At a Glance

Greenwich is recognized as the best town in Connecticut and one of the best places to live and raise your family in the United States. If you are looking for a beautiful town with safety, amenities, top-rated public and private schools, convenient access to New York City (29 miles) and a home that will be a great investment – you will love Greenwich.

Why People Want to Live Here

Ideal Location

Greenwich is in the southwest corner of Connecticut and is in the ideal location to provide residents with the convenience of being close to a big city, while living in the comfort and security of the country. Greenwich is surrounded by areas that are being developed more intensively.

Greenwich is in the largest metropolitan area of the United States. Greenwich is fortunate in its location, natural features, and historic development. As a result, within the New York Metropolitan area, Greenwich is one of the most desirable places to live and the migration of business and jobs from New York City to White Plains, Greenwich and Stamford has increased the demand for housing here.

Greenwich has an excellent transportation system, and is just minutes from Westchester Airport, making trips to nearby cities such as Boston or Washington easy.

Greenwich is only 29 miles from Times Square (43 minutes by one of the 78 trains that operate daily between New York City and Greenwich). There are four train stations conveniently located throughout the town. U.S. Route 1, the historic Post Road, is the main commercial artery. Locally it is named Putnam Avenue. In addition, Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway traverse Greenwich, giving it excellent regional accessibility. It takes about 10 minutes to drive to Stamford, about 60 minutes to Danbury and approximately 15 minutes to White Plains. The Connecticut Limousine provides easy and quick access to NYC’s international airports; La Guardia Airport is about a 45-minute drive and JFK is about a 60 minute drive. The Merritt Parkway, built in 1935 for cars only, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

The Guide to Greenwich

Our all new tenth edition of the Anderson Guide to Enjoying Greenwich, CT is now available.   An insider’s guide written by Greenwich residents, it includes restaurant reviews, stores, schools, how-to-guides and more.

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guide

Read Our Blog
View a Map of Greenwich

Safety

Greenwich is rated the safest community in Connecticut and one of the safest in the country and it’s no wonder with 14 police cars on the road at all times, traffic downtown directed by police officers and with a force of 158 police officers, the average response time to a call is less than four minutes.

Low Taxes

Greenwich operates on a “pay as you go” basis and carries almost no debt. This allows Greenwich to keep property taxes low while maintaining a budget of over $183,000,000. Real Estate taxes are based on assessments limited by statute to 70% of market value. The tax rate is presently 11.51 cents + sewer .58 cents per thousand of assessed value (mill rate). The town policy is for the mill rate to increase no more than 3.5% a year, while maintaining $20,000,000 a year in capital improvements. There are no separate school taxes. There is a personal property tax on cars equal to the mil rate. There is no town income tax. The state has an income tax of 0.044 (4.4%).

A Great Investment

Greenwich real estate just keeps increasing in value. And why not, this community offers more and just keeps getting better. Although real estate here is not completely recession-proof, it is certainly recession-resistant. Few have made an investment that was better than their Greenwich real estate. And, you get to live in this investment too.

Town Recreation

Greenwich is still 25% green. It has 32 miles of coastline, with its main beaches at Greenwich Point (147 acres), Byram Beach and the two city-owned islands (Captains Island & Island Beach). Greenwich has 8,000 acres of protected land; over 1,000 acres of town parks; 35 town tennis courts (not including the YWCA courts); several community centers; an indoor ice rink (open only to residents); 14 public marinas and a 158 acre, 18-hole golf course (open only to residents). The town’s Department of Parks and Recreation maintains a very active program of events, from its supervised skate park, to teams such as baseball, football and soccer, to tennis and golf lessons. They also maintain a large number of well-run summer camps.

Private Recreation

In addition to the wealth of town facilities, Greenwich has 10 private country clubs and 9 Yacht clubs.

Culture

Music lovers enjoy the Greenwich Philharmonic and the frequent summer town concerts as well as the opportunity to attend the many nearby theater productions. And, as stated by Art & Antiques Magazine, art in Greenwich is everywhere, not just in the eight exceptional art galleries of Greenwich. The Art Societies are also very active and the sidewalk art shows are always popular events.

The Bruce Museum appeals to everyone and is rated one of the best museums in Connecticut. The Bruce Museum attracted over 100,000 visitors last year to their 8,000 square feet of gallery space and 18 exciting exhibitions, making the Bruce the second most popular museum in Connecticut. No wonder the museum is placed in the top 10% of U.S. museums.

