Minutes West Norwalk Association Board of Directors Meeting
February 3rd, 2003
President Peter O’Hare called the meeting of the West Norwalk Association to order at 7:35pm
Board Members Present: Peter O’Hara, Sam Jones, Chris Bryan, David Frishkorn, Bob Wagman, Bill Krummel, Skip Wilhelm, Barbara Andrews, Gigi Schmidt, Bill Wrenn.
The Spinnaker Companies
Spinnaker Development, LLC
20 Marshall Street
South Norwalk, CT 06854
Tel: (203) 354-1554
The Spinnaker Companies
Spinnaker Development, LLC
20 Marshall Street
South Norwalk, CT 06854
Tel: (203) 354-1550
Fax: (203) 354-1551
|John W. Block P.E., L.S.
Senior Vice President
Tighe & Bond
Consulting Engineers Environmental Specialists
488 Main Ave
Norwalk, CT 06851
Tel: (203) 849-0898 ext 105
Fax: (203) 849-0355
|Stuart M. Lachs, AIA
Perkins Eastman Architects PC
Architecture, Planning, Interior Design
422 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06901
Tel: (203) 251-7437
Fax: (203) 251-7474
|Mathew J. Popp
Slayback & Popp Associates
Environmental Land Solutions, LLC
8 Knight Street
Tel: (203) 855-7879
Fax: (203) 855-7876
|Henry M. Ditman, P.E.
Barkan & Mess Associates, Inc.
Traffic Engineers and Transportation Planners
300 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 661
Tel: (203) 481-4208
Fax: (203) 483-7205
|Peter Kastl architect working with Spinnaker
WNA Neighbors Present:, Valerie Martin, Betsy McGowan, Betsy Wrenn, Harriet Able
The Spinnaker Companies Update: The meeting started with a presentation from Kim Morque a principle with Spinnaker Development, LLC discussing Spinnaker’s application for submittal to the city for a zoning sub division change at the Translux location. Spinnaker has a contract agreement with Translux for the property. The projects current scope is to build 54 residential condominium units on the property. Peter O’Hare stated the concern of the WNA’s opinion of the density of the development itself. Spinnaker stated that they were moving to a newer plan with a smaller footprint and a reduction in the number of units to 54 from 56. They also proposed to the city that Spinnaker would make a voluntary effort to build 5 units of affordable housing with the development, with an estimated result of a 20% lower price.
Architect Peter Kastl showed some illustrations of the new changes and spoke about the visual compatibility with the multi family housing across the street. The development is estimated to be on 6.9 acres and 4 stories in height. The setback is set at approximately 50ft from the road. Neighbors expressed concern about putting such a large building so close to the road and traffic.
Units would primarily consist of 2 bedrooms & 2 baths as well as a balcony. The development will be required to stay 40 ft back from the wetlands boundary as was shown. An illustration was displayed from Richards Ave showing the landscaping elaborative elevation façade as it faces Richards. A question arose of whether the trees shown were exaggerated in height for young trees.
John Block made a presentation with regards to the drainage issues. He showed a storm water management plan and discussed its benefits. Spinnaker is also interested an outlet control structure to help with the drainage in the development.
Matt Popp showed illustrations of Spinnaker’s landscaping design. In the front of the building he mentioned the use of deciduous and evergreen trees with white pines and red oaks, in the back street trees would be used to break up the parking lot. Around the building itself would be foundation plantings and the wetlands area would be sculpted with wetland type plants to help with the run off. In addition there would be some recreational plantings to visually enhance the location. Later he discussed some of the lighting questions.
It was acknowledged that the estimated price for the 1,200 square foot units would be approximately $275,000. It was also indicated that Spinnaker estimates a little over 2 cars per unit in parking and traffic. Questions rose with regards to the wetlands care and maintenance. It was indicated that there would be a condominium association to maintain the upkeep of the area which owners would be asked to be a member to and there would be housing rules that would have to be followed. One director was interested in seeing a more Colonial style building façade which he voiced concern about and blending in more with the surrounding residential area. This brought forth other questions about the style and location of the building with the idea of a gateway to the rest of the residential area being an important part of the visual conception.
