements for Special Permits, it may be helpful to enhance your oversight of the Zoning Enforcement Officer’s enforcement performance – recognizing that the ZEO acts as an Agent of the Zoning Commission – to ensure all zoning regulations are consistently enforced as written.

I hope you find these suggested considerations helpful as you evaluate potential regulation amendments.  

Letter from Todd Machnik, Chairman, Flood & Erosion Control Board, dated Oct 23, 2019

We are aware of your proposal to Amend Section 4.3, the letters in reply to your referral from the Planning Commission & ZBA as well as attending the public hearing held October 15. At our October 21 meeting we discussed the proposed amendment and decided to submit a letter to you stating our position. Section 4.3 has some overlap with our Board because it seeks to protect tidal wetlands and coastal properties from damage due to flooding which gives Zoning and the FECB a common interest.The intent of the amendment is clear but we concur with the Planning Commission and ZBA that it is redundant and not necessary. Further, we feel it is not just over reaching and intended to shift authority from other commissions to the Zoning Commission. We also have a major concern with not only prohibiting property owners to apply to ZBA for a variance but the failure to include any appeal process. This appears extremely heavy handed and denies property owners of rights without due process. The alternative you leave is to file a lawsuit, an expensive and long process, rather than an appeal which is common and proper Zoning practice.These issues and the proposed 4.3.3 which gives Zoning subjective authority to determine conformity for consistency with neighborhood characteristics yet set no standards or guidelines. The determinations would be subject to the preferences of the commission members and could easily vary. Further, an inspection of the properties in the Old Lyme shoreline and abutting tidal wetlands will show there is no conformity in the style, size, height, color or any other feature of the homes and properties.

We feel that the proposed amendment is flawed and invites challenges which would be costly to defend and an expense paid by taxpayers. The rights of property owners are not respected by the amendment and ignores their right to protect their properties from rising sea levels and
risk of flooding. These issues need to be addressed, not adding redundancy beyond the numerous regulatory acts and reviews already in place and working just fine. A constructive amendment would revise the height requirements where elevation to prevent flooding is advisable. Allowing the height be increased by the amount necessary to conform to FEMA regulations, over the current height maximum for the zone is the approach being taken in numerous other CT shoreline towns and should be considered.

The Flood & Erosion Control Board has the authority, under state statute, to establish flood zones. Perhaps this is an approach to consider to make changes to protect coastal properties, tidal wetlands and prevent flooding that would damage them.

Opposition to the amendment has been unanimous from other town boards and commissions and the public. We did not hear any of the approximately 100 people who attended the public hearing speak or give an indication they are in favor of it. We recommend that you withdraw the proposed amendment.

Please read this letter into the record at the next public hearing.

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Vaping? Get the Facts at Tonight’s Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition’s Meeting, Tuesday

Would you recognize vaping paraphernalia?

LYME/OLD LYME — Are you concerned about youth alcohol and drug use?

Why not attend a Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition meeting Tuesday, Nov. 12, and learn the facts about vaping, get tips regarding its prevention, and thus help create a safer community.  The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme High School and feature guest speaker Frank Maletz, MD.
Topics that will be covered include:
• Vaping trends
• How vaping affects athletic performance
• Vaping and the adolescent brain

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) will give a Capitol Update at Tuesday’s meeting.

At the same event, State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) will give a ‘Capitol Update’ discussing the latest news from the Capitol and how our state is addressing the vaping issue.

Parents, students and community members are invited to attend the meeting.
The Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition brings together various sectors of our community to work together to reduce underage substance use and welcomes members of all ages from the community to join them at an upcoming meeting.
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Embassy Press Aide Presents, ‘Afghanistan: Storytelling of America’s Longest War,’ Hosted by SECWAC This Evening

Dr. Katherine Brown and the cover of her book, ‘your country, our war,’ published earlier this year. Brown will speak at Connecticut College on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

WATERFORD, CT – The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) has announced that Katherine Brown is to speak on her experiences as an embassy press aide in Afghanistan at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Crozier Williams Student Center at Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Ave Pkwy, New London, CT.

Based on eight years of interviews in Kabul, Washington, and New York, Brown’s book, “Your Country, Our War: The Press and Diplomacy in Afghanistan,” (copies of which will be on sale after the presentation) demonstrates how news intersects with international politics and shows the global power and reach of the U.S. news media, especially within the context of the post-9/11 era. It reviews the trajectory of the U.S. news narrative about Afghanistan and how U.S. journalists affected the diplomacy between the two countries.

