P&Z Watch: Neighbors Question Lost Green Space for Apartments in Glenville, Removal of Porte Cochère at “The Mansion”

The Mill Owners Company LLC are seeking a final site plan and special permit to renovate “the mansion” on Glenville Street and build 15 rental apartments plus 23 parking spaces in the area residents refer to as “the green.”

The application was opened at the Tuesday Planning & Zoning commission meeting.

The property is in the Local Business Zone. It is in a Historic Overlay zone, and is also in a Registered Historic District.

Steven Schacter, a principal owner of The Mill, gave a bit of history of the application.

A final site plan application was submitted in January 2024. A year earlier, they submitted a pre-application for a similar building at approximately the same location, and received feedback from the Historic District Commission in February.

From there, the project architect made significant changes to the building’s facade and footprint, which Mr. Schacter said he believed were well received by HDC in March.

According to the application summary prepared by staff, the P&Z commission reviewed the application at a staff briefing on May 28 and requested the HDC opine on whether they felt the proposal was consistent with the 1979 Historic Overlay Zone. After the May briefing, the applicant postponed the opening of the public hearing.

At Tuesday’s P&Z meeting, Mr. Schacter said he was eager to receive feedback on July 10 from the Historic District Commission as he anticipated it might include “an answer” and therefore didn’t want to speak on the application at the P&Z meeting.

“Having waited this long, it would behoove both the commission and us to wait until HDC has spoken,” he said. 

Nevertheless, since the application was “opened,” referring to a timeline triggered by statute, the commission invited public comment.

Kathryn Parker, a 30-year resident of Greenwich, testified that a letter opposing the project  on “the green” had been signed by 35 Glenville households – over 50 individuals.

She described how in April she learned of the plans for the proposed apartment building and mentioned it to neighbors who were also surprised. and opposed to losing the green space.

“I hope you saw in the meeting materials the April 30 email signed by 35 households – over 50 individuals – all opposing losing the green space that defines our downtown community,” she said.

The mansion was originally built as a residential property to house business people visiting the American Felt Company. File photo


Porte cochère at “The Mansion” at 6 Glenville Street. The current application proposes to remove the existing porte cochère from the mansion building. File photo

“As you know, this proposal seeks to destroy part of the existing 1800’s mansion, by demolishing perhaps its most distinctive architectural feature – the porte cochère – which is physically part of the building. It really helps distinguish the mansion and tell the story of the era and The Mill area.”

“They want to tear down the porte cochère so the new building can abut the mansion with only a row of shrubs between,” she continued. “You won’t even see the mansion if you enter Glenville from Glenville Street or Glen Ridge Road.”

She said the green space itself was significant to the historic area.

“Everyone in Glenville will comment on the beautiful tree that turns crimson in the fall and is decorated with holiday lights in the winter,” Parker said. “That distinctive tree plus several others that line Glenville Road and the walkway from the Mill apartments and the shops will all be gone.”

She said traffic was also a consideration, especially given the context of the proposed building at 9 Glenville Road and the new DeCicco’s supermarket who signed a lease for the former Stop & Shop building. That application was discussed during the same meeting. The family owned supermarket seeks to rezone additional parts of the property from residential to commercial, and add even more parking spaces than were already approved.

Kate Dzikiewicz, director of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, agreed with Ms Parker about the loss of mature trees on the proposed site.

“Several of these trees exceed over 20″ in diameter, and are over 60 years old,” she said. “Many are also native species and highly beneficial to our local ecosystem.”

She described the trees as “cherished seasonal landmarks,” and said that removing them would increase sediment and pollutant runoff into the Byram River, given its close proximity.

“While we appreciate the proposed plantings suggested, they do not adequately compensate for the loss of the mature trees in terms of both environmental and community value,” she continued, going on to urge the applicant to seek a compromise.

Attorney John Tesei asked if his client’s application could be on the agenda again for the July 23 agenda.

“Bear in mind that if you get a design change from HDC, that might not give you enough time,” Alban said.


The Mill complex is comprised of five buildings: the 1881 building, the railroad building, the mansion, the central mill building and the 1981 building.

Back in 2019 the P&Z commission approved the conversion of office space to residential units, and 67 dwelling units with a total of 87 bedrooms.

At the March 2023 P&Z meeting, back when 16 units were proposed, Mr. Schacter noted there was such high demand for the 59 apartments created from converted offices that there was a waiting list, which he said reflected an unsatisfied demand for additional apartments.

He also said the FAR of the proposed 16 apartments was less than allowable FAR, adding, “A fraction of what an application under 8-30g might yield.”

See also: P&Z Scrutinizes 16 Proposed Apartments at The Mill: Please Preserve the Mansion

March 2023

P&Z Watch: New 16-Unit Rental Development Proposed at The Mill Complex January 2023

P&Z Considers Proposal to Convert Office Space to 69 Rental Apartments at “The Mill” in Glenville November 2018

According to the Greenwich Historical Society, with water power provided by the Byram River, the mill complex in Glenville grew over time and morphed to manufacture wool and lead products before becoming America’s first woven felt manufacturer in 1852, and under the ownership of the American Felt Company, the largest. Photo: Leslie Yager