The costume is familiar. Sometimes we call it a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A better term would a power-hungry democrat dressed in racial compassion. Why don’t they just say it out loud? Local control is racist. Every city and town board concerned with zoning regulations is a collection of closet racists hell bent on either keeping poor black folk in the worst parts of town, or out of the town altogether, OR, if they must, genuflect to minimal measures of “affordable” housing.
But no, DesegregateCT is just a worse version of phony racial compassion that seeks to completely destroy local control. One of the more notable quotes from the Vietnam war was from an officer at the battle of Hue where he said of the city, “We had to destroy it to save it.” DesegregateCT is deaf to the fact they are saying the same thing. DesegregateCT’s enemy is all the zoning and regulation boards in all the towns and cities in Connecticut. They must be destroyed. Make obsolete and useless all these zoning boards, then and only then will Connecticut achieve truly racial and economic harmony.
The founder, Sara Bronin, simply argues that lowering housing costs increases access for low income people. She believes the only way to do it is to increase HOUSING DENSITY. That’s it. That’s her secret to success. The problem? All the local zoning boards stand in her way. So, get rid of them. Unfortunately for her, this is a far more complex issue riddled with unintended consequences. Moreover, her website, www.desegregatect.org, is a marvelous collection of misguided thinking and faulty analysis.
A recent article in the Greenwich Free Press weighed in on the concerns of people in Greenwich. As the First Selectman Fred Camillo noted, S.B. 1024 puts every town and city “under assault”. More than that though is the mindset of the likes of Sara Bronin. Put simply, they haven’t thought this through. For openers, below is an analysis of S.B. 1024 put together by state representative Kimberly Fiorello. It highlists the worst parts of the proposed bill. There will be follow up as we continue our research on this important topic.
An Analysis of S.B. 1024
S.B. 1024 – an act concerning zoning authority, certain design guidelines, qualifications of certain land use officials and certain sewage disposal systems
Line 21-26 specify that “as of right” privileges mean no more public hearings.
Lines 31 – “cottage cluster” means 4 detached housing units per 1 acre.
Sect 2 places limits on fees for developers, at cost of towns. This makes it easier for developers, a wish list item for developers.
Lines 147-154 say zoning rules will be made to “combat discrimination and take other meaningful actions that overcome patterns of segregation…”
Lines 155-163 take out the word “character” and replaces with “physical site characteristics and architectural context” and removes requirement that zoning be consistent with “infrastructure capacity”.
Lines 210-218 mandate incentives for developers to use solar and other renewable forms of energy in their high density developments
Lines 230-235 require the usage “vehicle miles traveled” instead of traffic calculations and requires strategies to reduce-parking and increase bike paths, bike racks, and bus shelters.
Line 245 says zoning cannot prohibit family child care home business in a residential zone (identical language as HB6612)
Lines 316-318 Limitations on parking requirements. Multi-unit buildings with no parking mfeans more on-street parking.
Lines 319-326 cannot use the word “character” to deny development application
Sect 5 all about ADUs (identical language as HB6612)
Sect 6 as of Oct 1, 2021, all as-of-right development will have NO MINIMUM PARKING requirement. Transit-oriented developed ½ mile radius of transit station and commercial corridor development ¼ radius of main street. Applies to towns population 7,500.
Lines 473-477 say developments of 10 units or more shall have 10% affordable housing to qualify under 8-30g.
Sect 7 re: 8-30g adds some accessory apartments to be counted as affordable
Sect 8 creates a state level “working group” with 11 specially-designated “experts” to come up with forms-based zoning for the state. The regional councils of government (COGS) will implement education and training program so every town abides by new forms-based zoning. This will create new centralized menu for zoning rules to be forced on all towns.
Sect 9 is about annual training for zoning board members, 6 hours in the first year, 3 hours every year after that. By Feb 1, 2022, every town’s board members need to verify that they have gone through the training. Non-complaint board members will be “ineligible to vote on matters that come before such commission.” Disenfranchisement and loss of local voice!
Sect 11 increases the septic capacity per lot from 5,000 gallons of domestic sewage per day to 7,500 gallons per day, in order to accommodate multi-unit buildings per lot.