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751 Weed Street New Canaan


Background: As housing costs rise in Connecticut and development lags affordable housing has drawn more focus in recent years, not only at the state and national level, but also here at home in New Canaan.

Multigenerational and multicultural towns and cities are more vibrant. When there are more housing options or a variety of housing from which individuals and families can choose these towns and cities attract young professionals, young families, and are able to keep seniors who built their communities. When businesses are considering where to establish their business, they also consider if they are able to attract a workforce who will have access to housing nearby from the lowest paying position to the highest. New Canaan has small businesses, restaurants and Waveny, not all of these jobs are high paying, but staffing is critical for them to deliver their services.

Connecticut 50% of renters and 30% of homeowners are housing cost burdened, which means they pay more than 30% of their income on housing. 250,000 households pay more than 50% on housing. The need is greater as we know approximately 30% of our residents are housing cost burdened, which means that New Canaan residents are spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs.

It is a statute that assists and encourages towns to comply with their obligation under the Zoning Enabling Act State Statute 8-2 to “promote housing choice and economic diversity in housing. Enacted in 1990, the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Act allows developers whose application includes units with long term affordability for low- and moderate-income individuals and families to challenge the town’s decision to deny the application. At least 30% of the units must be deed restricted for people earning less than 80% or 60% of the State Median Income (SMI). The developments must restrict at least 30% of the units as for at least 40 years. The burden of proof is placed on the municipality/ local zoning commission by CGS 8-30g. The town must prove that the development significantly threatens public health and safety. Connecticut municipalities in which less than 10% of the housing stock is affordable must allow affordable or mixed-income housing proposals to be constructed unless they can prove to the Superior Court that the rejection is necessary to protect substantial public interests in health, safety or other similar matters.

Impact on property values is not a consideration of planning and/or planning and zoning commissions when reviewing any application. There is over a decade of data that states the impact on property values is not negative in fact in some cases has a positive effect.