Two bills that would extend the time of expiration for certain land use building permits passed the Senate Wednesday afternoon.
Both bills passed unanimously on the Senate’s consent calendar.
One bill would extend the time home builders can use permits issued by municipal inland wetland commissions. Instead of being good for between three and five years, those permits would now be good for six to 11 years.
Another measure significantly extends the amount of time a residential builder can utilize permits issued by local planning and zoning commissions. Depending on the size of the project, those permits are typically good for between five and nine years. The bill would change that time frame to between nine and 14 years.
Sen. Steve Cassano, D-Manchester, who brought the measures to the floor from the Planning and Development Committee, said they would help create jobs in the ailing construction industry. The state’s construction industry has lost over 20,000 jobs since July of 2007, according to the Labor Department.
“Connecticut’s construction industry has been decimated by the recession, and new housing permits are nowhere near what they used to be even three or four years ago,” Cassano said in a prepared statement. “We’ve got to give the home building industry in Connecticut a chance to catch its breath and regroup.”
Cassano said the bills would give developers time to secure financing, which would put people back to work.
Chief Executive Officer of the Home Builder’s Association of Connecticut William H. Ethier said the bills will put builders in a good position as the construction industry begins to recover.
“We thank Steve and the [Planning and Development Committee] for recognizing how these bills will help. They give builders a sense of certainty that the legislature ‘gets it’,” he said in a prepared statement. “Now builders won’t have to go back and get reapproved. They know that when the market returns – and it will return – that they’ll be good to go.”
Fiscal notes attached to both measures predict they could result in a minimal loss of revenue to various municipalities and the Department of Environmental Protection.
Both bills will now move to the House of Representatives.