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Norwalk Looking at New Development at Youth Authority Property

February 23, 2022

By Brian Hews

Norwalk Council continues to take input on the plan to build a transit-oriented eco-community on the former 32-acre California Youth Authority property at 13200 Bloomfield Avenue.

Located between Imperial and Rosecrans, the property was closed by the state in 2011; after passage of AB 518 in 2020, the city now has the opportunity to purchase the property from the state for new development.

The area is surrounded by residential development to the north, west, and south,  Zimmerman Park and the Metrolink rail line to the east. Given the surrounding uses and the close proximity to transit, the opportunity is there to develop the property with housing and neighborhood amenities, including a direct connection to the transit line.

Called the Norwalk Transit Village,  City Staff, along with development partner Lewis Group of Companies, outlined key steps in their project schedule to ensure public participation throughout the process.

So far, the outreach has been mostly virtual, with two in-person outreach events, which consisted of a Farmer’s Market booth and a series of presentations to Norwalk Commission members in January 2022 and February 2022.

According to City Staff, the community had a positive reaction to the project and supported building more affordable housing in Norwalk while also improving connectivity between the property, Zimmerman Park, and the Metrolink Station.

In regards to the commercial portion of the project, residents wanted more grocery and food and beverage options.

The new development may also include a variety of new homes at different price points;  green spaces, open spaces, and parks; pathways for walking, biking, and improved access to the Metrolink station and Zimmerman Park.

Due to a state law known as the Surplus Land Act (SLA), 80% of the development area must be residential with 40% of the residential classified as “affordable.”

Norwalk Mayor Rick Ramirez expressed his support for this type of development in the City, “Our city is embracing the importance of economic development. The Metrolink station will be within a short distance of this development, bringing with it a tremendous opportunity for homeownership and commerce to the region.”

The project is currently in the community engagement phase, as public participation is important to ensure Norwalk residents express their vision for the project with the hope of seeing more housing choices, healthy amenities and greater connectivity to other parts of the region.

Public participation meetings are scheduled to continue through early-2023.

For more information email [email protected] or call (562) 929-5319.


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