Letter: Combination of state regulations and developer greed are lethal to Greenwich

Open letter to the Greenwich Planning and Zoning Commission from Judy Crystal

Writing letters objecting to the insanities being foisted on our town by a lethal combination of state regulations and developer greed and arrogance becomes a frustrating occupation. Is it time wasted? I hope not. The current proposal to overwhelm the Post Road as it approaches the New York border is depressing.

Is no one laughing at Mr. Fareri’s nearly unbelievable assertion that his JLoft building is an attractive, fitting addition to the Greenwich landscape? Even if he’s allowed to transform the Post Road into White Plains’ North Broadway, architecture like the brutalist, inner city design of J-Loft is totally unsuitable to our town. That it exists in a nearly hidden corner off Railroad Avenue is its ONLY saving grace.

The blasting of the rock face at the corner of Valley Road seems to be accepted as a given. Admittedly, the current site makes profitable construction difficult, but is that a reason to obliterate it? The addition of so many apartments – and their residents and those residents’ visitors and their cars will make what is a rush hour mess a daylong disaster.

The idea that the possibility of acquiring a restaurant as a tenant will solve all the problems and benefit the tenants (and owners of the office buildings in the rear) is so silly as to be laughable. It will, if a successful restaurant is the renter, add in the evening and midday – to the corporate congestion. I can’t wait to hear what the proposal will be for the land currently occupied by the garage/gas station on the eastern corner.

I also wonder who will oversee the applications of the residents of the “moderate” apartments. Will this be a state agency that’s responsible for assuring that tenants whose incomes rise above the restrictions may not stay in their apartments? I realize that this question is larger than the current proposal. It’s just something that concerns me as more and more of these buildings are constructed. Will there be a Greenwich agency – with more town employees – who then will receive more salaries and more pensions and more bureaucracy? Of, even worse, will they be controlled by Hartford?

And if the current “workforce” sobriquet is used…what does it mean? I realize that I’ve accepted the term without understanding it. Makes me feel like a resident of 1920s Germany. The hand wringing over the travel time of people who cannot afford to live in their idea of comfort in our town is never contrasted with the travel time of those residents who commute into New York City.

Please, consider what is being done and think about what the “green wall” and “l-shaped building” will mean to our town. That you are not receiving an avalanche of mail is probably only that we are beginning to give in to the inevitable…a cityscape, a future morass that once was a caring, involved town.

I know that this will not be the last bite at the apple but wonder what can be done to stop the steady encroachment of greed and ugliness on our town.

Judy Crystal

Editor’s note: The item 500/600 West Putnam Ave has been postponed and will not be on the P&Z agenda on Feb 21. Click for agenda.

See also:

Letter: Preserving our town character against huge and unsightly proposals

P&Z Scrutinizes Development Straddling West Putnam Ave at Abandoned Art Institute