STAY INFORMED.

UPDATE -- March 31 5pm

A Modified Zoning Bill Passed Committee.

Now What?

Thank you for your activism on this critical issue. Nearly 2000 of us emailed committee chairs and members to oppose this legislation. As a result of our opposition, some of the most objectionable parts of the bill were removed in the modified version substituted 45 minutes before the meeting. The modified bill however passed 17-9. It is still a problematic bill which puts forth state control and is not good for our towns.

Here is a summary of what happened.

1. "by right" zoning of multi-family units around the town center and train stations was removed.

2. Towns will still be subject to several new restrictions and mandates including allowing mobile homes (tractor trailers) in all neighborhoods/lots, by right permitting of ADUs, onerous regulations on towns etc.

3.HERE is the vote, by member, with details about the district they represent. 

Next, the bill goes through screening to get scheduled for the house calendar. We need to now focus our opposition on those legislators who can convince leadership to not bring up SB 1024 this session.

As you may know, a number of bills which pass committee every year die in screening. We will continue our opposition until this bill is laid to rest. Please keep forwarding the petition to others who may not have signed it. Rep. Harry Arora intends to print out the petition with 5000+ names and take it in person to the leadership.

Sign the Petition

ACTION ALERT

Hartford is Deciding Wilton’s Independence Today.

Cut and paste the following email and send it to Hartford now:

SUBJECT LINE:

Please Oppose Bills SB1024, HB6107, HB6611, SB1066, SB961

BODY:

Respected Sen. Cassano, State Rep. McCarthy-Vahey, and Planning and Development Committee members,

I am aware the Planning & Development Committee will be voting on the Zoning Bills on Wednesday, March 31. I am asking the Planning and Development Committee to VOTE AGAINST SB 1024, HB 6107, HB6611, SB1066, SB961. The Planning & Development Committee should table deliberations until the General Assembly understands the full impacts of the legislation on all 169 cities and towns, provides for full disclosure to the public of the specific contents of the legislation, and holds district meetings explaining as such.

These bills would fundamentally change Connecticut’s zoning and land-use regulations and create a blanket, one-size, fits-all approach to zoning. Residents across the State believe the process has been flawed from the beginning and that the bills do not adequately consider the uniqueness of Connecticut’s 169 towns, cities, and hamlets. The 2021 General Assembly session is being held under the veil of remote sessions and during a pandemic, with very little public awareness. The session is devoid of adequate public input and it has denied Connecticut residents the legislative process that they deserve.

Please vote NO to all of the above listed bills.

EMAIL TO:

pdtestimony@cga.ct.gov, thomas.arnone@cga.ct.gov, Andre.Baker@cga.ct.gov, Christine.Conley@cga.ct.gov, Michael.DAgostino@cga.ct.gov, Tom.Delnicki@housegop.ct.gov, Doug.Dubitsky@housegop.ct.gov, kimberly.fiorello@housegop.ct.gov, christine.goupil@cga.ct.gov, Kenneth.Gucker@cga.ct.gov, Carol.Hall@housegop.ct.gov, Jack.Hennessy@cga.ct.gov, Roland.Lemar@cga.ct.gov, Cristin.McCarthyVahey@cga.ct.gov, David.Michel@cga.ct.gov, brian.smith@cga.ct.gov, donna.veach@cga.ct.gov, Michael.Winkler@cga.ct.gov, Tami.Zawistowski@housegop.ct.gov, joe.zullo@housegop.ct.gov, saud.anwar@cga.ct.gov, cassano@senatedems.ct.gov, dan.champagne@cga.ct.gov, John.Fonfara@cga.ct.gov, Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov, rick.lopes@cga.ct.gov, Norm.Needleman@cga.ct.gov

Click Here to Send a Pre-Formatted Email

Forced Zoning Changes.

Last week, the Democrat supermajority in Hartford turned away 70% of the citizens who had signed up to testify at the public hearing on multiple bills that threaten local control of zoning and the preservation of open space from overdevelopment.

Sara Bronin, wife of the Mayor of Hartford and head of the divisively named activist group DeSegregateCT, admitted that only supporters of the were allowed to testify. And Mayor Elicker of New Haven went so far as to slander opponents of forced zoning in Greenwich as racists. Our local Democrat representatives have not stepped up to defend us on the issue.

There is clearly more to this bill than housing. This is about forcing towns like Wilton to submit to progressive ideology.

But we have an opportunity to have our voices heard on a similar bill designed to punitively tax homeowners in towns without "affordable" housing . . . like Wilton.

