Brookfield recently went through a fight to prevent a developer from putting up 6-story apartment buildings in town, citing a stress on the town's all-volunteer fire department. An effort was then launched to reform the state's 8-30g affordable housing law.
An area legislator is disappointed that Governor Dannel Malloy vetoed that bipartisan bill. Housing Committee co-chair Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown, says the measure was aimed at allowing more local zoning and planning input in developing affordable and workforce housing projects that are compatible with community character.
Hwang said the reform fight will continue. Hwang says projects rejected by local planning and zoning boards often are approved on appeal to the Land Use Litigation Docket, a branch of the state Superior Court.
Wilton Senator Toni Boucher says the bill aimed to restore local zoning and planning decisions. She says the 8-30g law has become an emotional issue for many communities because of the broad latitude it gives developers to build under the auspices of increasing affordable housing inventory. These sometimes-controversial development projects often change the town's character.
Malloy says the number of affordable housing units across the state has grown larger during the past several years than it has over the last several decades. He says state laws should encourage this continued growth, not move in the opposite direction.
The bill would have made it easier for municipalities to qualify for moratoriums on appeals of local zoning denials under a statute that encourages cities and towns to make sure that a certain amount of their housing stock is considered affordable.
It had passed the Senate 30-6 and the House of Representatives 116-33.