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CNI Neighborhood Plan

people on sidewalk by cafe seating outside

Unlike programs that focus on bricks and mortar alone with the upgrading of affordable housing, the Choice Neighborhoods approach strives to address the needs of the population within the neighborhood and the actual physical condition of the neighborhood. As such, the Neighborhood Strategy looks at the local community environment from the standpoint of the quality and appearance of existing structures, public amenities like parks and playgrounds, the sense of security and the level of crime, transportation options including trains, buses, cars, bikes and walking as well as the ease of access to goods and services.

The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency has taken the lead on the implementation of the Neighborhood Strategy. A Neighborhood Coordinator will be added to the Agency staff and a Critical Community Improvements Plan has been developed to allocate resources and funding into initiatives aimed at enhancing neighborhood assets and investing in needed improvements.

The goals of the Neighborhood plan are:

  • The neighborhood is storm resilient.
  • South Norwalk is safe and attractive.
  • A rich array of amenities that appeal to residents and visitors is found in the community
  • Residents with diverse socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds continue to call South Norwalk home.
  • The neighborhood is a walkable and bike-able community with a cohesive public transit network.

The realization of these goals will be accomplished by:

  • Capitalizing upon existing and planned initiatives to create a shared synergy and alignment of investments and resources.
  • Mobilizing both public and private partners and stakeholders to collectively share in the achievement of the common vision for the community.
  • Establishing an implementation framework that empowers key partners and City departments to enact changes and improvements that address the challenges facing the South Norwalk neighborhood

Critical Community Improvements
To realize these goals and outcomes, the Critical Community Improvement Plan (CCI) outlines a set of strategies and partners required to carry out the actions. For many of these strategies, the City, through its various departments, is already actively working on different components. The CCI element of the plan for Washington Village/South Norwalk is intended to reinforce this ongoing work, and where needed, highlight additional initiatives that will support the desired outcomes. The following outline provides a representation of the neighborhood improvements and activities proposed, in process, or completed.

group of people at an indoor meeting facing away from camera
Ryan Park
When the inventory of assets within the designated Choice Neighborhoods area was completed it was clear that Ryan Park was of central significance and in need of enhancement. To ensure that investments in the park reflected the needs and interests of the community, Mayor Rilling appointed a representative Ryan Park Advisory Committee. To support the recommendation of the advisory group an allocation of $1 million was allocated in CNI funds for design studies, community outreach for public involvement and capital improvements. The goal is to create a safe and attractive community park and recreational area that meets the needs of the local user group and preserves vital green space within the Choice Neighborhood.

Residential Façade Improvement Grant
The Residential Facade Improvement Grant Program is intended to improve the physical appearance of HUD's "Choice Neighborhood" by addressing residential disrepair and blight. The program is targeted to owners of residential properties in the neighborhood.

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