Affordable Housing: Town Objects to Developer’s Motion; Committee Appointments Coming in Two Weeks

Saying affordable housing projects already submitted to Planning & Zoning wouldn’t be affected by the outcome of the case, lawyers representing the town last week objected to the developer’s attempt to be named as co-defendant in a lawsuit versus the state. The town in December sued the Connecticut Department of Housing, appealing the state’s decision last fall to deny the town’s application for a “moratorium,” or four years of relief from the state statute that facilitated the affordable housing applications. In June, the town sued again, objecting to a “declaratory ruling” from the state agency that bolstered its earlier denial. 

A state Superior Court judge in July dismissed the first complaint for reasons of “subject matter jurisdiction.” The second one is still active. Last month, attorneys representing developer Arnold Karp filed a motion for four property ownership entities—namely, 751 Weed Street LLC, W.E. Partners, LLC, 51 Main Street, LLC and Hill Street-72 LLC—to become co-defendants in active lawsuit. Under the state law known by its statute number, 8-30g, in towns where less than 10% of all housing stock qualifies as affordable (New Canaan is at 2.94%), developers who propose projects where a certain number of units are set aside to rent at affordable rates may appeal to the state after a local P&Z Commission denies their applications.