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Court grants joint motion to settle mosque suit

NORWALK, Conn. – It appears the settlement agreement between Norwalk and the Al Madany Islamic Center that will keep a mosque from being built at 127 Fillow St. is a done deal.

According to Norwalk Corporation Counsel Mario Coppola, “The court today granted the joint motion for entry of consent order which incorporates the settlement agreement.”

The court action follows a telephone conference yesterday involving all the parties.

An executive session was to precede Wednesday night’s Zoning Comission meeting. The mosque was to be the topic of the special meeting. The Zoning Commission was named along with the city as defendants in the suit brought by Al Madany under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) law.

 

 

 

Comments

9 responses to “Court grants joint motion to settle mosque suit”

  1. John Hamlin

    Now we just need to hold the commissioners, the zoning employees, and the Coumcil accountable.

  2. Amanda

    @John, with all due respect, what does the council need to be held accountable for? Norwalk’s zoning allowed for this mess to happen in the first place. The council listened to the neighborhood and made a tough decision that not everyone will agree upon. However, they did what they had to to protect the neighborhood. They listened to the homeowners. Just curious if you live in W Norwalk?

    @Mark, anything else to share? 🙂

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Amanda

      Not yet.

  3. Lisa Thomson

    @ Amanda, the Common Council is the most powerful body in Norwalk and as such its members need to demonstrate more leadership …particularly through its Planning Sub – Committee to impress upon the current P&Z Board the need to reform and upgrade it’s processes and in some instances the code itself. BJs, the mosque and 2 Nearwater have all come about because the existing rules ‘allow’ oversized structures to be built. At some stage, Norwalk has to grow up and get out of its Concert Hall crisis management mode.

    The Council settled with Al Madanay because various city officials got themselves into trouble on a variety of fronts, and it was economically more feasible to buy the property and pay some penalties than go to court. West Norwalk lucked out. But can the city afford to buy out every overdevelopment that neighborhoods complain about? I doubt it. Again, the settlement was NOT because the mosque violated any of Norwalk’s existing or outdated code.

    The mayor called for a Reform Task force headed up by P&Z Commisioner Adam Blank, but so long the majority of the Republican controlled P&Z board members drag their heels OR members of the Common Council bury their heads in the sand, another over development is likely to occur ANYWHERE in the City. Since they have demonstrated, that the buck stops with them, the Common Council needs to demonstrate the political will to fix things, rather than grand stand during a crisis. That is why I agree with John Hamlin that we need to hold all of our Norwalk officials, from BOTH parties accountable. Common Council members are elected. P&Z Commissioners appointed. Who do you think voters will have more sway over going forward. Also, when P&Z Commissioners terms are up next summer, and the mayor makes reform minded appointments – who do you think approves or denies the candidates… Th Common Council 🙂

  4. Piberman

    It’s premature to make definitive comments about the quality of the City’s zoning process until we see the end result of another Mosque application. Similarly about the Council’s execution of zoning responsibilities. However, judging the Council’s reluctance to control City spending over many decades suggests those wanting a “new zoning era” in Norwalk best be prepared for a real long wait. In Norwalk the “status quo” remains a powerful impediment to manful or desired change.

  5. Kathleen Montgomery

    Well said, Lisa.

  6. John Hamlin

    @Lisa — well said — The way the city charter is set up, if we don’t hold the Common Council accountable, then there is no accountability. And they approved the Zoning commissioners.

  7. Amanda

    @Lisa, thanks for your explanation. I’m new at this backwards city politics game 🙂

  8. Lisa Thomson

    @Amanda – Thanks – I think ALL residents in Norwalk would benefit from a civics lesson in how our local government works or is supposed to work organizationally. At the moment, the City Charter has ‘power’ carved up and ‘distributed’ into so many pieces that it easy for politicians, appointed boards and commissions or city staff to point the figure at somebody else or simply say…not my responsibility. That has to stop :-). The Common Council needs to ‘own’ fixing it! 🙂

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