Gov. Ned Lamont has signed into law a controversial bill that alters the stateâ€™s zoning code in an effort to create more fair and equitable housing.
HB 6107 carries the title â€œAn Act Concerning the Zoning Enabling Act, Accessory Apartments, Training for Certain Land Use Officials, Municipal Affordable Housing Plans and A Commission on Connecticutâ€™s Development and Future.â€
The law contains numerous reforms to Connecticutâ€™s zoning laws, including legalizing accessory dwelling units, reducing minimum parking mandates, developing a model form-based code, eliminating the term â€œcharacterâ€ from zoning codes, mandating training for land use commissioners, clarifying technical standards, and reorganizing the state zoning statute.
â€œOur coalition is thrilled that the first meaningful change to Connecticut zoning law in decades was signed into law, a year and a day after we first met,â€ said Sara Bronin, founder and lead organizer of DesegregateCT, a group of over 70 of the stateâ€™s nonprofits that pushed for the billâ€™s passage.
â€œWith gratitude toward the legislators who advanced this bill, we celebrate todayâ€™s progress and look forward to collaborating with many stakeholders to ensure more progress in the years ahead,â€ Bronin added.
According to AIA Connecticut Executive Director Gina Calabro, â€œMuch more than designing buildings or whole communities, architects have a greater task. Health, safety, and welfare are always at the forefront of the profession, so it is our moral obligation to design better homes and communities that people want to work, live and play. For AIA Connecticut, HB 6107 upholds these values, and our strategic objectives to support equity, inclusive growth, and healthy, sustainable environments.â€
â€œNow is the time to earnestly begin the hard work of land use reform â€“ and now our state will play an important role in addressing exclusionary land use policies and practices embedded in our zoning ordinances,â€ said Melissa Kaplan Macey, state vice president, state programs and Connecticut director, Regional Plan Association.
Christie Stewart, director of Fairfield Countyâ€™s Center for Housing Opportunity, said the legislation represents â€œan important step in ensuring that zoning decisions in our communities better reflect and uphold the values of inclusion and equity that so many Fairfield County and Connecticut residents stand behind. Our communities can and should be both wonderful places to live and offer diverse housing choices affordable to all.â€
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