Valery Kogan knew exactly what he wanted his dream house to look like. It would be a 27,000-square-foot estate in the style of Greek Revival, with eight bedrooms, a gym, a home theater, a wine cellar, a game room, a (separate) billiard room, parking for up to twelve cars, Turkish and Finnish bathing facilities, and 26 toilets, because obviously the place is pretty big and when you gotta go, you gotta go. Kogan knew that to ordinary people, his preferences might seem vulgar, tasteless, even wrong. But he couldn’t help it: It was what he had to have. It was who he was. And so Kogan went to the one place on the East Coast where, he thought, such a flamboyance would not be out of place. A place where pioneers like SAC Capital’s Steven Cohen had paved the way by erecting mansions with homey touches like personal ice rinks: Greenwich, Connecticut. There, the bazillionaire of indeterminate origins said to himself, he would be accepted. He could be himself! But alas: It was not to be.
Last night, the Planning and Zoning Commission rejected Kogan’s plans, and not only rejected them, but rejected them rather cruelly: “I am delighted,” said Greenwich resident Charles Lee after the proposal was rejected. “I think we’ll have a block party.” Some went so far as to suggest Kogan’s desires were subnormal:
Commission Chairman Donald Heller also questioned some of the features, such as bathrooms with multiple stalls and the public versus private space. “It raises the question as to whether this is a normal single-family house,” he said.
Wow, Judgey McJudgealot. We don’t know about you, but we really thought Americans were past this kind of blatant sizeism. We really hope that Kogan does the right thing and uses his influence to form an activist group for billionaires whose homes are considered “too large” in order to combat more of these grotesque injustices from occurring. It could be called: Valery’s Vision. Godspeed, man.
P&Z rejects Simmons Lane mansion plan [Greenwich Time]