Norwalk Industrial Waterfront Land Use Plan
Norwalk Industrial Waterfront Land Use Plan
As an extension of the Norwalk Industrial Zones Study, the City of Norwalk has developed an urban waterfront land use plan. The study focused on existing and future land use along the waterfront, taking public access and recreation into consideration. The plan also looked at information about the water itself and environmental issues, including navigation channels, water quality, and flood hazards.
The final plan will be used to inform future rezoning efforts, among other things, including:
- Prioritizing land use policy which encourages water dependent uses
- Economic development recommendations
- Identifying capital projects, paired with suggested timelines and funding sources
Why Is There a Plan for Norwalk’s Urban Waterfront?
Urban waterfronts serve many purposes – they are centers for economic activity that are dependent on the water and are desirable spaces for public recreation. They are also sought after locations for housing and commercial uses like restaurants and retail. Waterfronts must also respond to many pressures and changes such as rapidly evolving economic conditions and increased flood risk.
In Norwalk, our Harbor Plan prioritizes water dependent uses. The current waterfront includes a number of long standing industrial and marine commercial properties that add to Norwalk’s maritime character.
This plan will help Norwalk to take stock of the needs, aspirations, and ideas for the future of the city’s waterfront. It providesa framework for regulations, rezoning recommendations, and projects needed to pursue a healthy, vibrant, and dynamic waterfront for Norwalk that balances public access, water-dependent land uses, water quality, and flood resiliency.
Area the Plan Covers
The above map shows the boundary of the Waterfront Plan area and includes:
- Study Area: shown in dark blue.
- Study Area Parks: shown in green.
- Influence Areas: shown in light blue.
Norwalk Waterfront Plan Final Report Appendices
Norwalk Waterfront Plan Final Presentation
Citywide Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) 2019 - 2029
Our Vision for Norwalk
By 2029, the City of Norwalk has become a national example of a small city that boasts a thriving and dynamic economy; varied housing choices for all income levels; many safe and convenient ways to get around the city, including walking and biking; connected, accessible and beautiful open spaces; a commitment to lifelong learning; and an active and resilient coastline. Norwalk is the center of art, culture and entertainment for our region. We combine the character of a historic New England community on the coast of Long Island Sound with a thriving city in the country’s largest metropolitan area.
- Our prosperity is rooted in retaining the foundation of our diversified economy, including health care and Fortune 500 companies, while attracting businesses in emerging fields. These businesses allow many Norwalk residents to work where they live, provide living-wage jobs for all skill levels, and create a strong non-residential tax base
- We’re a center of culture and entertainment, attracting local and regional visitors to our urban districts of SoNo and Norwalk Center; our museums, aquarium and historic sites; and our parks and natural open spaces.
- We’re proud of our racial and ethnic diversity and continue to welcome people from around the world.
- Norwalk’s excellent quality of life offers a choice of housing options in neighborhoods ranging from lively urban centers of varied densities and suburban–style areas, to quiet, treefilled enclaves and coastal villages.
- We’re a city of transportation choice: a connected, walking and biking city, well-served by public transportation, safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle routes to city destinations, well-maintained and well-functioning local streets, and efficient regional transportation links.
- Norwalk’s parks, natural open spaces, and waterfront attractions work as a green and blue network linked by trails and other routes and offering recreational and nature experiences to all.
- Norwalk protects and enhances the natural environment and land, water, and air resources for the benefit of future generations.
- Norwalk Harbor remains a major center of water-based activities on Long Island Sound, providing opportunities for recreation and commerce: public access for recreation and education, recreational boating, commercial shellfishing, and other vital economic, environmental, and cultural values and opportunities.
- Norwalk embraces lifelong learning through public-private partnerships. Our schools and Norwalk Community College promote educational achievement to create a highlyqualified workforce for 21st-century jobs. Norwalk seeks a strong higher education presence in its urban center to spark art, innovation and activity.
- We’re committed to energy- and resource-efficiency, as well as to pursuing solutions and adaptations to the expected impacts of climate change and sea-level rise–coastal and inland flooding, extreme storms, extreme temperatures, and drought.
- The City’s infrastructure, public facilities, and public services are resource-efficient, well-maintained, cost-effective, sustainable, and resilient.
