AUTUMN VIEW, LLC, et al.
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION OF the TOWN OF EAST HAVEN
April 11, 2019
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Superior Court, Judicial District of Hartford, Land Use
Litigation Docket at Hartford, Marshall K. Berger, Jr., J.
J. Zullo, East Haven, for the appellant (defendant).
S. Hollister, Hartford, for the appellees (plaintiffs).
C. J., and Prescott and Moll, Js.
Conn.App. 20] "[T]he key purpose of [General Statutes] §
8-30g is to encourage and facilitate the much needed
development of affordable housing throughout the state."
West Hartford Interfaith Coalition, Inc. v. Town
Council, 228 Conn. 498, 511, 636 A.2d 1342 (1994).
Accordingly, in passing the affordable housing statute, the
legislature eliminated the deference traditionally given to
commission judgments for affordable housing applications. See
Quarry Knoll II Corp. v. Planning & Zoning
Commission, 256 Conn. 674, 716, 780 A.2d 1 (2001). This
case exemplifies the significance of this aspect of the
affordable housing statute enacted in 1989.
defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of
East Haven, appeals from the decision of the Superior Court,
sustaining the appeal of the plaintiffs, Autumn View, LLC
(Autumn View), Statewide Construction Corporation, and Vicki
Imperato. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court
improperly concluded that (1) the September 27, 2016
affordable housing application filed by the plaintiffs
pursuant to § 8-30g was not a new application, (2) the
September 27, [193 Conn.App. 21] 2016 application complied
with a remand order issued by the Superior Court, (3)
evidence regarding the failure to comply with town
regulations did not support the defendants denial of the
application, and (4) evidence of how the storm water drainage
aspects of the application posed significant dangers to human
health and safety did not support the defendants denial of
the application. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm
the judgment of the Superior Court.
record reveals the following facts and procedural history.
The plaintiffs are the owners of 17.09 acres of undeveloped
real property that includes frontage on Strong Street and
South Strong Street and abuts the New Haven Municipal Golf
Course. The property contains several abandoned structures
but is otherwise undeveloped and contains no wetlands.
to § 8-30g (b) (1), the plaintiffs submitted an affordable
housing application on December 20, 2012, that sought to
amend the East Haven zoning regulations to create a new
"mixed income housing" zone, to rezone the property
to the newly created zone and to approve a site plan to
construct 105 detached single-family homes in common interest
ownership with thirty-two homes deed restricted for forty
years. To comply with the requirement of § 8-30g (a) (6) that
at least thirty percent of the houses be price restricted,
the plan set aside thirty-two homes to be offered at a
reduced price. Sixteen homes were to be sold at sixty percent
of the median price in East Haven, and the other sixteen
would be sold at eighty percent of the median. Based on 2012
data, the reduced price homes would be offered at $155,175
and $222,084, respectively. The defendant held a public
hearing on the plaintiffs application on February 6 and 20,
2013. In response to concerns raised [193 Conn.App. 22]
during the hearings, the plaintiffs submitted revisions to
the application that included changes to the detention
basins, sidewalks and lighting plan. Despite these revisions,
the defendant denied the application at a hearing held on
March 6, 2013. The defendant also suggested that the
plaintiffs make a number of changes to the site plan and zone
change request in their application.
accordance with § 8-30g (h), the plaintiffs submitted
a modified application to the defendant on March 27, 2013.
The modified application responded to the [193 Conn.App. 23]
defendants reasons for denial of the
revised application and addressed the suggestions set forth
by the defendant.
29, 2013, the defendant held a public hearing on the modified
application. In preparation for this hearing, the defendant
retained an engineer, Geoffrey Jacobsen, to review,
criticize, and comment on the site plan submitted by the
plaintiffs as part of the modified application. He prepared a
report regarding the plaintiffs plan submitted with their
modified application, which was not made available to the
plaintiffs until the public hearing on May 29, 2013. As a
result, the plaintiffs were unable to review and respond to
Jacobsens criticisms. [193 ...