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Greenwich Is a Land Baron

Committee makes recommendations on how town should manage its land; another appointed to review harbor management.

The Town's Plan of Conservation and Development Town Properties Committee presented its report this week with recommendations on how the town should manage its properties.

The committee—comprised of 15 members of the Representative Town Meeting—was established 2 years ago and in its 92-page report (in the PDF at right) said that the town needs overhaul the way it manages and maintains its 210 properties ranging from waterfront parks to backcountry rights of way. Among the recommendations is the creation of an agency to oversee "all town property decisions, long term planning, property maintenance, capital improvements, leasing, best civic use, needed acquisitions and dispositions, and long term use and capital expenditure schedules," committee Chairman John Lucarelli writes.

“This report is not a blueprint for what highest and best civic use is allocated to a specific building, but rather our report lays out a process by which sensible Town property management decisions are made for the entire Town real estate portfolio,” Lucarelli writes in the report summary. (Complete summary at right.)

The committee's goal was “To develop a long-term plan for the preservation, maintenance, enhancement, and stewardship of Greenwich Town properties, for the prosperity of our town and the enjoyment and benefit of all its residents.”

During its review of the town's properties and their records, the committee found many inconsistencies and a lack of data. To correct that, the committee has recommended the town establish a centralized town property data center and either a town department or an outside commission to oversee property use, management and maintenance. The town also needs to centralize the handling of all leases of its properties as well as develop standardized property acquisition and disposition policies and procedures, according to the committee.

And the committee recommends the town review how its extensive waterfront properties—from parks to Department of Public Works storage sheds—are used. The committee said the town needs to look at finding alternative locations for the DPW operations so more recreational space is available to residents.

Speaking of the waterfront ...

The Board of Selectmen has appointed a 16-member Harbor Management Advisory Committee that is charged with advising the board on "waterfront issues including the issue of whether it would be advantageous to the Town to adopt a harbor management plan" as well as the management of the town's moorings and anchorages.

This committee also is to work on any recommendations on harbor operations as made by recently appointed state harbormaster Ian MacMillan, who is an ex-officio member of the committee.

There are 9 voting members whose terms are staggered: John Craine, Doug Masi, John Sanna (terms end 2013); Kim Bruce, Ros Curtis, Gary Silberberg (terms end 2014); Walt Adler, Syl Pecora, Chris Wurst (terms end 2015). HMAC members represent the principal harbor areas, Port Chester Harbor/Byram River; Byram Harbor/Belle Haven; Grass Island/Indian Harbor, Mianus River/Cos Cob and Greenwich Cove.

In addition to MacMillan, the other ex-officio members are Town Planner
Diane Fox; Marine Police Division Lt. John Brown; town Marine Facilities and Operations Director Jeff Friedag; town Conservation Director Denise Savageau; Flood and Erosion Control Board Tony Macloud and Department of Public Works Engineer James Michel.

Republican Town Committee Elections ...

The town's Republican Town Committee on Wednesday night held its elections and there weren't any surprises.

All of its officers were reelected to two-year terms. Jim Campbell remains as chairman; Steve Warzoha and Marc Ducret are vice chairmen; Mary Ann Mullen as treasurer, and Katie Johnson, secretary.

And in recognition of their long tenures, the RTC presented plaques to former Board of Estimate and Taxation members Steve Walko (who's now running for the state House seat held by retiring Rep. Lile Gibbons in the 150th District) and Campbell. Former Board of Education members Marianna Ponns-Cohen and Michael Bodson were recognized in absentia.

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