At the beginning of Tuesday’s Planning & Zoning meeting, the chair announced that Chabad Lubavitch’s application for a pre-school on the grounds of former Carmel Academy’s 270 Lake Ave property had been withdrawn.
The application had been the seventh item on the public hearing agenda. They had sought a final site plan and special permit to modify existing conditions of an approved school use on the campus where they currently operate a preschool with a lease that will expire in July.
Several people signed onto Zoom at the point when the application would have been discussed. At that point, P&Z director Katie DeLuca explained that no one would be allowed to speak to the application.
“People are still wondering if you will entertain any opening of it at all, and I have told them no,” she said.
“In other words, the application at 270 Lake Avenue no longer exists,” Alban said.
In her Wednesday morning radio debrief, P&Z director Katie DeLuca said, “At 270 Lake Ave, the Chabad, that was withdrawn and was not heard at all, the reason being the property owner rescinded their authorization to allow the application to go forward.”
“There was no point of discussing conditions,” she added. “Without that authorization, there’s a big chunk of the application missing, so I don’t think it would have been resolved favorably at that point.”
In a statement from Rabbi Yossi Deren and Maryashie Deren on Wednesday morning, they said Chabad had withdrawn its special permit application and plan to refile at a later date.
“We thank the Commission members for the diligence with which they have considered our application,” they said, adding, “As we evaluate our rights and options for a long-term home for our school and camp, preschool will continue without interruption.”
Until recently Chabad was a contract purchaser for the 16+ acre property owned by Carmel Academy.
Carmel closed their own school last year, but have leased to Chabad and the Japanese School, who plan to depart in March 2022.
In late December, a new buyer for the property was announced at P&Z. Ms DeLuca said the Rock Ridge Association purchaser was exercising their right to first refusal on the property.
After the announcement, Rabbi Deren said in a statement, “We remain focused on our goal of – G-d willing – establishing a permanent home for Jewish education in Greenwich, on this campus.”
The Rabbi said Carmel Academy has signed a contract to sell the property at 270 Lake Avenue to Alan Breed.