East Norwalk advocacy group urges resident involvement
As unprecedented housing development continues around East Norwalk’s commuter train station, coupled with ongoing transportation infrastructure projects, the East Norwalk Neighborhood Association (ENNA) would like to remind your readers about our organization, and also encourage them to be informed and involved by signing up at www.eastnorwalk.org for our e-newsletters and links to our monthly meetings.
The ENNA is a 501c3 non-profit started in 2001 with a mission “to foster and preserve the residential character, natural & historic resources, and quality of life in the community, and to encourage the residents of East Norwalk to actively participate in achieving this purpose.”
Being involved is more important than ever: recent updates to Norwalk’s zoning regs creating larger scale, high-density development (changes that were widely rejected by residents but adopted anyway) are now coming to fruition as developers take advantage for greater profits, but with negative impacts and few public benefits.
The latest application, winding through the zoning process to a public hearing next month, is the “The Lofts at Mill Pond” at 1 Cemetery Street, at the top of the tranquil Mill Pond. This 77-unit, 3-1/2 story, multi-building structure is the latest in what will be many development applications for mixed-use, luxury apartment complexes. This particular project’s “public amenities” that qualified it for that extra height, reduced setbacks and double the apartments are hardly “public,” and should have been the price of entry – they’re meaningless in terms of value compared to the negative impacts of the development, and are installed at cheap, one-time costs yet will reap huge financial benefits to the developers for decades to come. And still, only 10% of the units are required to be “workforce” affordable. Little or no dent will be made in the dire demand for truly affordable and lower-income housing, instead we can expect the gentrification of East Norwalk.
ENNA hopes residents 06855 residents will learn more about this proposed development and get involved. We’ll spread the word once that public hearing date is set, and will be ready to launch a “residents tool kit” of sample emails, fliers, lawn signs, and petitions to use in urging the P&Z Commissioners to send this Mill Pond Cemetery Street plan back to the drawing board for modifications that respect our neighborhood, our environment and our quality of life.
Visit ENNA at www.eastnorwalk.org or email [email protected] and follow us on social media at facebook.com/eastnorwalk.
org instagram.com/enna06855/ and nextdoor.com
Board – President
East Norwalk Neighborhood Association
Reminder: NancyOnNorwalk requires full names from commenters. For more information, go here.
David Muccigrosso February 15, 2023 at 8:43 am
“Few public benefits”
Really, Nancy? What about the benefit of increasing total housing supply, when our nation is tens of millions of units short – which translates to about 5000-10000 units needed in Norwalk?
Maybe keep the editorializing to a minimum. Or just don’t shill for toxic NIMBY groups at all.
David Muccigrosso February 15, 2023 at 8:47 am
Also, Nancy, if we upzoned everything to automatically allow the next increment of density, then we wouldn’t need these big projects to begin with. (www.strongtowns.org)
But you never talk about that, do you? No one does! Everyone just wants to criticize criticize criticize, and demand that every project be absolutely perfect. We’ve been doing things YOUR way for over half a century now, and all it got us was this housing crisis. Your NIMBY position has extremely little credibility here.
Nancy Guenther Chapman February 15, 2023 at 11:53 am
My apologies: I forgot to put Diane Cece’s name in the byline field. The post was correctly identified as a letter to the editor and signed by the author.
David Muccigrosso February 15, 2023 at 3:14 pm
Apologies, Nancy. To be clear, my comments were directed at the author.
Niz February 17, 2023 at 5:47 am
“… Little or no dent will be made in the dire demand for truly affordable and lower-income housing, instead we can expect the gentrification of East Norwalk….”