The lifestyles of the rich and famous in this swank New York suburb may become a little less opulent if some city leaders have their way: They want to pass a law limiting the size of some houses.
"I never thought I'd see the day when the Planning and Zoning Commission would say a rich man cannot build a large house in Greenwich," said Willis N. Mills of SMS Architects of New Canaan.Greenwich, population 60,000, is home to many celebrities and corporate leaders, including singer Diana Ross, real estate magnates Donald Trump and Harry and Leona Helmsley, and tennis star Ivan Lendl. It is also where Vice President George Bush grew up.
The problem, suporters of the proposed ordinance say, is not the big old estates but the huge homes being built on small lots - small by Greenwich standards, that is.
Peter Joyce, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, said the ordinance would allow homes of up to 6,500 square feet on a two-acre lot and up to 8,700 square feet on a four-acre lot. It also would limit expansion of existing homes.
"In the past five years, each new house that is being built is bulkier than the one before it," said Jara Burnett, president of a neighborhood group. "It is distressing to the neighborhood. There is a loss of sunshine and a definite loss of privacy."
The town had its first hearing on the proposed ordinance last week and 150 people showed. The heated discussion went late into the night. Another hearing is set for Sept. 13.