A local lawmaker is proposing changes to the state's affordable housing laws in response to a 6-story development being proposed for the town's center. Brookfield Representative Steve Harding says proposed modifications to the 8-30g statutes will be up for a public hearing before the legislature's Housing Committee on Tuesday.
Harding says this effort is not against affordable housing, but rather against the loopholes 8-30g has provided to developers. He says they essentially have a license to build whatever they like regardless of local zoning laws and preferences of a town.
If a town currently has less than 10-percent affordable housing, 8-30g laws apply. The proposal would lower that to a 2-percent thresh hold . Another proposal would allow towns to carve out a part of their municipality as an exemption. If a town has made a concerted effort to develop a certain area in a certain manner, that part of town can be exempt from 8-30g housing laws.
First Selectman Steve Dunn says the Renaissance development doesn't fit with the character of Brookfield and it doesn't fit with the plan of development for the Four Corners. As a resident since 1983, Dunn says he is well aware that the town has been working for decades on creating a town center. Three story buildings being proposed in the same area, with retail on the first floor, have been received more positively in town.
Dunn says they support affordable housing. He said this is strictly about the development not fitting with the aesthetics and plan of development. He called the 254 apartment proposal a monstrosity.
Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Andrew Ellis says the proposed development would put his members at risks they're not trained for.
Residents who can't make it to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Tuesday for the 1pm hearing can submit written testimony to the Housing Committee. The comments can be sent via the HSGtestimony@cga.ct.gov email address for the committee.