December 13, 2019

Senator Murphy’s Vote Was Not Counted in Old Lyme Election

OLD LYME — It was one of the most hotly-contested local elections in the state, but not everyone’s ballot was counted.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy voted by absentee ballot in the Nov. 5 election, but his vote was not counted because — unbeknownst to the senator — his name had been moved to the inactive voter list.

Shortly after his election to the U.S. Senate …

Read the full article written by Christine Stuart and published Nov. 26 on CTNewsJunkie.com at this link.

Share

State Rep. Carney Named Environmental Champion by Connecticut League of Conservation Voters

State Rep. Devin Carney (R- 23rd)

HARTFORD – (from a press release) The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) have recognized State Representative Devin Carney (R-23), naming him an Environmental Champion for his efforts and support of proposals that focus on various green initiatives throughout the state.

Each year, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters release an Environmental Scorecard and names “Environmental Champions,” legislators who advocated for particular pro-environment bills. Only 16 legislators received this designation and Rep. Carney’s leadership on clean energy legislation was highlighted.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by the League of Conservation Voters as an Environmental Champion,” saidRep. Carney. As the State Representative for an environmentally precious district, I was proud to advocate for and support many pieces of legislation to improve and protect Connecticut’s environment. As the Co-Chair of the Clean Energy Caucus, I was proud of the work I was able to achieve, particularly involving solar net-metering. I look forward to continuing making environmentally-friendly legislation a priority.”

The organization stated Rep. Carney was “instrumental in passing the temporary fix for solar net-metering that became part of the Green Economy Act (HB 5002) and that “he also argued for a more comprehensive set of clean energy policies to grow our economy and address our climate crisis.”

In addition, Rep. Carney also co-sponsored two other environment-related bills during this legislative session. SB-753 expands the statewide fracking ban to apply to all gas and oil extraction activities and HB-7156 to authorize the procurement of energy derived from offshore wind. Both bills passed and were signed into law by the governor earlier this summer.

Share

We’re Starting a New Monthly Column Today! Facts & Figures From Old Lyme EMS

You’ve seen their ambulances around town but do you know how many calls they respond to in a month?

OLD LYME — We’re delighted to launch a new monthly column today and we are indebted to Doris Coleman for making it happen.  She is a member of the Old Lyme Ambulance Association (OLAA) and came up with the idea of sharing the OLAA monthly statistics related to calls provided to the community with our readers.

She then discussed the idea extensively with her colleagues and ultimately they took a vote on the proposal, which passed successfully.

So here we are ready to share the statistics for the first month, September 2019, but Coleman has decided she would go the extra mile and give us an extra snippet of information related to the OLAA each month.

For this inaugural column, she has chosen to explain how the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were formed.
The idea of creating an EMS evolved from the care of wounded soldiers in time of war coupled with the need for transportation of civilian accident victims who were being transported to hospital by Department of Transportation police officers or firefighters.
In 1966, the National Association of Sciences published the groundbreaking work, Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society, which revolutionized the way we view and manage care in this country. Hospitals and doctors felt that these injury victims should be medically treated during transportation, but only approximately 8 percent of medical service providers at that time were trained in basic first aid by organizations such as the American Red Cross and 23 percent in advanced EMS skills.
In 1970, the National Registry of EMTs (NR-EMTs) was formed but only 1,520 of the registered personnel were trained as EMTs in the United States. By 1973, all states trained their EMTs to a national standard set by NR-EMT. Today, there are over 20,000 EMS providers in just Connecticut alone.
For the month of September 2019, Old Lyme EMS ambulance responded to 63 calls:
Falls                                    14
Pain /sickness                  13
Injuries                                2
Diabetic problems             2
Breathing problems          6
Abdominal pain                 1
Chest pain                           1
Cardiac arrest                     1
Stroke (CVA)                       3
Altered mental status        9
Traffic accidents  (MVA)   6
Medical device alarms       2
Hazardous material            1
Stand-by                                1
Lift assist                               1
TOTAL                             63
*CVA: cerebro-vascular accident
*MVA: motor vehicle accident
For the month of October 2019, the Old Lyme EMS Ambulance Service responded to 73 calls. The number of runs increased by 10 over the previous month. Breathing problems nearly doubled compared to September, probably due to the fall season increasing the prevalence of hay fever, which in turn, can exacerbate the health of people suffering from compromised lung diseases.
Falls                                12
Pain/sickness                13
Injuries                            0
Diabetic problems         0
Breathing problems      11
Abdominal                       2
Chest pain                        8
Cardiac arrest                  0
Stroke/CVA                      2
Altered mental status     4
Traffic acc./MVA             8
Medical device alarms    3
Hazardous material        0
Stand-by                            0
Lift assist                           0
Fire                                     2
Cold exposure                   1
Convulsion/seizure         2
Unconscious/fainting     3
Allergic reaction               1
Overdose                            1
TOTAL:                         73
*CVA: cerebro-vascular accident
*MVA: motor vehicle accident

