POKO’s ‘disgraceful’ state draws Norwalk zoning commissioner’s ire

POKO Partners has ignored requests to clean up the parking lot behind its proposed Wall Street Place development, Norwalk Zoning Commissioner James White said.

NORWALK, Conn. – The company behind a long-delayed Wall Street development is being summoned to answer to Norwalk zoning commissioners.

POKO Partners has not responded to requests to clean up the parking lot behind its Wall Street buildings, Commissioner James White said at the last Zoning Commission meeting.

Deputy Planning and Zoning Director Mike Wrinn said he had agreed to invite POKO Partners to the September Zoning Committee meeting.

A person sized-weed looks dead behind POKO Partners proposed Wall Street Place development.
A person-sized weed looks dead behind POKO Partners proposed Wall Street Place development.

“Hopefully that will get some reaction out of them,” Wrinn said.

White said the condition of the site is disgraceful.

“I made two requests to staff to contact Redevelopment about the condition of the site down there, only because my boss has his office on Isaac Street,” he said. “The weeds are four to five feet tall. The parking lot is littered with garbage. We’ve got no response from Redevelopment. Mike contacted them directly. No response. … We’re going to get them in here and make them compliant because it looks like the Third World.”


7 responses to “POKO’s ‘disgraceful’ state draws Norwalk zoning commissioner’s ire”

  1. Joe S

    Keep the Bridgeport Machine Out of Norwalk Politics

    Recently Mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra has had much to say about business development in Norwalk while sighting his economic achievements in Monroe. As a resident of Monroe, I would like to set the record straight. In Monroe, Mangiacopra accomplished absolutely nothing. In fact during his brief tenure as economic development coordinator, Monroe lost far more business than it acquired. Those losses included large companies such as Vitramon/Vishay, Stevenson Lumber Co., Robohand Inc. and others that cost citizens thousands of dollars in lost tax revenues.

    Mangiacopra was hired by the Town of Monroe in 2006 but the story of how and why he was hired begins long before that. Although the newly created position of economic development coordinator called for candidates to have experience in both business and grants writing, the then twenty-something Mangiacopra had neither. His background was purely political, working for Bridgeport Mayor Fabrizi who was later documented in Federal Court of cocaine abuse and then Bridgeport Probate Judge Paul Ganim who is the brother of convicted felon and former Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. I believe that it is very important for Norwalk voters to take note that these same names Fabrizi and Ganim are now reappearing as large donors to the Mangiacopra campaign. (Editor’s note: Judge Ganim has never, to our knowledge, been accused of any wrongdoing and was not connected to his brother’s problems.)

    Although many in Monroe were suspect and opposed to his hiring, Monroe’s then-First Selectman Andrew Nunn was adamant that Mangiacopra be hired. So Mangiacopra left Bridgeport for Monroe and just a short time later Nunn would leave Monroe for Bridgeport to become its Chief Administrative Officer at nearly double the salary he earned as First Selectman. Many viewed this move as a quid pro quo arrangement and a political sellout of Monroe citizens.

    After a while Mangiacopra’s lack of experience, performance and ties to big city politics caught up with him and Monroe had had enough. A new first selectman would ease him out first by cutting his hours and then by eliminating his position entirely.

    I strongly advise Norwalk citizens to be wary of Trojan horse candidates like Mangiacopra who is being funded almost exclusively by Bridgeport players. Where I live we decided Monroe is not Bridgeport, I hope on Election Day that voters let Mangiacopra know that neither is Norwalk.

    Joe Sullivan

    (Editor’s note: Links added by NancyOnNorwalk)

  2. McKeen Shanogg

    Norwalk is not Bridgeport — yet. Let’s not elect a Trojan Horse.

  3. RU4REEL

    I thought we had a blight ordinance recently passed?

  4. Don’t Panic

    We did. Goes into effect 1/1/14. Does not apply to commercial properties.

  5. Suzanne

    The sad part is that cleaning up this property looks like a fairly minor deal. Hire a landscaper for one day with a team of four and they will have that place looking ship-shape. Surely they can afford it, the minor investment would get a lot of people off of their back as well as possibly earn them good will for doing the right thing. Surely, POKO can see the benefit so why not do it?

  6. RU4REEL

    Thanks Panic,
    Wow, commercial properties should be included. If you only go after homeowners that’s not fair.
    There has to be a way to hold all property owners accountable.
    Who came up with that plan?

  7. Don’t Panic

    You’re welcome. As I understood the explanation that was given, it’s because commercial blight has to be handled within a different section of the municipal code.
    It is interesting to note that this permits the hiring of (one or more) code enforcement officer(s).
    Enforcement is something that could have been pursued without creating another ordinance. As has been pointed out repeatedly, a lot of the blight concerns can be addressed through enforcing other ordinances that are already on the books. There has been a historical reluctance to enforce for fear of appeals and lack of cost-effectiveness.
    It remains to be seen how this new ordinance will be applied and enforced, and whether it will cover the cost of enforcement.

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