CT developer fights zoning change denial with 2 step approach

Developing land in Connecticut is not always an easy prospect, as one project highlights. In this project, a developer was looking to put an affordable housing unit in an area zoned for single-family homes. In order to move forward, the developer would need to receive approval for a zoning change.

More information on the proposal: The developer’s proposed project includes a 504-unit affordable housing development on a parcel of land currently zoned for 50 single-family home plots over 50 one-acre lots.

Authorities respond to the request: The Planning and Zoning Commission rejected the request, but the developer did not back down.

Developer responds with 2 step approach: The first step the developer took to fight back was to file an appeal to the Planning and Zoning Commission’s rejection. A zone change request generally requires a majority vote of all commissioners to receive approval. In some situations, the developer can move forward with an appeal if the Planning and Zoning Commission denies the request to the zoning board of appeals (ZBA).

The developer has also filed a lawsuit against the town. The developer argues the denial was unlawful and failed to prove the reason for the denial with sufficient evidence. The developer states the Planning and Zoning Commission was presented with data to show the need for the affordable housing unit as well as evidence the current public water and sewer lines as well as the surrounding roadway systems were of a sufficient capacity to service the proposed development.

Current standing: At this time, the project’s future depends on the success of the attempts noted above. We will provide updates as they become available. The important takeaway for any developer looking to move forward with a project in Connecticut is the complex nature of the system. Developers can mitigate the risk of a holdup in their plan by seeking legal counsel to help put together a zone change request when in a similar situation.