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Halstead apartment owner files complaint over Norden Place approval

10 Norden Place, where the MTA has won approval to develop a “transportation maintenance facility.” (Courtesy of Norwalk)

Following the Planning and Zoning Commission’s approval of the MTA’s plans to use a portion of 10 Norden Place for a “transportation maintenance terminal,” the site’s next-door neighbor filed a complaint against the commission, stating their property would be “adversely affected” by the approval of this project. 

Norden Place Owner LLC., a subsidiary of DSF Advisors, the real estate company that owns the Halstead Norwalk apartment complex at 8 Norden Place, filed the appeal in Superior Court on June 25. The complaint asks for the “decision to be declared null and void.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the application in June by a vote of 6-3, despite concerns raised by dozens of residents. At the time, some commission members said they had to support the application because it met all the zoning requirements. 

“I don’t share the difficulties of many of the other commissioners on this—I think the regulations are quite clear, and I don’t have any choice, frankly, but to vote yes on this,” Chairman Lou Schulman said. 

In the complaint, the owners of 8 Norden Place contend  their property would  be affected by the decision as 10 Norden Place is “accessed, in part, from a driveway upon the plaintiff’s property and used in common with the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s use of the driveway.” 

The complaint states the approval would cause “increased traffic, unreasonable noise and lighting, and other issues associated with the proposed industrial use of the subject property.” It also said the transportation maintenance terminal would have a “negative impact on the fair market value” of the Halstead property, and “as a result, the plaintiff is also classically aggrieved by the decision.” 

The complaint also argues that the commission “acted in a manner that exceeded the jurisdiction and authority vested in” it and that the “decision was not reasonably based upon the record produced by the applicant and the evidence, documents, and information produced by the applicant was inadequate to support the decision.” 

During the public hearing, some residents who live at the Halstead complex asked the commission not to approve the application, for fear of the traffic and neighborhood impacts. 

“I do feel that it won’t be the best option for this particular community with the potential safety issues and negative impacts on the quality of life which directly affects myself and other fellow Norden Place/ East Norwalk residents,” resident Nicole Eaddy wrote in a letter to the commission.

“I am also concerned and somewhat worried about the areas where children of all ages await their school buses on Norden and for those children who walk back and forth to school along Strawberry Hill…Though I do understand that this is an ideal location for the MTA, I just don’t think this use is ideal for this area of Norwalk.”

Others specifically cited the road into the Halstead property as a reason for concern. 

“This makes me wonder, again, who is responsible for public safety on a private road—especially when the only access to a residential property (#8 – home to hundreds of Norwalk citizens, from young singles and families to retirees) is a private road on an industrially zoned private property (#10),” resident Nancy Wilcox wrote. “Please note that the only sidewalk is located on the eastbound side of the road where slow, large, turning trucks are proposed to enter and exit Norden Place.” 

Comments

2 responses to “Halstead apartment owner files complaint over Norden Place approval”

  1. David Muccigrosso

    I thought apartments were supposed to be evil, noisy, traffic-bringing, crime-ridden, and full of illegitimate “commuters” or “illegals” who have magically been gifted free housing because Norwalk is a sanctuary city. And that apartment buildings are only ever built because Harry’s corrupt machine ignores the objections of good, decent Norwalkers.

    At least, that’s what the NIMBYs of NoN have told me to believe.

    But now the APARTMENT DWELLERS are saying a new project is going to bring noise, traffic, and environmental problems? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.

    Or maybe it’s just that NIMBYism is not a coherent viewpoint. I dunno, I’m still making up my mind.

  2. Mike Mushak

    When the Halstead (formerly Avalon Norden) was approved in 2010, there was a petition signed by hundreds of East Norwalk residents demanding that the industrial use of the Norden site be preserved and no apartments should be built at Norden, because they said the 240 apartments would create gridlock on Strawberry Hill Ave. and industrial uses were preferred! You can’t make this stuff up.

    After Norden Avalon with was built and fully occupied, the traffic Armageddon that East Norwalk residents predicted never materialized (same with Brim and Crown, SONO Collection, etc that East Norwalk residents opposed with typical “sky is falling” hysteria and then the sky never fell once those projects opened.)

    Such is the case here. This is classic NIMBYISM and if Halstead residents didn’t want an industrial use next door, they shouldn’t have signed a lease to live in a building smack in the middle of a long-established industrial zone that has been there for generations. It’s like moving to farm country then complaining about the smell of horse manure.

    And here’s a footnote for anyone curious about how the NIMBY group ENNA works, who were also opposed to the recent MTA application at Norden. In 2017, ENNA strongly supported a heavy industrial use at the Brim and Crown site behind the Pooch Hotel next to the East Norwalk train station. That’s right, instead of dense housing at that perfect TOD location steps from the train station, ENNA preferred a waste transfer station, warehouse distribution, noisy factory, or any number of other disruptive heavy industrial uses with intense truck traffic right in the heart of East Norwalk. Just so “those people” meaning renters wouldn’t move into their community and threaten the “real taxpayers” whatever that means, since the truth is renters pay more in property tax per square foot and use way less services than single family homes like the head of ENNA lives in. But the hatred of renters was so strong that ENNA preferred heavy trucks to housing in the heart of East Norwalk!

    Unbelievable, but true!

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