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Norwalk Library lawsuit ends in settlement with ‘parking agreements’

The chain at the Mott Avenue lot next to the Norwalk Public Library, is coming down Thursday, former Mayor Alex Knopp said in a press release.

Updated 1:25 p.m.: Press conference has been postponed. 

NORWALK, Conn. —A deal has been made to provide parking for the Norwalk Public Library, former Mayor Alex Knopp announced in a press release Wednesday.

An agreement was reached Wednesday to “preserve long-term parking and facility expansion opportunities for the library,” the press release said, announcing a Thursday press conference where Mayor Harry Rilling, Knopp and developer Jason Milligan would remove the chain that has been blocking the parking lot next to the library.

The press conference was postponed, however. Knopp sent an email Thursday saying that there had been a scheduling conflict in the Mayor’s office and that it would be rescheduled to Friday or Monday.

Wednesday was scheduled as the first court date in the appeal filed by the Norwalk Public Library Foundation of the Zoning Commission’s approval for apartments at 11 Belden Ave. Knopp, Library Board chairman, has worked for months to negotiate a settlement with Milligan, owner of 11 Belden under the entity 587 CT Ave., LLC.

Court records available online show that the case has been withdrawn and a settlement agreed to.

The removal of the chain from the lot Milligan has planned to build apartments on will mark “the implementation of the new parking arrangements created by the new agreement,” the press release said.

The chain went up in March 2016, after the Zoning Commission denied Milligan’s application. The Commission reversed that decision in April 2016, declaring that not enough Commissioners had been present for a legal vote. That technicality was part of the basis for the Foundation’s appeal.

The drive to negotiate a settlement went down a rocky road to success, with the Common Council dropping an executive session that had been planned for May 23 to discuss the proposed deal.

Milligan still has a court action to deal with in regard to his apartments. S&E Properties, owners of 15 Belden Ave., have also appealed the Zoning Commission’s decision. That case is scheduled for a status conference in September.

S&E Properties has also challenged Milligan’s plan to use 15 Belden Ave. as parking for the proposed apartments.  A trial management conference is planned for June 7, and a trial for June 27.

Comments

3 responses to “Norwalk Library lawsuit ends in settlement with ‘parking agreements’”

  1. Bruce Kimmel

    A point of information: The Common Council can decide to drop an executive session for a variety of reasons; cancelling a session may even indicate full support for an issue and thus no need for an update or discussion.

  2. Donna

    Thank you, Nancy, for recapping the Byzantine route to a settlement. @Bruce, I’m more interested in why this would have been up for discussion in executive session in the first place. Would have been preferable if the Zoning Commission had not reversed themselves in the first place.

  3. Lisa Thomson

    A photo op to remove the chain? Seriously? I guess it is election season 😆

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