After long ranging battle over what was always a permitted use in the commercial zone of Route One, the P&Z Board of Appeals has finally approved a parking deck for Audi of Greenwich. I don’t own an Audi, don’t want one, and don’t expect to ever own one, but these perennial fights against businesses on the Post Road, which is zoned for commercial use its entire length, really annoy me.
Gerrit Argento, a nearby property owner, said opposition has been growing to the project and that it was in violation of both existing zoning regulations [it isn’t] and the spirit of the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development.
“The feeling of lack of control, of the spoiling of our town, of economic motives driving maximum build-up in every square foot of land, of increased traffic and of increased helplessness despite our guidelines, regulations and public authorities is the feeling raised in many of us by the Audi expansion,” Argento said.
Peter Berg, [local communist, leader of the Greenwich Democratic Committee and] chairman of the Representative Town Meeting’s Land Use Committee, spoke as a private citizen and said the application was inappropriate for Greenwich. He asked the commission to consider the question: “What’s in this for Greenwich residents?”
“Our Plan of Conservation and Development says Greenwich is and wishes to remain primarily a residential town,” Berg said. “You have zoned properties for commercial use but we expect these commercial uses to be primarily for the benefit of Greenwich residents. We don’t seek to be a regional center for retail as Stamford, White Plains or Norwalk seek to be. Regional centers welcome traffic. Greenwich does not like traffic. We welcome shoppers from other towns but we expect Greenwich business to be scaled for the needs of Greenwich residents.”
Look: we’re a nation of laws, not “spirits” (except when our chief executive is a black Democrat), and if the law permits a certain use on a particular property, then the owner of that property is free to engage in that use, regardless of whatever penumbras and spirits that other people feel. As for Cos Cob resident Peter Berg, who lives nowhere near this auto dealership, he simply can’t be serious: a car dealership restricted to selling cars solely to Greenwich residents would go broke before it opened. Berg probably knows this, but as a commie rat cum environmentalist, he probably thinks that’s a great thing. Turn Greenwich into a small village, offering hemp sandals and locally made bongs, and Peter’s a happy man. The rest of us may not be.