At Tuesday’s P&Z meeting, the commission discussed a proposed 2 story addition atop the historic Putnam Trust building at 125 Greenwich Ave submitted under state affordable housing statute 8-30g.
Connecticut’s affordable housing statute 8-30g requires all the state’s municipalities to have 10% of their overall housing be designated Affordable. Greenwich remains roughly 1200 units short of compliance.
A second 8-30g application was for a 20-unit residential development with 6 units dedicated as affordable at 1143 East Putnam Ave, which is a flag lot behind People’s Bank in Riverside.
The property is currently used as a construction yard and is entirely paved.
The affordable housing development is proposed to be four stories, with ground level parking under the building.
P&Z chair Margarita Alban noted the staff report which noted questions with turnaround space for emergency vehicles and delivery trucks.
“You’ve got to address driveway safety and DPW concerns about driveway access. It doesn’t seem like you’ve talked to People’s Bank. In the comment (P&Z director Katie DeLuca) has, is that this does rise to a safety issue, so I’d give it significant thought.”
Also Alban said the commission had consistently expressed dissatisfaction with the application for its lack of outdoor space or green area.
“The roof is a feeble replacement to give people some fresh air,” Alban said.
Attorney Tom Heagney said his client would review feedback and was willing to work with adjacent property owners to simplify and reduce curb cuts on East Putnam Ave, but that would not change the building or the location.
Other staff comments included a question as to whether the owner would restrict vehicle ownership because the development is under parked.
“This issue of your storm water runoff keeps coming up as well,” Alban said. “You’ve got all impervious and you could have a huge amount of runoff. Just be sure that is safely handled.”
Attorney Tom Heagney said because the site was currently a paved construction yard, the development would improve storm water management significantly.
During public comment Susan Foster from the Riverside Association said her group was especially concerned about lack of green space.
“As development continues from exit 5 down to St Catherine’s, project-by-project, that there is no pocket park. We feel strongly that the POCD takes the position for outdoor space,” she said.
“There’s just a handful of developers in this town, and I ask if there’s any way to ask them to work cohesively in thinking about this as a district and where they could create a small little green park where someone with a baby carriage or toddler could go,” Foster added.
Ms Foster said her association was also concerned the parking treatment.
“We like the design, but we are concerned about it being precedent setting for the parking being on pillars,” Foster said. “For this particular building and how it is designed, we don’t see it as problematic, but we know it is opening up the door.”
She noted that when a similar parking arrangement was proposed for a development at 1205 East Putnam Avenue, next to McDonald’s, the Riverside Association adamantly objected to the “look.”
After public comment the commission left the item open.