Too good to be true? Yes.

You ain't going nowhere

You ain’t going nowhere

Greenwich Time real estate columnist Ken Edwards claims to have discovered how Stamford residents can use our parks and beaches with one weird trick: buy a house with a Greenwich mailing address.

Here’s Ken: What’s the significance of [a Greenwich address] in real estate terms? A great deal, as it turns out. For those homes, many on East Middle Patent Road just off Taconic Road, it means that they have a Greenwich address, but pay taxes to Stamford and are served by the Stamford Public Schools. Home values are quite a bit less than they would be in Greenwich, even though they have the Greenwich address.

With a Greenwich address, they are entitled to use Greenwich Parks Department facilities including town beaches, tennis courts and our renowned Griffith E. Harris golf course. Here are five Greenwich/Stamford properties currently for sale in this backcountry estate area and are heavily discounted due to this anomaly:

This is simply false. That “anomaly” started when mail was still delivered by horse, and the post offices of Greenwich and Stamford cut a deal between themselves, whereby Greenwich would deliver Stamford residents’ mail in that neck of the woods, rather than Stamford carriers having to giddyap all the way west. That agreement did not change the boundaries of the respective towns and so those who live out there have always been and still are Stamford residents. They have no legal right to vote in Greenwich or receive resident park passes.

Anyone can be wrong; I am, all the time, but I’d hate to have put this particular bit of misinformation out there without confirming it because hey, someone might actually rely on it, to their great economic detriment. That way lies financial ruin – for the agent who passes this “fact” onto her clients; mere columnists, thank heaven, aren’t legally responsible for some reader’s unwise response to what we say is true.

32 Comments

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32 responses to “Too good to be true? Yes.

  1. Anonymous

    Didn’t Porricelli (sp?) or somebody prominent in Greenwich run into this issue and was eventually disenfranchised because the majority of his property was in Stamford and not in Greenwich?

  2. Walt

    Dude –
    This story has me totally discombobulated. Let me see if I understand this properly, if I may be so bold.

    As I understand it. You can buy a house in Stamford, but which is really in Greenwich, because you can get your mail order Jap school girl porn delivered to a Greenwich Post Office, to deliver to your house in Stamford, which is really in Greenwich. Am I correct so far?

    You tell everyone you know you live in Greenwich, because who wants to live in Stamford? Right? But you pay Stamford taxes, and the snot nosed little pecker headed kids, that you were so unfortunate to spawn, like Rosemary’s Baby, have to go to Stamford schools. Correct so far?

    But you shop in Greenwich, drive a Benz, and dress like a Greenwich preppy douche bag, so even though you live in Stamford, your mail is delivered in Greenwich, so you convince everybody you live there. In Greenwich, not Stamford. Even though you live in Stamford. AM I GETTING THIS RIGHT??

    And you may or may not get to use the Greenwich Beaches? We which consider to be holier than the Slums consider Mecca for some reason.

    And after all of this confusion, your concern is where they get to skinny dip?
    Do I have this right?

    Your Pal,
    Walt

  3. cos cobber

    Another misinformed prof realtor? shrug, and is the pope is catholic?

  4. AJ

    I love this part:
    “… Of note is the primary photo, which is probably the most dramatic photo I’ve seen on our MLS in quite a while. An artist couldn’t have come up with a more spectacular sky for a background! …”

    The photo is so obviously badly photoshopped, I’m surprised he didn’t notice. Look at the over saturation of the colors. And the tree on the left? Interesting how the clouds sort of outline the tree but don’t extend behind it.

    Who is this “why bother getting the facts straight” guy who writes this crap? Don’t they have editors over there? I suppose we can find a photo of him in the dictionary as the definition for the word “hack”. Judith Miller, anyone? Now there’s an expert!

  5. OG Rambler

    True story: Several years ago, there was a gate house “guard” who was well known, friendly and respected.

    But, the gate house served double duty as a drive through window where this person sold some of the green stuff.

    True story.

    You could pull up, maybe show your beach card, maybe not, and pass over a $10 bill and get a bag of weed.

