Purpose and intent. It is the purpose of this zone to ensure that the unique character of this district is maintained and enhanced for future generations, consistent with the goals and recommendations outlined in the East Norwalk Village TOD Plan (EVTZ).
This list of considerations is not exhaustive and may be modified as new information becomes available during any further review of the EVTZ Text Amendment and Design Guidelines.
Norwalk has been undergoing planning for East Norwalk to guide growth and development in and around the East Norwalk train station. The plan is being developed with the help of stakeholders including the public, area businesses, and other city residents and representatives to create a vision for the future, and help guide recommendations for appropriate uses for the land and scale of development in the East Avenue train station area. Below we’ll take a look at some of the proposed recommendations
One significant recommendation is the creation of a new village district for the area, concentrated on East Avenue. This will require all development to adhere to design guidelines that control building architecture, streetscape, site layout, signage and landscaping . The city would also allow some buildings to have additional height and a moderate increase in the number of residential units, above ground floor commercial spaces, provided they include certain amenities that positively impact the community.
Benefits of this include additional revenue for property owners as well as promoting mixed-use development, so residents could live close to commercial and transportation options. As part of developing the district, the plan proposes putting in place a street and facade improvement program in the areas of Charles Street & Osborne Avenue, north of Fort Point Street, similar to the program used in SoNo.
So what could the new village district look like? The study team put together a rendering and buildout of the corner of East Avenue and Winfield Street to illustrate what is possible. The new regulations could allow slightly taller buildings (1 additional story than currently allowed) in exchange for a large pedestrian plaza with other features such as fountains, public arts, public WIFI and/or public seating, as well as a shared parking lot to the rear of the development. In addition, sidewalks around this parcel could be widened to encourage pedestrians and to make room for possible outdoor dining space.
It is important to note that this plan has no mechanism or recommendation to take anyone’s property or force them to change their current use. The Plan is meant to guide development, if and when change occurs.
In East Norwalk, as you go closer to the Norwalk River, one possible improvement would be to explore the relocation of the DPW garage elsewhere in the City. This site could be used for a variety of other uses, ranging from marine commercial use to open space. Closer to South Norwalk, the study team suggested the creation of a promenade along Seaview Avenue, connecting the Cove Avenue area to SoNo. The promenade would be another great resource for Norwalkers, with amenities that could be used for recreational and entertainment purposes.