Missing Middle Housing and How It Benefits Cities and Towns
Industrial Waterfront Land Use Plan Public Meeting
Industrial Waterfront Land Use Plan Public MeetingMay 9, 2022 6:00 - 8:00 PM Norwalk 's Planning & Zoning Department has teamed up with Utile, an Architecture & Planning firm from Boston to help guide future land use around the Norwalk Harbor. This meeting will focus on the public feedback that has been received and the results of what land use scenarios are preferred. Some of you may have participated via virtual - social pinpoint map, in-person posters, or at the 1st public engagement meeting. Come see how your preferred choices transpired among others! To register on zoom REGISTER NOW
Plan De Uso Del Industrial Waterfront reunión de participación pública #2 ¡Únase a nosotros en Zoom!El Departamento de Planificación y Zonificación de Norwalk se ha asociado con Utile, una firma de Arquitectura y Planificación de Boston para ayudar a guiar el futuro uso de la tierra alrededor del puerto de Norwalk. Esta reunión se centrará en los comentarios del público que se han recibido y los resultados de qué escenarios de uso de la tierra se prefieren. Es posible que algunos de ustedes hayan participado a través de un mapa virtual de puntos sociales, carteles en persona o en la primera reunión de participación pública. ¡Ven a ver cómo transcurrieron tus elecciones preferidas entre otras! Para registrarse en zoom, visite el enlace a continuación: Regístrate ahora
2022 Neighborhood Assistance Act Proposals Due 5:00 pm
Virtual Public Meeting #2 Harbor Loop Trail / SoNo Wharf
Existing and Proposed Trails
Norwalk, CT Merges Separate Planning & Zoning Commissions
Recent CT State Land Use Planning ChangesA lot happened during the last year related to Land Use Planning in the State of CT. The Connecticut General Assembly presented more critical land use and statewide zoning proposals than they have in decades. The bills that obtained approval from the House, Senate, and Governor’s office were scaled-back versions of these proposals. Still, they received much media attention, and for a good reason. They were important rulings that will affect our city.
Why the Change in Norwalk?Some Connecticut towns have already combined their Planning and Zoning commissions. The new structure of Norwalk’s Planning & Zoning Commission supports an efficient and collaborative working relationship. For instance, New Haven’s Planning commission has also combined the duties and responsibilities of P&Z. However, areas like Danbury and Stamford continue to run separate city Planning and Zoning commissions. For some time, the City of Norwalk had also run separate Planning and Zoning commissions. The general agreement was that the separation resulted in a disconnect between planning, land use policy, and city zoning and created additional work for applicants to both commissions.
Benefits of the Planning & Zoning Commission MergerHistorically, a third or more of the Planning Commission’s workflow came from the Zoning Commission. This process often added one to two months to the approval process, hindering development in the city. Now, applicants will save considerable time and costs without the need to present requests to both commissions. The union of the planning and zoning commissions also creates a more consistent planning relationship. It gives the Commission increased jurisdiction. That broadened authority enables them to support consistency with citywide planning.
What to Expect from Norwalk’s Unified P&Z CommissionIn the past, the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission successfully executed their distinct functions. Together, P&Z can coordinate to promote greater efficiency and growth for the Norwalk economy. New members of the merged P&Z group have been selected. Currently, the City is rewriting its zoning regulations, which is set to be completed later this year.. Other land use efforts underway in Norwalk, CT are a reassessment of its industrial zones and developing a plan for its urban waterfront areas. You can stay updated on Norwalk Planning and Zoning Department news by visiting the official website. The City of Norwalk welcomes your questions and feedback. Please feel free to contact us with your inquiries.
Community Development Block Grant Application Due Date
South Norwalk Train Station Area Study Public Meeting
- Neighborhood and station integration and connectivity
- Development opportunities for sites adjacent to the train station
Norwalk, CT Holds Charrette on Revising Its Building Zone Regulations
This fall, the City of Norwalk held a charrette focused on rewriting and modernizing its building zone regulations which lasted over the course of five days. A charrette is a collaborative planning process that involves all stakeholders and this one was open virtually to the public.Norwalk embarked on a building zone regulation update following its ten-year Citywide Plan in 2019. One of the Plan’s recommendations was to take a fresh look at the city’s zoning regulations, which have not been thoroughly reviewed nor revised in 30 years. The charrette was part of a greater public outreach process to educate local citizens on the zoning code and get their input and feedback on what works and what needs to be changed.
