The New Haven Register reports on last Tuesday’s Community Benefits Agreement Resolution vote, 30-0:

The board has passed a resolution encouraging developers, government entities and nonprofits to enter into community benefits agreements that would ‘guarantee living wage jobs, local hiring and training, direct benefits to schools, affordable housing, neighborhood preservation and community stabilization, park and recreation space, residential parking and responsible contracting.’…But there is a lingering concern among businesses that the resolution would discourage economic development, that it focuses on cutting the pie into more pieces instead of making the pie itself bigger. When it comes to negotiating agreements, one particular clause that causes angst says that the board and city will ‘take such efforts into account when considering projects for approval and presentation.’

[Healey] said community benefits agreements would create “a cultural change where we go about development by bringing in the neighborhoods early. We’re supporting the type of development that will improve quality of life in our neighborhoods.” Healey sponsored an amendment in response to concerns from Mayor John DeStefano Jr. The mayor pointed out that original language did not include voluntary payments in lieu of taxes, and the aldermen included PILOTs in the amended language…Perez and Healey said each neighborhood would select negotiating committees and public hearings and meetings would follow an inclusive, democratic process. “The idea is to eliminate the sort of backroom deals that used to happen and still happen between politicians, developers and community development corporations,” Healey said.


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