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Seen and Heard in Norwalk: Workforce housing flip-flop

Spinnaker Real Estate Partners LLC is proposing to move two affordable housing units back into the development now known as SoNo Ironworks, after fighting to move them offsite a year ago.

NORWALK, Conn. – Here are some items of interest that were seen or heard recently in Norwalk:

Come again?

Developers behind a huge South Norwalk construction project are approaching the Zoning Commission with modifications that include adding workforce housing back onto the site.

While Spinnaker Real Estate Partners obtained permission just over a year ago to move seven of the 11 affordable (workforce) housing units planned for 20 North Water St. offsite, the agenda for Thursday’s Plan Review Committee meeting says the company would like to add two units back to the property itself.

Spinnaker also is requesting permission to increase the amount of restaurant space, and replace 6,000 square feet of retail with 6,000 square feet of office space. It would also like to revise the parking layout to add four parking spaces.

Norwalk Senior Planner Dorothy Wilson did not return a Friday afternoon email asking for information. A phone call to Spinnaker CEO Clay Fowler went unreturned.

The development is now being marketed as SoNo Ironworks.

Bill due for Dem battle

Monday’s Board of Estimate and Taxation has one item on the agenda: a transfer of $45,000 from contingency to the registrar’s office to cover costs associated with September’s Democratic mayoral primary.

A memo from Budget Director Bob Barron to the BET said the $45,000 will also cover costs for the mandatory Third Taxing District recount in November.

Nothing happened, folks

The case of former Assistant Town Clerk Debbie Troy, who has been charged with larceny first degree after money was reported to be missing from the town clerk’s office, did not appear in Stamford court Thursday. Her lawyer, Eugene Zingaro, in a one- or two-sentence exchange with the Judge Richard Comerford, agreed that the case would be continued to Jan. 21. That will be the fourth time the case has been on the docket, according to the state judicial website.

Troy is also charged with illegal alteration of records, forgery second degree and tampering with physical evidence. The clerk’s office had no information on those charges Thursday. Zingaro declined to comment.

Comments

6 responses to “Seen and Heard in Norwalk: Workforce housing flip-flop”

  1. Diane C2

    Re: Spinnaker changes – didn’t they just have on-street parking approved due, in part, to the retail on ground level? And why would they, or a tenant, want office space in prime retail location?

  2. Suzanne

    Spinnaker remains a mystery, their constant mechanization and manipulations just another indicator of how much the City of Norwalk cowtows to every request. They are exhausting, unprofessional and clearly bit off more than they can chew. At this point, they seem to be going for the dollars, any dollars, at a piecemeal pace, to heck with Norwalk, its expectations or its needs.

  3. jlightfield

    @Diane C2, Zoning regulations require a higher number of parking spaces than for retail and office. As tenants take space, the configurations change and thus developers have to come back for the site plan modifications. imho, this is a huge waste of time, since parking requirements in SONO should be met by parking assets owned by the City, so that the development matches the historic, high density, full build out of lots than what we are currently requiring. Or, the parking requirements should be for the building mass, not the individual uses.

  4. anon

    Too bad you’re still not on the zoning commission Jlightfield. You strike me as well informed and sensible.

  5. LWitherspoon

    As Zoning Commissioner, Harry Rilling voted against allowing affordable housing units to be located off-site for this project.
    .
    Now Rilling is Mayor, and out of the blue Spinnaker has decided to move several affordable housing units back on-site, even though the off-site units are already approved.
    .
    Coincidence?

    1. Mark Chapman

      @ L. Witherspoon

      2 units.The other 5 are still planned off-site.

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