Daily Archives: February 25, 2015

A year wasted

An optimistic Peter Berg before last night's appeal hearing - sadly, he lost

An optimistic Peter Berg before last night’s appeal hearing – sadly, he lost

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.

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What, they planted a hawk?

Greenwich Time: Red shouldered hawk siting.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 6.22.19 PM

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More contracts reported

5 Pilot Rock

5 Pilot Rock

5 Pilot Rock Lane, Riverside, asking $3.095 million. I always liked this location and the house, and have discussed it several times as it sat on the market. It was also listed as land, which I understand, but the house is quite nice. Owners paid $3.175 million in 2003.

111 Parsonage Rd

111 Parsonage Rd

111 Parsonage, $1.250 million. A land sale, 1.6 acres in the R-1 zone indicates, at this price, a severely compromised lot. Wetlands? There’s a lot of that over here, but regardless, not a bad price for a building lot on Parsonage.

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Pending sales

14 Tinker Lane

14 Tinker Lane

14 Tinker Lane, $3.975 million. This same house spent a year on the market in 2008-2209 at $4.395, without success. I doubt the lower price had as much to do with its sale this time in just 40 days as did the recovering market.

97 Deep Valley Road

97 Deep Valley Road

97 Deep Valley Road, Stamford, $3.250 million. I don’t know who’s to blame for the catastrophe here, the first broker, who listed it at $8.5 million in 2013, or the second one who, taking over the listing in 204, after it had dropped to $5.9 and still wouldn’t sell, jacked its price up to $6.475. Regardless of fault, the owner threw in the towel on February 9th of this year and dropped it to $3.250, whereupon a buyer immediately appeared  (I predicted this sad fate last July).Big loss on what it cost to build, considering that the owner paid $3.4, just for the land. Talk about a free house.

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Cos Cob sale

2 Gregory Road

2 Gregory Road

2 Gregory Road (corner of Valley), new construction, $2.075 on an asking price of $2.150 million. Four thousand square feet. Seems about right.

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Back from showing houses

My clients found one “intriguing” , but the other, priced as though there was a house on it, was disappointing. I’d last seen it in 2002, and I remembered it as a decent house on wonderful land. It’s been rented out since then and, thirteen years of neglect later, the house is worth nothing. Termites have invaded the interior, window seals have failed, water stains indicate a roof failure, and so on. The owner made a costly mistake leaving this house to deteriorate because the house is far beyond being salvageable – or, it makes no economic sense to restore it, so the only value left is the land. That would be fine, if it were priced to attract a builder or someone interested in building anew, but for clients like mine, looking for a house, it has no appeal. I think that, for perhaps $25,000 saved on maintenance in the past years, the owner lost $500,000 in value. That was a short-sighted decision.

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Paul Palmer, r.i.p.

Mr. Palmer to the rescue, 2013

Mr. Palmer to the rescue, January, 2014

“Mr. Palmer”, as I always called him, was one of the people I most respected growing up and continuing to this day. Here’s his obituary, reprinted below, but there was so very much more to his life, including sailing down Ole’s Creek with his grandfather to the oyster house (he once told me that, in those days, the deep-draft oyster boats kept the creek navigable, even at low tide), to watching the Sugar Boat burn off Tod’s point when he was a young boy, to, basically, just being a wise, wonderful, quiet man. A descendant of one of the first settlers in Old Greenwich, the town’s lost a treasure.

Palmer, Paul P.
Humble, modest, selfless, simple, honest, loyal and unpretentious. A man of his word and a man of few words and a hero many times over. Paul Pierson Palmer was loved by all. Faithful, loving husband, brother, father, grandfather and friend. Paul is recognized and respected by all he touched. He was [honored] for his service in the U.S. Navy for his bravery at Normandy, he served as Chief of the Old Greenwich Fire Department and a member for 60 plus years, was a dedicated [Lions]  Club member, as well as a 62 year member of the Masons Acacia Lodge #85, recognized as the oldest living CT Eagle Scout, not to mention his compassion and love of animals. As [recently] as last year he came to the rescue of two young boys who had fallen through the ice; not the first time he was noted to rescue others. Paul passed away after a short battle with cancer, at his home with family and loved ones, bravely and fearlessly as the man he was. Paul leaves behind a legacy of the utmost heartfelt values that his sons will carry on to the next generation of Palmers and others. Paul proudly leaves behind two sons, Timothy Paul and Richard Nelson, two grandsons, Robert Pierson and Timothy David, his twin sister, Dorothy Crocket, several nieces and his beloved friend, Joan Crossman, who brought love and hope to him. Paul was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Phylis Heusted Palmer and his daughter Linda Lee Palmer. A Memorial service will be held on Monday March 3, 2015 at 2 pm at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich.

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Gotta love Greenwich

Alexa Moses

Alexa Moses

GHS student athlete Alexa Moses shoots a clutch, game winning 3-pointer in the last seconds and her team advances to the finals. That’s good news for the girls and their fans, but what I was struck by was Alexa’s discussion of the play with a reporter afterwards: “The shot presented itself and I knew I had to take it.”

As a non-athlete myself, Alexa’s diction impresses as much as her obvious poise and athletic ability. Most athletes I know would have used Tammany Hall’s George Plunkett’s phrase to describe what they’d done: “I seen my opportunity and I took it.”

” The shot presented itself” – fabulous. Go Alexa – good luck in the championship.

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Wesleyan: $50,000 tuition, per year

From the Wesleyan Student Housing page– really.

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     Photo of Open House

154 Church Street

Open House is a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.

 

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