At the June 1 Planning & Zoning meeting, attorney Thomas Heagney represented 38 St. Roch Ave, LLC, (registered to Joseph Granitto and Nicholas Granitto, both of Greenwich), presented an application for a final site plan and special permit to demolish all existing structures at 38 St. Roch Ave in Chickahominy and construct two new multi-family dwellings for a total of seven units.
The Granittos purchased the property which includes a second multi family house at 36 St Roch as well as two out buildings on December 28, 2016 from John and Beth Cappiali for $1,135,000.
The proposed development would have four units in the front and three units in the rear, and would feature a one-way circular driveway.
The result would exceed the 150,000 cubic feet building volume threshold allowed per regulations, and include parking for 18 cars.
The commission noted that the development would increase the number of bedrooms from 11 to 24.
The proposed development would tie into existing sewer laterals, though a neighbor across the street, John Ryan, who developed his property was required to pay for a new sewer line extension. “Although it is in the street, the town considers it a private line. We’re going to utilize the existing laterals for the two two-family houses that are there now, in the line that the town does claim to own,” Heagney said. “We will not be connecting to the private sewer.”
Later, during public comment, Mr. Ryan explained that when he developed 37 St Roch Ave across the street, he was required had to pay for 65 feet of sewer line and an additional manhole cover.
“There was also some questions about, ‘Have you done any soil testing on the site?'” Mr. Maitland asked the applicant’s attorney.
“Yes,” Mr. Heagney said, adding that as part of the purchase of the property the applicant was aware there is some contamination associated with it.
“Wouldn’t someone here have seen your reports – your phase I or something?” Ms. Alban asked.
“We did test borings – a phase I and II environmental,” Mr. Heagney said.
“Wouldn’t that come in here”? Alban asked.
“Not necessarily,” Mr. Heagney said.
“That’s so bizarre,” Alban said.
“As part of the garage/office at the rear of the site, there will be remediation necessary,” Heagney said.
“Alexandra (Aleksandra Moch, Environmental Analyst with Town of Greenwich) talks about an existing oil spill?” Ms. Alban asked. “Where is the control? Is it the state that does this versus the town? If you’re a service station, it’s real clear, but what about a property like this? Who does the review? Who makes sure there is sufficient remediation? It goes to DEEP, to the state level?”
“Yes, it goes to state level,” Heagney said.
“Is that a requirement of the property owner,” Ms. DeLuca asked. “Are there reporting requirements to the state?”
“Only at the time you are doing remediation,” Heagney said. “We know there is some contamination. The site is sitting on rock… You’re dealing with three feet of soil.”
Mr. Heagney said the developer is working with Hygenix of Stamford, a firm that does environmental testing and remediation.
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“Is is going to be a brownfields program?” Commissioner Peter Levy asked.
“I don’t believe so,” Heagney said.
“It had construction vehicles on it,” Ms. Alban said.
“It was a construction site for decades. There was dripping oil on the ground as machinery sat,” Heagney said, adding that not only the soil, but also the rock will be removed.
There was no mention that the property backs up to the Holly Hill Christiano Park, and Resource Recovery Facility, both of which are located on the site of the former town dump where an incinerator burned for decades.
Adjacent to Holly Hill is Western Middle School where the playing fields are closed due to the discovery of contamination in the soil.
Mr. Ryan, who lives across the street at 37 St. Roch Ave, shared his concerns during public comment, including his concerns about drainage.
Mr. Ryan said that 15 years ago he received site plan approval for a four-bedroom house across the street, and was required to meet a requirement of 50% permeable surfaces. Also, he was required to provide 3 catch basins, a 14 ft dry well and piping to get roof surfaces and catch basins into the dry well for water detention.
“This seems to be mostly permeable pavers over gravel,” he said. “Not very nice to look at. I would prefer to have lawns that the rest of us have – trees and lawns and bushes. I request that the project have 50% permeable surfaces.”
“They don’t seem to have a requirement like that now. It doesn’t seem adequate,” said Mr. Ryan. “I don’t want that water on my property.”
“Recently I got another concern. I’m concerned that 24 people’s worth of houses, people and cars will be exiting right opposite of my driveway,” Mr. Ryan said “This is a concern that this lowers the quality of my home.”
The application was left open by the Planning & Zoning Commission.