The book also examines the rise of Afghan journalism, from 2001 to 2017, chronicling local reporters’ rapid development and how they grappled daily with how to define themselves and their country during a tumultuous and uneven transition from fundamentalist to democratic rule. Providing rich detail about the U.S.-Afghan relationship, especially former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai’s convictions about the role of the Western press, we begin to understand how journalists are not merely observers to a story; they are participants in it.

Dr. Brown will also discuss the U.S. government’s public diplomacy work in the country and the value of international exchange programs to support U.S. national security.

A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6:00 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2019-2020 Speaker Series. For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership.  Attendance is free for SECWAC members (and their guests). Membership September 2019 through June 2020 is $85 per person; $25 for young professionals under 35; free for educators and students; a corporate rate of $1,000 is also available, with unlimited access for employees.

Note:  there will not be a post-presentation dinner on this occasion.

Members and guests can pre-register for the presentation at https://scwac.wildapricot.org/event-3528948.

Dr. Brown is the President & CEO of Global Ties U.S., the largest and oldest citizen diplomacy network in the United States. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University. Previously, she was a Public Policy Manager at Facebook, Inc., where she was also in residence as a Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) International Affairs Fellow, and served as the Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

Dr. Brown began her career in the National Security Council at the White House and first traveled to Afghanistan in 2003 as a U.S. embassy press aide, to return several times over 13 years. She received her Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University in 2013. Her book, “Your Country, Our War: The Press and Diplomacy in Afghanistan” was released by Oxford University Press in March 2019.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policymakers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

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Old Lyme Boys Advance to Second Round of State Soccer Contest

Old Lyme defeated Montville yesterday 3-1 at Montville High School in the first round of the Class S state tournament

Avery Welch scored twice for the Wildcats unassisted and Richard Damiano notched the third.

Montville’s lone goal was an own goal by Old Lyme.

Ryan Tetreault was in net for the ‘Cats and made six saves, while Isaiah Gallagher made nine saves in goal for Montville.

Old Lyme now faces shoreline rival Hale Ray Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Hale-Ray High School in the second round of the state tournament.

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Enjoy a Holiday Lunch at Old Lyme Church with Music by LOLHS Show Choir Today

OLD LYME — The Ladies Benevolent Society (LBS) of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme will host its annual LBS Holiday Luncheon at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Show Choir under the direction of Kristine Pekar will provide the entertainment.

All are welcome to come and be part of the festivities. The cost of the lunch is $5 plus a box of spaghetti to help with a special need in our food pantry.

Plan to arrive between 11:45 and 11:55 a.m.

The Ladies Who Stitch will be on hand to sell their beautiful creations in time for Christmas gift-giving. Lunch will be served at 12:00. The choir concert will start at 1 p.m.

This program is likely to sell out, so reservations are requested. Call the church office at 860-434-8686 by noon on Friday, Nov. 8.

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Veterans Day Ceremonies to be Held Today in Lyme, Old Lyme

File photo of a previous year’s Flagpole Ceremony at Old Lyme Town Hall when a three-round salute was fired to honor all veterans.

LYME/OLD LYME — Today, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will honor veterans, who are residents of Lyme and Old Lyme, with a series of events celebrating Veterans Day.

A Breakfast for Veterans will be hosted the in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) Cafeteria from 8 to 8:45  a.m. and then this will be followed by an Assembly in the LOLMS Auditorium.      

Next on the schedule is a Veterans Reception, which will take place in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Media Center from 10 to 10:30 a.m. 

Finally, in terms of events hosted by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, there will be a LOLHS assembly from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the High School Auditorium.

After that, veterans will go their separate ways and a Veterans Day Ceremony will be hosted by the Lyme Veterans Memorial Committee at 10:55 a.m. at the Lyme Veteran’s Memorial, 480 Hamburg Rd., by Lyme Town Hall.

Meanwhile, down in Old Lyme, a Flagpole Ceremony will be held at the Old Lyme Town Hall from 11:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.

All are welcome to join the latter listed ceremonies in either Lyme or Old Lyme.

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Construction Begins at Old Lyme’s PGN Library; Parking Lot to be Closed for Three Weeks

Construction will begin at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on Monday.

