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Greenwich Synagogue Receives Approval From Town Wetlands Agency

The Town of Greenwich Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency has approved plans for Greenwich Reform Synagogue's proposed new home on Orchard Street.
The Town of Greenwich Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency has approved plans for Greenwich Reform Synagogue's proposed new home on Orchard Street. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Greenwich Reform Synagogue

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich Reform Synagogue, a congregation serving the community for more than 35 years, received unanimous approval from the town's Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency on Feb. 3 for its plans to construct its new home in Cos Cob.

The building will be only the second purpose-built synagogue constructed in the town’s 374-year history.

All seven members of the board voted in favor of the Greenwich Reform Synagogue plans for the property’s wetlands, drainage requirements and other site-specific issues relevant to the agency’s mission. The board members said their questions were answered and that the plans, in some instances, exceeded the town requirements.

“We’re proud of the plan that we put together, because we believe that it protects the wetlands both on and off the site and responsibly develops the property,” Greenwich Reform Synagogue Board Chairman Robert Birnbaum said in a statement. “It reflects our commitment to being good neighbors and our concern for the environment.”

The board recognized that the plans for the Greenwich Reform Synagogue surpassed the minimum storm drainage and water detention requirement for a 50-year storm event. The Town of Greenwich Drainage Manual only required Greenwich Reform Synagogue to comply with a drainage and water detention plan for a 25-year storm event.

Included in the approved Greenwich Reform Synagogue plan is a green roof, covering a portion of the synagogue. It will have plants and other vegetation to help absorb and treat rainwater.

Greenwich Reform Synagogue has filed plans with the Town of Greenwich to build its synagogue on a 1.75-acre site on Orchard Street in Cos Cob. The proposed building will be 2.5 stories, housing a sanctuary, classrooms and offices in 12,300 square feet of space.

Architectural firm Mark B. Thompson Associates is designing the building. The firm’s principal, Mark Thompson, is a former Greenwich resident and has designed many buildings in Greenwich, including the Perrot Library Radcliffe Children’s Wing, First Presbyterian Church and the Boys & Girls Club.

The synagogue location is close to Central Middle School, Greenwich Baptist Church, the Cos Cob Community Center at Bible Street and the Montgomery Pinetum.

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