I do hope they consulted a land use lawyer

House warming gift from selling agent?

Proving that, sooner or later, every house in Greenwich can sell, 35 Chapel Lane is reported sold today for $1.450 million. To say this house is challenged would be a gross understatement – in addition to the babbling brook sound of I-95 traffic roaring overhead, the property sits squarely in the coastal management/FEMA flood regulation zone and is going to encounter difficulties in any planned renovation, expansion or replacement.

$1.450 million must have appealed to these buyers as a reasonable price to pay for water views regardless of the trucks and car traffic intruding into the vista. And that’s fine – their money, their taste, their judgment. If they were somehow lulled into thinking the place was a bargain because at one point (2008) it was priced at a hilarious $3.5 million, then they were sold a bill of goods.

UPDATE: George Crossman XXXII, reader, fellow realtor and resident of Chapel Lane, writes to say this house is up high enough to stay dry and that it actually was a good buy. Hey, I’ll stand corrected, but I may stand in my Muck Boots and wear ear plugs while doing so.


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13 responses to “I do hope they consulted a land use lawyer

  1. George W. CRossman

    That house was worth $1.45m. It is built really high up so it probably already meets the FEMA regs. Also, it is a little know fact that FEMA regs were relaxed in 2010. It needs work, but it’s a nice spot for the money.

  2. Demmerkrat Patriot

    “Bridge for sale! I’ve got a bridge here!”

  3. Dan

    Gotta love the massive mud bank they get to see at anything less than full high tide as they watch lovely sunsets over the train tracks 🙂 Rip off for sure.

    • Nothing is a “ripoff” when it involves a willing buyer. They came, they saw, they liked, and their taste obviously differs from yours but we all have certain things that we won’t tolerate. I love the tidal flats in front of my house on Ole’s Creek, for instance, because they attract all sorts of wading birds, from Great Blue Herons to tiny terns, but there’s no way I would live under I-95. These people will, and since there are plenty of houses available at $1.4 in Riverside, they must have decided that this one best suited their needs. That wouldn’t have been my personal decision and I might think they overpaid, but a “ripoff”? Not if you assume, as I do, that anyone capable of amassing enough money to buy a house at this level knows what he’s doing. Acts of capitalism among consenting adults, as Robert Nozick described it – it’s a wonderful thing.

  4. Cos Cobber

    After you expunge the 1980s out of this house, I think it would be pretty decent abode, traffic noise and all at 1.45MM. I love the Cos Cob train bridge btw, almost iconic.

    The big question to me is the ability to rebuild after a FEMA event.

  5. Dan

    That is a very good point – and well said, Chris. I’m working hard to amass the money necessary for a purchase like this and it isn’t easy and you certainly can’t be dumb either. I definitely share your view of living under 95 and in line-of-sight of the train bridge. Noise like that is a definite deal breaker for me – I’m sure the sellers are happy it wasn’t for these buyers though.

  6. InfoDiva

    Aren’t the houses on Glen Avon similarly challenged? They seem to fetch big bucks. I was at a party at one a few years back, and between the noise, the power plant view, and the stench of dead fish in the mudflats, I just couldn’t quite see the appeal.

  7. Well that nice plug explains the phone calls this afternoon. Thanks for the ringing endorsement, as though somebody might be able to figure out our morass of regulations. Sorry, Charlie.

    A Chinese couple whose China company is paying the bill asked, “What kind of survey do I need for a Building Permit?” They were a bit mystified by the difference between a title survey, a tidal survey, a grade plane survey, a green coverage survey, a wetlands survey, a FEMA flood hazard survey, a septic survey and a drainage summary report.

    They asked, “Does that mean steel pins in the ground?”
    EI: No, that’s a staking survey.

    “Couldn’t we please just have a property survey?”
    EI: OKAY, if that’s what you want, you should have asked for it.

    “Could we use a property survey for a building permit then?”
    EI: No, that needs a Zoning Location Survey.

    They asked if that was enough. I had to tell them if they wait until May 1st, when the rules change again for the new drainage manual, all bets on putting an addition on the house are off. They were having difficulty grasping all this.

  8. Rude Poster

    They may have to start eating dogs again after they pay for all those surveys.

  9. Libertarian Advocate

    They may just toss up hands and go back to China where they can probably get things done much quicker with less red tape and a lot less money…

  10. FF

    Wow, Libertarian Advocate, odd plug for China being a better place to be than the USA. Perhaps Allan West missed someone!