Fillow Street’s ‘little red house’ likely to remain for a while

Norwalk Building and Facilities Manager Alan Lo speaks Wednesday to
Norwalk Building and Facilities Manager Alan Lo speaks Wednesday to the Common Council Land Use and Building Management Committee.

NORWALK, Conn. – There’s no rush to dispose of 127 Fillow St., Common Council members said this week.

The property was acquired by Norwalk as part of the settlement of the lawsuit with the Al Madany Islamic Center. At the time, one year ago, the legal department suggested that it could be sold, but members of the Land Use and Building Management Committee said it might be better to hold on to it for a while.

Al Madany had planned to build a mosque at 127 Fillow. Neighbors protesting this plan during many public hearings said the little red house on the property was a quaint landmark.

The legal department suggests that the property could be rezoned as Double A and separated into two lots, Building and Facilities Manager Alan Lo said at Wednesday’s committee meeting.

The student population is growing and Norwalk needs to build new schools, Councilman Mike DePalma (D-District D) said. Having that property to swap for city parkland might be a great thing 10 years from now, he said.

If land is deeded as parkland it cannot be used for another purpose unless equal land is added to the city’s open space elsewhere.

“We could look back and say, ‘OK, we grew our grand list by two lots, which was great,’ but having that land could be invaluable,’” DePalma said.

Lo said he had sent a memo to Norwalk’s department heads asking if they had a use for the property in mind, or if there were restrictions on how it could be used. He got back two replies, from the Finance Department and from the tax assessor. No one had ideas of how it could be used, he said.

Its 1.5 acres, he said.

Committee Chairman Tom Livingston (D-District E) said he had spoken to the West Norwalk Association and the only concern expressed was about the building’s historic nature.

He agreed that, with the need for new schools, it would be good to hold onto. So did other committee members.

No action was taken.


2 responses to “Fillow Street’s ‘little red house’ likely to remain for a while”

  1. Tom Livingston

    I think there is a typo here – I don’t know where the “nasty weather” part came from. To be clear, it was suggested to me that some neighbors might raise an objection to the demolition of the house due to its potential historic nature. As pointed out in the article, this came up during the public hearings. It is also something we have started to look into.

    This has been corrected. Thanks.

  2. David T McCarthy

    This is a big mistake. Time moves on, and promises are forgotten. One only need look at the kerfuffle that I had to stop two years ago when Councilman Kimmel and the mayor wished to build a housing project on the open space between NCC and the Boulder Ct neighborhood. A different council and a different mayor when faced with a crisis that could be resolved by making 127 Fillow St part of the bargain, will do so, putting the neighborhood in crisis again.

    Speaking of the buffer area between NCC and Boulder CT…it’s 17 acres….more than enough to be traded off if a school needs to be built and parkland switched around. That 17 acres is still at risk, not as much, since the owners still have the information at hand, but it has not been made a park and is subject to disposition by the city.

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