CT169Strong Rallies to Raise Awareness of Zoning Bills

Grassroots organization continues to spread word about the implications of the General Assembly’s attempt to override local zoning rights

Lexi Harrison, Neighbor
Posted Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 12:36 pm ET

Over 60 people descended on Ridgefield’s Ballard Park on Saturday to rally for local zoning, individual rights and against the dozen bills in front of the General Assembly which would drastically change land-use decision making in Connecticut.

State Representative Kimberly Fiorello (149), State Representative Tom O’Dea (125), former State Representative John Frey (111) and Ridgefield Selectman Bob Hebert spoke at the rally which was organized by CT169Strong.org, a grassroots movement which is fighting against the bills that would loosen building restrictions (septic, traffic, and parking) and can result in predatory overdevelopment in most towns throughout the State.

To access clips of the respective speakers, please go to:
Kimberly Fiorello: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZr3e4SfeOE
Tom O’Dea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhyAX8m29UM
John Frey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxaw-4F3xu8

“The allure of Connecticut is in the uniqueness and strength of our local communities and these bills attempt to urbanize our suburbs, and do not offer affordability for those who need it,” said CT169Strong. “The bills currently on the table are being pushed by developers, home builders and housing advocates, without consideration of their impacts on the infrastructure, environment and the unique physical building character of each of our towns. They also ignore the good faith efforts of our local communities who are already working hard to create diverse housing stock. There is no one-size-fits-all plan and there never can be in a State as unique as ours.”

CT169Strong.org, composed of residents from across Connecticut, are working to raise awareness about the implications of the bills including HB 6611, known as the “Fair Share” bill which mandates towns to build a “fair share” of affordable units, eliminates the need for aggrieved parties to have legal standing to sue towns for enforcement while towns pay for plaintiffs’ legal expense. The fair share allocation is likely double of towns 10% affordable housing goal under 8-30g, making the mandate completely unachievable (it would result in doubling or tripling the entire housing stock) for any town.
In addition, SB1024, known as the “DesegregateCT’ bill undercuts local inclusionary zoning policies that force developers to set aside affordable units when building market-rate units; eliminates P&Z public hearings on individual projects and requires towns to permit higher capacities of community septic systems to push greater density.

“Good intentions are not a valid excuse for enacting poor public policy. “The affordable housing crisis in Connecticut is due to the lack of good employment opportunities in our State and poor economic and business public policy,” added CT169Strong. “We urge our fellow residents to raise their voices against these flawed bills and to tell their legislators to vote no before it’s too late.”

For more information please go to CT169Strong.org and to get involved, click on the ‘Take Action’ tab on their website.

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