Oak Hills Master Plan approved by Norwalk Zoning Commission

Oak Hills Park Authority (OHPA) Chairman Clyde Mount.

NORWALK, Conn. – The Oak Hills Park master plan has easily scaled one hurdle, but park officials postponed an attempt to leap over a second.

The master plan was unanimously approved by the Zoning Commission Wednesday, but pulled from the agenda of Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting.

Oak Hills Park Authority (OHPA) Chairman Clyde Mount said he pulled the plan from consideration Tuesday.

“It looks like there is a document in our master plan, that we actually put there, that says in an opinion, I think it’s 1998 or 2001, that if a commission doesn’t approve of a plan it automatically approves,” Mount said. “Well there was questions that were not going to be answered for the Planning Commission for their meeting. I received a call and I said ‘pull it’ because one, we don’t want to force them to deny it and two, we don’t want it to be automatic, we want them to buy into it.”

Zoning Commission members expressed bewilderment at a committee meeting last week at being asked to approve the master plan. Planning and Zoning Director Mike Greene told them that the only reason it was sent to them was because that was required under the authority’s lease with the city. He agreed with them that it wasn’t usually something the Zoning Commission would do. There was no other discussion.

It was approved in a speedy manner Wednesday.

Mount said the plan would go to the Common Council’s Finance Committee and the Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Committee simultaneously.

“I am sure finance is going to want to see it and parks and rec is going to force us to finance,” Mount said. “Parks and Rec is really the one that would shepherd the master plan through, but we are going to do both simultaneously so we don’t waste a lot of time.”

It’s on the agenda for the Aug. 12 Planning Commission meeting, he said, but expressed skepticism that a meeting would actually be held as it is August. Aug. 12 also is primary election day.


6 responses to “Oak Hills Master Plan approved by Norwalk Zoning Commission”

  1. piberman

    The public is still waiting to examine in detail the financial aspects of the “Plan” which the Authority has yet to release. Then again finance is oft difficult for City officials. Maybe the Plan will be approved without specifying financial details. Would that be a surprise ?

  2. EveT

    @piberman, the final master plan has been available to the public on the Oak Hills website since mid-June.
    Go to http://www.oakhillsgc.com/ and scroll down to:
    Final Master Plan with Exhibits
    Please review the Oak Hills Master Plan from the link below.
    I am sure someone with financial expertise such as yourself will have intelligent comments to offer at the upcoming meetings of Planning Commission and Common Council when the Master Plan is on the agenda for approval.

  3. piberman

    Thank you Eve for the reference. My early take on the lengthy document is lots of descriptive material, but rather short on the types of conventional finance commonly offered to lending institutions. Any projection of consumer hobbies out 10 years is questionable. Missing is what happens if revenues fall short of estimates and long term consequences on the City for funding obligations. But I will take a more careful look. No doubt the Council Finance Committee will give the document a rigorous review similar to the one on the City budget ! So we know the outcome in advance.

  4. Don’t Panic

    Prof. Berman. You are correct. It *IS* missing what happens if revenues fall short of estimates. Historical practice suggests that the OHPA will first get their lease payments deferred, then they will refinance. When that still doesn’t do the trick, they will come for short term operational loans from the city, and then cap it off with another proposal to build a big capital-intensive business funded by bonds. Rinse and repeat.

  5. Very Concerned

    The City of Norwalk needs to get its priorities in order.

    If the minority groups want an expanded golf course, they should build one in their own backyard.

    Why should Norwalk residents have to pay a 20% increase on property tax to support the golf course?

    Why isn’t Norwalk funding going to where it is needed most? For example, why not fund and rebuild the Norwalk YMCA? Doesn’t Norwalk care about the growth of its children, their well being, and the future of Norwalk?

  6. Mea

    There’s no town pool in Norwalk, no teen center like in Greenwich, Westport and New Canaan. That’s what the town needs, not a golf course that you can only use five possible six months of the year! This is outrageous! Absolutely gross misuse of money that could be put into the schools, community outreach, or even sidewalks. You can’t walk a dog around this park when you’re dodging golf balls. As a result I cannot and will not support this plan!

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