The above terms and categories will be elaborated on in future monthly articles.

If you have an interest in volunteering with the Old Lyme Ambulance or would like to find out more about their work, you are welcome to stop by the Ambulance Association on Cross Lane, Old Lyme, or call 860-434-0089.
Share

Lyme Land Trust to Rename Moulson Pond Fishway in Honor of Former Board Member, Land Trust President Linda Bireley.

LYME — The Lyme Land Trust will rename the Moulson Pond Fishway in honor of former board member and Land Trust President Linda Bireley.  Ms. Bireley, lover of the environment and the preserves of Lyme, passed away Nov. 8, 2019.

She served on the board of directors of the Lyme Land Trust for more than 10 years, as president from 2006-2007.  As stewardship committee chair, she worked to develop many of the trails in Lyme and developed a digitized stewardship monitoring program.

Ms. Bireley spearheaded the campaign to build three fish ladders in Lyme, most notably the Moulson Pond fish ladder. She was the first Town of Lyme Open Space Coordinator, from 2006 until 2014, when she was forced to retire due to illness.

The Lyme Land Trust notes in a press release, “We in Lyme were very fortunate to have had Linda,  a woman with such a dedicated and generous spirit, serving on our behalf. Moreover, she was a beloved and admired friend.”

Calling hours are Friday, Nov. 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Lyme Fire Department, Rte. 156, Lyme.

The full obituary is published at this link 

Share

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

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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

Share

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.

Share

Democrats Win All Contested Races in Lyme, Uncontested Board of Selectmen Re-elected for Another Term

Democrat Steven Mattson was re-elected as First Selectman of Lyme today.

LYME — Lyme voters today elected the incumbent board of selectmen of Democrats Steve Mattson and John Kiker along with Republican Parker Lord for another two-year term.  Mattson will continue as Lyme First Selectman with Kiker and Lord both serving as selectmen. Across other positions, the Democrats were successful in all contested races.

Upon learning the results of today’s municipal election, Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) Chairman John Kiker issued the following statement:

“On the behalf of everyone at the Lyme DTC, I would like to thank the people of the Town of Lyme for electing a slate of highly qualified Democratic candidates whose experience and expertise will benefit our town boards and commissions.  These newly elected officials love our town and want Lyme to stay the beautiful, historic town that it is; and they are grateful to have the opportunity to serve Lyme residents for the next two years.

I would also like to thank all the volunteers who helped run our campaign this year – in particular, the members of our Nominating Committee who did such an excellent job of identifying some of Lyme’s best and brightest to run for public office.”

The Lyme DTC’s mission is to support and strengthen the Democratic Party in the Town of Lyme and the State of Connecticut.  The committee meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at 7:30 in the Lyme Town Hall (barring holidays or other necessary schedule changes). These meetings are open to the public and all registered Democrats are encouraged to attend.

The full results with those elected in bold and marked with an asterisk are as follows:

BOARD OF SELECTMEN:

*Mattson (D): 580

*Kiker (D): 400

*Lord (R): 349

TREASURER

*Hawthorne (R): 533

BOARD OF FINANCE

*Leonardo (D): 501

*Hagan (R): 443

BOARD OF FINANCE ALTERNATE

*Tyler (D): 455

Caine (R): 294

Two-year vacancy

*House (D): 431

Anderson (R): 315

BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS

*Broom, Jr. (R): 518

PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION

*House (D): 462

Potts (R): 347

*Gigliotti (R): 466

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

*Kiker (D): 543

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS ALTERNATE

*James (D): 416

Fiske (R): 328

LIBRARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS

*James (D): 420

*Ulrich (D): 511

*Fiske R): 369

REGION 18 BOARD OF EDUCATION

*Mary Powell-St. Louis (R): 555

Share

Hooray for Halloween! Almost Against All Odds, It Did Happen on Lyme Street Last Night …

It wasn’t only the children having fun on Lyme Street last night – Julie O’Brien (left) and Martha Quaratella were fully invested in the spirit of the evening!

