On Tuesday the Greenwich Planning & Zoning commission voted unanimously to approve an application for a renovation to the Greenwich train station. Voting in favor were Nick Macri, Dennis Yeskey, Peter Lowe, Peter Levy and chair Margarita Alban.
The plan is to demolish the existing, defunct movie theater and create a new mixed-use building that features a restaurant plus retail space.
The project also includes a pedestrian plaza and better pedestrian access to the train platform, as well as a renovation and re-facing of the remaining mixed-use (retail and office) building along Railroad Ave and both interior and exterior improvements to the train station.
Sidewalks would be replaced. Street trees would be cut down, but replaced.
The applicant has provided a new ADA compliant dropped curb in the first two accessible parking spaces on the east side of the front door of the railroad station on Railroad Ave.
In front of the main entrance there will be bump outs, a shorter crosswalk, safety bollards and rectangular rapid flashing beacons. The beacons will only flash when a pedestrian pushes a button on the pole, similar to the flashing beacon on Field Point Rd in front of town hall. The strobes shut off when the pedestrian has crossed to the other side.
The commission’s earlier request for a drop off area on Steamboat Road at the bottom of the steps to the platform was not part of the approved plan. The applicant had argued that would back up traffic through the intersection with Railroad Ave and the bottom of Greenwich Ave.
As for the “dingy” wall at the intersection of Railroad Ave and Arch Street, the applicant will create a green wall by training vines up the wall. The said they could not reduce its height for structural reasons, which had been a request.
Noting that the property is non conforming as far as current parking standards and DPW recently completed a study that revealed that parking on lower Greenwich Avenue was very tight, one of the conditions of approval was that after the work was done, if there parking issue are perceived by the applicant or the town, that the applicant and P&Z would work together to identify solutions, including the potential for valet parking.
They will eliminate two parking spaces on Railroad Avenue to create the revised drop-off area.
Other conditions include that the station stay open for access to train platform Monday to Friday from 4:45am until 10:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from 5:00am until 8:00pm.
Another condition was for a construction phasing plan that allows for access to train platform at all times.
Also the Greenwich Tree Warden shall be consulted on replacement of all street trees.