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Substitute Senate Bill No. 691

Public Act No. 03-144

AN ACT CONCERNING NOTICE OF ZONING DECISIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (f) of section 8-3 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(f) No building permit or certificate of occupancy shall be issued for a building, use or structure subject to the zoning regulations of a municipality without certification in writing by the official charged with the enforcement of such regulations that such building, use or structure is in conformity with such regulations or is a valid nonconforming use under such regulations. Such official shall inform the applicant for any such certification that such applicant may provide notice of such certification by either (1) publication in a newspaper having substantial circulation in such municipality stating that the certification has been issued, or (2) any other method provided for by local ordinance. Any such notice shall contain (A) a description of the building, use or structure, (B) the location of the building, use or structure, (C) the identity of the applicant, and (D) a statement that an aggrieved person may appeal to the zoning board of appeals in accordance with the provisions of section 8-7, as amended by this act.

Sec. 2. Section 8-7 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

The concurring vote of four members of the zoning board of appeals shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement or decision of the official charged with the enforcement of the zoning regulations or to decide in favor of the applicant any matter upon which it is required to pass under any bylaw, ordinance, rule or regulation or to vary the application of the zoning bylaw, ordinance, rule or regulation. An appeal may be taken to the zoning board of appeals by any person aggrieved or by any officer, department, board or bureau of any municipality aggrieved and shall be taken within such time as is prescribed by a rule adopted by said board, or, if no such rule is adopted by the board, within thirty days, by filing with the zoning commission or the officer from whom the appeal has been taken and with said board a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof. Such appeal period shall commence for an aggrieved person at the earliest of the following: (1) Upon receipt of the order, requirement or decision from which such person may appeal, (2) upon the publication of a notice in accordance with subsection (f) of section 8-3, as amended by this act, or (3) upon actual or constructive notice of such order, requirement or decision. The officer from whom the appeal has been taken shall forthwith transmit to said board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. An appeal shall not stay any such order, requirement or decision which prohibits further construction or expansion of a use in violation of such zoning regulations except to such extent that the board grants a stay thereof. An appeal from any other order, requirement or decision shall stay all proceedings in the action appealed from unless the zoning commission or the officer from whom the appeal has been taken certifies to the zoning board of appeals after the notice of appeal has been filed that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case proceedings shall not be stayed, except by a restraining order which may be granted by a court of record on application, on notice to the zoning commission or the officer from whom the appeal has been taken and on due cause shown. Such board shall, within the period of time permitted under section 8-7d, hear such appeal and give due notice thereof to the parties. Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in such municipality at least twice at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than fifteen days, nor less than ten days, and the last not less than two days before such hearing. In addition to such notice, such board may, by regulation, provide for notice by mail to persons who are owners of land which is adjacent to the land which is the subject of the hearing. At such hearing any party may appear in person and may be represented by agent or by attorney. Such board may reverse or affirm wholly or partly or may modify any order, requirement or decision appealed from and shall make such order, requirement or decision as in its opinion should be made in the premises and shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal has been taken but only in accordance with the provisions of this section. Whenever a zoning board of appeals grants or denies any special exception or variance in the zoning regulations applicable to any property or sustains or reverses wholly or partly any order, requirement or decision appealed from, it shall state upon its records the reason for its decision and the zoning bylaw, ordinance or regulation which is varied in its application or to which an exception is granted and, when a variance is granted, describe specifically the exceptional difficulty or unusual hardship on which its decision is based. Notice of the decision of the board shall be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality and addressed by certified mail to any person who appeals to the board, by its secretary or clerk, under his signature in any written, printed, typewritten or stamped form, within fifteen days after such decision has been rendered. In any case in which such notice is not published within such fifteen-day period, the person who requested or applied for such special exception or variance or took such appeal may provide for the publication of such notice within ten days thereafter. Such exception or variance shall become effective upon the filing of a copy thereof [(1)] (A) in the office of the town, city or borough clerk, as the case may be, but, in the case of a district, in the offices of both the district clerk and the town clerk of the town in which such district is located, and [(2)] (B) in the land records of the town in which the affected premises are located, in accordance with the provisions of section 8-3d.

Approved June 26, 2003