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Preserve Local Control of Land Use Decisions

Posted on March 12, 2021


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Dear Friends & Neighbors,

I’m writing to let you know about an important public hearing Monday in the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee, where there are several bills aimed at upending local control of land use decisions.

Among the bills is S.B. 1024, An Act Concerning Zoning Authority, Certain Design Guidelines, Qualifications of Certain Land Use Officials and Certain Sewage Disposal Systems.

The need for more diverse and affordable housing in Connecticut must be addressed – however, this bill does little to increase housing affordability and nothing to help those in greatest need of improved housing and better educational opportunities. Instead, it creates a “top down” approach to centralize zoning, development – and even building and street design – at the state level, disregarding needs specific to each community. If the goal is to help disadvantaged residents and improve economic mobility, this bill misses the mark.

The effect of this legislative push will, at minimum:

  • Eliminate local control over certain types of housing and allow certain types of development to take place, overriding local zoning authority and without a public hearing;
  • Create new and costly mandates to municipalities;
  • Affect the environment and drinking water statewide by ignoring the responsibilities of municipalities who host waterways and open space;
  • Impact traffic flow and parking demand;
  • Potentially increase residency at a rate outpacing the capacity of public services and schools;
  • Overburden public water and sewer infrastructure;
  • Require specific types and design of development in “Main Street” corridors and surrounding bus and rail transit stations.

Watch a recent legislative forum on the topic here.

When it comes to development, local residents – not the state – know what works best for our communities. I hope you’ll speak out to help block more state interference in local affairs and preserve the “home rule” structure that makes each of our municipalities so unique.

TAKE ACTION!

Planning & Development Committee Public Hearing

Monday, March 15, 10 a.m.

[ View agenda ]

Testify virtually (via Zoom)

Registration deadline: Sunday, March 14, @ 3 p.m.

Register Here

Testify via email:

Send testimony to pdtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Include S.B. 1024 in the subject line

Preferably Word or PDF format; please include your name

Copy me on your testimony at tami.zawistowski@housegop.ct.gov

Testify by phone:

To register, call 203-350-3769 to leave your contact information.

You can watch Monday’s hearing here.

Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related bill number.  The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the Agenda.  The first hour of the hearing is reserved for elected municipal and state officials.  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.  As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and indexed by internet search engines.