West Main Street repair shop voted down

Cary Ashby • Updated Aug 8, 2018 at 8:29 PM

A proposed ordinance to rezone 111 W. Main St. for general business is no longer an issue.

Norwalk Law Director Stuart O’Hara informed council Tuesday that the resident had requested to withdraw his application. However, O’Hara said since the proposed ordinance had “a life of its own” once it had its first reading, it had go through the rest of the process.

Once the rezoning issue was placed on the agenda Tuesday, the ordinance failed to pass with five council members voting against it.

Bryan Lamb, an at-large council member, and Dave Wallace, who represents the second ward, abstained. Lamb, an attorney, said the resident was his client who requested Lamb submit the rezoning application as well as the withdrawal. Wallace said he had a business relationship with the man as a Realtor.

Before the vote, third-ward Councilwoman Samantha Wilhelm said she was pleased to hear feedback from so many residents during last week’s public hearing on the issue, many of whom said the B & L Repair Shop would be a “disruption to the historical district.”

About six Norwalk residents shared their opposition last week at the hearing. They said having a motorcycle repair shop would attract too much noise, could be a hazard for the students at nearby Pleasant Elementary, complained it was an example of “spot zoning” and was “an inappropriate business for that neighborhood.”

In other action Tuesday, council approved the city to apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant for fiscal year 2017. Norwalk Fire Chief John Soisson said the grant requires a 10-percent match from the city and would be for new fitness equipment so firefighters can be tested and work out. 

Since 2012, the fire department has used about $241,000 worth of FEMA grant money to buy air packs, heart monitors, water-rescue equipment and fire hoses. Firefighters are waiting to hear if the new application will be accepted.

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