Greenwich Reform Synagogue received unanimous approval by the Town Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 25 for its plans to build a new house of worship on Orchard St in Cos Cob.
The plans involve demolition of a vacant single family house at 92 Orchard Street.
“The P&Z vote paves the way for construction of only the second purpose-built synagogue in the town’s 374-year history,” according to a release from Dooley Wichman Communications on behalf of the GRS.
“We are delighted with the approval, and excited to move on the process of creating our new home,” said Wendy Schreiber, Co-President of the Board of GRS in the release. “The building will serve as a wonderful home for the congregation, and we believe one that will ultimately be a positive for the neighborhood.”
GRS will still have to appear before the Architectural Review Committee (ARC).
Approval for the planned 12,262 square foot building on 1.75 acres on Orchard Street came after a rigorous process involving the Town’s Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency, the Planning & Zoning Board of Appeals, P&Z, and the ARC.
“We went to great lengths to listen to everyone’s point of view and to address the concerns our neighbors had,” said Marc Abrams, Co-President of the Board of GRS in the release. “Every reasonable request was included in the final site plan, and the result will be a modest and attractive building that will fit well with the neighborhood.”
The planned Synagogue will include a sanctuary, social hall, classrooms, and offices designed by Mark B. Thompson Associates LLC.
Separately, a settlement agreement between the Town of Greenwich and Greenwich Reform Synagogue, relating to a federal lawsuit filed by GRS over a ruling by the Zoning Board of Appeals, was confirmed by a Federal judge in New Haven on Monday, Nov. 24. In her ruling, Federal District of Connecticut Judge Honorable Janet C. Hall said that the agreement was “fair, just and in the public interest,” according to a release from the GRS.
Greenwich Reform Synagogue was founded in 1976. GRS provides a flexible, progressive environment for prayer, study, celebration of Shabbat and Jewish holidays and for all life cycle events. GRS is a member synagogue of the Union for Reform Judaism.