OLD LYME — Despite the weather, a cancelled parade, a fallen tree, and power outages galore, Halloween happened anyway in Old Lyme! 

We’re delighted to share a few photos from the notorious night when trick or treating ghosts and ghouls; witches and wizards; and swashbucklers and superheroes take over Lyme Street in search of candy … along with a reflection on Halloween by our journalist friend Linda Ahnert.

The Halloween Party at LYSB drew lions, Little Red Riding Hoods, Dorothy’s and everything in between! We’re pretty sure that’s Max Garvin inside the lion costume on the left! Photo by Missy Colburn Garvin.

Hooray for Halloween!
By Linda Ahnert

For those of us who grew up in the 1950s, Halloween was a big blast. We decked the school halls with jack-o’-lanterns and black cats. We sang holiday hymns about creepy moonlit nights, sleeping shadows, and ghostly shapes without heads. But most of all, we dreamed about what we were going “to be” for Halloween. What kid doesn’t like to play “make believe” and become a queen for a night or perhaps the bride of Dracula?

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts opened its doors to display a sea of pumpkins decorated by students from Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Then there was the trick or treating itself. After donning the nifty costumes our moms had made for us, we headed out to ring doorbells and collect candy. Furtive little groups of us would pass each other in the night as we crisscrossed our Ozzie and Harriet neighborhood. And we would pass along snippets of information—when we learned that the new family on our street was handing out candy apples, we would make a beeline there.

Also attending the LYSB Halloween Party were this Superhero and friend. Photo by Missy Colburn Garvin.

But not too many years after we baby boomers had retired from ringing doorbells, the holiday itself entered a twilight zone. Those were the days when you heard true horror stories of kids finding razor blades in their candy. Real life had become a lot scarier and parents would accompany children as they went from house to house. And certainly no one would dare to knock on the door of a stranger.

Student-decorated pumpkins were also on display outside Lyme Academy. Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Which is why it’s great to see that in recent years Halloween has once again become big-time fun. People are festooning their houses with orange lights and decorating their lawns with goblins and other gruesome creatures. Pages in mail order catalogs are devoted to all the latest trends in Halloween décor and costuming. Turn on the TV at this time of year and you will see ads for “Halloween Headquarters” at Kmart or “Spooky Central” at Wal-Mart.

Millie Cameron — dressed as a jelly fish, who is the daughter of Lyme-Old Lyme High School varsity boys’ soccer coach Ally Gleason — was out on the town with Mom (right) last night. Photo by Martha Quaratella.

Today you can purchase all kinds of items to get in touch with your inner ghoul. Everything from Hitchcockian crows to cauldrons equipped with foggers to create a bubbling witch’s brew. And, if you’re hosting a “monster” Halloween party, don’t forget the ice cubes that glow bright orange. Or the CD’s of haunted house music to create an eerie ambience.

Sorry, but we just couldn’t resist publishing another photo of little Millie Cameron — the absolutely cutest jellyfish in town! Photo by Martha Quaratella.

Yes, there’s no doubt that Halloween has gone to a whole new level. So why should kids have all the fun? Nowadays, adults are also donning costumes and getting in on the act. One year I had a dental appointment on Oct. 31. I arrived at the dentist’s office to find the women employees all decked out in costumes. My favorite was the 30-something receptionist outfitted as a teenager from the 1950s complete with poodle skirt and pony tail.

Plenty of fun for the adults too at the LYSB Halloween Party! Photo by Missy Colburn Garvin.

In our neck of the woods, we don’t have to go far to get into the spirit of the season. Take a stroll through the Pumpkin Patch at Scotts Yankee Farmer in East Lyme.  Or drive to Mystic Seaport for “Nautical Nightmares” and listen to maritime ghost stories as you walk through the darkened village. Not to mention that our own village of Old Lyme is transformed into a magical place on Allhallows Eve. Children trick or treat their way along Lyme Street in costumes that range from the scary to the sublime.

It’s Halloween—just like the ones I used to know.

Share

Sophia Griswold Named to All-National Honor Jazz Ensemble

Sophia Griswold is not only a talented trombonist but also an acclaimed guitarist. She is shown here playing in a file photo from June 2019.

