On Friday a letter from Rev. Ian Jeremiah, Pastor of St Michael the Archangel Parish on North Street to parishioners spread quickly.
The letter acknowledge the Diocese of Bridgeport, owner of the land where Greenwich Catholic School is located, had entered an agreement to sell three acres of the Diocese’s land on the school’s campus to a developer, LCB Senior Living for an assisted living facility for seniors.
Earlier in the week, neighbors in the area of St Michael the Archangel Church at 469 North Street circulated a Redness & Mead schematic plan of LCB’s possible senior living facility, and a request that neighbors oppose a potential four story, 90 room facility on the grounds that it would increase traffic including delivery trucks, employees, visitors and ambulances on an already heavily trafficked North Street, and change the landscape of the neighborhood forever.
The letter, which suggested property values would go down if the facility were to be built, asked neighbors to contact Father Ian and the Office of the Bishop at the Diocese of Bridgeport, as well as Planning and Zoning at Town Hall, and the the office of the First Selectman to voice opposition.
In his letter the Pastor said he was “glad and relieved” to share a statement from the Diocese:
“The Diocese of Bridgeport has heard the resounding opinion of the communities in opposition to the proposed senior housing development on the campus of Greenwich Catholic School,” the statement started, adding that the Diocese had intended to work with the community of St Michael’s, Greenwich Catholic School and the neighborhood to add aesthetically pleasing senior housing.
“…we have listened to and heard your concerns. Out of respect for the wishes of the parish and school communities, Bishop Caggiano has made the decision not to go forward with the development.”
“Being attentive to and respecting the concerns of our school and parish communities is and will continue to be a priority for the Diocese and for Bishop Caggiano.”
While the push back from neighbors was strong, Greenwich needs more options for seniors, and senior living is allowed in residential zones with a special permit.
Currently developers have an application for luxury senior assisted living on Old Track Road working its way through the P&Z process. The facility would be constructed on a 2.5344 acre parcel at the end of Old Track Rd. The applicant is Renamba, which is owned by a private developer Amba Sharma. He purchased the property in September 2019 for $11,650,000.
What remains to be seen is whether the Diocese will sell the land to another party, perhaps for something more palatable to neighbors.
Certainly, the town has a shortage of playing fields!