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Substitute House Bill No. 5594

Public Act No. 03-184

AN ACT CONCERNING MEMBERSHIP ON AND REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS TO PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSIONS, THE LOCATION OF AUTO DEALERS, REPAIRERS, JUNKYARDS AND GASOLINE STATIONS AND ADOPTION OF A REHABILITATION SUBCODE.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, prior to the submission of an application for use of property under chapters 124, 126, 440 and 541 of the general statutes or any other provision of the general statutes authorizing an authority, commission, department or agency of a municipality to issue a permit or approval for use of such property, such authority, commission, department or agency or authorized agent thereof may separately, jointly, or in any combination, conduct a preapplication review of a proposed project with the applicant at the applicant's request. Such preapplication review and any results or information obtained from it may not be appealed under any provision of the general statutes, and shall not be binding on the applicant or any authority, commission, department, agency or other official having jurisdiction to review the proposed project.

Sec. 2. Section 14-54 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

Any person who desires to obtain a license for dealing in or repairing motor vehicles shall first obtain and present to the commissioner a certificate of approval of the location for which such license is desired from the [selectmen or town manager of the town, the mayor of the city or the warden of the borough,] zoning commission, planning and zoning commission or other board or authority designated by local charter, regulation or ordinance of the town, city or borough wherein the business is located or is proposed to be located. [, except in any city or town having a zoning commission and a board of appeals, in which case such certificate shall be obtained from the board of appeals. ] In addition thereto, such certificate shall be approved by the chief of police where there is an organized police force or, where there is none, by the commander of the state police barracks situated nearest to such proposed location. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) a transfer of ownership to a spouse, child, brother, sister or parent of a licensee, (2) a transfer of ownership to or from a corporation in which a spouse, child, brother, sister or parent of a licensee has a controlling interest, or (3) a change in ownership involving the withdrawal of one or more partners from a partnership.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 14-67i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) No person, firm or corporation shall establish, operate or maintain a motor vehicle recycler's yard or motor vehicle recycler's business unless a certificate of approval of the location to be used therefor has been procured from the [selectmen of the town, the mayor of the city or the warden of the borough] zoning commission, planning and zoning commission or other board or authority designated by local charter, regulation or ordinance in the town, city or borough wherein such yard or business is located or is proposed to be located. [, except that, in any city or town having a zoning commission, such certificate shall be procured from the zoning commission, certifying that such location is suitable for the proposed use, consideration being given to the factors specified in section 14-67k, nor unless a license to establish or maintain such a yard or such a business has been obtained from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles as provided in section 14-67l. ]

Sec. 4. Section 14-321 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

Any person who desires to obtain a license for the sale of gasoline or any other product, under the provisions of section 14-319, shall first obtain and present to the commissioner a certificate of approval of the location for which such license is desired. The certificate of approval shall be obtained from the zoning commission, planning and zoning commission or local authority of the town, city or borough where the station or pump is located or is proposed to be located. A certificate of approval shall not be required in the case of the transfer of the last issued license from one person to another provided no more than one year has elapsed since the expiration of such license, or in the case of a renewal of a license by the holder of the license, or in the case of the addition or discontinuance of pumps. If adjoining physical properties are altered or changed, the applicant shall conform to the provisions of this section. The commissioner shall not issue any license under the provisions of section 14-319 for which a certificate of approval is a prerequisite unless the certificate is presented to him within three years after the date on which it was issued.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 14-58 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Each new car dealer, used car dealer or repairer before engaging in such business shall make a separate sworn application to the commissioner for a license to engage in such business in each place of business conducted by such dealer. The application shall include any information that may be required by the commissioner on blanks to be furnished by said commissioner. Each application shall be accompanied by a fee of one hundred forty dollars for each place of business conducted by the applicant, together with the fee for the type of license for which the applicant is making application, and such fee or fees shall not be subject to prorating and shall not be subject to refund. No such license shall be transferable. When such licensee adds buildings or adjacent land to such licensee's licensed place of business, the commissioner may require the licensee to furnish satisfactory evidence of compliance with the provisions of [sections] section 14-54, [and 14-55,] or with other applicable provisions of law, administered by the municipality wherein such business is located, concerning building or zoning requirements. When a change of officers of a corporation engaged in such business is made, a notice of the change shall be sent to the commissioner within a period of fifteen days from the date of the change. The commissioner may suspend the license of any corporation, after notice and hearing, when the newly appointed or elected officers cannot be considered as qualified to conduct the business as provided in section 14-51.