OLD LYME — Construction on the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library grounds begins today, Monday, Nov. 11. The parking lot will be completely inaccessible for approximately three weeks. Library visitors should park on Lyme Street during this stage of construction.

Library staff will strive to keep the main entrance, the book drop, and handicapped parking open as much as possible. Library staff understand that this is a significant inconvenience for all Library visitors.

The good news is that the Library will have an expanded parking lot when the work is complete. Patrons are encouraged to contact the staff at 860-434-1684 if they are unable to reach the Library due to the construction to make alternative service arrangements.

Construction will begin Monday, Nov. 18 inside the library. The first phase of interior work will focus on the downstairs BookCellar, the second floor, and the room adjacent to the 1898 Reading Room.

For the most up-to-date construction or construction-related information, visit thanksphoebe.org.

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This Afternoon, Saint Ann’s Church in Old Lyme Presents Storyteller Tom Lee Exploring, ‘re:creation,’ All Welcome


OLD LYME —
But, how did it all begin?

One of the world’s oldest questions asks how earth, the universe, and everything beyond it came into being.  Humankind has been asking the question for thousands of years, and the answers appear in the form of powerful, beautiful, and sometimes puzzling myths.

Storyteller Tom Lee will perform a selection of these creation tales in his one-man play re:creation, on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 4 p.m. at St. Ann’s Church, 82 Shore Rd., Old Lyme, CT 06371.  Admission is by donation; the program is intended for adult listeners.

Lee has researched and performed ancient mythology for over 30 years. As a guest artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he encountered creation myths from Babylon, first written on cuneiform tablets more than 3000 years ago. In contrast to the Biblical story of creation, these stories narrate an epic battle among the gods for the powers of sea and sky.

With his appetite for mythology sharpened by these ancient tales, Lee began on a path of research that has never stopped.  “Wherever people have told stories,” Lee says, “they have told compelling accounts of how and why the world began; some of them are grand, sweeping, and poetic, others are more intimate and very human-scale.  I love sharing ancient stories with modern audiences; the experience of listening to a story is as compelling today as it was 5000 years ago.”

In addition to frequent performances at Connecticut museums, including the Yale Center for British Art, the New Britain Museum of American Art and The Wadsworth Atheneum, Lee performs nationally and internationally. To mark the solar eclipse of 2017, Lee was commissioned by the National Parks Service and NASA to present a program of myths of the sun and moon.

The program on Sunday, Nov. 10, will last approximately one hour; a discussion and reception will follow.

Admission is by donation.   Space is limited and registration is requested at 860-434-1621.

For more information, visit www.saintannsoldlyme.com and/or www.tomleestoryteller.net

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This Evening’s Free Samuel Thorne Memorial Lecture in Old Lyme Features Discussion of ‘The Nut Lady’s’ Life, Loves

Eliazabeth Tashjian appeared several ties on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Johnny Carson.

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum will host the free Samuel Thorne Memorial Lecture on ‘The Nut Museum’ tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. The speaker, Christopher B. Steiner, Professor of Art History and Anthropology at Connecticut College, will explore “The Visionary Art of Elizabeth Tashjian.”

This lecture will be held in Fellowship Hall at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd., Old Lyme and is free, but RSVP’s are requested by calling (860) 434-5542, ext. 111 or emailing FrontDesk@FloGris.org.
Elizabeth Tashjian (1912-2007) opened the Nut Museum in 1972 on the ground floor of her Victorian mansion in Old Lyme. It featured Miss Tashjian’s original artwork, collection of nuts, and a cappella performances of her songs about nuts.
Beginning in 1981, Tashjian appeared on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson as well as other talk shows. In response to her new celebrity status, Tashjian transformed herself from a painter into an avant-garde visual and performance artist.
This talk explores the unique trajectory of Tashjian’s life and artistic career and coincides with a new exhibition Revisiting the Nut Museum: Visionary Art of Elizabeth Tashjian, currently on view at Connecticut College through Dec. 6.
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Griswold (R) Won First Selectman & Town Treasurer in Election, But Cannot Serve in Both Roles; Reiter (D) to be Named Treasurer

Incoming Old Lyme Town Treasurer Michael Reiter, (D). File photo.

OLD LYME —Republican Tim Griswold not only won the position of Old Lyme First Selectman in Tuesday’s election, but also that of Town Treasurer, for which he was the incumbent.

