Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 347

    February Session, 2018

House Bill No. 5045

House of Representatives, April 10, 2018

The Committee on Planning and Development reported through REP. LEMAR of the 96th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT ESTABLISHING ACCOUNTABILITY FOR FAIR AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING THROUGH ZONING REGULATIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 8-2 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) (1) The zoning commission of each city, town or borough is authorized to regulate, within the limits of such municipality: [,] (A) [the] The height, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures; (B) the percentage of the area of the lot that may be occupied; (C) the size of yards, courts and other open spaces; (D) the density of population and the location and use of buildings, structures and land for trade, industry, residence or other purposes, including water-dependent uses, as defined in section 22a-93; [,] and (E) the height, size and location of advertising signs and billboards. [Such bulk regulations may allow for cluster development, as defined in section 8-18.]

(2) Such zoning commission may divide the municipality into districts of such number, shape and area as may be best suited to carry out the purposes of this chapter; and, within such districts, it may regulate the erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration or use of buildings or structures and the use of land. All [such] zoning regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of buildings, structures or use of land throughout each district, but the regulations in one district may differ from those in another district. [, and]

(3) Zoning regulations may provide that certain classes or kinds of buildings, structures or uses of land are permitted only after obtaining a special permit or special exception from a zoning commission, planning commission, combined planning and zoning commission or zoning board of appeals, whichever commission or board the regulations may, notwithstanding any special act to the contrary, designate, subject to standards set forth in the regulations and to conditions necessary to protect the public health, safety, convenience and property values. [Such]

(b) Zoning regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall: [be]

(1) Be made in accordance with a comprehensive plan and in [adopting such regulations the commission shall consider] consideration of the plan of conservation and development [prepared] adopted under section 8-23; [. Such regulations shall be]

(2) Be designed to (A) lessen congestion in the streets; [to] (B) secure safety from fire, panic, flood and other dangers; [to] (C) promote health and the general welfare; [to] (D) provide adequate light and air; [to] (E) prevent the overcrowding of land; [to] (F) avoid undue concentration of population; [and to] (G) facilitate the adequate provision for transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements; [. Such regulations shall be] and (H) affirmatively further fair housing;

(3) Be made with reasonable consideration as to [the character of the district and its peculiar] a district's suitability for particular uses and with a view to conserving the value of buildings and encouraging the most appropriate use of land throughout [such] a municipality; [. Such regulations may, to the extent consistent with soil types, terrain, infrastructure capacity and the plan of conservation and development for the community, provide for cluster development, as defined in section 8-18, in residential zones. Such regulations shall also encourage]

(4) Provide for the development of housing opportunities, including opportunities for multifamily dwellings, consistent with soil types, terrain and infrastructure capacity, for all residents of the municipality and the planning region in which the municipality is located, as designated by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management under section 16a-4a; [. Such regulations shall also promote]

(5) Promote housing choice and economic diversity in housing, including housing for both low and moderate income households; [, and shall encourage]

(6) Provide for the development of housing which will meet the housing needs identified in the state's consolidated plan for housing and community development prepared pursuant to section 8-37t and in the housing component and the other components of the state plan of conservation and development prepared pursuant to section 16a-26; [. Zoning regulations shall be]

(7) Be made with reasonable consideration for their impact on agriculture, as defined in subsection (q) of section 1-1; [.]

(8) Provide that proper provision be made for soil erosion and sediment control pursuant to section 22a-329;

(9) Be made with reasonable consideration for the protection of existing and potential public surface and ground drinking water supplies; and

(10) In any municipality that is contiguous to Long Island Sound, (A) be made with reasonable consideration for the restoration and protection of the ecosystem and habitat of Long Island Sound; (B) be designed to reduce hypoxia, pathogens, toxic contaminants and floatable debris in Long Island Sound; and (C) provide that the commission consider the environmental impact on Long Island Sound of any proposal for development.

