Greenwich Legislators and First Selectman Announce Efforts to Protect Local Control of Zoning

February 8, 2022


Greenwich Legislators and First Selectman
Announce Efforts to Protect Local Control of Zoning

The Greenwich legislative delegation today announced efforts to reform 8-30g, protect local control over zoning, and advance affordable housing goals sustainably.

State Senator Ryan Fazio (36th District), State Rep. Kimberly Fiorello (149th District), State Rep. Stephen Meskers (150th District), and State Rep. Harry Arora (151st District) were joined by First Selectman Fred Camillo, Greenwich Communities Chairman Sam Romeo, and Greenwich Communities CEO Anthony Johnson to show support for constructing affordable housing in-scale and architecturally consistent with local neighborhoods.

In recent years, the state’s 8-30g housing and development regulations have become unworkable and burdensome on Greenwich and many other towns across Connecticut. Greenwich and towns like it are dynamic, vibrant, and diverse in large part because they have been effectively governed locally over many generations. Local control is a great tradition in our state and has served us well. But 8-30g overrides Greenwich’s local planning and zoning decisions and allows developers to build large and dense apartment buildings inconsistent with the town’s architecture, infrastructure, natural environment and more.

The local housing authority, Greenwich Communities, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and other community leaders are working hard to advance affordable housing goals in a sensible manner in Greenwich. In the last year, the town created a new Housing Trust for that reason and will continue to work creatively toward those goals. But the town is also demoralized by 8-30g which sets an unattainable goal of 10 percent “affordable housing,” by a byzantine and narrow definition, and then allows developers to ignore zoning laws and build large and dense developments with a 30 percent set-asides for so-called affordable units. But that means getting to 10 percent will require building 4,000 more housing units total in a town with just 22,000 households presently, overburdening the existing infrastructure, exacerbating flooding, and destroying green space in town. Now there are six large 8-30g applications before the town, totally inconsistent with its character and architectural style, including 60, 86, 110, and 192-unit buildings.

The legislators will introduce proposals this month to reform 8-30g. They also want the state and town to work together to support Greenwich Communities and other affordable housing initiatives that are in-scale, architecturally consistent, and have support from the community. At a ribbon-cutting for the new Armstrong Court development, Governor Ned Lamont complimented Greenwich’s commitment to affordable housing. The state should not have an adversarial relationship with the town and instead collaborate to protect quality of life, local control, and also create affordable housing.

Greenwich’s legislative delegation, first selectman, and community leaders are committed to protecting the community and look forward to working with people across the state to make zoning rules work for everyone.