Mediator could settle Norwalk development disputes

The city's planning board was expected to vote Thursday night for a mediator to settle a stalemate between local business owners and a developer to prevent the owners from falling to eminent domain.

Keal Evans, the owner of European Auto Center on West Avenue, says he is one of those owners still in negotiations to move to a new location to make way for a redevelopment project.

Although he doesn't have a deal with the developer, he isn't on the city's list of owners who need mediation help.

Evans says he hasn't signed an agreement despite three years worth of negotiations - leaving him out a lot of money.

"I retained a lawyer two and half years ago. [Spent] countless thousands of dollars and [went to] countless meetings, and nothing has been happening," says Evans.

The Planning Committee of the Common Council was expected to vote Thursday on whether to allow the city to participate in the negotiations, and if they vote yes, then the city will request a third-party mediator.

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