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Substitute House Bill No. 5290

Public Act No. 06-80

AN ACT CONCERNING NOTICE REQUIREMENTS FOR LAND USE APPLICATIONS.

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

Section 1. Section 8-7d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

(a) In all matters wherein a formal petition, application, request or appeal must be submitted to a zoning commission, planning and zoning commission or zoning board of appeals under this chapter, a planning commission under chapter 126 or an inland wetlands agency under chapter 440 and a hearing is required or otherwise held on such petition, application, request or appeal, such hearing shall commence within sixty-five days after receipt of such petition, application, request or appeal and shall be completed within thirty-five days after such hearing commences, unless a shorter period of time is required under this chapter, chapter 126 or chapter 440. Notice of the hearing shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in such municipality where the land that is the subject of the hearing is located at least twice, at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than fifteen days or less than ten days and the last not less than two days before the date set for the hearing. In addition to such notice, such commission, board or agency may, by regulation, provide for additional notice. Such regulations shall include provisions that the notice be mailed to persons who own [or occupy] land that is adjacent to the land that is the subject of the hearing or be provided by posting a sign on the land that is the subject of the hearing, or both. For purposes of such additional notice, (1) proof of mailing shall be evidenced by a certificate of mailing, and (2) the person who owns land shall be the owner indicated on the property tax map or on the last-completed grand list as of the date such notice is mailed. All applications and maps and documents relating thereto shall be open for public inspection. At such hearing, any person or persons may appear and be heard and may be represented by agent or by attorney. All decisions on such matters shall be rendered within sixty-five days after completion of such hearing, unless a shorter period of time is required under this chapter, chapter 126 or chapter 440. The petitioner or applicant may consent to one or more extensions of any period specified in this subsection, provided the total extension of all such periods shall not be for longer than sixty-five days, or may withdraw such petition, application, request or appeal.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, whenever the approval of a site plan is the only requirement to be met or remaining to be met under the zoning regulations for any building, use or structure, a decision on an application for approval of such site plan shall be rendered within sixty-five days after receipt of such site plan. Whenever a decision is to be made on an application for subdivision approval under chapter 126 on which no hearing is held, such decision shall be rendered within sixty-five days after receipt of such application. Whenever a decision is to be made on an inland wetlands and watercourses application under chapter 440 on which no hearing is held, such decision shall be rendered within sixty-five days after receipt of such application. The applicant may consent to one or more extensions of such period, provided the total period of any such extension or extensions shall not exceed sixty-five days or may withdraw such plan or application.

(c) For purposes of subsection (a) or (b) of this section and section 7-246a, the date of receipt of a petition, application, request or appeal shall be the day of the next regularly scheduled meeting of such commission, board or agency, immediately following the day of submission to such commission, board or agency or its agent of such petition, application, request or appeal or thirty-five days after such submission, whichever is sooner. If the commission, board or agency does not maintain an office with regular office hours, the office of the clerk of the municipality shall act as the agent of such commission, board or agency for the receipt of any petition, application, request or appeal.

(d) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to any action initiated by any zoning commission, planning commission or planning and zoning commission regarding adoption or change of any zoning regulation or boundary or any subdivision regulation.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, if an application involves an activity regulated pursuant to sections 22a-36 to 22a-45, inclusive, and the time for a decision by a zoning commission or planning and zoning commission established pursuant to this section would elapse prior to the thirty-fifth day after a decision by the inland wetlands agency, the time period for a decision shall be extended to thirty-five days after the decision of such agency. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to apply to any extension consented to by an applicant or petitioner.

(f) The zoning commission, planning commission, zoning and planning commission, zoning board of appeals or inland wetlands agency shall notify the clerk of any adjoining municipality of the pendency of any application, petition, appeal, request or plan concerning any project on any site in which: (1) Any portion of the property affected by a decision of such commission, board or agency is within five hundred feet of the boundary of the adjoining municipality; (2) a significant portion of the traffic to the completed project on the site will use streets within the adjoining municipality to enter or exit the site; (3) a significant portion of the sewer or water drainage from the project on the site will flow through and significantly impact the drainage or sewerage system within the adjoining municipality; or (4) water runoff from the improved site will impact streets or other municipal or private property within the adjoining municipality. Such notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall be mailed within seven days of the date of receipt of the application, petition, request or plan. Such adjoining municipality may, through a representative, appear and be heard at any hearing on any such application, petition, appeal, request or plan.

(g) (1) Any zoning commission, planning commission or planning and zoning commission initiating any action regarding adoption or change of any zoning regulation or boundary or any subdivision regulation or regarding the preparation or amendment of the plan of conservation and development shall provide notice of such action in accordance with this subsection in addition to any other notice required under any provision of the general statutes.

(2) A zoning commission, planning commission or planning and zoning commission shall establish a public notice registry of landowners, electors and nonprofit organizations qualified as a tax-exempt organizations under the provisions of Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended, requesting notice under this subsection. Each municipality shall notify residents of such registry and the process for registering for notice under this subsection. The zoning commission, planning commission or planning and zoning commission shall place on such registry the names and addresses of any such landowner, elector or organization upon written request of such landowner, elector or organization. A landowner, elector or organization may request such notice be sent by mail or by electronic mail. The name and address of a landowner, elector or organization who requests to be placed on the public notice registry shall remain on such registry for a period of three years after the establishment of such registry. Thereafter any land owner, elector or organization may request to be placed on such registry for additional periods of three years.

(3) Any notice under this subsection shall be mailed to all landowners, electors and organizations in the public notice registry not later than seven days prior to the commencement of the public hearing on such action, if feasible. Such notice may be mailed by electronic mail if the zoning commission, planning commission or planning and zoning commission or the municipality has an electronic mail service provider.

(4) No zoning commission, planning commission or planning and zoning commission shall be civilly liable to any landowner, elector or nonprofit organization requesting notice under this subsection with respect to any act done or omitted in good faith or through a bona fide error that occurred despite reasonable procedures maintained by the zoning commission, planning commission or planning and zoning commission to prevent such errors in complying with the provisions of this section.

Sec. 2. Section 8-2m of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes is repealed. (Effective from passage)

Approved May 30, 2006