Sec. 6. Section 14-324 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

Any person aggrieved by the performance of any act provided for in sections 14-319 to [14-322] 14-321, inclusive, as amended by this act, by the local authority may take an appeal therefrom to the superior court for the judicial district within which such town or city is situated, or in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183, except venue for such appeal shall be in the judicial district of New Britain if the act was performed by the commissioner.

Sec. 7. Section 8-19 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

Any municipality may create by ordinance a planning commission, which shall consist of five members, who shall be electors of such municipality and whose terms of office and method of election or appointment shall be fixed in the ordinance. The ordinance may provide that members may be municipal employees if the municipality has adopted an ordinance authorizing such membership pursuant to the provisions of subparagraph (C) of subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of section 7-421. The chief executive officer of the municipality and the engineer thereof or commissioner of public works, if any, shall also be members of the commission, without voting privileges. The terms of office shall be so arranged that the terms of not more than three members shall expire in any one year. [Vacancies] Unless otherwise provided by charter, vacancies shall be filled by the commission for the unexpired portion of the term. Upon the adoption of this section by ordinance as herein provided, and the appointment or election of a commission thereunder, any planning commission in the municipality established under any previous act of the General Assembly shall cease to exist, and its books and records shall be turned over to the commission established under this section, provided all regulations promulgated by such planning commission prior to that time shall continue in full force and effect until modified, repealed or superseded in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The area of jurisdiction of a planning commission created by a town includes any city or borough therein without a legally constituted planning commission for all planning purposes except those specified in sections 8-24 and 8-29. Powers granted under said sections may be delegated by the legislative body of such city or borough to the planning commission of the town in which such city or borough is situated. Any city or borough in which a planning commission has been previously established may, by ordinance, designate the commission established under this section in the town in which such city or borough is situated to be the planning commission of such city or borough, and such commission shall supersede the planning commission previously established in such city or borough. The commission shall elect a chairman and a secretary from its members, shall adopt rules for the transaction of business and shall keep a public record of its activities. The planning commission of each municipality shall file an annual report with the legislative body thereof.

Sec. 8. Section 29-256 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) In order to make the State Building Code and the State Fire Safety Code more responsive to present economic conditions, to promote reduction in the cost of construction of homes and other buildings, thereby creating more jobs in the construction industry and promoting home ownership, as well as to enable the citizens of the state to realize the benefits of the latest technology in energy conservation in the design and construction of homes and other buildings, the State Building Inspector and Codes and Standards Committee, in conjunction with the Commissioner of Public Safety, shall thoroughly review and revise the State Building Code and the State Fire Safety Code, with an emphasis on performance rather than design specifications. In the course of such review, the State Building Inspector and the Codes and Standards Committee shall develop [separate Building Code standards for the rehabilitation of buildings] a rehabilitation subcode. The provisions of such subcode shall include, but not be limited to, the identification and standardization of economically feasible rehabilitation standards and modifications that ensure the public health, safety and welfare, and protect the environment. Such [separate standards] subcode shall be included in any revision of the State Building Code.

(b) Not later than January 1, 2005, the commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this section.

Sec. 9. Section 14-318 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

Terms used in this chapter shall be construed as follows, unless another construction is clearly apparent from the language or context in which the term is used or unless the construction is inconsistent with the manifest intention of the General Assembly:

(1) The following terms shall be construed as they are defined in section 14-1: "Fuels", "motor vehicle" and "person";

(2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Consumer Protection or any assistant to the Commissioner of Consumer Protection who is designated and authorized by, and who is acting for, the Commissioner of Consumer Protection;

(3) "Distributor" means any person, wherever resident or located, who imports fuels or causes fuels to be imported into this state, for sale or use; a person who produces, refines, manufactures or compounds fuels within this state; and a person who distributes gasoline by tank wagon in this state;

(4) "Local authority" means the selectmen or town manager of a town, the mayor of a city or the warden of a borough or other board or authority designated by local charter, regulation or ordinance, except in any town or city having a zoning commission and a board of appeals, [in which event] "local authority" means the board of appeals;

(5) "United States Government Motor Gasoline" means gasoline which is or may be prescribed by the federal specification board of the United States government for use as fuel for motor vehicle, motor boat and similar engines;

(6) "United States Aviation Gasoline, Domestic Grade" means that gasoline which is or may be prescribed by the federal specification board of the United States government for use as aviation fuel; and

(7) "Retail dealer" means any person operating a service station, filling station, store, garage or other place of business for the sale of motor fuel for delivery into the service tank or tanks of any vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine.

Sec. 10. (Effective October 1, 2003) Sections 14-55, 14-67k and 14-322 of the general statutes are repealed.

Approved June 26, 2003