Margarita Alban

Recent Posts

P&Z Watch: Future Uses of Former Pickwick Theater Building Contemplated

On Tuesday night the P&Z commission entertained an application from Paradigm 44-48 West Putnam Ave, the owners of the property that once was Pickwick Theatre, seating 2,000+ people (opened Nov 21, 1929). After the theater closed the building was used as a bowling alley before being converted to office space and retail. The applicant seeks relief from a 1995 condition of approval that identified it as “mezzanine space,” arguing it is actually a second floor, as it is up a flight of stairs. Zoning limits the use of ground floor commercial space. Designating the space as a second floor use would allow the possibility of leasing space to a fitness center. Continue Reading →

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P&Z Watch: Property Rights Struggle Bubbling Up at Shore Acres

If you own title to an access way to Greenwich Cove established a century ago and the town never taxed it, can you pave it and use part of it for your driveway? Can you use its FAR to build a bigger house on your adjacent lot where you already tore down a house? Shore Acres neighbors say absolutely not. Continue Reading →

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P&Z Approves Chabad Synagogue but with Significantly Less FAR, and Conditions

“Where I struggle is we grant more FAR and yet the applicant does not meet the requirement of our parking regulations. And yet the applicant has spoken consistently of building a facility to fully accommodate its growth and future demand, yet the facility starts out not providing parking per regulations. That’s made me uncomfortable throughout this.” – P&Z chair Margarita Alban Continue Reading →

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Maple Avenue Neighbors Versus Greenwich Academy: The Battle Has Just Begun

At Tuesday’s P&Z meeting  Greenwich Academy returned with an updated proposal to combine 96 Maple and 100 Maple into one property where they seek to relocate their Cowan Center, a program for children from 8 weeks old to 4 years old, that services teachers at Greenwich Academy, Brunswick School, and “affiliate families.” The house is located in the single family R-20 zone. It was granted a Historic Overlay (HO) for a second unit in 1979 in return for preserving the historic structure in perpetuity. In later years, the house was illegally divided into four units and has four kitchens. Subscribe to the daily Greenwich Free Press newsletter. Continue Reading →

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Standing Room Only as Anticipation Mounts for P&Z Decision on Chabad Synagogue

At the Dec 18 P&Z meeting the commission reviewed the application for a new Chabad Lubavitch synagogue at the corner of Mason Street and Havemeyer including parking, rooftop playground, and safety given there is an entrance opposite the fire house.

Rabbi Yossi Deren said the commission was being discriminatory and “moving the lines.” The acting chair said the commission was working according to regulations and the process is iterative. Continue Reading →

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Lincoln to Erect 2-Story, Glass Showroom; Greenwich Motor Sales Closes after 60+ Years

The Caviolas closed Greenwich Auto sales at the end of August 2018. A Lincoln showroom is proposed for the property which will be leased on a long term basis. The Planning & Zoning commission asked about lighting, curb cuts, car carrier deliveries. Continue Reading →

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RTM Appointments Committee Votes on New Term for P&Z’s Richard Maitland

The Appointments committee of the RTM were overall civil, though Carl Carlson pounded his fist on the table and said he could not abide by Richard Maitland being chair when P&Z approved Neighbor to Neighbor’s food pantry building by a historic church and Tomes Higgins House, as well as condos on Milbank Ave. Continue Reading →

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Proposal for Abandoned CT Institute of Art Features 67 Residential Units, Supermarket

Development of properties at 581 and 585 West Putnam Ave was discussed well past midnight at Planning & Zoning Tuesday night. The proposal includes excavation of more than 20 feet of ledge over an area exceeding an acre.
That is about 31,000 cubic yards of material. Extensive blasting could last for a prolonged period of time. Continue Reading →

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Music & Arts Private Lessons Get the Gong from Planning & Zoning

Music & Arts in Greenwich sought to offer private lessons in four small “chambers” at their retail store. The Zoning Enforcement Officer had determined the lessons were an educational use and therefore not permitted. Applicant’s attorney John Tesei said the lessons were not an educational use, but rather “physical conditioning,” which is a Personal Service, which is allowed in the Central Business Retail Zone. The commission voted unanimously to deny the application. Continue Reading →

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