Greenwich Connecticut LibraryThe Greenwich Library is a special treasure. It recently received a $30,000,000 gift from a Greenwich resident that was used, with the help of architect Cesar Pelli, to re-design the library and add 31,000 additional square feet. Greenwich residents must indeed be well-read. The main branch, together with its two town branches and the independent Perrot Library in Old Greenwich, lent more than 1.5 million items last year, making it the second most used public library system in New England. The library not only has a very capable and helpful staff, but it provides superior internet capability as well. Not only can you look up and check out books, you can research the town using the extensive “Community Answers” web site. Anyone with a library card can have access from their home to a wealth of independent research data bases. It is no wonder the library has been rated the best in the country.

Beauty

Keeping Greenwich beautiful, is not only important to the town’s Department of Parks, it is almost the full time preoccupation of the town’s eight garden clubs, Greenwich Green & Clean, The Land Trust, the Historical Society and many, many other town groups and organizations.

Excellent Education

Greenwich Public Schools (10 elementary, 3 middle and 1 high school) are rated first or second in Connecticutof the graduates go to the “Most Competitive Colleges.” The school budget is $70 million. The average class size is 20 students and over 90% of the teachers have masters degrees. SAT scores had a mean of 1125 (571 in math and 554 in verbal). Eighty-one percent of the students scored at the Mastery Level set by the State of Connecticut.

In addition, Greenwich has 30 independent pre-schools and nine excellent private and parochial day schools.

The Greenwich Continuing Education courses serve some 7,000 adults annually. The course catalog lists about 400 offerings. Prices are very reasonable, and the courses cover a very wide spectrum of interests.

Sophisticated Medical Services

Greenwich hospital is truly amazing. The 296-bed Greenwich Hospital is an affiliate of Yale University School of Medicine. It is a state-of-the-art hospital, beautifully decorated to look more like a Hyatt hotel than a typical hospital. As a testament to its excellent health care, patients from all over Fairfield and Westchester seek treatment at Greenwich Hospital. Last year 28% of the admissions were from New York State residents. Greenwich Hospital is carefully gearing up for the 21st Century. The hospital built a state of the art cancer center (Bendheim) and is currently undertaking a $129,000,000 expansion to make it a high-tech diagnostic and healing center without all of the normal delays and “red-tape” often associated with hospitals. For the third consecutive year it has ranked in the top percentile in patient satisfaction, nationwide. The Greenwich environment together with the hospital’s state of the art facilities and reputation for excellence has attracted many of the country’s best doctors.

Why Move to Greenwich

Greenwich is in the southwest corner of Connecticut and is in the ideal location to provide residents with the convenience of being close to a big city, while living in the comfort and security of the country. Greenwich is surrounded by areas that are being developed more intensively.

Greenwich is in the largest metropolitan area of the United States. Greenwich is fortunate in its location, natural features, and historic development. As a result, within the New York Metropolitan area, Greenwich is one of the most desirable places to live and the migration of business and jobs from New York City to White Plains, Greenwich and Stamford has increased the demand for housing here.

Greenwich has an excellent transportation system, and is just minutes from Westchester Airport, making trips to nearby cities such as Boston or Washington easy.

Greenwich is only 29 miles from Times Square (43 minutes by one of the 78 trains that operate daily between New York City and Greenwich). There are four train stations conveniently located throughout the town. U.S. Route 1, the historic Post Road, is the main commercial artery. Locally it is named Putnam Avenue. In addition, Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway traverse Greenwich, giving it excellent regional accessibility. It takes about 10 minutes to drive to Stamford, about 60 minutes to Danbury and approximately 15 minutes to White Plains. The Connecticut Limousine provides easy and quick access to NYC’s international airports; La Guardia Airport is about a 45-minute drive and JFK is about a 60 minute drive. The Merritt Parkway, built in 1935 for cars only, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

A Short History of Greenwich

Greenwich is the 10th oldest town in Connecticut. Named after Greenwich, England, the town began as a temporary trading post founded by Captain Adrian Block in 1614. Greenwich was established in 1640 when the area now known as Old Greenwich was purchased from the Indians as part of the New Haven Colony. At that time the town’s allegiance was to England. The settlers grew restless under the Puritan influence, and in 1642 the settlers withdrew their allegiance to England and transferred it to the more liberal Dutch. At this time, the Cos Cob section of Greenwich was occupied by the Siwanoy Indians and a toll gate was set up between them and the central part of Greenwich, called Horseneck. In about 10 years the town was forced back under the domination of the New Haven Colony. In 1672, the Horseneck portion of Greenwich was purchased from the Siwanoy. It was called Horseneck because the neck of land now known as “Field Point” was commonly used as a horse pasture. Greenwich supported the British during the French and Indian war; however, during the Revolution, the town was sacked several times by the King’s troops. The advent of the New Haven Railroad in 1848 began the transformation of Greenwich into a residential community. This period saw many wealthy New Yorkers, including Boss Tweed, building summer homes. In the twenties the town began to grow rapidly and land values began to soar. By 1928, Greenwich led the nation in per capita wealth. Although the population growth has abated (primarily because of the scarcity of buildable land), the property values have continued to climb.

