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Public opinion requested at Monday hearing on SoNo Station Design District

The proposed SoNo Station Design District area.

Updated, 1:46 p.m.: Maps of proposed SSDD and TOD added.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalkers interested in weighing in on Zoning changes near the South Norwalk Train Station might want to attend a Monday evening public hearing in City Hall.

A joint meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commissions will focus on SoNo Station Design District proposed Zoning amendments and proposed changes to the Building Zone map.

The hearing is at 7 p.m. Monday in the City Hall community room.

The proposed Transit Oriented Development area.

Planning and Zoning Director Steven Kleppin will explain the South Norwalk Transit Oriented District (TOD) proposed Zoning changes and the affordable housing component, Planning Commission Chairwoman Fran DeMeglio said in a Saturday email. Then RKG Associates will discuss their housing affordability analysis, which was done for the Redevelopment Agency.

While the current zoning requires 10 percent workforce housing in a building with 20 or more units, the drafted zoning would require 20 percent workforce housing in a building with 12 or more units.

The Zoning Commission in July said it was working toward having a public hearing on new regulations developed from the Redevelopment Agency’s South Norwalk Transit Oriented Development Plan, which was approved by the Common Council in 2016. The idea, according to the July 12 draft, was to “enhance transit utilization by establishing a higher density mix of uses, which include but are not limited to residential, office, retail, service and public uses, in the area immediately surrounding the South Norwalk Train Station.” The goal is to encourage development near the train station, while retaining and enhancing “the established character of South Norwalk by keeping the scale and use of buildings compatible with those on adjacent streets; limiting major traffic flow to nonresidential streets; and installing street improvements.”

DiMeglio said, “All residents are invited to attend and voice their opinions.”

SSDD TOD December 2017

7 comments

Non Partisan December 16, 2017 at 7:41 am

Increasing the affordable component does not encourage development

It does the opposite

It also increases the population without a corresponding increase in the grand list to Pay for the services need. This will lead to financial ruin and higher taxes.

Rick December 16, 2017 at 11:43 am

so far Im reading two names in the article I don’t trust and don’t think this is the best Norwalk can do for future planning. Yes some will think Im wrong but seriously what Ive seen so far for performance in the last few months is not sending a positive message we have the best people working on any issues confirming succe

Redevelopment Agency should be dismissed and those very smart very respectful people who meet at our local churches who live here in the core of the city should be in charge.

This shows a pattern of people who can’t or won’t work with the real people living in the city whose lives matter.

Rick December 16, 2017 at 11:46 am

lets all show up and disrupt the meeting and maybe then city hall will realize not everyone voted for this crap.

Then have our own meeting , plenty of people in Norwalk who can run a civil meeting without leaving the gallery feeling like they have been had again.

Donna Smirniotopoulos December 16, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Rick, if you were worried about Norwalk’s deeper interest in planning for our future, look at the Norwalk Tomorrow web site. I just took my fourth survey. It’s labeled as a City Wide Plan Survey. It’s still mostly about parking. It’s not clear why, with the window for data gathering closing, the Parking Authority still appear to be in charge of the public solicitation component. OR the Steering Committe of the POCD really has a jones for Parking. But I doubt it.

The change in “workforce” housing minimums in the SoNo TOD from 10 to 20% is designed to accomplish two things: Make transportation accessible to lower income residents and; assure that City wide the state mandated 10% holds up over time as more and more and more developers build mammoth apartment complexes. Increasing affordable units in South Norwalk eases the burden elsewhere. And let’s face it, developers only use the affordable housing component to get their feet in the door. I understand the reasoning here to some extent. We want workforce housing to be more concentrated hear mass transit. But the net impact on South Norwalk may not be what South Norwalk wants or needs. Add to this weak to non-existent enforcement of illegal apartments. I would be more supportive of the 20% goal if the City appeared willing to enforce the existing codes and regulations, and fine landlords to carve up their properties into as many units as possible.

Rick, you are not imagining a disconnect between the few steering the ship and the rest of us. If they really wanted our opinions, they’d start with the POCD web site and surveys.

Al Bore December 16, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Let’s stop all the give away’s so my taxes can become affordable. Taxes pay for the shortfalls of affordable housing and my taxes are high enough. Norwalk is too over crowded with all the apartments being built everywhere around the city. We have PLENTY of apartments and more affordable housing than most of fairfield county. Stop the madness and think before you build, that would be a change in the right direction for Norwalk. We need thinkers in our city government! We need to attract families the want to buy in Norwalk and pay taxes in Norwalk. I am taxed to death living in a city where things are getting worse not better. Norwalk is growing in the wrong direction and we are bursting out of our belt buckles, you can’t drive in Norwalk without getting aggravated in the east Norwalk area and CT ave areas to name a few. Because Norwalk is over building with little to no thought we now need more schools, more police, more fire, more city infrastructure and maintenance, and more tax money from me to pay for it all. I’m sick of it!! I would like to retire before social security runs out which will probably be soon. Enough already, think please, and thank you.

Sue Haynie December 17, 2017 at 7:27 am

Norwalk taxpayers are doing their share in providing affordable housing already.

Affordable housing is subsidized by taxpayers because when the city puts a restriction on the future value of a piece of property, it lowers the property value of the property and, in turn, lowers the taxes paid for the property. We, us, Norwalk taxpayers pick up the slack.

Under current zoning requirements, Norwalk already had 12% affordable housing stock, surpassing the goal of 10%.

Steven Kleppin, Norwalk’s Planning & Zoning Director was hired from New Canaan-which has a train station too yet only 2% of their property affordable.

New Canaan, Westport, Darien have well-funded schools in part because they don’t make so many, pardon the expression, stupid decisions.

Rick December 17, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Thank you Sue my thoughts are clouded over disgust over Kleppin and what he did or din’t do over in New Cannan. He was never an outside the box pick.

I have a friend who has been doing the exclusive reporting and is also his own NON in New Cannan for years Mike. Very little of what he had reported over the years made Kleppin an intellect in the industry one of the reasons no tears were shed when he left Norwalk did them a favor.

Fran {…} and may not be a good choices to rep South Norwalk in any discussion with the elusive yet sly workings of the Development Authority.

Its hard to sit down and listen ,in Norwalks case its preaching without a bible to those tired of seeing growth that was suppose to satisfy the neighborhoods.

housing affordability analysis, which was done for the Redevelopment Agency.How can one argue those results they are there to favor the very ones many dont trust. Im sure the meeting will be stacked with the city hall munchkins telling everyone this is the way to go.

Just follow the developers money brick road , city hall has learned what puts out fires and how to discredit its opposition.

Its interesting a awesome group who wants to make a park better in Norwalk a cornerstone of Woodward ave should of got the cash from the Manressa study or the salt marsh restoration funds, instead they get ****.

Where is our city on this? The lot next to their dream is a former super fund site called Howes where federal money was available to Norwalk for the park given to the redevelopment authority years ago.

Trust who to help South Norwalk with its issues?

The park should still get money, the super fund still has chemicals on the site hosting even a recirculation site. Times like this you would think Norwalk would have someone to help those like the people in Village creek with their ideas.
edited to remove character assassination by innuendo and ascribing of motives, a violation of the comments policy. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

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