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Connecticut Grown Communities and Affordable Housing

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Rapid housing development and an increasingly fragmented agricultural industry have left many communities uncertain about how to ensure the long-term viability of farming. New neighbor complaints about the sights, sounds and smells of agriculture are on the rise, and farm businesses are increasingly challenged by restrictive zoning, changing definitions of agriculture and misunderstandings about agricultural operations.

The Hartford County region—including the city of Hartford and its surrounding suburbs—is no exception. In the area, sprawling housing development has collided with the rich farmland soils that are characteristic of the Connecticut River Valley. Hartford County farms are best known for their quality tobacco leaf, turf and wholesale vegetables. The county also has popular fruit orchards and farm stands.

To address these issues, AFT and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities are collaborating on projects that will improve the capacity of local officials to support and sustain agriculture. The Connecticut Grown Communities Project, funded by The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, is convening a team of planning and agriculture experts who will develop a new guide for Connecticut municipalities interested in promoting farm-friendly local policies. The project also is developing a guide to conservation-based affordable housing strategies and looking at ways to promote comprehensive planning that considers preservation and rural character along with affordable housing needs.

For more information, contact AFT’s Jiff Martin at jmartin@farmland.org or (860) 683-4230.


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American Farmland Trust