Shipman, Shaiken & Schwefel, LLC, attorney Larry Shipman participated in a panel discussion on “The Power of Zoning: Reshaping CT’s Affordable Housing Map” at The Annual Conference of the Connecticut Housing Coalition, on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016.
Larry is the chairman of the Essex Zoning Commission and his discussion focused on the current zoning situation in Essex. He spoke on the challenges of navigating two Section 8-30g affordable housing projects in Essex. A Section 8-30g project is a state-regulated affordable housing development brought by an applicant using the State statute designed to increase “affordable housing” inventories throughout the state and not the local zoning ordinance. Larry elaborated on the differences between these two Essex projects, one of which was contested and the other of which faced no opposition. The uncontested application was a federally funded expansion of an existing elderly and disabled housing development. The contested project was a privately funded for-profit apartment complex, in which the developer wishes to satisfy the minimal requirements for “affordable” housing units, known as set-a-side units, with the remainder of the units being available to renters at the market rates.
Larry discussed advancing projects which may be unpopular but that are ultimately beneficial to the town. Projects may be unpopular because, under Connecticut General Statute Section 8-30g, a developer has the ability to avoid local zoning requirements. In many situations, developers may avoid zoning requirements altogether in order to achieve a more profitable development. These zoning requirements can include building height, project location in a town, setbacks, and density requirements. Lastly, he spoke on the impact these two projects will have on Essex – a small community that does not have an infrastructure in place to handle large developments.
The Connecticut Housing Coalition works to expand housing opportunity and to increase the quantity and quality of affordable housing available to people with low and moderate incomes in Connecticut through advocacy, education and collaboration.
For more information on zoning, or other corporate or land use matters, please contact Larry Shipman at 860-606-1702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.