Senator Hwang Opposes Anti-Local-Control Housing Legislation

May 3, 2024

May 1, 2024

Media Contact:
Joe Canino
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Senator Hwang Opposes Anti-Local-Control Housing Legislation

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HARTFORD – Today, Senate Democrats voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 416 allowing developers to bypass municipal zoning and convert commercial property into residential housing without a public hearing or a special permit from the local governing body. Senator Hwang spoke passionately about the negative impacts this legislation would have on communities, taking away residents’ voices and concerns about how their town’s commercial properties could be re-developed.

“When you take away the right of local zoning authorities to hold public hearings and use special permits, you have given a blank check to a developer who will convert a commercial property for residential use.” Senator Hwang remarked. “This is not compatible, consistent, or compliant with the needs of our communities.”

Senator Hwang noted the detrimental impact of the “as of right” language in this bill, granting the aforementioned conversion of commercial property to residential property if it “complies with local zoning regulations”. However, the bill prevents the town from holding a public hearing on the proposed conversion.

“The key word is no public hearing, no public input, no insight from local zoning authorities. This bill denies local input and gives carte blanche to an owner of a commercial property to develop that property.” Senator Hwang added.

The bill will now be passed onto the House of Representatives for a vote. If the bill is not called in the House by Wednesday, May 8th, it will be considered dead.