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Danbury opts-out of state 'granny pod' regulations

Danbury has decided to opt out of a new state regulation put in place this past October.  The law prohibits municipal zoning regulations from barring temporary health care structures, unless the city or town opts out.  The structures, no larger than 500 square feet, must be on property owned by the relative, legal guardian or health agent responsible for the unpaid care of a physically or mentally impaired person.


Danbury Planning Director Sharon Calitro says some people have called the temporary structures "granny pods," but the separate tiny houses aren't just for elderly people.  The person has to be certified by a physician as needing help by two or more activities of daily living, specified in the act.


Calitro says 24 other municipalities have also opted out of provision including an An Act Concerning Temporary Health Care Structures. 


The opt-out provision requires both the Zoning Commission and the City Council to agree to bar such structures.  The Zoning Commission took action the month the state measure became law.  Zoners found that over 13,000 parcels would be affected by the provisions and that enforcement would be problematic.  The Commission determined that by opting-out, it would not be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of residents.


The City Council voted unanimously at their December meeting to opt-out of the state law's requirements.

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