Not content with Ukraine, the Russians come to Glenville

Jonathan Delafield DuBois, center, showing off his neck monitoring necklace

Jonathan Delafield DuBois, center, shows off his monitoring necklace

Greenwich Time reports (actual, original reporting, too) that the Rockefellers are selling off large chunks of their Glenville holdings to a Ruskie, who will be developing it, it seems, instead of them. This is probably a good thing for Greenwich taxpayers – the Rocks are currently paying just $2,800 for their 124 acres off Glenville/Zaccheus Mead roads, using the break given by state law to “forest land”.

In the past year, neighbors on Zaccheus Mead Road have argued that the Rockefeller company is attempting to create an entry road off their small, sought-after street in an effort to provide desirable addresses for future developments on the 124-acre parcel, noting that Zaccheus Mead carries more cachet than Glenville Road. The land corporation denies these claims, maintaining that its temporary road is used for the sole purpose of carrying out forest and wetland beautification efforts on the property.

When asked whether there were plans for a subdivision and residential development on the property, corporate shill and former Greenwich Affordable Housing head [snicker] Jonathan Delafield DuBois told Greenwich Time, “there are no plans, no commitments have been made.

‘And no commitments have been given that they won’t be made,” he continued. “So for the moment we’re engaged in forestry to improve the conservation quality of the land.”

One might assume that Attorney DuBoise, as the self-appointed spokesman for the poor of Greenwich, has been advocating the creation of 750 units of moderate-income housing for the land, but we’ll have to see  whether that assumption pans out.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Not content with Ukraine, the Russians come to Glenville

  1. cos cobber

    I hope they squeeze in an 18 hole golf course on that pile of rock swamp.

  2. observer

    if the town planners had balls, they would declare most of that property as wetlands and thereby prohibit development.

  3. Accolay

    How much do you think lots will go for, and when will they be available? Would love a new mid-country subdivision!

    • Anonymous

      Well Stillman Lane and Sherwood Farm Lane lots sold in the $1mm range. I am sure larger lots with a Zaccheus Mead address would be worth a lot more.

  4. Anonymous

    Charge of the Blight Brigade?

  5. housecat

    I didn’t realize the oligarch set needed more affordable housing options. It’s a good thing that they have DuBois looking out for them!

  6. Jonathan DuBois

    Atty Fountain

    Your research seems a bit uneven. I don’t know where you found my middle name (very old readers may remember my father who was known by that name during 80 years in G’wich) or the photo of me with the two most beautiful women in G’wich.

    But your research on taxation of forest land and the Town/ State policies for preservation of open space is woeful. Here is a link to FAQs about CT law on the taxation of farm and forest.

    http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?a=1366&q=259834

    PL 490 is a CT law passed in 1963 to encourage landowners to maintain farmland and forests to preserve open space and woodland in the State. When land is classified as “forest”, the Town assessor is required to assess the land based on its economic potential from the growth and sale of forest products and not from its highest and best use for e.g. residential development. The Forestry Division of CT DEEP publishes statistics on the land value of forest land based on sale of forest products.

    This is not a “loophole”. It is State policy and the policy is effective. Check out other taxpayers who have classified land as forest, e.g. Aquarion and IBM. Before this statute Indian Spring sold off land for development regularly — Deer Park, Rock Ridge, Rockwood Lane, Winding Lane, Vineyard Lane Fox Run Lane, the Glenville School yard — all the lots on Pecksland Lane and Zaccheus Mead — were Indian Spring property (the 50 acres of Ashton Drive was Godfrey Rockefeller’s home). All the neighbors concerned with the forestry work in the 124 acre Forest all live on land formerly owned by Indian Spring or one of the other Rockefeller holding entities. Indian Spring was land bequeathed to his second son, William G; other siblings owned and sold land in Town before PL 490 was enacted. More of this forest would have been sold if it had not enjoyed favorable tax assessment.

    In the years before zoning the Rockefeller legacy to Greenwich created a premier residential community through restrictive covenants embedded in deeds running with the land. Covenants restricted purpose (single-family residences only) and acreage (minimum acreage or prohibition on subdivision). This was visionary land use planning for the time. Similar land use planning is required for the 124-acre forest.

    I think it is fair to say that the Rockefeller family have always improved the land and home values in the proximity of their land. How many homes in Glenville sold for more than $5 million before the creation of Stillman Lane? Rockwood Lane, I am told, was just an exercise track for family horses in an outer borough of Greenwich. The vast improvement of the woodland and conservation quality of the 124-acre forest by the work done last summer and this winter, land which had been unattended for many years, is in accord with the land use policy of the State and the Greenwich POCD and the values of the Rockefeller family.

    A little more attention to the law of wetlands regulation would also improve the content of your blog on matters relating to the decisions of the Town wetlands agency. The agency has authority to regulate wetlands and watercourses only by reason of and subject to the provisions of State law. For reasons of State policy the activities of farming and forestry are favored and forestry is “permitted of right”, that is exempt from regulation whether the forestry is for commercial or conservation purposes. This is the reason that the Town agency issued its letter of permission to conduct forestry in the 124-acre forest. The letter acknowledges that this activity is permitted of right. At the same date the agency issued a permit for the access lane to cross the watercourse, a trickle emanating in wet seasons from a 1/10 acre wetland.

    In the course of the four hearings on this subject, the construction of this crossing changed from a simple culvert and gravel crossing of this tiny seasonal outlet to a 25 ft steel span in two sections which can be removed and is required to be removed after “seasonal” use. This span was found by the agency neither to fill any part of the wetlands nor to impair waterflow.

    The access lane is not a temporary road but has been owned in fee by Indian Spring for many years. Some of this land was acquired more than a century ago.. Indian Spring retained ownership of this 50 ft roadway when it conveyed land on either side of this lane decades ago. Any use of this access lane as a Town or private road for ingress to the Forest and, in fact as you know, any division or development of the Forest would require approval by P&Z, which approval would be based upon inputs or approvals from multiple departments and agencies of the Town, most definitely including wetlands.

    JDDB

  7. Anonymous

    “In the course of the four hearings on this subject, the construction of this crossing changed from a simple culvert and gravel crossing of this tiny seasonal outlet to a 25 ft steel span in two sections which can be removed and is required to be removed after “seasonal” use. ”

    But, this isn’t what Indian Springs fully wanted, now, is it? Why don’t you tell the fine folks on this blog what Indian Spring truly desired—which is a PERMANENT BRIDGE to and from Zaccheus Mead….and only because you lost in court do you have a “seasonal outlet.”