Planning Commission Could Decide on Synagogue Proposal

Greenwich Reform Synagogue is seeking to redraw lot lines for properties it wants to buy.


The Greenwich Reform Synagogue's proposal to redraw the boundaries on two parcels it wants to buy so it can build a synagogue campus in Cos Cob could be decided Tuesday evening.

At its Nov. 27 meeting, after hearing arguments from the lawyer hired by neighborhood residents opposing the change, the commission decided to delay its vote on whether to allow the redrawing of the property lines to create one large parcel on Orchard Street where the synagogue wants to build a  new facility. The commission said it would decide the issue by Jan. 31.

Before the commission is the final subdivision to revise lot lines to convey 38,765 square feet of land from 96 Orchard St. (Parcel LC) to 92 Orchard St. (Parcel X), decreasing Parcel LC from 51,223 square feet to 12,458 square feet and increasing Parcel X from 38,376 square feet to 77,141 square feet. The properties are in an R-12 zone.

The congregation wants to combine the contiguous lots and create a parcel where it wants to build a synagogue, classroom and meeting space, and parking for 100 cars, according to synagogue officials. The congregation purchased an  96 Orchard in October.

92 Orchard St. is owned by former Greenwich Tax Collector Lou Caravella. His son Ron Caravella owns an adjacent parcel at 22 Osee Pl. which also would be combined to create the development lot.

Residents say the project would create more traffic in the heavily traveled neighborhood and set a precedent for developers to buy multiple parcels in a neighborhood to create a large project, regardless of the neighborhood character.

Since selling its Stanwich Road campus last year, the 150-family congregtion now holds services at the First Congregational Church of Old Greenwich.

The commission will meet in the Greenwich Town Hall Meeting Room at 7 p.m. and will be televised live on GCTV Channel 79.


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