Greenwich P&Z Hones in on Sewerage Discharge Agreement with New York for Proposed 8-30g on King Street


A P&Z application for final site plan to demolish the Greenwich Woods 217-bed nursing home on King Street and replace it with a 5-story building proposed under Connecticut’s affordable housing statute 8-3og may hinge on a unique agreement the owners have with Westchester County to accept their sewerage discharge.

This 8-30g is being submitted as a set aside development with 30% (65 units) designated “affordable,” with a deed restriction for 40 years.

At a previous P&Z meeting the applicant had been asked to clarify their sewerage discharge agreement with Westchester, as well as details of an easement Westchester Airport has concerning trees and other objects in the airport’s landing path.

Rendering from Granoff Architects of an affordable housing development at 1165 King Street, currently home to Greenwich Woods Nursing facility. As an 8-30g the developers are exempt from local zoning except in rare cases of health and safety that would clearly outweigh the need for affordable housing in Greenwich.  The 16-acre property is in the residential RA-4 Zone, south of Sacred Heart Greenwich. December 2023


Under 8-30g, developers are exempt from local zoning except in rare cases of health and safety that would clearly outweigh the need for affordable housing in Greenwich.

As a result, the development would be allowed to be non-conforming with respect to minimum green area, allowable floor area, and stories.

– Proposed: five stories plus a roof deck, where 3.5 are otherwise allowed
– Proposed FAR is 0.51, where .0625 is otherwise allowed
– Proposed green area of 75.1% while 84% is otherwise required
– Proposed are 294 plus 10 ADA spaces. Today there are 119 parking spaces. Under current zoning, 439 parking spaces would be required

On Tuesday, the commission said issues with waste water management and the sewer discharge agreement with Westchester might rise to the health and safety threshold to turn down an 8-30g.

Specifically, the commissioners noted sewerage was a matter of public health, and without a 40-year sewer plan – to meet the 40 years the 8-30g affordable units are deed restricted – the proposal didn’t appear to meet State Statutes.

In addition to the expiration in 2064, potentially prior to the 40-year deed restriction, the agreement could be unilaterally cancelled by Westchester for payment default by 30-day notice.

“The question is, as they do this with Westchester County, could you add three more years from certificate of occupancy of the new building so you have the full 40 years of 8-30g?” P&Z commission chair Margarita Alban asked.

The commissioners also noted the applicant’s lack of details for a contingency plan for a septic system on the King Street property if Westchester were to terminate service before 2064.

Attorney for the applicant Tom Mr. Heagney said planning and implementation for a septic system would take 3- 6 months.

“Our basic point is that for the health and safety for residents, there must be some sort of wastewater treatment available, whichever one it is,” Alban said. “They either have to make sure they can get Westchester County in place and guaranteed, or they have to be able to trigger full implementation on site. ”

On Nov 29 Westchester’s Commissioner for the Dept of Environmental Facilities, Vincent Kopicki, sent a letter outlining his concerns about the agreement and flow calculations.

“There is no indication in the public record that any notification to the Westchester County Dept of Environmental Facilities has been made regarding this proposed development,” Kopicki wrote.

His letter confirmed the existing agreement with Greenwich Woods has a discharge restricted to 50,000 gallons per day, but Westchester’s calculations for the proposed 424-bedroom development are for a base sewerage calculation of 63,600 gallons per day, exceeding the agreement.

It also mentions the easement for the airport and a need for air traffic analysis of the proposal from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The letter went on to say if the property were transferred to new owners, the sewerage agreement would become invalid.

Mr. Heagney said the applicant had responded to Mr. Kopicki’s letter.

“They’re using 150 galls per day per bedroom and we’re using 110 gallons per day per bedroom because we would be using more efficient fixtures as part of the new construction,” he explained.

He added the while a different LLC was on the application, it represented the same owners and there were no plans to transfer ownership.

Ms Alban brought up the topic of sewerage inflow and infiltration, “I&I,” which is a concern here in Greenwich.

“Does the sewerage discharge agreement have I&I built into it?” she asked.” The letter from Westchester County says today the flow is 30,000 and can go to a max of 50,000, so there’s a big cushion. What happens if there is a risk of I&I?” she asked.

Discussion also honed in on calculations for maximum gallons of discharge Westchester would receive.

The commissioners suggested Mr. Heagney work with Westchester on that and request they extend the 30-day cancellation window to six months to accommodate the installation of a septic system if one becomes necessary. They also said the soil in the area designated for a possible septic should be tested.

As for Westchester’s easement, Alban said, “We want to make sure the planting plan is acceptable to the Westchester Airport authority, which is through their DPW.”

After lengthy discussion, the commission voted unanimously to move the application from preliminary to final, but with very specific conditions.

Concerns from Kopicki’s letter were included in P&Z chair Alban’s motion to move the application to final with conditions.

“Whereas absent an operational agreement with Westchester County for this specific facility this  proposal has no designed or approved sewage system.

Whereas the applicant should provide plans and studies that show the possible location of a code-compliant on-site wastewater system in the absence of a sewerage agreement with Westchester County.

Whereas the commission finds that the absence of a valid sewerage discharge agreement with Westchester County or other legally compliant means of sewerage disposal creates a major health and safety risk for residents of this proposed development.

Whereas the commission further finds the aforementioned health and safety risk to residents exceeds the need for affordable housing in Greenwich.

Therefore, be it resolved that this application is hereby moved to final with the following requirements for the final submission…

“…formal written conformation that Westchester County has agreed to the proposed development including an extension of the Sewerage Discharge Agreement term to be equal to or greater than the 40 years required after C/O by the state statute 8-30g.

The applicant shall obtain a revision to the notification of termination clause of the SDA to provide sufficient time for the applicant to complete the installation of a code compliant on-site sewage disposal system.

The applicant shall increase the gallons per day allowance in the SDA with Westcheser County to cover the base sewerage demand of the proposed development, as well as a cushion for any future overage, including that due to inflow and infiltration in the out years.

The applicant shall obtain a revision to the SDA assignment clause such that the agreement remains intact should the development change ownership in the future.

The applicant shall also meet all conditions imposed by the county of Westchester Dept of Public Works and Transportation on behalf of the Westchester County Airport, the county’s director of aviation and the FAA. Proof of these conditions and their satisfaction shall be provided in writing to Greenwich P&Z.

The applicant shall provide a revised landscape plan that incorporates any aviation related considerations.

The applicant shall submit a full assessment feasibility and construction plan for state of CT compliance on site sewerage treatment facility, including soil test results, specific placement area and time projection for the installation.

The vote to move to final with above conditions was unanimous, 5-0. Voting were Nick Macri, Margarita Alban, Peter Lowe, Mary Jenkins and Dennis Yeskey.