All You Ever Wanted To Know About 8-30g

8-30g.

Many Westporters have heard of it. Not many know what it really says, means or does.

8-30g is the formal designation of a Connecticut statute — the Affordable Housing Law — mandating that 10% of a town’s housing stock be “affordable.” It compels local planning and zoning boards to justify any denial of an “affordable housing” application. It’s pretty powerful.

And — with Westport’s “affordable” housing stock right now designated as 2.75% — it’s the engine behind a couple of big development proposals. One — for 186 units — is on Hiawatha Lane. The other is on Post Road East, where 200 units are planned for the site of the Westport Inn.

A drawing of the proposed 200-unit apartment complex, planned for the current site of the Westport Inn on Post Road East near the Southport line.

A drawing of the proposed 200-unit apartment complex, planned for the current site of the Westport Inn on Post Road East near the Southport line.

If you want to know more about 8-30g — and you should — then get yourself to tomorrow’s RTM Planning and Zoning committee public informational meeting (Tuesday, January 20, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium).

Town attorney Ira Bloom, P&Z Department director Larry Bradley and State Representative Jonathan Steinberg will be there to answer questions.

Whether they’ll be able to allay concerns is another matter entirely.

28 responses to “All You Ever Wanted To Know About 8-30g

  1. The interesting thing is that ‘affordable’ is not all that it seems. I don’t know the proportion, but I believe it is just xx% below the median home or rent price in that town so if that is $700,000 in Westpory (just an example), ‘affordable’ might be 10% less or $630,000. Does anyone know the specific calculation for affordable?

  2. buell neidlinger

    that would be “statute”, no ?

  3. Having successfully challenged an 8-30g application, neighbors in our community rallied with money and an incredible amount of personal time and resources. The neighborhoods directly impacted, like Hiawatha Lane, have seasoned knowledgable individuals like Carolanne Curry leading the charge. I am not sure who is leading the neighborhood efforts for the Westport Inn proposal. That proposal is ridiculous in scale and needs to be fought aggressively by the both Town and neighbors. NeighbFind a great land use attorney, hire a great land use consultant…fire and life safety consultant ect… While, the currently seated P&Z truly understands the ramifications, do not solely rely on the town to be your “Knights in Shining Armor!” If we had allowed the former P&Z to figure it out…Gorham Avenue might have been a much different neighborhood! We were initially up against a local developer who both now live amongst us as neighbors. The Westport Inn developers are a group out of NYC who do not care how they impact our town…neighborhoods under siege need to collectively raise money and hire a great local land use attorney and prepare to become intervenor’s in the lawsuit if the application gets denied by the town and the developers sues. Be prepared for the long haul and don’t give up the fight. Why hasn’t 8-30g been modified or eliminated…Blame it on Hartford because they really only like the money Fairfield lines their coffers with!

  4. “Affordable Housing” and “Westport” = OXYMORON.
    Is affordable housing in Westport going to be for someone who only has an income of $100,000 a year, or someone who lives on Social Security?

  5. My really low income qualifies me for affordable housing, however, this is a builder’s legal scam since it is predicated on a percentage of the area’s median income, meaning I could NEVER afford to to rent or purchase in Westport.

    This was the same issue with the Baron’s South project, even the “affordable” units would have charged an astronomical monthly rental.

  6. If you are thinking of going to the meeting, you might want to read this article.

    http://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1161&context=lawreview

  7. Thanks for the update, Dan.

  8. We have a crucial battle of profit driven developers , whose eagerness to seize upon the high rent dollars that Fairfield County Coastal municipalities can initially provide , while at the same time:
    destroying homes,
    depressing property values,
    eradicating the immeasurable factor of community conscientiousness, and finally ……..
    changing it all for the worse …… not the better for all who have worked so hard to live in this special town of Westport.

  9. Bart Shuldman

    While blaming developers in this case is probably accurate-is not the problem Hartford and the legislators? No laws are enacted by itself. And any law can be changed.

    It would be helpful to know if our state legislatures are ‘for’ or against ‘it’. Do they support ruining towns for some benefits that are hard to define? Does the law still make sense? Be glad to read what Steinberg and Boucher and others have to say.

  10. Westport is, and has always been, a transient town.
    Development such as this is a given.

  11. At least it still retains a greater percentage of it’s character. Neighborhoods in your neck of the woods like shaugnessy, kerrisdale, and even Kitsalano have been devastated due to no zoning regulations… pink stucco McMansions built out on the entire footprint now dot the landscape that once had beautiful craftsman style homes. You do live in a beautiful part of the world however, but not so sure why you continue to have interest in a place you often mock?

    • Change is inevitable.
      How does one dictate style? Impossible.
      How does one deal with dog poop? Ignore.

      Westport needs to accept change. Go to meetings if you are unhappy.
      (I’d be more concerned about a proper sewer system).

      I believe I’ve answered your question.

      p.s. I used to care. Today, not so much.

  12. Sorry to hear that you have given up! Vancouver accepted change and look at what happened to those beautiful neighborhoods…unless, of course, you love giant, pink, dryvit, stucco monstrosities with enough architecturally incompatible details capable of inducing vertigo. As for attending meetings or public hearings, as one of the drivers behind saving a Westport neighborhood from an 8-30g application, I have been to more than my share.

    • Change = Growth.
      How’s your economy?

      • Pretty good since you guys keep crossing the border to by clothing, milk and many other consumer items for a lot cheaper? Been to the Costco in Bellingham lately?

        • You’re funny. Anyone who would use gas money to buy anything in Bellingham for a dollar less is questionable.
          However, I would indeed drive to Seattle for the thrill of a Seahawks game.

          As far as your embellished description of Vancouver neighbourhoods, each one is different, not painted in a singular brush of conformity.
          It’s a big city, not a town. However, people stay. Why is that?

          p.s. Go Seahawks!

  13. Eric William Buchroeder 'SHS '70

    Dan should franchise his blog. Then we ex-pats with no skin in the game can waste our time on “issues” where we live. Westport has not always been like this but you have to go back far enough to remember. Then again, Westport was not always in the top tier of wealth that it is now. These days, money, like winning, is not everything, it’s the only thing. We moved away and I’m sure the current residents know better than we what they want to see the town become.

  14. Dan, thanks for the “heads up” to attend tonight’s meeting. I have to assume that our part of the world has decided in favor of affordable housing, because I don’t see enough evidence for the contrary view. Given that, it seems to me that every community in Connecticut is a little “fly”, each having charged itself to deal, in its own way, with the issue of affordable housing. The state government, in its infinite wisdom, has created a big sledgehammer, 8-30g, to forcibly move affordable housing forward. Hitting a fly (or a bunch of flies) with a sledgehammer is not generally a good recipe for problem solving. My conclusion is that we should, and must, invest (or waste) whatever resources are necessary to escape the sledgehammer, while we continue to work in our own way on our own problems.