To the Editor:
The CT House will soon hold a vote on an omnibus bill that is expected to combine components of the Fair Share bill, the Work-Life-Ride bill, and the Governor’s Municipal Development Authority bill. That means now is the time to contact our state legislators, State Sen. Ceci Maher via email and State Rep. Keith Denning via email.
For a refresher on the impact to municipalities, please listen to WestCOG Executive Director Francis Pickering’s answer to a question about the bills at last week’s Housing Committee Panel Discussion. The answer begins at 1 hour 8 minutes, shown here:
As Francis notes, the CT proposals are more punitive for municipalities than the laws in New Jersey and Massachusetts on which they are based.
Below is a message received from the Connecticut Council of Small Towns, of which Wilton is a member.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Lynne A. Vanderslice
From the Connecticut Council of Small Towns
A vote on various measures aimed at addressing affordable housing and increasing housing production is expected in the House.
Separate bills pending before the legislature are expected to be combined into one bill which may include the following provisions:
- Rigid “fair share” housing mandates will subject municipalities to costly lawsuits for failure to develop fair share housing plans or create a “realistic opportunity” to meet the municipal fair share allocation. In New Jersey, Fair Share Housing mandates have subjected hundreds of municipalities to lawsuits, costing towns and taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Under Fair Share Housing Mandates, if a town fails to submit a plan to OPM or adhere to a prescribed compliance schedule, municipalities will be subject to a “default zoning scheme” which overrides local zoning to mandate as-of-right multi-family housing development.
- Provisions under consideration would shut municipalities out of funding for brownfields remediation, economic development, and other municipal grants unless they meet restrictive as-of-right housing density requirements within a half-mile of a transit or bus station.
- Requires municipalities to develop comprehensive plans to “affirmatively further fair housing” and demonstrate how the town will overcome patterns of segregation, promote equity in housing and community assets, foster inclusive communities without barriers, and specify how the municipality will meet these goals.