By Douglas Hempstead,
Bruce Kimmel and Jerry Petrini
To the Editor:
NORWALK, Conn. — As Common Council representatives from Norwalk’s District D – which includes the Cranbury, Winnipauk, Broad River and Silvermine neighborhoods – we believe the application to locate a BJ’s regional store on Main Avenue should be withdrawn.
We have serious reservations about the size of the store in relation to the overall size of the property. We also believe the store will exacerbate existing traffic problems, not only on Main Avenue, but on the numerous feeder streets that run through residential neighborhoods. We do not believe a better coordinated system of traffic lights will come anywhere close to solving this problem.
We are aware that the proposed store is to be built on a superfund site, which means there will continue to be some level of toxicity in the soil and ground water, despite past remediation efforts. While we applaud BJ’s for its proposal to filter ground water flowing into the Norwalk River, we do not believe that will prevent problems from emerging in the future on this once severely contaminated site.
We believe BJ’s should release all of the environmental reports done in conjunction with the project. The public should have proper access to these reports.
We are also disturbed by BJ’s failure to engage the public, particularly the community organizations in the neighborhoods along the Main Avenue corridor. There are many Norwalk residents who have serious concerns about this project, and they should have been consulted early on in the process.
We recognize that a BJ’s on Main Avenue will generate some level of tax revenue for the city and will provide jobs. Nonetheless, those benefits, in our opinion, are far outweighed by the negative consequences for the city. Thus, we believe the application should be withdrawn.
Douglas Hempstead, 116 Chestnut Hill Road, Norwalk, Ct
Bruce Kimmel, 9 Toilsome Ave., Norwalk, Ct
Jerry Petrini, 9 Romindon Ct., Norwalk, Ct.