    It was good while it lasted.

    Perhaps that that same person is now in law enforcement or in the the fire services. Bless his heart.

  6. Anonymous

    Not the first time Ken as given false information in his columns. Does it frequently with his sales histories and days on market.

  7. EOSredux

    While I can’t speak specifically to Greenwich/Stamford, I can say how it works across the border in NY. The town to which your property tax bill goes holds the key to your recreation.

    Many towns in NY are split where your physical address might be one zip code but your legal tax address is another. It does create a problem for kids who all go to school together because their address puts them in one school district, yet divides them by the town park they can use.

  8. anonymous

    If I recall correctly, Poricelli’s case was different: most of his property was over the line in Stamford, but a small portion was in fact located in, and taxed by, Greenwich. Possibly even his street address was Greenwich. It was determined that even though he paid some taxes to Greenwich, since most of his lot was in Stamford, he was not a Greenwich resident for the purposes of holding office or voting here. Because he did pay property tax to Greenwich, however, he might have been able to use the beach. Interesting question. However, these “anomaly” properties are different: they are 100 per cent in Stamford, but, as Chris points out, so the horses didn’t have to cross the Mianus to the west back in the day, their mail is delivered by Greenwich postal carriers. The post office doesn’t determine who is a resident of what town, it just delivers the mail.

    • FF

      Remember our good friends on Guinea Road in Stamford (pronounced, as you know now, Gwyn-ay-ya) who sued the USPS for changing their addresses from Greenwich 06830 to Stamford 06803

  9. Publius

    CF,

    The ability to vote in Greenwich is not a big deal according to this blog, correct? The fix is already in according to you and your commentators. As for a resident park pass…. who cares? I am sure you recall Brendan P Leydon????? The snotbags of Greenwich opened a can of worms and now the great unwashed can access any town beaches as long as they get a pass. Yes, the pass costs more and often times is a hassle to get, but there is nothing stopping the lets’ say the folks of Bridgeport of getting a pass and then showing up at Tod’s Point with the family to have a fiesta with the locals.

    Notwithstanding the above this real estate commentator is clueless and in my experience merely represents a common thread in this “profession”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/27/nyregion/connecticut-court-overturns-residents-only-beach-policy.html

    • It is certainly true that non-residents can use town beaches, but you’re right: it’s a pain in the ass, made so deliberately by the town. You must travel to either Town Hall or Eastern Civic Center during business hours on a weekday, and can only purchase single-day passes. To claim that a Stamford resident can get a resident parks pass entitling one to use the beaches, tennis courts and golf course is dead-simple wrong. Just try getting one using a Greenwich P.O. box address, and see what (doesn’t) happen.
      My guess, by the way, is that residents up on Middle Patent Road and Taconic have been getting passes for years, simply by mailing in applications to a Parks Department whose staff is too harried to check beyond the physical mailing address. That practice will probably end, now that it’s been brought to public attention. If I lived up there, I’d say, “gee thanks, Ken.”

    • Anon58

      The whole beach access issue is really now a non-issue. You can fire a cannon on Greenwich Point beach in August and not hit anyone.

  10. anonymous

    If I owned one of those properties in Stamford with a Greenwich PO address and had been sneaking into the Greenwich beaches and the Griff by pretending to be a town resident based on my PO address, I would be really pissed at this guy Edwards for outing my scam and lowering my property values, or at least reducing the desirability. Wink wink nod nod is one thing, but now you would think those eagle eyed town employees processing the applications will be on the lookout for addresses in Middle Patent, Barn Hill, Taconic, Farms, etc. The application form exempts free vehicle passes for vehicles not registered and taxed in Greenwich, so that would be the tip off that the property is located out of town even if the PO address is Greenwich.

  11. anonimo

    Shame on what’s left of the once august Greenwich Time for continuing to publish factually incorrect information and then, even worse, not running corrections.

    • As I know from personal experience, the Greenwich Time gave up being a real newspaper long ago and now serves only as a penny-sheet for cheap advertising. Its columnists serve at the sufferance of the paper’s advertisers and if they offend one, they’re gone. Which explains, perhaps, the unquestioning regurgitation of press releases and statistics spewed by the brokerages in town.

