February 20, 2018

Letters: House Bill 5128 and The Constitution

To The Editor:

On February 22, I attended the HB 5128 Hearing at the State Capitol. The Hearing was well attended. Additional Hearing(s) may be scheduled allowing for additional public comment.

The following are the most significant changes to the bill which would affect private property ownership along the shoreline.

House Bill 5128 – an act concerning certain revisions to the coastal zone management statutes would be amended to introduce 3 new and, for private property ownership in CT, devastating concepts to CT state law.

In Section 1 (a) (5)Re “shoreline armouring” (a European concept), this change would work to reduce the necessity of public expenditure and shoreline armouring to protect future development from such hazards as a sea level rise, coastal flooding and erosion patterns.

In Section 1 (b) (K) “strategic retreat” this change would encourage strategic retreat of property ownership over several decades for coastal lands that have a likelihood of being lost due to erosion and coastal lands that contain structures that are subject to repetitive damage.

In section 2 a new subdivision would be added relating to sea level rise.

In Section 3 several changes are made introducing for instance, an assessment, based on the topography of the site, of the impact that a sea level rise will have on the proposed use or structure over the use or structure’s projected life span.

As testified to by Senator Fasano at the 02/22 Environmental Committee hearing, the changes represent a substantive overreach by the Committee. In my opinion, these changes are based on unproven science such as “Global Warming.”

All 3 concepts have been developed and are being pushed by Agenda 21/ICLEI groups. They are promoting strategic retreat as being necessary since they cannot afford to buy these properties and need to have municipalities work to devalue the properties and, once devalued, buy them.

A program enlisting the State of CT, municipalities and private groups to push such an agenda would be, at its worst, in violation of an individual’s constitutional rights.

Sincerely,

Neil Nichols

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