Daily Archives: June 9, 2005

Summer Doldrums

Only nine new houses were added to the inventory yesterday, balanced by nine price reductions. The hot weather is upon us and the market is settling down for the summer. If you’re a buyer, this is a good time to shop for bargains. If you’re a seller, you have a choice: wit until September or be open to low offers.

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Zoning by Litigation

An Old Greenwich couple, Sarah and Michael McNulty, have finally received approval from our P&Z to build their new house in Shorelands. This approval came not because the P&Z saw the error of its ways when they turned the couple down, repeatedly, over the years, but because the McNultys sued the town and then settled. I attended one of the P&Z hearings on the matter about a year ago and, as a former land-use lawyer, was appalled. The McNultys were fully within their rights to build the house they wanted but our commission turned them down based solely, it seemed, on neighborhood opposition. No one likes change and we all react badly when change is thrust upon us but the P&Z simply cannot base its decisions on who is for, and against a project – the law won’t permit it. Yet again and again our zoning decisions are founded on the commission’s personal predilictions or neighbor’s challenges. This results in law suits by aggrieved property owners – law suits which they win. Examples include the Starbucks in Cos Cob, the Whaba brother’s marina/condominium project in Byram and now, the McNultys. This is a stupid, and expensive way to manage land use. We as a town deserve better.

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