Fairfield County residents voice opposing views over affordable housing project
Supporters and opponents of an affordable housing development in Fairfield County's richest communities are voicing opposing views on the topic, as it will soon go before the state Legislature.
News 12's Frank Recchia spoke to people in Easton and New Canaan about the affordable housing project.
"At the same time, we recognize the absolute need for more diversity based on income, age, sex, religion, race. We need to make our community whole," said Ray Martin, Easton Affordable Housing Committee chairman.
Part of that process, they say, is building affordable housing in a community that has very little. They're pushing for the town to allow community sceptic systems, which they say would pave the way for higher-density development. They say they want cottage-style affordable housing that reflects the community's rustic character.
"I think it's time that Easton stepped up, did its fair share and allowed through its planning and zoning regulations and it's conservation regulations new guidelines that would promote affordable housing, not preclude it," said longtime Easton resident Harold Rosnick.
In the meantime, New Canaan does have some affordable housing, but First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and State Sen. Ryan Fazio are making the opposite push.
They both say 8-30g, a state statute requiring municipalities to meet certain affordable housings goals, needs to be reformed.
They oppose plans for a 102-unit affordable housing development in the downtown neighborhood.
"We've done a great job over the past 10, 15 years building affordable housing and we want to continue to do that, but 8-30g is a sledgehammer trying to solve a problem," said First Selectman Moynihan.
"As is, 8-30g runs totally roughshod over any local say-so, any local planning and zoning rules and is demoralizing communities," said Sen. Fazio.
They address that they're not against affordable housing per say and approve of some existing units.
One thing is for certain: there are two different viewpoints on the same topic, and during this election season the debate promises only to get hotter.