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Putnam Park Apartments, Inc. v. Planning and Zoning Commission

Appellate Court of Connecticut

September 24, 2019

PUTNAM PARK APARTMENTS, INC., et al.
v.
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION OF the TOWN OF GREENWICH et al.

         Argued May 20, 2019

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         The Superior Court, Judicial District of Stamford-Norwalk, Taggart D. Adams, Judge Trial Referee

         Affirmed.

          Stephen G. Walko, with whom, on the brief, was Andrea C. Sisca, Greenwich, for the appellants (plaintiffs).

         Evan J. Seeman, Hartford, with whom were John K. Wetmore and Edward V. O’Hanlan, Stamford, for the appellees (named defendant et al.).

         Alvord, Bright and Bear, Js.

          OPINION

         BRIGHT, J.

         [193 Conn.App. 43] The plaintiffs, Putnam Park Apartments, Inc. (Putnam Park), and Putnam Hill Apartments, Inc. (Putnam Hill), appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court affirming the decision of the defendant Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Greenwich (commission), which had approved the special permit [193 Conn.App. 44] and site plan applications of the defendant Neighbor to Neighbor, Inc. (Neighbor), to construct a new building on property, owned by the defendant Parish of Christ Church (Church) and leased to Neighbor, abutting the plaintiffs’ properties.[1] On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly (1) agreed with the commission’s interpretation of § 6-94 (b) (1) of the Greenwich building zone regulations (regulations), (2) concluded that the commission properly found that the record contained substantial evidence that Neighbor’s proposal was consistent with § § 6-15 and 6-17 of the regulations, and (3) concluded that § 6-95 of the regulations did not apply to Neighbor’s special permit application. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.

          The following facts, as revealed by the record, and procedural history inform our review. Neighbor is a charitable corporation that has provided clothing and food to people in need within the Greenwich community for approximately forty years. Neighbor operates out of a 2300 square foot space in the basement of two buildings on Church’s property, located at 248 East Putnam Avenue. That space, however, is not handicapped accessible, and it does not meet the needs of Neighbor and the people it serves. Because of the limitations of the space at 248 East Putnam Avenue, Neighbor has resorted to the use of approximately 600 square feet of onsite storage containers. To address these issues, Church and Neighbor reached an agreement whereby Neighbor will lease a portion of Church’s property located at 220 East Putnam Avenue in order to construct a parking and loading area, and a new 6363 square foot building, which will provide Neighbor with administrative offices, a community room, and the necessary

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space for clothing and food intake and distribution (proposed facility).

         [193 Conn.App. 45] The property at 220 East Putnam Avenue is a trapezoidal shaped parcel consisting of 5.25 acres situated south of East Putnam Avenue approximately where Park Avenue and Park Place intersect with East Putnam Avenue from the north. The property is in an R-20 zone. This property also is the site of the Tomes-Higgins House, a nineteenth century residence designed by Calvert Vaux, and an associated carriage house, located in a setting with mature trees in downtown Greenwich. Putnam Hill’s property is located and abuts on the southern end of 220 East Putnam Avenue’s eastern boundary, and Putnam Park’s property is located and abuts 220 East Putnam Avenue’s southern boundary. Putnam Hill and Putnam Park are apartment complexes containing a total of 397 individually owned ...


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