      • Anonymous

        Wow, Chris. A bit harsh – even through your experience and the given that the quality of news reporting of GT and others has diminished. Bob Horton wields a good pen and manages to express his views. I always liked columns by Vermont Royster, Herb Caen and some others whose names i forget just now. As for the Greenwich beaches, especially Tods Pt and Island Beach, they rock and are one of the major perks besides everything else which makes Greenwich such a desirable place to live. Also, have you not done better on your own with FWIW ? If anything the GT probably helped move you in the right direction.

        • Best thing that ever happened to me was moving from print -5,000 local readers, once a week, to the internet – 15,000 readers, world-wide, every day. But the Greenwich Time of the past vs the corporate appendage it is now is a shame to see.
          Bob Horton is a great columnist and I link to him often. Vermont Royster edited the Wall Street Journal and o far as I’m aware,never wrote for Greenwich Time.

        • Walt

          Dude –
          You have 15,000 readers a day? HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?? You NSA LACKEY!! Plus those numbers can’t be right. They just don’t pass my sniff test. Any hotties requiring a sniff test, please contact me. The Dude can give you my contact data.

          Anyhows. If you have 15,000 readers a day, times 8 days per week, times 75 weeks in a year, you have more readers than there are Chinamen in Japan.

          UNPOSSIBLE I SAY!! PROVIDE PROOF!! It is me, you and the reader. Who posts like a retard, BTW. So stop pretending to be a global media mogul, RUPERT!!

          And quit blowing your own horn.
          Balloon Head.
          Your Pal,
          Walt

      • Rick C.

        Remember, the Greenwich Time (CT) is owned by Hearst Media. Can you say “Yellow journalism”? It appears they still practice it.

  12. anonimo

    If Stamford residents are using a post office accommodation to mis state their residency, and defraud the town of valuable benefits and service, such as fees collected for out of town beach and golf passes, wouldn’t that be criminal, and actionable by the town to recover lost revenue?

  13. anonimo

    Conversely then, couldn’t the Bridgeport beach busters looking to infiltrate the white sands of the privileged here in Greenwich claim that since Greenwich is issuing beach passes selectively to non residents, then all non residents should be issued beach passes?

  14. anonimo

    The beach pass application form (link attached here) clearly states that Greenwich residency is required, however the documents allowed for proof, like a cable TV bill, are all docs sent to the mailing address. If the mailing address says Greenwich, but the property is in fact located in Stamford, then one could fudge their way through the application easily, except for the car pass (if the car like the house is taxed out of town). However, the form clearly says residency is required.

    Click to access 2014%20New%20Resident%20Application%20Merged.pdf

  15. Art layton

    This is the same place that thought 500,000 non-residents would use the beaches if they were open to the public? In Stamford, anyone can walk in to Cove Island and pay no fee. If you drive, you must have a pass.

    • AJ

      I haven’t been to Cove Island in a long time — site of a former licorice factory that was still there in the early fifties, a huge Victorian looking thing, powered by the mill pond, no doubt — but as I recall there were no parking signs on all the streets within walking distance of that beach, making it essentially unusable to Stamford non residents.

      They used to have summer skating there at the indoor ice rink — good place to cool off on a hot summer’s night.

  16. I don’t get it – the only time Tod’s Point is fun is in the winter when you can bring your dog, and anybody can go then. Otherwise, you roast on a crappy beach and swim in warm water that barely laps the rocks under your feet. Or, maybe for one week in the summer, you can pull some polluted mollusks from the muck. I wish they would let more “outsiders” in – maybe that feared family of 40 blaring music while grilling guinea pigs (rodents, not Eye-talians) and actually enjoying themselves and the facility would make it worthwhile.

  17. CF,
    Ken is half right.About 30 years ago you could get a Cos Cob P.O. Box and Greenwich Beach Card if you lived on Guinea or Ledgebrook but they discontinued it in the early 80’s so Ken needs to brush up on current events!