He was already on the election ballot to run as Town Treasurer prior to nominations closing, but when he subsequently petitioned successfully to run as First Selectman, his name was left on the ballot as the Republican candidate for Treasurer.

Now that he has won both positions in the election, he has to choose in which one he is going to serve.  Connecticut State Statute does not permit him to serve to serve in both roles.

Asked by LymeLine.com what he planned to do, Griswold responded in a text message, “Our Town Clerk [Vicki Urbowicz] states that, having won both positions, I must send her a letter of resignation from one of the offices (Treasurer in my case). That will enable her to officially state that the next higher (only other) vote recipient (Democrat) is the Treasurer of the Town.”

This means Democrat Michael Reiter will be named to the position, although Reiter garnered 1430 votes to Griswold’s 1691. Contacted by LymeLine.com, Reiter confirmed his understanding of the situation was the same as Griswold’s, noting that he too had spoken to Urbowicz for clarification.

Asked his reaction to becoming Old Lyme Town Treasurer, Reiter commented in an e-mail, “I look forward to working with Tim, Chris and Mary Jo to ensure town funds are spent as approved by the town at our annual budget meeting.”

Town-elected officials take up their appointments on Tuesday, Nov. 19, but the swearing-in ceremony can occur before that date.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club Hosts Holiday Market Tonight in Old Lyme, All Welcome

Purchase some early gifts at the LOLJWC Holiday Market on Friday. Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash.

OLD LYME — On Friday, Nov. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) will host a Holiday Market featuring more than a dozen local artisans at three locations in the Old Lyme Shopping Center — Greenhouse Beauty, the APC Driving School, and the Old Lyme Dance Center. This event offers an enjoyable opportunity for people to come out and support small local business and start their holiday shopping early.

There will be jewelry makers, woodworkers, seamstresses, paper crafters, candle makers, and so many more, who will be selling their wares.

Admission is $10 and all attendees will be entered to win door prizes (one donated by each artisan plus a few extras), and able to enjoy appetizers, drinks, and dessert.

All proceeds will benefit the LOLJWC Annual Scholarship.

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Death of LymeLine Contributor, Former NY State Senator Jerome ‘Jerry’ Wilson Announced

The late Jerome (Jerry) L. Wilson.

ESSEX — It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our beloved contributor, Jerome ‘Jerry’ L. Wilson. Mr. Wilson, 88, passed away Friday, Nov. 1, in Essex. We have not yet heard the details of services for Mr. Wilson but will publish them as soon as we receive them.

Mr. Wilson was a great supporter of our online news ventures and contributed more article and photos to ValleyNewsNow.com and LymeLine.com than we can count. Coincidentally, Mr. Wilson was room-mates at Colgate University with John ‘Jack’ Turner, who was the founder of LymeLine.com in 2003. Most of Mr. Wilson’s articles were published on ValleyNewsNow.com, which was founded by Lon Seidman in 2009. Both sites are now owned by Shoreline Web News LLC.

Mr. Wilson was passionate about the importance of local news and determined to keep it very much on the front burner.  He would pursue stories with the grit of a rookie journalist, never giving up until he had answers or comments from everyone he believed should be involved. A character in every way imaginable, Mr. Wilson had a heart of gold and we will miss him dearly.

He led a storied career as a Democratic State Senator from Manhattan, an on-air political correspondent and editor for WCBS-TV, and a lawyer. He was perhaps best known for his determined and ultimately successful efforts to change the New York state law, which required a spouse to prove adultery as the sole way to gain a divorce. New York was the only remaining state in the country with this provision when then Senator Wilson took up the issue. By the time the new law was passed in September 1967 with Sen. Wilson leading the state judicial committee that had proposed it, four additional grounds for divorce had been added.

This past Tuesday, Nov. 5, the New York Times published an article about Mr. Wilson at this link by NYT Obituaries Reporter Sam Roberts.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Wilson’s wife Ulla, his four daughters, two stepsons, six grandchildren, and four step-grandchildren.

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Old Lyme’s Duck River Garden Club Recognized with Multiple Awards for Members’ Efforts

Duck River Garden Club members accept the club’s awards at Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut annual awards luncheon in October. From left to right: Denise Dugas; Kathy Burton, past president; Karen Geisler, vice president; Fay Wilkman, president; Suzanne Thompson, youth & scholarship coordinator; Beverly Lewis and Nan Strohla, past president & newsletter editor.

