Camillo: SB 1024 Would Weaken Local Control; Fail to Promote Affordable Housing

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Statement from Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo on proposed statewide zoning legislation

Local autonomy is a time-tested and cherished aspect of our beloved state. The Land of Steady Habits may be slow to change course in many areas, but in Greenwich, we have been marrying our wonderful past with a bright, bold future, one that includes opportunity for all.

The Town of Greenwich continues to work with our Planning & Zoning Commission, Greenwich Housing Authority and other community advocates and volunteers to increase affordable housing units and opportunities.

First Selectman Fred Camillo at Greenwich Town Hall on Nov 24 to
help with turkey give away to families in need. Photo: Leslie Yager

More than 25% of our population of 63,000 residents is non-white, with almost that same amount falling under the ALICE category ( asset limited, income constrained, and employed ).

This diversity, which is evident in our ethnic, socio-economic, and political makeup, is a source of great strength and pride for Greenwich residents.

Our Greenwich Housing Authority has spent more than $27 million over the past five years on affordable housing units and our Planning and Zoning Commission is bringing a public-private initiative to the Board of Selectmen in the next few weeks with a concept that is aimed at helping the Town achieve the 10% affordable housing mandate.

With that said, I cannot state in strong enough terms that one size fits all, Hartford-driven mandates that weaken local control of authority is both not needed and potentially very dangerous. Any legislative proposal that threatens the streetscape and architectural consistency of neighborhoods in every municipality in the State of Connecticut by taking away local decision making will devalue property, hurt tax revenues, clutter streets, and take away from the beauty of the local neighborhoods that we call home.

I stand in opposition of SB 1024 and all other legislative proposals that do not address social equity nor promote affordable housing. Those worthy goals are best accomplished through local authorities that are cognizant of its respective community needs and are able to achieve those goals in a community-based collaboration that is most effective for the diverse populations they serve.

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