Glenbrook Neighborhood Association

This is the web site of the Glenbrook Neighborhood Association. Our association represents the interests of the residents of Glenbrook. Overall, our objectives relate to beautification and improvement of our streets and public areas.

GNA Sponsored "Candidates Night", Wednesday, October 4, 7:15 pm

Time: Doors open at 7 pm

Place: Grace Evangelical Free Church, 241 Courtland Avenue, Stamford, 06906

Program: the program begins at 7:15 pm with an update on current Glenbrook issues. Candidates for different state and local offices will be introduced beginning at approximately 7:30 pm. The candidates will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and share their thoughts regarding their policies. There will be time to "meet and greet" candidates and ask questions. The meeting will adjourn no later than 8:45 pm.

Save the Date: GNA Fall Neighborhood Clean-up, Saturday October 21, 9AM - Noon.

Glenbrook neighbors & supporters, please join us on Saturday, October 21 from 9 - 12 as we continue our efforts to beautify the Glenbrook downtown streets, sidewalks and parks. It's your chance to:

  • Help us clean up dead plants and litter in the common areas of Glenbrook
  • Discard your bulky garbage in the dumpster (no tires, electronics, hazard materials, mattresses, paint)
  • Join our free swap meet to discard your gently used, but unwanted items and maybe pick up something new
  • Recycle your old eyeglasses and hearing aids to be donated to people in need

Volunteers of all ages, groups and organizations are welcome! This is a great opportunity for kids, teens and adults to show our neighborhood pride. Trash bags, gloves, and litter-pickers will be provided. Look for us at the GNA tent located at the Glenbrook train station on Crescent Street side. Special thanks to our event sponsors: Waste Innovations, First County Bank, Donut Delight & Grade A Market.

We look forward to seeing you there, rain or shine. Let’s work together to keep Glenbrook clean and looking its best!

GNA Opinion: There’s a hole in the reasoning of Dunkin’s zoning approval in Glenbrook, Stamford Advocate, 9/23/23

We, board members of the Glenbrook Neighborhood Association, are writing to express our concerns about the Dunkin’ drive-thru that received a permit from Stamford’s Zoning Enforcement Officer to open at the former Wells Fargo Bank location at 364 Hope St. Because the former bank had a drive-thru at this site, Dunkin’s drive-thru has been “grandfathered in” as an “as of right” zoning use without any opportunity for public comment. It’s a slam dunk for Dunkin’ and terrible for residents.

The article on the front page of the Stamford Advocate on Thursday, Sept. 14, “Stamford Dunkin’ drive-thru OK’ed despite neighbors’ complaints; officials say their hands are tied,” can imply residents had a say in the process. On the contrary, the permit was approved before anyone knew about it, even members of the Board of Representatives.

GNA strongly disagrees with the Zoning Enforcement Officer’s view that a drive-thru bank and this drive-thru Dunkin have a comparable level of use. We foresee an increase in traffic volume on that already dangerously congested stretch of Hope Street and the intersection at Church Street. We feel the city should have required a traffic study and evaluated the project’s impact on safety and health. We’d like Stamford to grow with development that’s thoughtful and well-considered and that’s not what this is.

The problems with drive-thrus are clear, and new ones are now prohibited in Stamford. Drive-thru users block sidewalks, bike lanes, and travel lanes. Emissions from idling cars and trash tossed out open windows contribute to environmental pollution. Drivers crossing double-yellow lines to get in and out are hazardous to our cyclists, pedestrians, and students walking to and from Stark, Dolan, and Stamford High schools. The car-centric drive-thru model is far from the walkable ideal of the Glenbrook neighborhood. A sit-down coffee and doughnut shop where people can meet with friends would be much better suited to a neighborhood like ours.

The Transportation Department has added conditions to the permit to mitigate the impact on Hope Street. The site will be reworked to allow 20 cars to queue on site before they back up onto Hope Street, as happens at the Donut Delight drive-thru just two-tenths of a mile farther south. A second condition requires the driveways to be right turn in and right turn out only. We say good luck to the steady stream of exiting drivers waiting for rush hour commuters to let them into the flow of traffic.

We’ve read that the Dunkin’ franchisee, who has 49 other Connecticut locations, prizes customers’ “guest experience.” They have no idea what traffic headaches await their future Glenbrook customers, for example the gridlock at the intersection of Hope and Church when trains block Glenbrook Road.

This has been a lesson in “Getting to Know the Zoning Board of Appeals.” GNA first learned that a Dunkin drive-thru had been approved for the long vacant bank drive-thru site next to Glenbrook Post Office when a legal notice appeared in print on Sept. 6. It announced that the Zoning Board of Appeals would sign off on the permit and that any aggrieved persons could appeal to the ZBA. Easier said than done.

An appeal has to take place at a ZBA public hearing, requires an application due within 30 days, and has a price tag. The fee for a ZBA public hearing is $1,000. To appeal the Zoning Enforcement Officer’s decision costs $460 more. To have it recorded in Land Records costs $65 more. So far that’s $1,525, but the applicant is also required to pay for the three legal notices published in the Advocate announcing the public hearing. The only way to appeal is through this application process. It’s also the only way the ZBA will accept letters and emails. Back when the Board of Representatives determined this fee structure, they must have had business applicants in mind, not Stamford residents such as GNA and everyone who has complained to us about the permit but cannot afford to appeal it.

Actually, in this case — because of grandfathering — an appeal wouldn’t change the permit decision and would just be an expensive way to blow off steam.

To sum up, we are shocked and discouraged that Stamford allows consequential permits to be issued without citizen involvement. Grandfathering should be abolished. The permit appeal process shuts out residents who cannot afford the steep fees. And we wish the new businesses that come to Glenbrook would boost the local economy without sacrificing our community’s well-being and character.

Glenbrook Neighborhood Association board members Marie Metz (president) Lori Constantine, Laurie Doig, Christie Fountain, Miriam Kliewe, Anita Kozminsky, MaryAnn Mara, Meryl McDaniel, Melanie Soper and Zdenka Zeman.