Senator Fazio Votes to Pass State Grant for New Central Middle School


May 9, 2024


Senator Fazio Votes to Pass State Grant for New Central Middle School


HARTFORD, CT - Senator Ryan Fazio (R-Greenwich) celebrated securing an expedited state grant for rebuilding the new Central Middle School (CMS) in the legislative session's final hours. This expedited grant, reimbursing 20% of the town's construction costs, is a positive for the well-being of students and faculty at CMS. 

The need for expedited and higher funding was brought to the forefront when the school faced temporary closure in February 2022 due to structural concerns and, more recently, its evacuation during April's small earthquake. With the town spending significant money to rebuild the school, the state reimbursement needed to be expedited and increased.

Senator Fazio began, “Greenwich needed expedited and higher reimbursement for CMS, and I was happy to advocate for it and support it in the Senate. I appreciate the advocacy of my colleagues in the Greenwich delegation. The safety and wellbeing of our students and faculty at Central are paramount, and getting Central rebuilt and having state support for the town is vital.”

“I was glad to submit legislation at the beginning of the session for a special expedited state grant for Central Middle School and also advocated with legislative leaders to include it in school construction legislat

Elected Officials Celebrate Legislation Returning Some Local Control Over Zoning to Our Towns


May 8, 2024


Elected Officials Celebrate Legislation Returning Some Local Control Over Zoning to Our Towns


HARTFORD, CT Today, elected officials from both sides of the aisle celebrated the final passage of S.B. 333. This crucial piece of legislation signifies a rare and historic step toward returning governance of planning and zoning to our municipalities, ensuring that decisions are made as close to our local communities as possible.

Senator Ryan Fazio (R – Greenwich), who serves as a Ranking Member on the Planning & Development Committee and who authored the legislation, began, “For decades, the state has taken more and more powers away from our towns and cities to determine their destiny over zoning, development, and more. And last year, over 100 towns and cities infamously watched as more of their powers over zoning, development on public lands, public hearings, and more were unjustly stripped away without any form of public debate. S.B. 333 corrects some of those wrongs.” 

“This session was highlighted by successful attempts to remedy the relationship between the state and our municipalities, especially in regard to local issues of zoning and development. One of those positive steps was S.B. 333, which puts control back in the hands of local communities who best guide the decisions that impact their neighbors and families,” Rep. Tom O'Dea (R New Canaan) said.

The bill comes in response to last session's controversial "zoning rat" law, which barred towns and cities from making necessary amendments to their municipal charters. 

 “As a legislator, it is my first duty to serve the public, and last year’s removal of the public process on eminent domain was overly egregious,” said Rep. David Michel (D – Stamford). “I am proud that we unanimously voted in the House to repeal that legislative proposal, which was hidden in our implementer last year.” 

“While there are many powers that our local communities need and deserve returned by the state, I believe this is progress. I appreciate the bipartisan work of my colleagues working toward a compromise. Hopefully, this will be the first victory of many future ones for local control of planning and development in our towns. The government that governs closest to the people governs best. Let's keep working to make that value a reality again,” Senator Fazio said.

S.B. 333 now moves to Governor Lamont’s desk, where it awaits signature.

Senator Ryan Fazio Champions Local Control in Fighting S.B. 416


May 1, 2024


Senator Ryan Fazio Champions Local Control in Fighting S.B. 416


HARTFORD, CT – Today, Senator Ryan Fazio (R-Greenwich) led five hours of floor debate against S.B. 416 in the Senate and in defense of local control. The controversial bill, which proposed allowing the conversion of commercial buildings into residential developments “as of right” without local zoning oversight, was met with staunch opposition from Senator Fazio and several colleagues. 

“The principle that a government that governs closest to the people governs best is fundamental to our democracy,” said Senator Fazio. “Local communities must have the authority to shape their own destinies. When it comes to zoning and development, one size does not fit all. Each town and city in Connecticut is unique. S.B. 416 threatens to disregard the voices of local residents.”

Senator Fazio continued, “I will always support the right of Greenwich, Stamford, and New Canaan to govern themselves on housing issues and beyond. State control should not replace local control. The bill would give developers the right to convert any commercial property, even with environmental, health, and safety implications, into residential properties without any oversight by the towns. Our towns could not even require clean-up of gas stations, dry cleaners, or firing ranges before conversion.”

S.B. 416 represents a significant problem for municipalities across Connecticut, ensuring that local voices remain at the forefront of decisions affecting their communities. Hopefully, the opposition of Senator Fazio and Republicans will prevent Democrats from passing S.B. 416 fully into law on party lines.