A question was asked as to why the buildings had to be 4 stories high and couldn’t be smaller. It was answered that it would not be economically feasible to create smaller buildings. Creating the buildings at 4 stories maximizes the area’s value. Spinnaker reiterated that they felt the building would make an improvement to the wetlands and the drainage on the property as well as it would be a positive gateway as you move down Richards Ave towards single family neighborhoods.
Henry Ditman then presented a traffic study for the proposed building. He suggested that during one additional hour in the morning and afternoon the building would add about 30 additional trips by residents.
The next committee meeting for Spinnaker is slated for February 13th.
Acceptance of Board Meeting Minutes of January 6th, 2002: The minutes of January 6th, 2003 were presented. A motion was made by Bob Wagman and seconded by Gigi Schmidt to accept the minutes. The motion passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report: David Frishkorn received 3 checks for membership dues totaling $75 dollars which was added to the current closing balance of $5,652.42. Gigi Schmidt made a motion to accept the financial report which was seconded by Bob Wagman. The motion passed unanimously.
Publicity: Submissions for the newsletter need to be submitted by February 17th for an estimated March release. Ideas for submissions were discussed and confirmed.
Spinnaker: A suggestion of a letter to the Planning and Zoning Board was brought forth for drafting among the concerns were the traffic, density and size with a public hearing scheduled in March.
Planning and Zoning: Bob Wagman reported Velocity Sports is having a public forum meeting February 19th. The WNA voiced it concerns of the monitoring of security and traffic in the late afternoon. Spinnaker’s open forum is scheduled for some time in March. It was also mentioned that Costco is applying for a Tire Center for both tire sales and service at the back of their building.
Prudential: Peter O’Hare recognized Betsy McGowan who spoke on behalf of the Ferndale Association with Bill Krummell. She stated that for the most part she felt the association was a part of the West Norwalk Association and talked about the most recent meeting that occurred between the mayor, Prudential and the association. Bill Krummell felt that the Ferndale association was an ad hoc committee to the WNA. There was a discussion of the possible confusion that could occur because of the appearance of two associations and the possible appearance of a lack of unity. A question also arose about the progress that has been made by the existence of a possible second association. After much discussion Betsy suggested that professional counsel is now needed by the WNA. Questions arose at the mentioning of the conservation easement and its exact implications. It was stated that the mayor suggested that the conservation easement, which was stated as the half of the meadow on the top of the hill all along Weed Ave, could be used as a concession by Prudential for the consideration of their application.
Discussions followed with regards of the exact details of the conservation easement. It was mentioned that as things moved forward specifics of details can be a give and take of both sides and should be dealt with carefully to expedite the process.
The question arose that with the suggestion of a conservation easement would it be a possible concession of the West Norwalk Associations acceptance. A debate followed questioning the necessity of the consultation of a lawyer and the cost associated. The current date of Prudential’s open forum is slated for March 20th. It was also mentioned that the association asks that the property to be available to all residents of West Norwalk.
Bill Krummell made a motion that the Prudential application be brought forth before a WNA retained attorney for consideration which might be amended if they agree to the Mayors proposal as it does not included the conservation easement. There was a lot of discussion which followed with a restatement of the motion. David Frishkorn, Treasurer, stated that he felt that the investment in counsel could be well spent if it helps move things forward intelligently. Manuel Llorca was suggested to act as the liaison between the attorney and the WNA to keep all informed. This was seconded by Bill Wrenn. The motion passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:27 p.m.
February 13th – Velocity Sports Committee Meeting
February 17th – Newsletter Articles Due.
February 19th – Open Forum for Velocity Sports.
February 26th – Spinnaker Review
Early March – Newsletter Release
March 20th – Prudential Open Forum