Make Your Voice Heard!
Planning and Development Committee Hearing
Friday, February 21, 2020 at 11:00am
Room 2A, Legislative Office Building
The Planning and Development Committee will hold a public hearing on Friday, February 21, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 2A of the Legislative Office Building.
Ask the Planning and Development Committee to support H.B. 5132 An Act Concerning the Reorganization of the Zoning Enabling Act and the Promotion of Municipal Compliance.
The proposed changes provide needed clarity to the state’s Zoning Enabling Act, Connecticut General Statutes § 8-2, and align the statute with the state’s policy goal of encouraging municipalities to plan for multifamily housing and housing affordable to low- and moderate-income families.
How to Testify
Sign-up for the hearing will be held from 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. in Room 2100 of the LOB. Submit 2 copies of written testimony to the Committee staff between 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M in Room 2100 of the the LOB. Written testimony can also be submitted in Word or PDF format to PDtestimony@cga.ct.gov. The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the Agenda. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony. The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information.
If you have any questions, please contact Sean Ghio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
House Bill 5132:
- Reorganizes and Makes Technical Changes to the Zoning Enabling Act to Provide Necessary Clarity: CGS § 8-2 delegates land use authority to municipalities. The statute was enacted in 1959 and has been amended over 30 times since its passing. The result is a law that is confusing and difficult to interpret. The proposed changes would reorganize the statute to provide necessary clarity, making it more easily readable for land use commissions and the public.
- Requires Municipalities Comply with Existing Law’s Affordable Housing Plan Requirement and Requires the Convening of a Workgroup to Develop Recommendations for Affordable Housing Plans: CGS § 8-30j requires that each municipality adopt an affordable housing plan at least once every five years. The plan must specify how the municipality intends to increase the supply of affordable housing in the municipality. As it stands, there are not guidelines for municipal compliance. H.B. 5132 would convene a working group of housing and municipal governing experts to study municipal zoning and affordable housing planning requirements related to housing choice, and provide recommendations concerning guidelines for municipal compliance.
- Requires Municipalities to Affirmatively Further the Purposes of the Federal Fair Housing Act: The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, familial status and disability. Connecticut is one of the most racially and economically segregated states in the country. Exclusionary zoning practices have fostered this segregation for decades, hurting our residents and communities.
- Requires Municipalities to Provide for the Development of Varied Housing Types, and to Promote Housing Choice and Economic Diversity in Housing: H.B. 5132 requires zoning regulations to provide for, rather than encourage, a variety of housing development opportunities to meet local and regional needs. This includes opportunities for multifamily dwellings – the most likely means to grow the supply of affordable housing in Connecticut. To have the greatest impact on the supply of affordable homes in communities across our state, municipalities must permit the construction of multifamily housing.
- Eliminates a Requirement that Regulations be Made with Reasonable Consideration as to the “Character” of a District: “Character of the community” should no longer be considered in land use decisions as the term is undefined in CGS § 8-2 and often used as the basis of discriminatory zoning decisions. Considerations of historic preservation, environmental impact, scale, location, and use (things that may represent the character of a community) are already treated in other sections of § 8-2.
You can view the HOMEConnecticut Legislative Agenda here.