Award-Winning Actor Seeks a Special Use Permit for a Farm

Actor Richard Gere, famous for his roles in films such as “Pretty Woman” and “Chicago,” has purchased the former property of Paul Simon at 82 Brookwood Lane in New Canaan, CT. Gere and his wife, Alejandra Silva, seek a special use permit to allow farming as an accessory use as they plan to transform 27 out of the property’s 32 acres into a quiet and eco-friendly haven.

A site plan shared by Mr. Gere’s team at the recent Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

A site plan shared by Mr. Gere’s team at the recent Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

During a recent public meeting, Mr. Gere and his team presented the proposal and addressed concerns raised by the Planning and Zoning Commission members as well as the neighbors. Gere’s lawyer, David Rucci, presented the details of the proposal, emphasizing that his clients take utmost care in maintaining a safe environment for their children. The proposed plan includes planting berries and more trees, growing mushrooms, producing honey, and potentially raising goats and chickens in the future. 

While most of the Commission members agreed that the project was fairly low-impact, some expressed concerns about keeping goats on the property. Gere’s team carefully clarified that goats are not part of their active business plan and that they have kept goats on other properties and found them to be easy to manage. 

In this clip, Mr. Gere personally addresses concerns raised by some of the neighbors regarding the farm’s impact on the surrounding area.

Although no vote was taken, it is worth noting that the meeting was generally a positive one for Mr. Gere and his wife.  By enlisting the expertise of an experienced land use and zoning attorney, the project was well-presented and concerns were thoughtfully addressed, moving the project a step closer to realizing the Gere-Silva family’s dream of creating a tranquil and sustainable farm on this remarkable property.

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