Apartment plan OK’d for Glenville
GREENWICH — New apartments will be carved out in Glenville after the town Planning and Zoning Commission gave its unanimous approval to a project to convert offices into housing in a landmark development.
No new buildings will be constructed. Instead, the office space in The Mill will be turned into 69 new apartment units, according to property co-owner and developer Steven Schacter. The project will involve 10 Glenville St., 328 Pemberwick Road and 340 Pemberwick Road, he said.
As part of the approval, the property owners committed to make improvements to address existing traffic problems in the busy area. Residents had spoken up with concerns, not about the apartments, but how they would impact the already heavy traffic in downtown Glenville.
The town, through its Department of Public Works, is also working to relieve traffic problems in Glenville in the long term.
The commission had appeared ready to approve the apartments late last month. However, it deferred the approval until Tuesday night’s meeting to allow more time to discuss traffic issues.
Schacter has said the property will generate less traffic with apartments than it did as offices.
“Our neighbors are concerned about existing street congestion on Glenville Street and Glenville Road,” Schacter said at the meeting. “The commission chose to demonstrate to our neighbors that their concerns about traffic did not fall on deaf ears. At the risk of repeating what’s been said at both prior meeting, our application would not be expected to exacerbate existing traffic. Quite the contrary: It would be expected to ameliorate that traffic.”
Commission Acting Chair Margarita Alban said it would be less traffic only when compared to the office space at full capacity. The property owners have not leased out the offices as they sought to convert the space into apartments.
Under the plan, there will be 33 apartments on the east parcel on the Pemberwick side and 36 apartments on the west parcel, which is at Glenville Street.
The developers also formally submitted changes to allow the turning radius to be widened at an existing traffic circle and rumble strips to be added to slow traffic.
After a meeting with the town and residents, Schacter said they decided other steps could be taken to alleviate traffic, such as extra signs to keep drivers from blocking the driveways into the Glenville Street entrance and to keep traffic from backing up.
Before the vote, Schacter told the commission. “Our application should be approved rather than force us to seek to fill our office space with medical practices or co-working uses, which are the most likely office tenants in today’s market.”
The project is redevelopment, not development, and is in keeping with the stated goals of the town, he said. The Mill and its the park-like setting — complete with waterfall — would be “updated, improved and revitalized” for the good of the entire neighborhood, Schacter said.
Several residents spoke out at the Nov. 21 meeting, but none were in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting.
The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the project but said traffic issues need to be addressed.
“The existing congestion is beyond the scope of this application, but I think it’s a very significant community concern going forward regardless of what goes on at this site,” commission member Peter Levy said. “We would hope and encourage any efforts in the community to talk about this and see if the town couldn’t be motivated to work on some of these intersections to alleviate the problem. It’s not going away.”