Norwalk plans to sue condo association over debris near school


NORWALK — The city is suing a condo corporation over more debris and trash piling up against a fence adjoining one of Norwalk’s elementary schools.

Jefferson Elementary School, undergoing a $33 million renovation, is adjacent to Kingsley Court Condominiums, with the school and condo parking lots separated by a retaining wall topped with a fence at chain link.

Over the years, the condo association and its residents have placed debris, trash and fill along the fence and retaining wall, putting pressure on the fence, requiring replacement, said Alan Lo, director of buildings and facilities at Norwalk.

“The condo association building is taller than our property, 60 or 70 feet taller than our property, and there’s a retaining wall in between and a chain-link fence above it,” Lo said. “Over the years the condo association has placed fill and debris against the fence and at present it is about 3-4 feet high.”

The city contacted the condo association several times, with no response, Lo said. At Wednesday’s land and building use management committee meeting, Lo alerted members to the situation and said the city’s company attorney was pursuing legal action against the association. co-owners.

Debris is collected along the chain-link fence installed atop a stone retaining wall, Lo said. Retaining walls are used to prevent soil erosion and support soil laterally.

“The project team, with the involvement of attorney Darin Callahan, associate attorney for the company, has contacted the property manager of the condominium association and they have not accepted responsibility for the existing conditions,” wrote Lo in a memo to the committee. “Furthermore, they have made no commitment to take corrective action.”

Pieces of trash, including cans and wrappers, are crushed between the fence and the fill, or compressed earth, placed by the condominium association, Lo said.

The fence runs along the Jefferson Elementary parking lot on the property’s western edge near Bedford Avenue, where some construction equipment is stored and work is underway.

With the wall in need of an entirely new fence, Lo and his team seek out the condo association to remove the trash and dirt that has destroyed the fence.

“The fence is falling. We want to replace the fence, but we can’t take it down and put it back up because of the surcharge on the fence,” Lo said. “There are wood chips, bottles, cans. We don’t want to encroach on their property to take it away. In case there is contaminated soil, we don’t want any part of the materials they dumped on it.

Lo estimated a year ago of trash being pushed against the 50-year-old fence.

“They have to do the right thing and pull things off,” Lo said. “They don’t have to build a retaining wall, but they can’t use our fence as a retaining wall.”

Kingsley Court Condominiums, at 11 Bedford Ave., is owned by The Property Group, a Stamford-based property management company, according to the Connecticut State Business Database Secretary. Senior property manager Edward Davis, who is in charge of the Kingsley Court complex, did not respond to a request for comment.

The real estate group operates at least two other Norwalk condo complexes, according to the company’s website.

“We asked to remove material and replace the fence. It is our legal decision towards them and we invite them to find something,” Lo said.

The city asked the condominium association to remove the debris and cover the cost of a new fence, Lo added.

“While we hoped the association would resolve the issue, they have yet to respond,” city spokesman Josh Morgan said. “As a result, the city, through the legal department, is in the process of filing a lawsuit in an effort to resolve this matter.”

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