How the Virtual Charrette WorkedDuring the charrette, the community learned about the city’s current zoning regulations. In a series of online focus meetings, stakeholders shared their hopes and concerns about how the new regulations may affect things such as transportation, architecture and design, community character, land use, development, neighborhoods, housing, green infrastructure, sustainability, and most desirably its waterfront charm. For those who couldn’t make it to one of the meetings, an online virtual open studio was available for much of the day where people could join and ask questions, or share their thoughts on zoning. Another way the city was able to get input from the public during the charrette was through a virtual mapping workshop. Using an online tool, people were able to access a map of the city and add markers to indicate what they liked about the character of Norwalk and their thoughts on opportunities for improvement.
Findings from the CharretteAs mentioned in a report from The Norwalk Hour, “if one word was said more often than any other word this week, it was character. We heard from people wanting to maintain the marine character. Views of the water are important.” On the final evening of the virtual charrette, the planning team presented their findings and discussed how the community input is shaping the new Building Zone Regulations in several areas. Here are some of their findings.
HousingDuring the charrette, people asked for a greater variety of housing types in more locations. Allowing for multifamily and accessory dwelling units that fit into the character of single family neighborhoods. Part of this is an expressed need and desire for more affordable workforce housing.
Sustainability and the EnvironmentImportant to charrette attendees is the maintenance of the maritime character of the city, and the need to preserve water views. The protection of natural resources and the coastline is also a public concern. Attendees talked frequently about the need for green infrastructure such as permeable pavement, accessibility for bicycling and pedestrians, solar power, green roofs, and sustainable stormwater solutions.
Industry and the EconomyWhile open, green space and preserving the character of neighborhoods were important to charrette attendees, there was discussion about protecting some industrial zones. There was a call to look at other locations for these zones than where they are currently. The biggest concern with industrial zones was the need to address the contractor yards in these neighborhoods and adjacent to homes. There is a Norwalk Industrial Zones Study underway which is taking a look at these issues. Also of importance for attendees was protecting water dependent commercial uses while still allowing for public access to the water. Currently, the city is working on an Industrial Waterfront Land Use Plan to guide decisions on the best uses of Norwalk’s waterfront resources. Overall, the public wanted to retain, grow, and attract a wide range of businesses, allowing for various commercial building types that are more compatible in more areas.
Mobility and TransportationManaging all modes of transportation was a critical concern for attendees, especially making land use decisions that support and improve walking, biking, and public transit. Parking was brought up as having an impact on the character, walkability and desirability of the community. There were presentations on shifting parking lots to be hidden and interspersed among businesses as attendees expressed an interest in a review of parking standards.
Next Steps in the Zoning Regulations UpdateThe zoning regulations planning team is taking all the feedback from the charrette and drafting new regulations. The intention is to simplify what is now a complicated document, and consolidate some of the zoning districts. The overall policy will be to take a character-based approach to zoning. This means grouping zones together that are similar, and creating character districts where certain building types are appropriate for each district, while taking into consideration policies such as open space and commercial uses, etc. Residents, businesses and others in the community will have the opportunity to review and provide feedback to the draft, continuing the important public input to ensure the new regulations take into account all who live and work in Norwalk. To see videos from the Charrette Presentations CLICK HERE
East Norwalk Transit Oriented Development Public Hearings
SPECIAL MEETING AGENDA PLANNING COMMISSION & ZONING COMMISSION CITY OF NORWALK, CT
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 – 6:00 P.M.
* VIRTUAL MEETING TO BE HELD ONLINE *
Public Participation instructions below!I. CALL TO ORDER II. ROLL CALL III. PUBLIC HEARINGS a. #2021-20 R/M – Zoning Commission – Building Zone Regulation Text Amendment and Zoning Map Change to create the East Norwalk Village TOD Zone (EVTZ) IV. DISCUSSION a. Accessory Apartment regulations because of Public Act #21-29 V. ADJOURNMENT Links to agenda materials:
- East Norwalk Village TOD Zone: https://www.norwalkct.org/2670/East-Norwalk-Village-TOD-Zone
- Accessory Apartments: https://www.norwalkct.org/2800/Accessory-Apartment-Regulations
- Dial: (646) 558-8656
- Enter webinar ID: 851 5843 5871