We expect YOU to VOTE NO on DesegregateCT’s zoning legislation that are a gift to builders and doesn’t address affordability.
HB 5429 would allow by right housing developments of any density on most land within a ½ mile radius of train and bus rapid transit stations, with a 65-day approval clock. Land would not have to be zoned residential – this could take place on commercial and industrial land.
Essentially, this is a loss of local control over the land in the ½ mile around each station, which is often among the most valuable real estate in a municipality and a primary employment and retail center, and sets its rezoning to residential. There is no consideration in the bill of the centrality of commerce or jobs centers to TOD – yet without them, there is no TOD.
The bill does not address the density of individual housing developments but rather sets a “minimum overall average gross density” for all housing developments within non-excluded areas in the ½ mile radius. It appears that the by right provision would be mandatory until the “minimum overall average gross density” reaches 15 units per acre. Until then, municipalities would not be able to limit the density of any housing development – so high rises would have by-right approval.
The bill sets a minimum 10% affordable as part of the as-of-right development, but this set-aside will not appreciably get municipalities closer to the 10% threshold per §8-30g.
Inclusivity starts by engaging all stakeholders, including small towns and suburbs, and maintaining local control of zoning.