P&Z Watch: Historic Overlay Candidate on Grigg Street Seeks Relief from Parking Requirements

At the most recent P&Z meeting, commissioners heard an application for a Historic Overlay on a house at 12 Grigg Street, a charming one-way road that comes off Greenwich Avenue and is home to Diane’s Books, CFCF and Grigg Street Pizza, as well as several restored turn of century houses.

The house at 12 Grigg is the first house on the left after Diane’s Books, but is easy to miss as it is hidden behind a fence, tree and overgrown hedges.

12 Grigg Street is easy to miss behind a fence and hedges.
The P&Z commission asked the applicant for details on who owns the alley between 12 Grigg Street and the Diane’s Books building.
Rear of 12 Grigg Street from the adjacent 12 hour municipal parking lot.
The house at 12 Grigg Street has most of its original front porch in tact.

The applicant is prepared to invest significantly in restoring the 1900 house. They would remove asbestos shingles to expose clapboard siding and remove a narrow second floor balcony on the east side.

Attorney for the applicant Chip Haslun noted most of the turn of century houses on the street had been restored in recent years, and that Historic District Commission’s feedback was that 12 Grigg Street was worthy of a Historic Overlay.

The applicant seeks to have office space on both first and second floors, and have two apartments on the third floor.

The house is in the CGB zone where office space is an allowed use on the first floor.

The applicant seeks a small FAR incentive of 72 square ft, but the main “ask” was a waiver on parking requirements.

Specifically, 10 parking spaces are required, but the applicant proposes just 4, which is of note because Grigg Street is an area at the bottom of Greenwich Ave where street parking and in municipal lots is already very tight.

Haslun noted the house was very close to the railroad station.

“I (question) four spaces, especially with multiple people residing up on the third floor,” said deputy P&Z director Patrick LaRow. “Parking for residents is tough in the downtown. That’s the first issue. Not so much the office use issues.”

Mr. Haslun said he thought 12 and 14 Grigg Street were originally one lot, which would explain why they share a driveway.

The commission asked the applicant to return with a record of the agreement on the shared driveway.

They also asked the applicant to find out who owns the alley between 12 Grigg St and the Diane’s Books building.

Finally, they asked the applicant to provide a landscaping plan and details on the fencing at the back of the property. Mr. Macri noted that an existing vinyl fence behind 14 Grigg Street looks “haphazard” and a single fence across both properties would be an improvement.

There was no public comment. The item was left open.

Vinyl fence runs behind 14 Grigg Street, adjacent to 12 Grigg Street.
Rear of 12 Grigg Street.
14 Grigg Street
18 Grigg Street
22 Grigg Street
28 Grigg Street

See also: Historic Overlay Application to P&Z Would Undo “Unfortunate Renovations” at 12 Grigg Street