New Canaan RTC Summary Statement on Zoning
One of the features that make New Canaan a desirable community is that it is a suburb with a small-town charm. Protecting our beautiful downtown from overdevelopment is important in keeping our town’s aesthetic and maintaining property values. The New Canaan RTC believes that proper management of land, resources, and finances at the local level keep taxes on residents and businesses low, while maintaining excellent public infrastructure and services, such as schools, senior facilities, parks and recreation, sewers, roads, and public safety departments. Local management of zoning regulations ensures decisions about land use and development are made at the local level by town leaders accountable to its residents rather than the governor, legislature, or bureaucrats in Hartford or Washington.
To these ends, the New Canaan RTC believes that the Planning and Zoning Department (“P&Z”) should:
► Maintain local control of zoning and be accountable to New Canaan residents alone;
► Be staffed with experienced and competent commissioners who may have planning, development, infrastructure of land use experience as long as they are free of real or reasonably perceived conflicts. Accomplished professionals from other fields and homeowners with experience in zoning matters are also potential candidates;
► Act transparently with regard to budget priorities, mission, and short and long-term goals;
► Manage development and growth according to the capacities and budgets;
► Encourage responsible growth and development in line with local inclusionary zoning; and
► Support development and land use plans that keep the character and aesthetics of the town.
Principles, Policies & Rational
Autonomy and Local Control
► “No” to ceding unreasonable control to out-of-town organizations and legislators.
► New Canaan zoning regulations should be accountable to New Canaan residents alone.
Appropriate and Responsible Growth
► Manage development and growth according to the capacities and budgets of local infrastructure and services.
► Encourage responsible growth and development in line with local inclusionary zoning regulations.
► Consider the character and aesthetics of the town when evaluating land use and development plans.
► Consider the impacts regulations will have on local traffic and parking.
► Ensure regulations are aligned with the capabilities of local emergency responders.
► Consider the impacts zoning regulations will have on sewer infrastructure, water supply, and pollution.
State senate zoning proposals are wrong in principle and a clear overreach by Hartford
► Democrat politicians wrongly believe that communities cannot be relied upon to “responsibly use local zoning and local practices” and that the state needs “take precedence over needs or wishes of individual towns.”
► Current proposals tax towns with “exclusionary zoning” or otherwise coerce them to give zoning power to the state by offering more state funding for education or school building. Control of New Canaan’s zoning is not for sale. New Canaan already pays heavily in state income taxes and sales taxes, all for the benefit of CT’s troubled cities.
Criticism of New Canaan’s current zoning practices are untrue and divisive
► New Canaan is open to all. Restrictive zoning is about economics and maintaining the small-town feel of our community, not race.
► Efforts to circumvent locally established zoning laws are another attempt to tax our residents in order to pay for Hartford’s tragic and chronic ineptitude.