OLD LYME — During the 2018–19 school year, along with other accomplished music students across the United States and overseas in military base schools, trombonist Sophia Griswold from Lyme-Old Lyme High School practiced with dedication to gain a chair or part in her local, district, and state music honor ensembles. The band director at Griswold’s high school is Jacob Wilson

Griswold will now join the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2019 All-National Honor Ensembles November 7–10, 2019, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Previously, Griswold played at the Newport Jazz Festival through a scholarship with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. In addition, she has performed at various venues including Silvana & The West End Lounge (New York, NY), Black Eyed Sally’s (Hartford), The Side Door Jazz Club, Penny Lane Pub, Bee & Thistle Inn and Black Hall Grille. She is also thrilled to be a current member of the 2019-2020 Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra under the facilitation of jazz great, Wynton Marsalis.

Griswold will join 19 other talented musicians as a member of The Jazz Ensemble. These select students will be rehearsing a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the direction of six of the most prominent conductors in the United States. All participating conductors have received top honors in their field and will spend several days rehearsing with students before the concert.

Here at LymeLine.com, we send heartiest congratulations to Sophia!

Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online or onsite.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.nafME.org/ANHE

Share

See Video of Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s Debate, Read Full Report

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (D), who is running again for the position in November.

Former Old Lyme First Selectman and 2019 First Selectman Republican challenger, Tim Griswold.

OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce hosted a debate between the candidates for the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen last Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium.

First Selectman candidates Bonnie A. Reemsnyder (D, incumbent) and Timothy C. Griswold (R), and Selectman candidate Mary Jo Nosal (D, incumbent) were present. Chris Kerr (R, incumbent) did not attend the event but submitted an opening statement, which was read by Chamber President Rich Shriver.

The other three candidates all gave opening and closing statements, and answered questions posed by Elizabeth Hamilton, Executive Editor for CT Mirror, the event moderator. The questions were selected by a committee comprising Shriver, Hamilton and Olwen Logan, publisher of LymeLine.com, the event sponsor.

Visit this link for a full report of the event by Mary Biekert of The Day and published Oct. 24 on theday.com.

Visit this link to view a video recording of the debate made by The Day.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. Polls at Cross Lane Firehouse in Old Lyme will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots are available through the Town Clerk.

Share

Old Lyme’s Bourque Brings Home Top Brewing Honors in Hartford Beer Festival

Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society Executive Director Jennifer Matos stands with cask champion and Old Lyme resident Shane Bourque of Stony Creek Brewery at the fifth annual Noah Webster Real Ale Harvest Fest. held Sept. 7. Photo credit: Ben Scott. (Courtesy photo submitted)

Shane Bourque is seen here selecting the plants and herbs, which would go on to become key ingredients in his award-winning brew. Photo by C. Bourque.

OLD LYME — Each year, the Noah Webster Real Ale Festival is held at the Noah Webster House in West Hartford, and entrants are supposed to make each signature ale in a cask using only a base ale and whatever ingredients can be found in the garden of the home. In other words, they can only use ingredients that would have been available in the 1800s.

Breweries from across Connecticut come to show off their home brewed creations, and this year’s festival winner was presented to a watermelon sour craft beer brewed by Old Lyme resident Shane Bourque.

Bourque has been a resident of Old Lyme for 27 years. He went to school at Central Connecticut State University, where he studied criminology and history, and has been in the beer industry for about four or five years.

Starting out as a beer manager at …

Read the full article titled, Old Lyme resident brews success at ale festival at the link given. The article was written by Paul Garrett and published Sept. 30, on TheDay.com.

Editor’s Note: Shane Bourque is the son of David and Carey Bourque of Old Lyme.

Share

State Rep. Devin Carney Offers More Information on Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and How to Protect Yourself

We received an updated version of the following email from State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) at 6:53 p.m. this afternoon, and believe it is important to share it with our readers as soon as possible.

Precautions for dealing with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

As many of you know, two people from Southeastern CT (East Lyme & Old Lyme) have recently passed away after being diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (“EEE”) caused by a mosquito bite from an infected mosquito. Our hearts go out to the families affected.

Due to the recent EEE cases, state and local officials are urging folks to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station is also adding additional monitoring sites in Lyme/Old Lyme and East Lyme in light of the recent tragedies.

