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Stonegate appeals to Council, zoners to approve mosque settlement

Stonegate Condos, as seen from the driveway at 127 Fillow St.
Stonegate Condos, as seen from the driveway at 127 Fillow St.

NORWALK, Conn. — The following letter was sent to each Common Council member through City Clerk Donna King. Councilman Bruce Kimmel (D-At-Large) provided us a copy at our request. Similar letters were sent to Zoning Commission members regarding tonight’s vote (Thursday, Sept 4):

September 2, 2014

Mr. Bruce L. Kimmel

c/o City Clerk
125 East Avenue
Notwalk, CT 06851

Dear Mr. Kimmel,

We write on behalf of the Stonegate Condominium Association, Inc. to urge you to support the City of Notwalk’ s proposed settlement with the Al Madany Islamic Center in the matter of Al Madany Islamic Center of Norwalk. Inc. v. the City of Norwalk, et al, 3:12-cv- 00949-MPS, which proposal is scheduled to come before the Common Council at its September 9, 2014 meeting.

As you probably are aware by now, the essence of the proposal is to end the lawsuit by permitting Al Madany to construct a mosque on its property on Fillow Street (opposite Stonegate’s complex), but in a different form and with different conditions of use than those that were proposed in Al Madany’ s previous zoning permit application that was denied by Zoning Commission. The conditions of use include protections that we view as critical for our residents – most especially, restrictions on noise from the facility, and traffic-calming measures for nearby streets. Those protections were hard-won by the city’s corporation counsel in difficult negotiations, and would be at risk if the proposal were rejected by the city and the lawsuit were to go to trial.

Some who are opposed to settling this lawsuit may ask you to decline to approve the proposal “in the interest of the neighborhood.” Such opposition is misguided. Stonegate is the largest direct neighbor of the proposed Al Madany facility – representing dozens of people who would be affected by the construction – and our association has been the most consistent and most vocal advocate for the neighborhood over the many years of this dispute. Simply put, the current settlement proposal presents the best protections for neighboring residents Stonegate has seen since the matter began, and it is a prudent compromise in difficult circumstances for all parties. It is in the interest of the neighborhood as much as in the interest of the city as a whole that the lawsuit be settled.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter, and for your anticipated support of the settlement.

Sincerely,

Brian Bisceglia, President

Israel Herskowitz, Vice President

Comments

5 responses to “Stonegate appeals to Council, zoners to approve mosque settlement”

  1. John Hamlin

    If this neighboring condo won’t oppose the mosque settlement, what are others who don’t live in the area expected to do?

  2. One and Done

    2 whole signatures. Next weak argument, please.

  3. TLaw

    With a $60,000.00 caveat the letter really has no creditability.

  4. Jeff

    It’s appearing that Stonegate is desperate to settle this and shield their association from large financial exposures through a continued legal battle. Irrespective, I think the condos course of action should be separate from the city should the likely outcome of the settlement be voted down this week. Unlike Stonegate, the city has more staying power and is on solid ground to have the lawsuit run its course.

  5. Karen

    It is troubling to me that the association’s agreement was “bought off” with a $60,00-80,000 payoff. Why would the city use our tax dollars to “buy” the agreement of neighbors? It is unthinkable that this would happen. There is absolutely no precedence for this an any prior administration. I am troubled by the mosque’s impact on the neighborhood and overshadowing of a truly historic and iconic property. I am troubled that the city wants to settle and pay $300,000 from the city coffers. I am most troubled that a neighborhood association was bribed into complicity.

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