Following a protracted dispute between Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses and a neighboring resident, the Planning and Zoning Commission of Greenwhich, Conn., voted earlier this month to change the zoning definition of a commercial nursery, allowing Sam Bridge to continue operations.
The commission also voted against a measure to impose noise restrictions on the commercial property.
The dispute began in summer 2017, when a resident on neighboring property complained of noise, prompting the Greenwich zoning enforcement officer to serve Sam Bridge with a cease-and-desist letter in August. The letter claimed Sam Bridge was operating as a landscaping company on a property permitted for use as a nursery. Enabled by the Planning and Zoning Commission's decision, the new definition expands what a nursery can do.
Maggie Bridge, manager of sales and marketing and part of the business's family ownership, said Sam Bridge had substantial support from the Greenwhich community during the dispute to overturn the cease-and-desist letter and update the town's zoning laws.
"We got everything we were looking for and hundreds of people showed up to 'Stand with Sam'," Bridge says. "So many, in fact, that they needed an overflow room that was also full. We also submitted a petition to the town that had over 5700 signatures on it. Thousands of people called and wrote in support of our business. The response was both incredible and overwhelming."