(c) Zoning regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may: [be]

(1) To the extent consistent with soil types, terrain, and infrastructure capacity for the community, provide for cluster development, as defined in section 8-18;

(2) Be made with reasonable consideration for the protection of historic factors; [and shall be made with reasonable consideration for the protection of existing and potential public surface and ground drinking water supplies. On and after July 1, 1985, the regulations shall provide that proper provision be made for soil erosion and sediment control pursuant to section 22a-329. Such regulations may also encourage]

(3) Encourage energy-efficient patterns of development, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy, and energy conservation; [. The regulations may also provide]

(4) Provide for incentives for developers who use passive solar energy techniques, as defined in subsection (b) of section 8-25, in planning a residential subdivision development, [. The incentives may include, but not be] including, but not limited to, cluster development, higher density development and performance standards for roads, sidewalks and underground facilities in the subdivision; [. Such regulations may provide]

(5) Provide for a municipal system for the creation of development rights and the permanent transfer of such development rights, which may include a system for the variance of density limits in connection with any such transfer; [. Such regulations may also provide]

(6) Provide for notice requirements in addition to those required by this chapter; [. Such regulations may provide]

(7) Provide for conditions on operations to collect spring water or well water, as defined in section 21a-150, including the time, place and manner of such operations; [. No such regulations shall prohibit] and

(8) In any municipality where a traprock ridge, as defined in section 8-1aa, or an amphibolite ridge, as defined in section 8-1aa, is located, (A) provide for development restrictions in ridgeline setback areas, as defined in section 8-1aa; and (B) restrict quarrying and clear cutting, except that the following operations and uses shall be permitted in ridgeline setback areas, as of right: (i) Emergency work necessary to protect life and property; (ii) any nonconforming uses that were in existence and that were approved on or before the effective date of regulations adopted pursuant to this section; and (iii) selective timbering, grazing of domesticated animals and passive recreation.

(d) Zoning regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not:

(1) Prohibit the operation of any family child care home or group child care home in a residential zone; [. No such regulations shall prohibit]

(2) (A) Prohibit the use of receptacles for the storage of items designated for recycling in accordance with section 22a-241b or require that such receptacles comply with provisions for bulk or lot area, or similar provisions, except provisions for side yards, rear yards and front yards; [. No such regulations shall] or (B) unreasonably restrict access to or the size of such receptacles for businesses, given the nature of the business and the volume of items designated for recycling in accordance with section 22a-241b, that such business produces in its normal course of business, provided nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit such regulations from requiring the screening or buffering of such receptacles for aesthetic reasons; [. Such regulations shall not impose]

(3) Impose conditions and requirements on manufactured homes, including mobile manufactured homes, having as their narrowest dimension twenty-two feet or more and built in accordance with federal manufactured home construction and safety standards, or on lots containing such manufactured homes, [which] including mobile manufactured home parks, if those conditions and requirements are substantially different from conditions and requirements imposed on (A) single-family dwellings; [and] (B) lots containing single-family dwellings; [. Such regulations shall not impose conditions and requirements on developments to be occupied by manufactured homes having as their narrowest dimension twenty-two feet or more and built in accordance with federal manufactured home construction and safety standards which are substantially different from conditions and requirements imposed on] or (C) multifamily dwellings, lots containing multifamily dwellings, cluster developments or planned unit developments; [. Such regulations shall not prohibit]

(4) (A) Prohibit the continuance of any nonconforming use, building or structure existing at the time of the adoption of such regulations; [. Such regulations shall not] (B) provide for the termination of any nonconforming use solely as a result of nonuse for a specified period of time without regard to the intent of the property owner to maintain that use; [. Such regulations shall not] or (C) terminate or deem abandoned a nonconforming use, building or structure unless the property owner of such use, building or structure voluntarily discontinues such use, building or structure and such discontinuance is accompanied by an intent to not reestablish such use, building or structure. The demolition or deconstruction of a nonconforming use, building or structure shall not by itself be evidence of such property owner's intent to not reestablish such use, building or structure; [. Unless such town opts out, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (j) of section 8-1bb, such regulations shall not prohibit] and

(5) Prohibit the installation of temporary health care structures for use by mentally or physically impaired persons [in accordance with the provisions of section 8-1bb if such structures comply with the provisions of said section] pursuant to section 8-1bb, unless the municipality opts out pursuant to subsection (j) of section 8-1bb, as amended by this act.

(e) Any city, town or borough which adopts the provisions of this chapter may, by vote of its legislative body, exempt municipal property from the regulations prescribed by the zoning commission of such city, town or borough, [;] but unless it is so voted, municipal property shall be subject to such regulations.

[(b) In any municipality that is contiguous to Long Island Sound the regulations adopted under this section shall be made with reasonable consideration for restoration and protection of the ecosystem and habitat of Long Island Sound and shall be designed to reduce hypoxia, pathogens, toxic contaminants and floatable debris in Long Island Sound. Such regulations shall provide that the commission consider the environmental impact on Long Island Sound of any proposal for development.

