P&Z Watch: New Pre-Application for 8-30g North of Merritt on King Street

A new pre-application has been submitted to Greenwich Planning & Zoning for Greenwich Woods. Applicant proposes to demolish the existing skilled nursing facility and construct an affordable housing apartment building.

A total of 213 apartments would be provided in the building with a mix of one-, two-and three-bedroom units and a potential for a portion of the building to continue to operate as a skilled nursing facility.

The proposed construction would be 5 stories.

Under under section 8–30g of the Connecticut General Statutes 30% of the units would be designated as affordable.

The parking areas would be enlarged to increase parking from 119 spaces to 254 plus handicap parking.

Greenwich Woods has 217 beds on 15.893 acres. The building is set back 100 ft from King Street and isn’t visible from the street.

Today Greenwich Woods is located on 15.893 acres on the easterly side of King Street and has a total of 119 parking spaces. A pre-application for an 8-30g affordable housing development on the property would have 5 stories and 213 apartments with a mix of one-, two-and three-bedroom units and a potential for a portion of the building to continue to operate as a skilled nursing facility.

Back in 2021 the applicant’s attorney Tom Heagney told the P&Z commission his client was exploring development potential for the site and sought feedback.

The commission noted the property is served by Aquarion, and a key consideration is that the facility is connected to Westchester’s sewer system through an agreement that expires in 8 years.

Commissioner Yeskey suggested the applicant approach Westchester to ask about capacity.

P&Z commission chair Margarita Alban said said she did not view the location as ideal for a high density 8-30g. Specifically, she said there would be environmental concerns and potential traffic-related issues.

And, she said, “Access to transportation and jobs is not simple from this location.”

During public comment Sam Romeo, chair of Greenwich’s Housing Authority, said he believed the 8-30g statute was being abused by developers and that transportation would be a concern for residents.

The state 8-30g affordable housing statute, which has been on Connecticut’s books since the 1980s, requires that every town in the state have 10% of their housing stock be Affordable.

Until Greenwich achieves 10%, it will be subject to 8-30g.

The initial construction of the nursing home was approved in 1986 by the Planning and Zoning Commission under site plan/special permit #987 for 150 bed facility.

In 1990 under site plan/special permit #1440 the Commission approved a 25,000 square-foot addition which increased the number of beds by 60 to a total of 210.

Lastly, in 1997 an administrative site plan #1440-2 was approved granting 7 new beds at the facility.

Rendering of proposed residential development at 1165 King Street, which today is home to Greenwich Woods.

A traffic study commissioned by the applicant noted two projects were being planned in the vicinity:

1141 King Street – A proposed five (5) single-family dwelling units to be constructed at 1141 King Street in the Town of Greenwich, Connecticut.

900 King Street – A proposed conversion of the existing vacant office building to the age-restricted residential community to include 136-unit senior housing, 85-units assisted living, and 20-units Townhome. The proposed development will be constructed at 900 King Street in the Village of Rye Brook, New York.

The traffic study concluded that the approaches of the minor street/driveway are currently operating with Level of Service “E” or “F” during both the peak hours due to the heavy through traffic on King Street. The proposed 212-unit residential development would generate total of 62 new trips in the morning peak and 84 trips in the evening peak.

According to the traffic study, with the additional traffic from the proposed development, the operating conditions at the study intersection will experience an increase in delay, however, this increase in delay occurs only during the busiest 30 minutes of the peak hours on the minor-street/driveway approaches to the intersection. During all the other times, operating conditions are considered tolerable to acceptable. There are no changes in delay on any of the King Street movements with the proposed residential development.