Camillo: Historic Overlay at Former Mel Gibson Estate Would Set Potentially Devastating Precedent

Letter to the editor from Fred Camillo, Candidate for First Selectman

To the editor,

The recent application seeking a special permit for an Historic Overlay on the former property of Mel Gibson has stirred up a lot of concern in town.

The applicant/developer seeks an approval that would set a dangerous and potentially devastating precedent concerning our town and its unique characteristic as the last remaining town with four acre zoning. In doing so, the developer is using a well intentioned new regulation that includes an Historic Overlay that is meant to preserve older structures here in town.

While that is something that I believe all can support, allowing the local ordinance to be manipulated that would basically destroy a four acre zone is enough for me to believe we need to revisit this ordinance. We must come up with a better way to save historic homes without it being used to introduce something that amounts to cluster housing.

I believe is historic preservation. I have volunteered in such efforts and continue to support the many people and organizations that endeavor to do just that. I also strongly support preserving a characteristic of what has made Greenwich special and unique: four acre zones.

I urge the town to reconsider the Historic Overlay tool so that we can tweak it to do what it was intended to do and not be used as a zone breaking, money making vehicle that alters forever the beautiful landscape of our backcountry.

Fred Camillo
Candidate for First Selectman

See also:

WETLANDS WATCH: 28 Proposed Residences at Former Mel Gibson Estate Scrutinized