NORWALK – The Norwalk City Council on Tuesday approved a temporary ban on new gas stations so city officials can study their long-term effects on the community.
According to a staff report, local zoning regulations for gas stations were established before today’s trend of combing gas stations with 24/7 convenience stores and car washes.
Gas stations also require the construction of underground tanks to store and dispense fuel, making it difficult to sell or repurpose the properties after gas stations close.
Another concern are the locations of gas stations. According to Bing Hyun, Norwalk’s acting director of Community Development, Norwalk’s zoning regulations do not provide location criteria for gas stations.
“The City needs to re-evaluate the appropriate locations for gas stations based on current land uses and the City’s projected development when fewer gas stations are needed,” Hyun wrote in a report to council members. “As the use of electric and alternative fuel vehicles continues to increase, the long-term economic health of the City should also be evaluated.”
Council voted 4-0 on the agenda item, with Councilwoman Margarita Rios absent. The moratorium will run through Jan. 19, 2018, but can be extended up to two years.
Eric Pierce, editor