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Zoning commission to consider new apartments for West Putnam Avenue

February 4, 2019

GREENWICH — The Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to hear two proposals for new apartment buildings on West Putnam Avenue at its meeting Tuesday night.

The first proposal is to combine the parcels at 581 and 585 W. Putnam Ave. and then demolish the two buildings there. The combined lot would then, if approved, be the site of a new 67-unit apartment building with a parking garage. There would also be space for a fitness business and a supermarket in the buildings.

No tenants for the proposed buildings have been named yet. Under the plan, a new access driveway from Valley Road would be constructed to connect the lots to the Greenwich Office Park. There would also be an entrance with a signal at the intersection of Valley and West Putnam.

The other proposal would combine parcels at 500 and 600 W. Putnam Ave. to construct a 35-unit multifamily building with a parking garage. The plan has 16 one-bedroom units, six two-bedroom units and 13 three-bedroom units.

An existing office building at 500 W. Putnam and a mixed-use building at 600 W. Putnam would remain under the plan.

Both of the plans have units set aside for moderate-income housing. This would allow consideration for the plans under an ordinance that called for more workforce housing for Greenwich. That ordinance passed as a result of the 2009 Plan of Conservation and Development.

The proposal for 581 and 585 W. Putnam Ave. includes 14 moderate-income units, which would represent 20 percent of the available apartments. The 500 W. Putnam proposal is slated to have eight moderate-income units, which would also equal close to 20 percent. Of those, three would be one-bedroom units, one would be two-bedroom units and four would be three-bedroom units.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room. Full presentations will be given on both items, and commission members will start their evaluation.

In the past, there was opposition to building large complexes along the Post Road in Western Greenwich. Two attempts to build a complex at 345 W. Putnam Ave., the site of the Post Road Iron Works, failed to gain approval from the zoning commission as well as the town’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency. Neighbors also posted strong resistance.

The public will have a chance to weigh in at Tuesday’s hearing on the two proposals.

Additionally, the Planning and Zoning Commission is slated to hear additional information about a proposal from Greenwich Academy to move its preschool and day care program off campus and to a combined lot at 96 and 100 Maple Ave. The all-girls private school owns those properties and, if approval is granted, it would also have three residential units there for faculty.

The proposal has gotten some pushback from neighbors as well as members of the commission, questioning whether it is legal under town zoning regulations to switch property from only residential to a mixed-use for educational and residential.

Last month, the commission closed consideration on the site plan and special permit request but kept open the request to combine 96 and 100 Maple Ave. as one property. Representatives from Greenwich Academy have requested that the commission rule on both matters at the same time, and the commission seems willing to do that.

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com

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