During a call with Stephen Mansfield of Ledge Light Health District, I was told that infected mosquitoes were found near Blood St/Avenue B in Lyme and Old Lyme. So be extra cautious in those areas. However, this is an issue is endemic to Southeastern CT, so it is important to take precautions everywhere.

Here are some responses to frequently asked questions from the State of CT Mosquito Management Program:

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by the EEE virus.

How is Eastern Equine Encephalitis spread?

EEE is spread through contact with adult mosquitos.  The virus is generally carried by an exclusive bird-biting mosquito that live in freshwater swamps called Culiseta melanura. The highest risk of getting EEE is from late July through September. It has been found in 9 others mosquito species in CT, 6 of which are known to bite.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms usually occur from 3 to 10 days. Most people who have been infected with the EEE virus do not become ill. Symptoms can range from mild fever and headache to coma. Other symptoms include high fever, fatigue, muscle aches, neck stiffness, tremors, or confusion. More severe cases can lead to death.

Is there a vaccine or/any treatment?

No. There is no cure for EEE, and 3 of every 10 people who get the disease die from it. Doctors provide supportive treatment, lower the fever, and ease the pressure on the brain and spinal cord. Some people who survive this disease will be permanently disabled and only about half recover completely. There isn’t currently any vaccine because the EEE virus occurs so infrequently in people.

How is EEE spread?

Mosquitoes spread the EEE virus. The virus is carried by birds that live in freshwater swamps and is generally found only in these birds and in mosquitoes that feed on birds but not people. In some years, however, many birds get infected and other types of mosquitoes pick up the virus that also bite people and horses. The risk of getting EEE is highest from late July through September. The virus is spread by adult mosquitoes, which are killed by frost in the fall. The EEE virus is not spread by people and horses with the disease.

Can any mosquito spread EEE to people?

No. In Connecticut, there are 52 different mosquito species. Since 1996, EEE virus has been isolated from mosquitoes in Connecticut every year except 1999, usually during September and early October. The virus is generally maintained by an exclusive bird-biting mosquito called Culiseta melanura, but has been found in 9 other mosquito species in Connecticut, 6 of which are known to bite people.

What can I do to protect myself or my family?

According to the CDC, you should do the following:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use insect repellent with one of the active ingredients below
    • DEET Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
    • IR3535
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
    • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
    • 2-undecanone

** Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old**

**Do not apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin**

Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
    • Use permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
    • Permethrin is an insecticide that kills or repels mosquitoes.
    • Permethrin-treated clothing provides protection after multiple washings.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors
        • Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.
        • Use air conditioning, if available.
        • Stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in or near water.
        • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers.

For additional information on EEE, visit the following link from Ledge Light Health Center District –“Mosquitoes in Lyme and Old Lyme Test Positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Editor’s Note: If you have additional questions on this topic, or would like to speak with Rep. Carney about a concern regarding state government, email him at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or call 800-842-1423.

Share

Update From Old Lyme Town Hall Regarding Eastern Equine Encephalitis

OLD LYME — The following e-mail was sent out from Old Lyme Town Hall at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday evening.

A message from First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder:

Today we learned that a resident of Old Lyme has become the second victim of the mosquito-borne illness, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or the Triple-E virus. The Town of Old Lyme sends heartfelt condolences to the family of the victim. While we do not have the identity of the person at this time, I am sure that the loss is felt by all of the residents of Old Lyme.

Many have asked what the Town is doing with this threat in mind, so here is an update:

The Selectman’s Office has been in regular contact with Ledge Light Health District, has participated in scheduled conference calls with the State Dept. of Public Health, which provides updates on tests and recommendations, and is following all of the recommendations to date. The next conference call is scheduled for this Thursday.

Since Friday of last week, we have warned all outdoor sports activities to end by 5:30 PM (which may get earlier as the days grow shorter) and warned people to move indoors well before dusk.

We post all updates from Ledge Light Health District on our website.

The Town currently contracts with Innovative Mosquito to manage our plan to address nuisance mosquitos, which are primarily daytime-biting mosquitos. We regularly use non-chemical dunks in our catch basins, and monitor the mosquito population along the marshland of the shoreline neighborhoods. When warranted, backpack adulticide spraying is done to reduce the population. But these daytime-biting mosquitos have not tested positive for EEE virus. It is the night time mosquitos that have tested positive, and so far, none of the mosquitos tested from Old Lyme have been positive for the virus.

