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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Neighborhood Organizing Over Potential Development

By Jennifer Connic

Neighbors adjacent to the Norden Park development are organizing against a potential housing development on the site on the Norwalk-Westport border because the access may be through their Westport neighborhood.

Carolanne Curry, of Hiawatha Lane Extension, has sent around a letter to her neighbors about a meeting that will take place tonight about potential development of the site.

The potential development could mean hundreds of homes constructed on the Norden Park site, and the plan would include access onto Hiawatha Lane.

“A developer has already purchased a number of homes around here,” Curry said. “This could affect over 300 people.”

A developer has been buying homes for over $700,000, she said, when the properties are worth closer to $400,000 in the fair market.

“We need to get on the same page with each other,” she said about her neighborhood. “Going around passing out the letter, I found the people around here are pretty nice. Some of the families have been here for three or four generations.”

Police Chief Al Fiore said Felix Charney, of Summit Development, showed him plans that call for over 300 homes on the Norden Park property with a driveway linked to Hiawatha Lane.

The plans, he said, would include purchasing properties on Hiawatha Lane, straightening the road and creating an access onto Ferry Lane.

“I have concerns about any plans because the road cannot support that kind of traffic,” he said. “It’s also a residential neighborhood.”

Area residents have contacted him with concerns, he said.

Curry says she foresees a nightmare if the plans were to become a reality.

“It would be one exit onto Ferry Lane,” she said.

While there are files at the Westport Planning and Zoning Department on the issue, she said, nothing has been officially filed in Norwalk and it is considered a dream project in the city.

Accessing the Norden site through Hiawatha Lane is not a new idea.

Curry said rumors about plans to link the site through the neighborhood first started in 1999 when Charney’s group first got involved with the Norden property.

Norden Park is home to Norden Systems, Gibbs College and Tauck Tours.

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Posted 08/28/05 at 02:34 PM  Permalink



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Hiawatha Lane area residents certainly should be concerned about any Norden property development that would bring traffic to their neighborhood. The collector roadways in the area are already burdened beyond responsible capacity.  Those familiar with train and interstate traffic in that area would have to agree that further street traffic loads would materially effect the delivery fo public health, welfare and safety services to that area.

ron malone

ps: welcome to Jen Connic; having left the Hour to work on obtaining an MBA, Jen is recognized as a thoughtful accurate journalist know for “telling it like it is”........

Posted by ron malone on August 28, 2005 at 04:32 PM | #
 

Jennifer, glad that you will be contributing to WestportNow while you are off to get your Masters!  Best wishes, and we’ll see you as editor in chief of the NY Times in a couple of years.  WALLY WOODS

Posted by Wally Woods on August 28, 2005 at 06:53 PM | #
 

Jen,
Good to see you with WestportNow.com
I am glad that you will be reporting the news as it is for all of us to read. Good luck with your Masters and your reporting.
Steve Rubin

Posted by Stephen Rubin on August 29, 2005 at 01:54 AM | #
 

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