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Norwalk NIMBYs: Put your money where your mouth is

Letters to the editor. Send signed letters to Nancy@NancyOnNorwalk.com with a suggested headline.

Amid all this rancor over the not-actually-that-bad* proposed upzoning of some of Norwalk’s single-family neighborhoods, one of the most common claims has been that the NIM – ahem, I mean, ENNA – represents a strong majority of Norwalkers. People keep asking with bewilderment, “How did these people get elected?” ** as if they don’t know that Norwalk’s Democrats have run the table in nearly every election in recent memory.

So, today, I have a challenge: Put your money where your mouth is. If you NIMBYs represent an overwhelming majority, then act like it. Call for a referendum – hey, there’s a general election next year, which would be perfect for turnout! Since you have such an overwhelming majority, a 4/7 threshold (~57%) should be a piece of cake to clear for rejecting the zoning proposal over the objections of our current duly elected government officials.

Mr. Meek, as the lone opposition voice on the Council throughout all this, you’re perfectly positioned to call for this referendum. So, do it! I dare you. Make it a campaign issue for this year, so it’ll be ready to be put on next year’s ballot.

And I’ll offer this wager: If the NIMBYs win, then I’ll happily concede that perhaps you aren’t manufacturing your so-called “majority.” That Norwalk clearly needs to “take a breath” and fix our problems before we grow any more.

But if you lose, all I ask is that you give it a rest. The outrage, the stunts, the letter campaigns. You demanded jobs and prosperity decades ago, and indeed those jobs came, and made you prosperous. Your housing wealth exceeds what some people earn in their entire lives. You lucked out! You bought in early in Norwalk, and it paid off, with home values that are many times what they were in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. And good for you! But the cost of this prosperity is that now there are a lot of newcomers with good jobs who can bid up what little housing remains.

Norwalk is not a sleepy suburb anymore. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Speaking of which, I’ll happily lay a side wager that many of East Norwalk’s traffic problems would evaporate if the stupid Dunkin was put on the other side of the road. All those left turns are a horror show; whoever came up with that idea should be run out of town.

David Muccigrosso

* Anyone who says it’s “doubling density” is paltering to you. Allowing duplexes most realistically means that those neighborhoods might be only 50% duplexes by the mid-2030s, and probably top out at 80% duplexes over the next decade after that. The density will never “double” unless Norwalk goes through explosive Manhattan-like growth, which it won’t in even our grandchildren’s lifetimes.

** I’ll tell you how. It’s because we don’t use multi-member districts. Duh.

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