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The 2017 Amendments to the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Act, General Statutes § 8-30g (Public Act 17-170)

October 19, 2017

Every year since 1990, when the Connecticut General Assembly first enacted the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Act, General Statutes § 8-30g, legislators have filed bills to repeal it, gut it, or substantially amend it.  While changes have been made – longer affordability periods, more units set aside for lower income households, procedures to give towns more control of the § 8-30g process, and a four-year moratorium from applications in towns where a substantial number of affordable units are built – in 27 years, the Act’s core provision has remained intact:  In towns where less than ten percent of the housing stock is financed by a government program or preserved as affordable by a deed restriction (currently 138 of 169 towns), when a permit applicant appeals a municipal planning and zoning commission’s denial to court, the burden of proof is on the commission to prove that the denial was based on a substantial public health and safety concern that “clearly outweighs” the town’s need for more lower cost housing.

In July 2017, the General Assembly, overriding Governor Malloy’s veto by one vote in the House and one vote in the Senate, amended § 8-30g’s moratorium system and tweaked several aspects of the Act.  This alert outlines the changes and implications for towns of the revised Act.

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