Some Greenwich residents are speaking out against the new buildings car dealerships are putting up on the western end of town. I don't blame them for hating the "CVS Building" (actually, a failed office building project —CVS just took part of it because of the cheap rent) — who wouldn't? But the dealership buildings are no worse, and probably better, than what they looked like before their recent transformation.
Different, yes, but long term residents might remember the sprawling parking lots and cheap, nasty buildings that were there in the 60s and 70s, and appreciate the improvement.
And we need car dealers in town; lots of them. As long as residents insist on leaving their vehicles unlocked, with keys in ignition, they'll be replacing them every couple of months, and traveling to a distant dealership is such an inconvenience.
This snippet from the Greenwich Time article nicely sums up the issue; it's fairly easy to understand both sides but in this case, I'd side with the Architectural Review Board and the P&Z:
Another District 7 RTM member, Henry Orphys, said at the meeting the dealerships should be “more stone-like.”
“Several of my constituents said they’d like to preserve the character of the town,” he said.
“Obviously it’s a commercial section,” Orphys said after the meeting. “It shouldn’t be operated as a 16th century town. But I thought Freiberg’s comment about billboard advertising — she’s onto something there.”
ARC member John Conte said he understands the interest residents have in keeping Greenwich’s character as it always has been. But, he said, the review committee’s power is limited in that regard.
“We all wrestle with the historic nature of our town,” Conte said, “yet we are in a forward moving world. It’s not possible to stop the architectural advancements. We do hear you. But it’s not our job to hold Greenwich to 16th century architecture. If the town wants it, they need to (ask us to prioritize that). But they haven’t.”
Not that I'd make a special trip to view these architectural marvels, but life is change, and in my opinion, this is a change that doesn't lessen the quaint, quiet beauty that is Route One.