Greenwich “Stack & Pack“ Housing Concerns - Open Letter To Mr. Levine

From Concerned Resident: “Anna” Dear Mr. Levine,

I am writing to oppose the destruction of 7 Registered Historic Properties on Church Street and Sherwood Place in Greenwich, as proposed by Church Sherwood LLC.

One of the major appeals of Greenwich when I moved to the Fourth Ward Historic District nearly 30 years ago was the beautiful historic buildings. These lovely period houses, the front lawns, trees and gardens are lovely…and rare and precious. There are fewer and fewer places in America where you can see houses of this period so well preserved and still in use. These historic landmarks also help preserve the quality of life in Greenwich, making the District so walkable and friendly. Stroll these beautiful tree-lined streets and you’ll invariably meet neighbors sitting on porches, walking dogs, running errands on foot or just out enjoying the sunshine.

Sunshine is another critical point: The proposed apartment building would leave Sherwood Place and Church Street in permanent shadow. It would be like living in the center of Manhattan instead of the leafy, garden-filled town we moved here to enjoy. Nor is sunlight the only resource that would be compromised. The Church Sherwood LLC development also would be an insupportable burden on our infrastructure. Construction alone would create havoc, closing off Church and Sherwood not just to vehicles driving through, for instance to Greenwich Hospital, but for the residents who live on those streets. Church Street is already so narrow that cars moving in opposing directions often require one to pull over. And that’s just for moderate size cars—trucks, vans etc. passing require strategic vehicular wriggling.

Construction would especially impact Sherwood Place residents, many of whom do not have driveways and must park on-the-street. If the experience of the much smaller construction projects on Sherwood where construction took about five yearsare any example, the Church Sherwood LLC development is likely to be hugely disruptive of normal day-to-day life for residents for at least that long if not longer. Also: The Sherwood Place construction took a toll on our cars. While impossible prove a case, many of us living on Sherwood had flat tires caused by roofing nails—including one unfortunate person who got flats in three brand-new replacement tires. Construction dust also gets into car engines—we aren’t driving earthmovers.

The proposed development would also put a strain on our electrical grid, challenged in the best of times, and our water. Replacing gardens and lawns with buildings also reduces the amount of available soil into which rain and snow can soak during storms. This creates flooding, of which Greenwich sees a lot during and after storms. No one seems to be taking into account the underground stream that runs under Sherwood Place, which regularly floods basements, including the newly built condos which resulted in a woman who had a basement apartment losing most of her possessions.

Approving the Church Sherwood LLC development would not only be disastrous for the Fourth Ward Historic District, it sets a terrible precedent for other historic areas in Greenwich—and for our state. Once destroyed, those historic areas are gone forever. Nor does it help Greenwich reach the 10% affordable housinggoal, Church Sherwood LLC’s argument for the project. Thenumber of very unaffordable units will keep Greenwich forever chasing that elusive 10%. It would be much more practical to designate more units that already exist as affordable.

In conclusion, Mr. Levine, I join hundreds of neighbors all over Greenwich in imploring you to do the right thing—do not condemn these seven beautiful historic properties, and with it our precious records of history, to annihilation.

Thank you very much for reading this. I hope to hear and see good news!

Sincerely,

Anna

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