The Norwalk City Council on Tuesday failed to extend a building moratorium in a downtown area where small apartment buildings are replacing aging single-family homes.
The council unanimously approved the 45-day moratorium May 1, fearing water and sewer systems would eventually be overloaded and that streets would become congested with parked cars. Mayor Luigi A. Vernola abstained because he owns property in the area.
City planners initiated a study of the moratorium area, which covers residential neighborhoods north of Rosecrans Avenue along both sides of San Antonio Drive. There are about 950 housing units in the moratorium area, according to Gregg Yamachika, acting director of community development.
On Tuesday, numerous real estate agents and commercial property owners complained that the proposed 10 1/2-month extension would damage their investment opportunities. The proposed extension failed after Councilman Robert E. White decided there was not enough evidence of sewer, water and parking problems to warrant a moratorium.
Unlike most council votes, the extension required four-fifths approval from the council for passage. Tuesday's vote was 3 to 1 with Vernola abstaining.
The development study of the moratorium area is expected to be completed in the next year, City Manager Richard R. Powers said.