A Brief Introduction to the Town’s Government

Anyone who wonders how it is possible for Greenwich to have such low taxes and such fine services, need only check out the organization of the town’s government.

Unlike many towns and cities, there is a great feeling of community here. Greenwich is run primarily by volunteers, not politicians. The town is governed by a Board of Selectmen (one full time and two part time) who are elected every two years. Although town departments are staffed by paid professionals, except for the Selectmen, all town boards (such as the Board of Estimate and Taxation, which serves as the town’s comptroller) and the Representative Town Meeting (the town’s legislative arm) are made up of unpaid citizen volunteers. This volunteer network supports and supplements the work of town departments and gives the town its unique cultural and social values. Because many of these citizen volunteers are often quite successful in business and other careers, the town is run efficiently, honestly, conservatively and in the interest of its citizens. How many towns can you say this about?

Much of what a citizen would want to know about Greenwich is available on the excellent town web site, www.GreenwichCT.org.

The main components of the town’s decentralized government are: Board of Selectmen, Board of Estimate and Taxation, the Independent Boards and the Representative Town Meeting.

  • Selectmen
    The Board of Selectmen is composed of a full time First Selectman and two part time Selectmen. They are elected to serve for a term of two years. No more than two of the selectmen can be from the same party. The Fire, Police, Public Works, Purchasing, Parks & Recreation, Law Department and Human Relations report to the First Selectman. It is interesting to note that the staff  of the Finance Department is hired by and reports to the Board of Estimate and Taxation and not the First Selectman.
  • Board of Estimate and Taxation
    Known as the BET, this group of 12 members, who are volunteers elected for a two year term, holds the town’s purse strings. They are responsible for the oversight of the town’s financial affairs; they prepare the town annual budget (now $294,000,000); and, subject to the approval of the RTM, they set the tax rate. The Town Committee of each party nominates a slate of six candidates. It is the policy of the BET to spend approximately $20,000,000 a year on capital improvements, not to borrow money and to allow real estate taxes to rise no more than 3% per year.
  • Representative Town Meeting
    Greenwich, like many New England towns, began by managing its affairs through a Town Meeting of all electors. The first recorded Town Meeting was held on February 5, 1664. By 1933, the town had grown so large that it had to abandon open town meetings and adopted the Representative Town Meeting (RTM),in which one person represented 100 voters. As the town grew, so did the RTM, whose size was eventually capped at 230 members, making it the largest legislature in the state.

The members of the RTM are elected every two years by the voters in each of the town’s 12 districts. Any registered voter in town may run as a candidate in his or her district. The RTM is non-partisan. Candidates run without party identification and serve without compensation. As a result, the composition of the RTM is very egalitarian.

Each RTM district elects a member as a delegate and an alternate to one of the standing committees, which oversee the operations of town’s departments. Delegates report the result of the meetings they attend at their district’s monthly meeting and then after a full discussion, the members vote at the monthly RTM meeting.

These meetings are open to the public and can be addressed by anyone who wishes to share their opinion. The RTM’s agenda, “The Call“, is online. Any citizen who wishes to put an item on the “Call” can do so by giving the town clerk a petition signed by 20-voters.

The RTM reviews appointments to all of the appointed boards, all interim appropriations, labor contracts, municipal improvements, gifts to the town and, of course, the BET and Board of Education budgets.

  • Independent Boards
    There are a number of independent boards and commissions, which are completely volunteer and have great power in how the town runs: Alarm Appeals, Architectural Review, Board of Ethics, Board of Health, Building Code Board of Standards & Appeals, Commission on Aging, Condemnation Board, Conservation, Flood & Erosion Control, Historic District, Housing Authority, Inland Wetlands & Water Courses Agency, Nathaniel Witherell, Parks & Recreation, Planning & Zoning, Planning & Zoning Appeals and Social Services. Candidates are nominated by the Board of Selectmen, interviewed by the RTM Appointments Committee and one or more of the other standing RTM committees, and then voted on by the RTM during its monthly meeting.

Education

Greenwich public schools (11 elementary, 3 middle and 1 high school) are rated at the top in Connecticut – 40% of the graduates go to the “Most Competitive Colleges.”

The school budget is approximately $126 million. The average class size is 20 and almost 90% of the teachers have masters degrees.

In addition, Greenwich has 30 independent pre-schools and nine excellent private and parochial day schools.

Call (203) 625-7449 for information on School Bus pick-up times and locations. If your child is young and other children are not nearby, you can often get the school bus to stop in front of or very near your home. In general, bus service is provided for students who live beyond one mile from school (Grades K-5), one and a half miles from school (Grades 6-8), and two miles from school (Grades 9-12).