Enabling the creation of a greater diversity of housing options in Hebron is essential to ensuring equity and to building a more diverse community.
It will also:
• provide housing for essential employees (in areas such as emergency services, health care, education, government, and retail)
• help retain and attract businesses, which increases jobs and consumer spending in the local economy
• help seniors stay in a community they love as their housing needs change over their lives
• allow young adults – our children and grandchildren – who may be currently priced-out, to afford a home in Hebron
• Enable more people who want to be part of our beautiful, high opportunity community to afford to live here – creating a pathway to more diversity.
Goal 1A: Improve public awareness about housing choice and the need for more diverse housing options, including more affordable housing, in Hebron.
• Host three Community Conversations about housing (with funding from Hartford Foundation for Public Giving grant, Community Education about Housing)
• Convene and facilitate meetings with town leaders (including P&Z Commissioners, Economic Development Commission, Hebron Housing Authority, Board of Selectmen, Town officials), business leaders, realtors/developers
• Provide opportunities/training for members of the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) to learn about legislative mandates, the benefits of quality, village-style affordable housing, and how other communities are addressing housing needs, such as “Missing Middle” housing .
• Support statewide advocacy of more inclusive housing/zoning laws (through Desegregate CT, Open Communities Alliance, Partnership for Strong Communities)
Goal 1B: Identify institutional barriers to diverse and affordable housing in Hebron and work to eliminate those barriers and to adopt new policies that encourage housing choice.
• Identify needed changes to the Town’s Zoning Regulations relative to housing choice and work with the PZC to revamp the regulations, including:
o Minimum lot sizes, minimum dwelling unit floor areas, maximum building heights, and minimum parking space requirements
o The need for Special Permits for multifamily housing and mixed-use development in the Town Center
o Expansion of Planned Residential Development (PRD) Districts and the Mixed Use Overlay District and reduction of minimum land area required for PRDs.
• Promote policies to encourage more diverse housing options, including:
o Zoning mechanisms to encourage quality, village-style mixed-use, mixed-income, housing, such as the Form-Based Code
o Making Hebron Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) regulations less restrictive
• Provide input into the development of the town’s Affordable Housing Plan and updated Plan of Conservation and Development and ensure that these plans provide specific goals for affordable housing and outline needed changes to Zoning Regulations.
Goal 1C: Help facilitate the construction of workforce housing and affordable housing in Hebron.
• Reach out to developers regarding interest in affordable housing development in Hebron to better understand what would attract them to invest in our community.
• Advocate for state/federal funding for Town infrastructure needs (water/sewer) in order to enable development of more diverse housing options in town. Explore ways to work with the Water Pollution Control Authority to expand/enhance the town’s infrastructure.
• Advocate for the streamlining of the zoning application process to reduce barriers for developers and to improve the marketability of mixed-use development in the Town Center.
• Identify ways that the Hebron PZC, Housing Authority, Economic Development Commission, Historic Properties Commission, and the Board of Selectmen can incentivize the development of quality, affordable housing, such as through tax abatements or other economic incentives. The Town could also require developers to construct at least 10% of new dwelling units as affordable or workforce housing; or to make a Payment of Fee-in-Lieu of Constructing Affordable Housing Units into a new, town-managed housing trust fund.