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Letter: Say No To Shelter Development’s Norwalk Plan

NORWALK, Conn. ? The Norwalk Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit submissions, but we respectfully ask that you keep your correspondence under 500 words. Please send letters to norwalk@dailyvoice.com .

To the Editor,

Shelter Development has submitted a proposal to the city to build a 90-unit assisted living facility for Brightview Senior Living. The current site is home to the Sons of Italy, and is approximately 13,500sq ft. The proposed structure will be approximately 69,778 sq. feet.  The zoning for this lot is AA which requires a minimum of 3 acres for a nursing home under special permit approval. Since the current lot size is 2.67 acres, Brightview has a contract to purchase 9 Woodacre Road which is adjacent to the current property (at the rear).  9 Woodacre lists a deed restriction barring commercial buildings, so the new building appears to be set on the current 2.67 acres.

The size of the new facility would be about five times the size of the current building. The current building sits high on the hill and can be seen from Birchside, Woodacre and even as far as Bartlett Avenue and Harris Street.  It also overlooks many houses on New Canaan Avenue. A new building of nearly 70,000 sq. feet, will greatly overshadow the entire neighborhood. The impact of a minimum of 90 residents (some double occupancy) will be felt with increases in traffic, noise, deliveries, pollution, garbage, and other problems associated with a large residency of this density. All of this would greatly affect our quality of life. This is a large commercial building at the edge of our city, useful for surrounding towns, without being in their backyard.  Additionally, a commercial building of this size will open the doors for future development in the New Canaan Avenue corridor.

My family has lived at our current home for 27 years. We feel very fortunate to have a quiet peaceful neighborhood, beautiful trees, and a wealth of nature around us. We are also fortunate to have wonderful neighbors. Some have lived here for 40 years, are much closer to the property in question and will be the most impacted by this development.

We have all experienced financial difficulties in our current economy; have been affected by changes in employment, or lost value in our homes (or lost homes) and/or investments.  For our city, it would be tempting to look at the addition of some jobs and taxes and let this corporation (who operates for profit) overbuild in our residential community.  Once we accept this building we are choosing to reduce property values, overdevelop our city, and change it forever.

Sometimes it takes courage to make the right decision. I ask that our zoning commission look closely at this proposal and on May 15th have the courage to say no.

Karen Bartron 6 Woodacre Road

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