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Letter: Candidate Chris DeSanctis 'Gets It'

Fairfield resident Art Rotelli writes 'Chris DeSanctis is exactly the representative my neighborhood needs.'

I recently sat down for coffee with 133rd District State Representative candidate, Chris DeSanctis, route: {:controller=>"users", :action=>"show", :id=>"chris-desanctis"} -->. Chris had reached out to me after reading a

JNG September 27, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Creeky, The problem has always been that polititcans are reactive and not proactive. When they write an "Affordable Housing" Regulation, they layer it in such a way that it would be impossible to get financing. Thus the State imposed this Statute. In all actuality, the enabling laws for Zoning rest with the State, who deputize home rule in the towns and cities. It is only when they abuse their authority, the State imposes its authority. If Towns would create mixed use, moderate density zones in strategic locations, these projects wouldn't need to find there way into other areas. For example: A developer tries to get a five lot subdivision approved, meets with ridiculous opposition and political grandstanding, it gets denied. They come back with a 40 unit multi-family housing project (with 30% affordable units) because it is the only way they can get an equitable return, with the force of law on their side. If reasonable projects were approved more easily, you wouldn't see the backlash you get.
Creeky September 27, 2012 at 04:51 PM
JNG, I generally agree. Regardless, part of zoning is maintaining a neighborhood's character, and a town's character. The beautiful thing about building regs is they create a market. If we all couldn't be confident that any given building is a relatively stable investment, won't burn down, fall down, fill up with water, wash away, et cetera. It was built to standards. If we didn't have code, every home purchase would be far too rife with risk. Zoning is like that too. If we didn't have residential zones, I might end up with a burlesque bar or 10,000 member kingdom of life church next door. The value of my home would plummet. Further, so would the enjoyment of my home. The fact that zoning regs make that highly unlikely frees me to invest, and frees an investor to loan me the money to buy--our risk of significant value change is mitigated. I'm using extreme examples but, I think you get the point I'm making. I think 8-30g favors the developer too much, and the neighboring homeowner to little. As far as the point on pols, again, I generally agree. But, I do think, right now, we're seeing a firmer resistance to 8-30g. I think it is because Fairfield is in real financial trouble, and adding more families (2.2 kids * $12k/yr education) in homes that generate far less than that in tax revenue is bad for us. And, really, that is what I hope I'm seeing because if taxes continue to increase unabated, we'll have to leave.
JNG September 27, 2012 at 05:10 PM
From the time this was approved almost 20 years ago, the same complaints from suburban communities has been heard. MUch of the people in the suburbs fled the cities and don't want any increased density to follow them. The point is, if communities had a fabric of rural, suburban, cluster, compact single family detached and multi-family choices, ALL properly located, things would work. There is now an influx of young urban types into the chic areas of downtown New haven. These people work in town, frequesnt restaurants and museums and don't rely heavily on cars. There are denser areas in town that work with it. Smart growth relies on denser development near transportation nodes, and less dense development at the fringes. It is kind of how things were many years ago with people living downtown, working at shops and factories and farms along the fringes. The factories and their jobs moved away and suburbia followed.
Art Rotelli September 27, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I think we’ve seen that Towns have very little power to defend their residents even in cases where everyone agrees that a specific 8-30g application is a bad idea (like Homeland Street)…and the residents affected are even more powerless as they may be living a town with no appetite for a law suit in the event TPZ denies the application. Its hard to believe any rational person could think this is a good thing. Please read the petition to reform 8-30g and sign it if you see fit. Pass it on! https://www.change.org/petitions/democrat-leadership-in-the-connecticut-general-assembly-reform-8-30g-to-protect-communities-against-developer-exploitation-2?utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition
JNG September 27, 2012 at 06:42 PM
If you get a chance, read up on Euclid v Ambler Real Estate. This is where modern zoning got its foothold. It protected the fabric of neighborhoods by having orderly development with compatible uses and and building massing. It is a valid policing authority of a community. What 8-30g did, was create a conduit for development to protect against a long, abusive history of Exclusionary Zoning. Zoning based upon class, economics, and in some cases religion and race. When municipalities behave well in general, they don't have as many of these issues to defend. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclid_v._Ambler

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