Manresa Association Findings & Recommendations
Manresa Island consists of two parcels that occupy approximately 144 acres of Norwalk’s shoreline. Since 1960, a power plant has been located on the southern parcel; first operating as a coal fired plant that was converted to oil in 1972. In 2012, the site was inundated with storm surge during Hurricane Sandy and was subsequently closed in 2013. The closure of a power plant triggers a long process of reuse planning that involves multiple phases including decommissioning, remediation, and potential redevelopment.
The Manresa Association was formed in 2013 as an advocacy group dedicated to ensuring that Manresa Island is environmentally safe, provides open space and conservation habitat, and contributes to the physical beauty of Norwalk and the Long Island Sound coastline. The association comprises over 900 households and several local neighborhoods and clubs.
In 2017 the Manresa Association and the City of Norwalk partnered to conduct a study with the aims of identifying potential future uses of the property and assessing the potential economic impact of those uses. The study team worked closely with the project steering committee, which was composed of representatives from the City of Norwalk (Redevelopment Agency, Planning Department, Economic Development, and various Commission Members) and the Manresa Association. NRG Energy, owners of the plant, has provided access to the property and representatives from NRG attended a public workshop in support of the study.
This report provides an overview of environmental and ecological conditions of the property, remediation efforts to date and planned and potential remediation approaches, regional market conditions that will influence potential reuse of the property, and recommended reuses of the site based upon those conditions.
See Findings and Recommendations Report
2020 Parking Plan
2020 Parking Plan
The 2020 Parking Plan outlines current usage and presents recommendations for future parking development throughout the city.
Consolidated Plan 2020-2024
The Norwalk, CT Five-Year Consolidated Plan (Con Plan) is mandated by federal law and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the City to receive federal funding for affordable housing and community development initiatives benefitting primarily lowand moderate-income persons. This Con Plan consolidates into a single document the planning and application requirements for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
Con Plans must be prepared and submitted to HUD every three to five years. Norwalk uses a five-year Con Plan cycle; this plan covers fiscal years 2020-2024. The purpose of the Norwalk, CT Con Plan is to:
- Assess the City’s affordable housing and community development needs;
- Analyze the City’s housing markets;
- Articulate the City’s priorities, goals, and strategies to address identified needs; and
- Describe the actions the City will take to implement strategies for affordable housing and community development.
Norwalk's Con Plan for FY 2020 – FY 2024 provides data on trends and conditions related to the City’s current and future affordable housing and community development needs. The analysis of this data has been used to establish priorities, strategies, and actions that the City will undertake to address these needs over the next five years. Annually, the City will develop its
Annual Action Plan in which it will describe the planned investment of federal resources to implement specific activities.
East Norwalk Transit-Oriented Development
East Norwalk Transit-Oriented Development
Access to transportation alternatives, such as rail, is one of the most significant drivers of economic growth and can help create a more sustainable community.
Norwalk is currently seeing this type of development around the South Norwalk Train Station and the Merritt-7 Station. However, the East Norwalk rail station sites have seen stagnant or little growth, despite the station being the next stop from the South Norwalk train station. While the development of this area is important to the City, the type and scale of development occurring at South Norwalk and Merritt-7 is probably not appropriate for East Norwalk.
The City has completed the planning process for the future of the area around the East Norwalk rail stations. This study outlines a vision for the future and will help guide recommendations for appropriate uses for the land and scale of market-supportable, development in the East Avenue area surrounding the train station.
The final plan elements include:
Appendix A - Market Analysis
Appendix B - Transportation Analysis
Appendix C - Community Engagement
Appendix D - Draft Zoning
Appendix E - Design Guidelines
- Land Use
- Economic Development
- Preservation/Adaptive Reuse
- Urban Design
- Public and Green Spaces
- Traffic Circulation
Wall/West Avenue Plan
Norwalk Center Neighborhood Plan for the Wall Street-West Avenue Redevelopment Area
Since last updating its plans for the Wall Street and West Avenue Corridor redevelopment areas a decade ago the City of Norwalk has seen tremendous change and growth in these neighborhoods. This plan provides a vision, policies and actions for property redevelopment and capital investments within a cohesive civic development framework that leverages the tremendous power of people to reimagine, reinvent and renew the neighborhood’s valuable physical spaces and economic assets.
The recommended actions discussed in this plan focus on five key areas:
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- Zoning changes and design guidelines
- Connectivity and mobility improvements
- Development of opportunity sites
- Collaborative planning and investment
- Creative financing tools