(c) In any municipality where a traprock ridge, as defined in section 8-1aa, or an amphibolite ridge, as defined in section 8-1aa, is located the regulations may provide for development restrictions in ridgeline setback areas, as defined in said section. The regulations may restrict quarrying and clear cutting, except that the following operations and uses shall be permitted in ridgeline setback areas, as of right: (1) Emergency work necessary to protect life and property; (2) any nonconforming uses that were in existence and that were approved on or before the effective date of regulations adopted under this section; and (3) selective timbering, grazing of domesticated animals and passive recreation.]

(f) (1) On or before July 1, 2019, and at least once every five years thereafter, each municipality that adopts the provisions of this chapter pursuant to section 8-1 shall demonstrate, in a form and manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Housing, compliance with subdivisions (4) to (6), inclusive, of subsection (b) of this section. The commissioner shall notify the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management of the failure of any municipality to demonstrate compliance.

(2) A municipality that fails to demonstrate such compliance shall be ineligible for discretionary state funding until the commissioner notifies the secretary that the municipality has satisfied the requirements, unless such ineligibility is expressly waived by the secretary.

Sec. 2. Subsection (j) of section 8-1bb of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(j) A municipality, by vote of its legislative body or, in a municipality where the legislative body is a town meeting, by vote of the board of selectmen, may opt out of the provisions of this section and the provision of subdivision (5) of subsection [(a)] (d) of section 8-2, as amended by this act, regarding authorization for the installation of temporary health care structures, provided the zoning commission or combined planning and zoning commission of the municipality: (1) First holds a public hearing in accordance with the provisions of section 8-7d on such proposed opt-out, (2) affirmatively decides to opt out of the provisions of said sections within the period of time permitted under section 8-7d, (3) states upon its records the reasons for such decision, and (4) publishes notice of such decision in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality not later than fifteen days after such decision has been rendered.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2018

8-2

Sec. 2

July 1, 2018

8-1bb(j)

PD

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Various Municipalities

Revenue Loss

Potential Significant

Potential Significant

Explanation

The bill requires municipalities to demonstrate, or risk losing discretionary state funding, that their regulations comply with the bill's requirements concerning housing and zoning regulations.

There is a potentially significant revenue loss to municipalities that to not demonstrate that their regulations meet the bill's provisions. The revenue loss will vary based on the specific grant programs impacted. In FY 18, an estimated $4.4 billion in municipal aid was provided.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to municipal aid funding levels.

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5045

AN ACT ESTABLISHING ACCOUNTABILITY FOR FAIR AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING THROUGH ZONING REGULATIONS.

SUMMARY

This bill reorganizes the municipal zoning powers statute (CGS 8-2) and, for municipalities exercising zoning powers under this statute, it:

The bill also makes minor, technical, and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

MUNICIPAL COMPLIANCE

Beginning July 1, 2019, the bill requires municipalities that exercise zoning powers pursuant to the statutes to demonstrate to the housing commissioner at least once every five years, in a form and manner she prescribes, that their regulations:

The commissioner must notify the Office of Policy and Management secretary if a municipality does not demonstrate compliance. Such municipalities are deemed ineligible for discretionary state funding until (1) the housing commissioner notifies the secretary that they are in compliance or (2) the secretary expressly waives their ineligibility.

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

The bill requires zoning regulations to provide for, rather than encourage, the development of:

MANUFACTURED HOMES

The bill prohibits zoning regulations from imposing on manufactured homes, including mobile homes, built to federal standards and with a narrowest dimension of 22 feet or more, and associated lots and parks, conditions that are substantially different from those imposed on:

Under current law, (1) manufactured homes and lots cannot be treated substantially differently from single family dwellings and lots with single family dwellings and (2) manufactured home developments cannot be treated substantially differently from multifamily dwellings or lots with multifamily dwellings, cluster developments, or planned unit developments. Under the bill, manufactured home developments are no longer specifically addressed.

BACKGROUND

Related Federal Law

The federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) directs federal agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to administer their programs to “affirmatively further” the FHA's goals of promoting fair housing and equal opportunity (42 U.S.C. 3608).

In 2015, HUD released a final rule on affirmatively furthering fair housing applicable to HUD grantees. When it takes full effect in 2020, it will require grantees to (1) analyze local fair housing needs and set goals for meeting them and (2) report to HUD on such assessments.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

12

Nay

10

(03/26/2018)

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