OLD LYME — The Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) of Old Lyme has received multiple awards from Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut for the club’s civic beautification, education and horticultural therapy efforts over the past year.

The Old Lyme club, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020, was presented the awards at the statewide federation’s annual awards meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Aqua Turf Country Club. The recognition includes three traveling trophies to be enjoyed for the coming year.

The DRGC’s monthly hands-on floral arranging programs for residents of Bride Brook Nursing Home received an Award of Excellence in Garden Therapy. The club’s weekly educational displays at Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, including “Houseplant Renaissance” and “Gardening for Birds and Butterflies” won the Civic Creativity Award.

This DRGC display outlines two of the clubs projects that were awarded traveling trophies, the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library displays and the Police Department native pollinator bed. Watch for this display in coming weeks at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

The ongoing project of redesigning and replanting the flower beds in front of the Old Lyme Police Department at 294 Shore Road with low-maintenance, pollinator-supporting native plants received the Award of Excellence for Historic, Memorial and Public Gardens. This is one of several civic beautification sites that DRGC volunteers maintain each year in Old Lyme.

The club’s monthly newsletter, produced by Paula Schiavone, and annual yearbook, compiled and edited for the past decade by Karin Kline, received First Place recognitions.

Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) President Fay Wilkman receiving one of the three top honors for DRGC at the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut awards meeting.

DRCG will hold a series of programs in 2020 to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary. This will include a traveling historic display of gardening in Old Lyme, curated by the Old Lyme Historical Society. Watch for more information on DRGC’s website, www.oldlymeduckrivergc.org or call Fay Wilkman, DRGC president, 860-391-2622.

Many congratulations to all these wonderful, green-fingered ladies and gentlemen!

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Republicans Sweep All Seats in Old Lyme, Including Board of Education

The Old Lyme Republicans have much to celebrate tonight. They won every single contested seat in a bitterly fought election.  The full results, with the winners in bold and marked with an asterisk, were as follows:

FIRST SELECTMAN:

Bonnie Reemsnyder (D): 1,403

*Tim Griswold (R): 1,774

SELECTMAN:

*Mary Jo Nosal (D): 1,495

*Chris Kerr (R): 1,676

TREASURER:

Reiter (D): 1430

Griswold (R): 1691

TAX COLLECTOR:

Michaelson (D): 1262

*Tooker (R): 1905

BOARD OF FINANCE:

Rubino (D): 1361

Sturges (R): 1768

Reiter (D): 1367

*Kelsey (R): 1695

BOARD OF FINANCE ALTERNATES:

*Burrows (D): 1532

*Read (R): 1921

Taliento (D): 1430

*Olson (D): 1777

BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS

*Evers, Jr. (R): (R): 2235

PLANNING COMMISSION
5-Year Term beginning 2019

Klose (D): 1347

*Ross: (R): 1712

5-Year Term beginning 2020

Lampos: 1409

*Thompson: 1662

ZONING COMMISSION:
5-Year Term beginning 2019

Gemme: 1267

*Tinnerello: 1721

5-Year Term beginning 2020

Cable: 1366

*Miller: 1609

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
5-Year Term beginning 2019

Lowry (D): 1357

*Hutchinson (U): 1616

5-Year Term beginning 2019

Tracey (D): 1389

*Dix (R): 1558

Alternates

*Carney (R): 2174

*Johnston (R): 2007

REGION 18 BOARD OF EDUCATION

Bowman (D): 1471

*Thompson (R): 1600

Panzara-Griswold (D): 1400

*Miller (R): 1512

Kemp (R): 1341

*Wilson (R): 1518

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Griswold Wins in Old Lyme, Reemsnyder Voted off Board of Selectmen

The newly-elected First Selectman of Old Lyme is former First Selectman Tim Griswold.

At the end of a bitter election campaign, Republican Tim Griswold has regained his position as First Selectman of Old Lyme. The results were:

Tim Griswold (R): 1,774

Bonnie Reemsnyder (D): 1,403

Mary Jo Nosal (D): 1,495

Chris Kerr (R): 1,676

The board of selectmen will comprise Griswold and his running mate Chris Kerr, who will be joined by Democrat Mary Jo Nosal.  Incumbent First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder loses her seat on the board.

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