Chabad Lubavitch has submitted an application to Greenwich Planning and Zoning add 12 kindergarten children at 75 Mason Street where they are already approved for 40 children on the first floor and lower level.
Chabad owns two continuous properties at 75 Mason Street and 6 Lincoln Avenue that are located in the CGB zone.
The properties went up for sale in April 2021, when Chabad had planned to acquire the former Carmel Academy campus at 270 Lake Avenue, but that did not work out. Recently the for sale signs were removed. (The list price for 75 Mason was $3.6 million. The adjacent building that houses two preschool classrooms at 6 Lincoln Ave, built in 1950, was listed for $2,500,000.)
The property at 75 Mason Street is already approved as a synagogue on the first floor, a preschool program for up to 40 children on the first floor and lower level, and an apartment on the second and third floors.
Chabad seeks to remove the apartment and add 12 kindergarten children on the second floor, and use the third floor for storage.
They also seek to relocate the playground to the rear of 6 Lincoln Avenue, in order to provide a more secure environment for children rather than at the corner of Mason Street and Lincoln Avenue where the playground is currently located.
To accomplish this relocation, Chabad would combine the two properties into one and create a one-way drop-off and pick-up driveway starting at the curb cut at 6 Lincoln Ave and exiting at the existing curb cut for 75 Mason St.
In 2017 Greenwich’s P&Z commission approved Chabad’s plans to move their pre school program for children 3 and under from the YMCA Greenwich, where they had been operating since 2003, to 6 Lincoln Ave. The applicant presented a staggered drop-off and pick-up for their 5-space parking lot behind 6 Lincoln Ave.
During the pandemic, Chabad had permission to erect a 40 x 40 tent behind 6 Lincoln for four months to use for religious services on Saturdays and religious school on Sundays. That ended on May 31. The tent came down in early June.
Recently, Chabad had an application at P&Z for to re-erect the 40×40 tent, but withdrew the application.
Currently there are a combined 22 parking spaces and a handicap space for each site.
According to the narrative, combining the parcels only one handicap parking space is required, and 22 parking spaces would be provided, one of which would be employee parking only.
The removal of the parking area behind 6 Lincoln Avenue would result in a reduction of 1,070 square feet of the impervious surface on the properties.
Per the narrative on the application, the one-way traffic configuration would result in a more efficient pick-up and drop-off process than currently exists at each property.
In addition to the approved uses and requested kindergarten space at 75 Mason Street, the building at 6 Lincoln Avenue would continue to be used as part of the preschool program for up to 16 children with an apartment on the second floor.
The applicant seeks site plan approval for the second-floor kindergarten at 75 Mason St and to permit the playground to be relocated behind building at 6 Lincoln Ave and the associated site work for the parking lot reconfiguration.