THE LATEST AND GREATEST HAPPENINGS IN OLD GREENWICH
WHO ARE WE?
The Old Greenwich Association is a local residents association made up of a volunteer board. For over forty years, the OGA has worked behind the scenes on issues that positively affect our quality of life across all ages and interests. Our goal is to maintain, as well as find new ways of supporting, the special atmosphere that makes us proud to call Old Greenwich home.
P&Z PROPOSED ZONING REGULATIONS
Planning and Zoning Public Information Session regarding
FEMA FLOOD PANELS
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P&Z Zoning Has Changed Rules
Over Sale of Alcohol Granting Kings Permit to Sell Liquor
Package Stores (authorized to sell wine and spirits) in the town of Greenwich are governed by two key regulations. The first is a state law, limiting the total number of Package Stores in any one municipality based on population. The second is a local ordinance which states, "Every part of the location of such use in a building in which alcoholic beverages are sold under a package store permit as defined by the Liquor Control Act shall be at least one thousand (1,000) feet distant from any other location of such use."
Kings grocery store has applied and now been granted by Planning & Zoning to eliminate that local regulation, allowing for package stores to be located closer together. As a result, Kings will become the third liquor store in Old Greenwich (along with Sam's Wine & Liquor and Old Greenwich Fine Wines).
Replacement of Village Trees
The Old Greenwich Association lent its support to the Old Greenwich Merchants Association in lobbying the Town to replace selected trees on Sound Beach Avenue with ones that would provide increased shade, better sight lines and a more "New Englandy" feel.
Over 300 local residents signed a petition supporting this measure. However, there were many others who disagreed, and a public hearing was held on the matter. All sides were well represented and eloquent in making their points, and after several days of consideration, Town of Greenwich Tree Warden, Bruce Spaman has decided to begin a plan of pruning and maintenance, and not to remove any trees at this time.
In addition to this hearing drawing attention to the needs of the downtown village trees, one of the best things to come up was the call for more study to look into what else could be done to beautify the area.
Now the ball is rolling, and at this moment there are individuals and groups planning to organize and look into trees, plantings, benches, signage and more in order to make Old Greenwich an even more attractive place to live, work and shop. If you want to read more about this, the official decision from Mr. Spaman is posted below.
First Steps Taken in Train Bridge Construction Project
The first phase of the Old Greenwich Train Bridge Rehabilitation Project has begun, and it consists of Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) relocating the existing overhead power line in the upper and lower portions of the South Commuter Parking Lot. In the following weeks, CL&P will also be installing new wooden utility poles and underground electrical service in the lower parking lot. As a result of this work, parking spaces at various locations at the Old Greenwich Railroad Station will be inaccessible. Please be cognizant of any construction signs, cones and notices posted at the site.
For more information, please click on the Train Bridge banner above, and bookmark this site so that you can regularly check for traffic disruption information, work schedules, and more.
Old Greenwich, Conn: Front-Porch Kind of Place
The New York Times, August 20, 2014
By Lisa Prevost
Photos by Douglas Healey
One night last month, Lesley King received a Facebook message that reflected what she considers one of the finest qualities of Old Greenwich: a connected community.
Her new business, Back 40 Mercantile, an upscale general store for the eco-conscious, had opened that day in the small commercial center called “the village.” (Ms. King is an owner with family members.) She had closed up shop only a few hours before. The Facebook message arrived around 9: A man she barely knew wanted her to know that he had spotted a candle still burning in the shop.
A resident of Old Greenwich since 2001, Ms. King says that sort of neighborly outreach is the custom in a community where people’s yards don’t extend much beyond their houses.
At the home she shares with her husband, Bill, and their four children, the swing set sits in the front yard, an open invitation to youngsters walking by. That might not pass muster in the parts of Greenwich that take pride in pristine, gated isolation, but the culture of Old Greenwich is better expressed by the prevalence of front porches.
“The best thing about Old Greenwich,” Ms. King said, “is that everybody lives in houses close to each other.”
A New Old Greenwich Takes Shape
Greenwich Time, December 6, 2014
By Robert Marchant
Meet the new face of the Old Greenwich business district: gluten-free pancakes, organic yogurt, makeovers for dogs, craft beer and $19-a-pound cheese from northern California.
The old face of the business district that is no more: a coffee shop, an old-time pharmacy, a family-run grocery store. Also gone, some feel, is the unpretentious and distinctive atmosphere that gave the retail strip on Sound Beach Avenue its down-to-earth appeal, outdated signage and all.
Since the upturn in the economy, all the vacancies that had once troubled the avenue have now been filled, with about eight new stores opening in the past year. Now that the retail strip has been rebooted, regular shoppers, local residents, community leaders and merchants are discussing whether the low-key appeal of the old Old Greenwich business district has been replaced with a more worldly ambience -- and how much of a good thing that is.
To John Romeo, the trendy new stores on the avenue are a sign of the times, and not in a good way. To him, the upscale boutiques along Sound Beach mark big money's conquest of another section of town. "So many rich people, they're pushing out the middle class," said Romeo, who is in his 70s and works as a crossing guard. "The stores here aren't the same as they used to be. The middle-class stores, they're going to be all gone," he said.
Sound Beach Avenue still has a hardware store -- unlike other upscale shopping corridors where it is impossible to find useful items like duct tape or a garden hose. Sue Connolly, outside the hardware store with her husband, Craig, admits to a bit of nostalgia for the old business district. "I miss some of the mom and pop stores. You used to get that personal touch," she said, "But you have to go with the flow, you can't change it."
A number of other shoppers see nothing but good news in the new mix of businesses that have opened. Maureen Hammer, a teacher and writer who recently moved to Old Greenwich from Trumbull, said she loves the high-low combination of stores that the avenue seems to offer. She was perusing bargains in the Rummage Room.
"I love this town," she said. "I love the mix of stores, and every store has its own unique style. And everyone has been so nice." A prime example of the change in Old Greenwich is the Fat Poodle, opening later this month in the space that housed Arcadia Cafe -- for years a favorite place in the village to meet and hang out over coffee. A local restaurateur behind the business, which will offer more than a dozen craft beers and an "international-bistro" style of dining, said his partners felt the location would be successful.
"There aren't that many places to eat, and a hip new place was needed in the area," saidAntoine Blech, a co-owner of the new venture who is also a partner in Le Penguin in downtown Greenwich. "And we're right next to the train station."
David Rafferty, president of the Old Greenwich Association, points to the local ownership of many of the new businesses -- people like Blech. He said they are much like the store owners who always have run businesses in the district -- only a bit more conscious of changing consumer demands. "A lot of them are moms and pops, they see themselves as moms and pops," Rafferty said, "They've also put a lot more emphasis on design."
Continue Reading the Full Story in the Greenwich Time
Sidewalk Sales: July 2014
OLD GREENWICH -- Shopping at the Old Greenwich Sidewalk Sales has become a tradition for Cathy Dishner, who now divides her time between the shoreline neighborhood and her other home in London.
Dishner was one of hundreds who took advantage of a warm, sunny Thursday -- the first day of the three-day event -- to look for deals as merchants displayed their wares along Sound Beach Avenue.
"I like supporting our local businesses," she said while searching through the racks in front of Fred, a women's clothing store. "I like the fact that these are local stores -- not like the big chains like on Greenwich Avenue, and I like frequenting my favorite spots."