GREENWICH – A new housing and retail development proposed on Railroad Avenue would create 18 apartments and retail space.

The application for a four-story building at 281 Railroad Ave. uses a recently amended municipal zoning by-law to promote low-income housing, and three of the 18 units would be classified as affordable. The building would also house retail operations over 6,000 square feet on the first floor, depending on demand.

The site, across from a small shopping center, was used as a storage area for Eversource. The developers are Railroad Avenue Realty and a local businessman who operates the Pet Pantry chain, Adam Jacobson.

The three affordable units would be built under section 6-110 of the city code, which prompts developers to build taller buildings in exchange for setting aside units at below-market rates. Attorney Chip Haslun, representing the request to the Planning and Zoning Commission this week, said it appeared to be the first housing proposal to consider the newly revised by-law. City leaders have made the application process clearer and more predictable for 6 to 110 housing proposals by rewording the text, after the adoption of a moratorium on this type of housing application.

“We believe this project fits perfectly within the parameters” of the new regulations, Haslun said. “We hope this matches your intention in making these changes to the text.”

Haslun said the site was well suited for accommodation, given its proximity to central Greenwich and public transport, according to the application file.

The building would have a total of 49 parking spaces, including 19 in the basement.

The town planning commission, during a preliminary examination before filing a formal request, looked into the technical problems related to the size of the building in relation to the size of the land and requested specific calculations on the ground coverage.

No major objections were raised and Commission President Margarita Alban said: “I just hope you can do something to improve the feeling of this blockage”.

She said the goal was to make the new construction “consistent with the neighborhood”, and it looked like demand was going in the right direction.

Another commissioner, Nick Macri, made a suggestion on the location of the proposed structure, further from Railroad Avenue.

“I think the more we can push the building away from the street, the more we can minimize that perception of height,” he said, improving the look of the project.

A more in-depth review will be undertaken on the project in the coming weeks, according to the commission.

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