First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said this week that state officials have led the town to believe it will receive four years of relief from a widely discussed affordable housing law. After saying in June that New Canaan did not qualify for a moratorium, Moynihan said in late July that the town had, in fact, filed its application for four years of relief from state statute 8-30g, kickstarting a 90-day statutory review period.
Under the statute, in towns where less than 10% of all housing stock qualifies as “affordable,” by the state’s definition, developers can skirt local planning decisions in projects that set aside a certain percentage of units at below-market rates. The town had qualified for one such moratorium in 2017, with the denser redevelopment of New Canaan Housing Authority-owned apartments Millport Avenue, and hoped to qualify for another through the redevelopment of the Canaan Parish complex at Lakeview Avenue and Route 123, which was partially completed last October.
During Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Moynihan said, “We expect to get our moratorium on November first. I think that that is the end of the 90-day period.”
“We’ve been told by—led to believe, I would say, by the Housing Department that we are going to get our moratorium,” Moynihan added at the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “If that does not occur then that will be ‘all bets off’ in terms of where we are.”
The comments came during a portion of the meeting set aside for general matters before the town.