Commissioner Doesn’t Want “The Man” Enforcing Zoning Laws

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Some New Canaan (CT) lawmakers are concerned over possible changes to zoning laws at the state level. Planning and Zoning Commissioner Chairman John Goodwin unveiled a 5-page draft of zoning rules changes he intends to share with the state, reported the Fairfield Citizen

Another Commissioner, John Kriz, is concerned the new zoning laws would be similar to Connecticut Siting Council’s rulings on cell towers, which circumvented local zoning laws. Kritz cited a recent ruling regarding an 85-foot monopole, which he deemed “an example of one-size-fits-all, Hartford-driven decision. So, if you like the cell tower legislation, you may really, really like Hartford-driven statewide zoning rules.”

Goodwin said he wants the state to create model regulations that towns can use to improve their own rules. He recently shared the document – Alternate Zoning Proposals – with commissioners, soliciting feedback.

Kriz told the Fairfield Citizen that New Canaan has a “historic downtown…which we are very proud of, that we like to preserve.” He added that “central legislation” might not be sensitive to these types of concerns. 

Goodwin wants to reinforce to residents that the Planning and Zoning Commission is competent regarding this matter. He hopes that “municipalities can choose to adopt some or all of the model provisions as part of their zoning code. This will save municipalities from the costly process of paying consultants when they would like to update their own code.”

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