This morning’s post on a recent Town Hall meeting with state representatives carried a brief mention of a proposed bill. It would create an entity — the Connecticut Transit Corridor Development Authority — aimed at encouraging business development within a 1/2-mile radius of rail or bus transit stations.
State Representative Gail Lavielle responded quickly to “06880.” The bill, she says, would “make 8-30g” — Connecticut’s affordable housing mandate — “look like a picnic.”
Lavielle says the TCDA could “allow 11 state-level political appointees to do anything they wanted in the name of transit-oriented development (build affordable housing, expropriate people and businesses, build multi-story buildings, etc.)” — and do it within half a mile of the Saugatuck train station.
And, she notes, it could be done “without any approvals from Westporters or their elected officials at all.”
The bill has been flying under the radar, Lavielle says. She found out about it only because, as an Appropriations subcommittee member responsible for the Department of Transportation budget, she asked about a line item for it.
DOT knew nothing about it, she says. She had to get facts from the governor’s office.
Lavielle says that in Newington — site of a new busway — concerned citizens have started a Facebook page called “Our Town. Our Choice. No to HB 6851.”
And, she adds, “unlike with 8-30g, there is no appeals process. Not even a bad one.”
Saugatuck has been buzzing lately about plans for Phase III of its redevelopment.
Suddenly, there’s a bit more to buzz about.