On Monday, March 22, at 10AM, there is public hearing of the Planning & Development Committee on SB 1068-AN ACT CONCERNING PROPERTY TAXES AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

You can submit testimony at any time by e-mail: 

  • Send a brief email to pdtestimony@cga.ct.gov
  • Include “NO to Senate Bill 1068” in the subject line
  • Include your name and Wilton in the email

And here's what else you can do:

Sign a petition to support local zoning decisions

Statewide Property Tax.

Democrats in Hartford have proposed a bill that would add a statewide property tax on top our already heavy property tax burden. We Oppose It.

SB 171 proposes a tax on all properties valued over $430,000. Although it would hit nearly every residential and commercial property in Wilton, it is cleverly called a "Mansion Tax."

The town of Wilton only has one way to raise revenue: through property taxes. The state, on the other hand, has more than 300 revenue sources. A statewide property tax would encroach on Wilton's ability to fund our roads and schools.

Ironically, the American Rescue Plan just passed by Congress will send $2.7 billion to the state government in Hartford -- more than 10% of the annual state budget. Why do Hartford Democrats need more tax money in this of all years when so many are struggling to recover from the COVID recession?

We oppose any effort to impose a statewide property tax, and we hope you will too by signing the petition below.

We

Sign the Petition Opposing the Statewide Property Tax

High Density Housing Is Inappropriate at the Branchville and Wilton Train Stations

The Transportation Committee will be holding a public hearing on Monday, March 8 at 10:00 am via Zoom on HB-6570 - AN ACT CONCERNING TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT AND MUNICIPAL ZONING. The bill requires towns to allow “as-of-right” accessory apartments, multifamily dwellings or mixed-use buildings in 50% of the area within a 1/2 mile radius of a train station or bus rapid transit station. "As of Right" = no public hearing and limited local review.

Email testimony in pdf or word document to tratestimony@cga.ct.gov. Copy the committee chairs: 

House Chair - roland.lemar@cga.ct.gov;

Senate Chair - will.haskell@cga.ct.gov;

Please sign up to speak and submit testimony on this bill that will take away local control of zoning within a half-mile of rail stations. The hearing is this Monday, March 8 at 10 am before the Transportation Committee. Reach out to the chairs and ask them to vote NO on this terrible bill! Ask them to support local control of zoning.

Ask your legislators to live up to campaign promises to support local control.

All Republicans will be voting no.


Follow up

On Friday at 4pm the Transportation Committee, with Will Haskell as the Chair, Voted 21-14 to approve Joint Favorable Substitute Zoning Bill HB6570.

Section 1 remained the same and targets 5 unnamed STATE OWNED PARKING LOTS BY TRANSIT STATIONS that the state will likely target for multifamily development with at least 20% affordable housing as long as the current amount of train parking remains the same.

Section 2, which originally had AS OF RIGHT Multifamily Development near a transit station with no off-street parking, was removed entirely and replaced with an added requirement to a town's 5-year affordable housing plan and is related to Section 1 above. Any state-owned property and any TOWN OWNED PARCELS within the 1/2 mile Transit area must be disclosed as part of a town's 5 year affordable housing plan:

"(2) identify all parcels in the municipality that are owned by either the municipality or the state and located within a one-half mile radius of a passenger railroad station or bus rapid transit station, the size of any such parcel and any known environmental issues regarding any such parcel."

CONCERNS:

1) This sets in motion the potential for state mandated local development of multi-family housing on State Parking Lots or on town owned properties such as the Metro North train stations at Wilton and Branchville. This bill may attempt to set in motion a potential override of local decision making on siting of multi-family housing developments. Section 1 specifically stated "5" transit stations: Why not name the five specific transit stations and their towns?

2) This legislation requires the same number of commuter parking spaces to be provided for transit, with no mention of additional off-street parking required for the new units in the housing development itself. It does not account for the possible lack of availability of adequate on-street parking near the targeted state lots for multifamily and mixed-use development. Considering other TOD bills being proposed require no off street parking at all, the need for off-street parking for such development must be properly addressed as those living in suburbs will continue to need vehicles.

3) If it is state owned property, who collects the property tax on that development? IF it is the state, are the towns left to deal with the increased infrastructure costs while the state would get all the property tax revenues?

4) This bill seeks to identify and target state and town owned properties for multi-family development and can potentially be tied to other bills that would allow outside Housing Authorities to build a project in a municipality up to 15 miles away.

Here's how to submit testimony and testify via Zoom.

Click Here