With the latest victim from Old Lyme, our contractor has increased trapping in the freshwater areas of town to assess the population, and the State Dept. of Agriculture has done the same, testing those caught for the virus. Those results are not yet available, but based on the outcome, recommendations will be made and followed by us.

If spraying is recommended, we will follow up immediately, and are prepared to do so.

We continue to stay in touch with our Health District and the State Dept. of Health, and will follow all recommendations that they give us.

We urge all residents to take this threat seriously, and take all precautions to avoid mosquitos.

Once again, our heartfelt condolences are sent to the family whose loved one has succumbed to this tragic illness.

Share

Old Lyme Boys Still Unbeaten After Tying Tough Game Against Old Saybrook

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme boys retained their unbeaten record Tuesday afternoon after battling to a 1-1 draw against defending Class S state soccer champions Old Saybrook.

Jack Colella scored an unassisted goal first for the Rams and Avery Welch equalized for the Wildcats with an assist from Michael Milazzo.

Ryan Tetreault was in goal for Old Lyme and made a total of 12 saves, while Matthew Rothman, in goal for Old Saybrook, only had to make one save.

Ally Gleason, in her first year as varsity coach, has now taken the boys to 3-0-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the Shoreline Conference.

Read Vickie Fulkerson’s article published on TheDay.com at this link for a full report with photos of the game.

Share

Old Lyme Girls Retain Unbeaten Record Against Shoreline Rival Old Saybrook in Local Derby

OLD SAYBROOK — Playing away yesterday at Old Saybrook High School, Paul Gleason’s  Old Lyme girls defeated the home team 2-0 in a local soccer derby.

Lydia Tinnerello and Kaylee Armenia scored for the Wildcats, with both goals unassisted.

Sam Gray was in goal for the Wildcats and made four saves, while Sophia Barker was in net for Old Saybrook and notched 11 saves.

Old Lyme is now 4-0-0 overall and 3-0-0 in the Shoreline Conference.

Share

Old Lyme Library’s BookCellar Opens in New Location to Make Space for Library Renovation Project to Begin


The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library’s BookCellar opened in their temporary location at 44 Lyme St. (across the street from the Library) Wednesday, Sept. 18.  Over the past three months, a 10,000 volume bookstore of gently used books and media housed in the basement of the Old Lyme Library has been condensed into this temporary space across the street. The rest of the contents went into storage.

The space is still an art gallery so customers can peruse the art while purchasing books.

BookCellar Co-Manager Joan Overfield notes, “We expect to move back to our renovated space after the New Year. Our 60+ dedicated volunteers staff the BookCellar Wednesdays and Saturdays. Visit us if you are in the area.  Stop by to browse a hand-picked selection of books or drop off your donations during their regular business hours.”

Overfield’s fellow co-manager Claudia Condon adds, “Wednesday was a great day for Phoebe’s!  We are excited to be in our temporary space.  It is very bright and cozy–feels like a little book shop!  Our volunteers are thrilled with the space.  We had steady traffic all day with those bringing donations and shoppers.  Some of the shoppers were Library  patrons, who have been awaiting our reopening–we were closed for a month–and others were new customers strolling down Lyme Street and stopping in to see what we were all about.”

Condon also said enthusiastically, “We think the space will give us excellent retail exposure and maybe some new customers will follow us when we move back to the Library.”

All proceeds from the BookCellar benefit the Library.  The BookCellar is open Wednesdays 10am-6pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm. Parking is on the street or behind Town Hall or the Library. New volunteers are always welcome at the BookCellar — drop in to discuss options with the current volunteers or call the library to find out more at 860-434-1684.

The move has taken place to allow the renovation project at the library to begin.

Yesterday, movers began work on the main floor of the Library.  The room adjacent to the historic Reading Room (housing fiction and biography collections) has been cleared to make way for construction to begin soon.  The attic spaces have been cleared, and most of the artwork has been removed from the Library to keep it safe during the duration of the project.

Phase I of the project will address the spaces listed above, as well as the lower level BookCellar.  The precise start date of the project is yet to be finalized but is expected shortly.

The Library will remain open for the duration of the project, but it is anticipated that some services will have to be reduced or adjusted as the project proceeds. The Library’s website will always have the most current news.
Library Director Katie Huffman, who is eagerly anticipating the start … and end … of the project, comments, “We appreciate your patience as we work to renew our Library.”
Share