‘Are We Ready?’ Meeting the Demand for Housing Affordability in Fairfield County

The conversation on housing continues, not just with planning, zoning, and housing experts, but also with our local elected officials and change makers. On Tuesday, September 21st at 7pm, our First Selectmen Kevin Moynihan will be joined by Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, Ridgefield First Selectmen Rudy Marconi, Regional Plan Association data expert Ellis Calvin and policy expert Moses Gates for “Are We Ready? Meeting the Demand for Housing Affordability in Fairfield County.” Take part in the conversation by registering for this Zoom by heading to fccho.org/events and clicking “Fairfield County Talks Housing.”

We look forward to working with our sister Talks Housing series in Darien, Ridgefield, and Fairfield to better understand the issues and engage in the process of building our communities of tomorrow.

P&Z Chair: Those Advocating for State Affordable Housing Laws ‘Have Largely Ignored’ New Canaan’s Ongoing Efforts

The chair of New Canaan’s Planning & Zoning Commission said during the appointed body’s most recent meeting that he’s given testimony on proposed state legislation regarding affordable housing. The arguments behind “a number of bills” under consideration by the Connecticut General Assembly is “that historical and current zoning regulations have and continue to propagate exclusionary zoning in the state of Connecticut,” John Goodwin said during P&Z’s regular meeting, held March 30 via videoconference. “Meaning the argument is they keep housing costs high and then exclude lower income families from more affluent communities. One of the key bills is Bill 1024 some of the key provisions of that bill is 50% of the downtown area or 50% of an area within a half-mile of a transit station—that is, the New Canaan Train Station, in our case—would be subject to four or more unit housing as-of-right, meaning that if somebody came in and wanted to build a four-unit project there’s little that the Planning & Zoning Commission could do to control that development. In addition there would be no parking requirements for that development.

New Canaan Talks Housing

We are excited to invite our friends and neighbors to the debut of “New Canaan Talks Housing,” a series of community conversations focused on housing in our hometown. The first program in this series is Thursday, March 18th at 7pm and will feature Sara Bronin, leader and founder of Desegregate CT, for a talk on “Understanding the Components of Proposed Zoning Changes.” She will discuss Desegregate CT’s 2021 Platform, which includes:
• Accessory Dwelling Units
• Model Codes for Buildings and Streets
• Reduced Parking Mandates
• Commissioner Training
• Housing on Main Streets
• Transit Oriented Development
• 21st Century Technical Standards
This is a unique opportunity for New Canaan residents to hear directly from one of the key zoning experts behind these proposals, and understand their rationale and potential effect on New Canaan if legislation is passed. There will be time for Q&A with Sara Bronin at the end. We look forward to seeing you on March 18th!

Habitat CFC: Back to the Future

Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County’s 2020 Annual Benefit

Go back to the future with us! Dress in fancy 50’s, electric 80’s, or fun futuristic! Whichever era you choose, don’t forget your dancing shoes! Hop in the DeLorean! We’re throwing it back to pay it forward!

‘It’s Going To Be Hard’: New Canaan Faces Long Odds on Achieving Third Affordable Housing Moratorium, Officials Say

Though New Canaan this summer qualified for four years of relief from a state law that allows developers to skirt local planning decisions by designating a certain percentage of units in new projects as “affordable”—and could be positioned to achieve a second four-year “moratorium” under that law—it’s unclear now whether or how the town will be able to continue doing so. The major difficulty, according to the chairman of the New Canaan Housing Authority, is the high cost and scarcity of land in town that could take a fair-sized (say, 20-unit) affordable development. “Land of any sort of sizeable acreage that is on sewer and water, is certainly subject to an [affordable housing] ‘cramdown’ from a developer, and it’s also therefore valuable to them,” Scott Hobbs told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission during their regular meeting, held Aug. 29 at Town Hall. “And knowing that someday we will run out of moratorium time, so the odds that we could buy a piece of property like that, is going to be hard.