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Easton Rep. Fights for Zoning Rights in Hartford

WESTON, Conn. – Earlier this month, state Rep. John Shaban and Weston’s First Selectman Gayle Weinstein testified in front of the state Planning and Development Committee to voice their support for a proposed zoning bill facing legislators in Hartford.

The proposed bill, An Act Concerning Liability of Zoning Enforcement Officers , seeks to provide the same protections to zoning enforcement officers as provided to other municipal employees. Under current law, a zoning enforcement officer who issues a municipal zoning citation can be subject to civil suit and personal liability if a court finds that the citation was issued frivolously or without probable cause.

“We strongly believe that zoning enforcement officers should not be subject to an additional penalty that is not applied to building inspectors, sanitarians or wetland enforcement officers,” Weinstein said in her testimony to the committee.

The current law hurts the ability of a town to manage zoning, said Shaban, a Republican, and Weinstein, a Democrat. “Current law is unfair and counterproductive because the increased exposure to zoning enforcement officers has a chilling effect on ZEO’s activities and has prevented many municipalities from instituting needed citation ordinances” testified Shaban, who represents the 135th House District of Easton, Redding and Weston.

The next step for the bill is to get out of committee and to the floor for a vote. “I think we stand a good chance of getting this done,” said Shaban, “and I am pleased that we are able to work together to strengthen local control of zoning.”

To track the progress of SB 263 visit cga.ct.gov and enter 263 into the search bar at the top of the page.

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