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Developer reneges on promise to share plan for LARGE MILL POND DEVELOPMENT prior to submission to P&Z Commission

After more than a year of promises to engage the East Norwalk community early in the application process to redevelop the Wells Fargo parcel, developer Mike DiScala (in conjunction with developer Spinnaker and architect Bruce Beinfield) decided to submit preliminary plans to P&Z Commission in order expedite the necessary professional peer review process… in turn, to expedite the Public Hearing and approvals process.

Mr. DiScala repeatedly promised that the ENNA Board would have an opportunity to review the plan and submit feedback PRIOR to their submission, and that before or shortly after the plan submission the ENNA community at large could view the plans, ask questions, share concerns and offer suggestions. 

Although the architect was supposed to share the negotiated “Bonus Point Amenities”and the development plan renderings, neither materialized. On June 10th they submitted their plans to P&Z and requested a start of the professional peer review process (required under the EVTZ regulations). Steve Kleppin immediately scheduled The Preliminary Review by The P&Z Commission that was held on June 15th. (unedited city video below)

Why is this sudden reversal important? Because the residents of East Norwalk have continued to raise concerns and share their anxiety over what could become of the Mill Pond parcel, and ENNA offered the developers and their professional consultants something that should be considered priceless by anyone planning to submit a very controversial development plan: early, constructive feedback from the community that would help to alleviate the angst, frustration, mistrust and legal battles associated with “rubber-stamping” public hearings and commission approvals. And quite frankly, as most of you already know all too well, once the plans are submitted it means they have substantially cleared Staff reviews and virtually a “done deal”. The substantive changes relative to density and scale are seldom negotiable, and the residents are left to listen to Commission discussions on the color of faux siding and bicycle racks….

The documents submitted to P&Z are below.