Town Hall needs to re-examine affordable housing statute

To the Editor:

The multi-point proposal put out by Fairfield Town Hall and its surrogate, the  Affordable Housing Committee, is almost a carbon copy of the housing plan adopted by Mayor Dan Malloy’s Stamford over a decade ago. This is just one more step by Town Hall to turn Fairfield into a big city so it can grown the local government and our tax bills.

Beyond that, there are many things wrong with the plan. For one, the analysis, incomplete as it is, does not support any of the components of the plan. This kind of nonsense is what happens when a plan is established first and then fancy prose is fabricated later by a committee and a consultant to support the plan. Setting up a false choice based on the promotion of fear is not an uncommon thing out of Fairfield Town Hall.

Fairfield Town Hall has not even begun to do a proper inventory of Fairfield’s affordable housing, which is currently available through both past government intervention and the current free market. Fairfield actually does quite well in the affordable housing area when all factors are considered.

Town Hall cited the much dreaded state statute 8-30g, as the core need for this plan. Town Hall claims 8-30g requires the town to place the wrong kind of housing in the wrong place around town.

An examination of Town Hall’s historic actions surrounding 8-30g and an examination of the 8-30g cases around the state over the last two decades shows that 8-30g need not be the “gorilla in the room” Town Hall continually allows it to be.

Fairfield Town Hall needs to review, form top to bottom, how it considers, evaluates, approves and defends land use decisions under 8-30g and the Connecticut general statutes in general.

Over the years, our state courts, including our Supreme Court, have set down much in the way of guidance in zoning matters. Fairfield Town Hall continually chooses to ignore the guidance of the courts. And, as a result, Fairfield only to be develop inappropriately because of this negligent failure to learn from the past.

This unwarranted plan stinks of politics. Our local town government should not be about playing up the governor’s office, but that is exactly what is going on with this proposal. The RTM, our elected town legislature, which serves without compensation, should send Fairfield Town Hall back to the drawing board on this one. Town Hall exists to serve the people of this town, not the governor.

 

Jim Brown

Fairfield

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