CHAPTER 124
ZONING

Table of Contents

Sec. 8-2. Regulations.
Sec. 8-3. Establishment and changing of zoning regulations and districts. Enforcement of regulations. Certification of building permits and certificates of occupancy. Site plans. District for water-dependent uses.
Sec. 8-3e. Regulation of community residences for mentally retarded persons, child-care residential facilities and community residences for persons receiving mental health or addiction services.
Sec. 8-6. Powers and duties of board of appeals.
Sec. 8-7d. Hearings and decisions. Time limits. Day of receipt. Notice to adjoining municipality. Public notice registry.
Sec. 8-8. Appeal from board to court. Mediation. Review by Appellate Court.

      Sec. 8-2. Regulations.

      Test of the commission's action is twofold: (1) The zone change must be in accord with a comprehensive plan and (2) it must be reasonably related to normal police power purposes enumerated in section. Only where local zoning authority has acted arbitrarily or illegally and thus abused the discretion vested in it can courts grant relief on appeal. 99 CA 768.

      Subsec. (a):

      That this Subsec. explicitly authorizes special permits demonstrates that legislature itself recognized the need for exceptions to uniformity, and, therefore, complete uniformity was not mandated. 281 C. 66.


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      Sec. 8-3. Establishment and changing of zoning regulations and districts. Enforcement of regulations. Certification of building permits and certificates of occupancy. Site plans. District for water-dependent uses. (a) Such zoning commission shall provide for the manner in which regulations under section 8-2 or 8-2j and the boundaries of zoning districts shall be respectively established or changed. No such regulation or boundary shall become effective or be established or changed until after a public hearing in relation thereto, held by a majority of the members of the zoning commission or a committee thereof appointed for that purpose consisting of at least five members. Such hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of section 8-7d. A copy of such proposed regulation or boundary shall be filed in the office of the town, city or borough clerk, as the case may be, in such municipality, 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, for public inspection at least ten days before such hearing, and may be published in full in such paper. The commission may require a filing fee to be deposited with the commission to defray the cost of publication of the notice required for a hearing.

      (b) Such regulations and boundaries shall be established, changed or repealed only by a majority vote of all the members of the zoning commission, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. In making its decision the commission shall take into consideration the plan of conservation and development, prepared pursuant to section 8-23, and shall state on the record its findings on consistency of the proposed establishment, change or repeal of such regulations and boundaries with such plan. If a protest against a proposed change is filed at or before a hearing with the zoning commission, signed by the owners of twenty per cent or more of the area of the lots included in such proposed change or of the lots within five hundred feet in all directions of the property included in the proposed change, such change shall not be adopted except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the commission.

      (c) All petitions requesting a change in the regulations or the boundaries of zoning districts shall be submitted in writing and in a form prescribed by the commission and shall be considered at a public hearing within the period of time permitted under section 8-7d. The commission shall act upon the changes requested in such petition. Whenever such commission makes any change in a regulation or boundary it shall state upon its records the reason why such change is made. No such commission shall be required to hear any petition or petitions relating to the same changes, or substantially the same changes, more than once in a period of twelve months.

      (d) Zoning regulations or boundaries or changes therein shall become effective at such time as is fixed by the zoning commission, provided a copy of such regulation, boundary or change shall be filed in the office of the town, city or borough clerk, as the case may be, but, in the case of a district, in the office of both the district clerk and the town clerk of the town in which such district is located, and notice of the decision of such commission shall have been published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality before such effective date. In any case in which such notice is not published within the fifteen-day period after a decision has been rendered, any applicant or petitioner may provide for the publication of such notice within ten days thereafter.

      (e) The zoning commission shall provide for the manner in which the zoning regulations shall be enforced.

      (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.

      (g) The zoning regulations may require that a site plan be filed with the commission or other municipal agency or official to aid in determining the conformity of a proposed building, use or structure with specific provisions of such regulations. If a site plan application involves an activity regulated pursuant to sections 22a-36 to 22a-45, inclusive, the applicant shall submit an application for a permit to the agency responsible for administration of the inland wetlands regulations not later than the day such application is filed with the zoning commission. The commission shall, within the period of time established in section 8-7d, accept the filing of and shall process, pursuant to section 8-7d, any site plan application involving land regulated as an inland wetland or watercourse under chapter 440. The decision of the zoning commission shall not be rendered on the site plan application until the inland wetlands agency has submitted a report with its final decision. In making its decision, the commission shall consider the report of the inland wetlands agency and if the commission establishes terms and conditions for approval that are not consistent with the final decision of the inland wetlands agency, the commission shall state on the record the reason for such terms and conditions. A site plan may be modified or denied only if it fails to comply with requirements already set forth in the zoning or inland wetlands regulations. Approval of a site plan shall be presumed unless a decision to deny or modify it is rendered within the period specified in section 8-7d. A certificate of approval of any plan for which the period for approval has expired and on which no action has been taken shall be sent to the applicant within fifteen days of the date on which the period for approval has expired. A decision to deny or modify a site plan shall set forth the reasons for such denial or modification. A copy of any decision shall be sent by certified mail to the person who submitted such plan within fifteen days after such decision is rendered. The zoning commission may, as a condition of approval of any modified site plan, require a bond in an amount and with surety and conditions satisfactory to it, securing that any modifications of such site plan are made or may grant an extension of the time to complete work in connection with such modified site plan. The commission may condition the approval of such extension on a determination of the adequacy of the amount of the bond or other surety furnished under this section. The commission shall publish notice of the approval or denial of site plans in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality. In any case in which such notice is not published within the fifteen-day period after a decision has been rendered, the person who submitted such plan may provide for the publication of such notice within ten days thereafter. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all zoning commissions or other final zoning authority of each municipality whether or not such municipality has adopted the provisions of this chapter or the charter of such municipality or special act establishing zoning in the municipality contains similar provisions.

      (h) Notwithstanding the provisions of the general statutes or any public or special act or any local ordinance, when a change is adopted in the zoning regulations or boundaries of zoning districts of any town, city or borough, no improvements or proposed improvements shown on a site plan for residential property which has been approved prior to the effective date of such change, either pursuant to an application for special exception or otherwise, by the zoning commission of such town, city or borough, or other body exercising the powers of such commission, and filed or recorded with the town clerk, shall be required to conform to such change.

      (i) In the case of any site plan approved on or after October 1, 1984, except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, all work in connection with such site plan shall be completed within five years after the approval of the plan. The certificate of approval of such site plan shall state the date on which such five-year period expires. Failure to complete all work within such five-year period shall result in automatic expiration of the approval of such site plan, except in the case of any site plan approved on or after October 1, 1989, the zoning commission or other municipal agency or official approving such site plan may grant one or more extensions of the time to complete all or part of the work in connection with the site plan provided the total extension or extensions shall not exceed ten years from the date such site plan is approved. "Work" for purposes of this subsection means all physical improvements required by the approved plan.

      (j) In the case of any site plan for a project consisting of four hundred or more dwelling units approved on or after June 19, 1987, all work in connection with such site plan shall be completed within ten years after the approval of the plan. In the case of any commercial, industrial or retail project having an area equal to or greater than four hundred thousand square feet approved on or after October 1, 1988, the zoning commission or other municipal agency or official approving such site plan shall set a date for the completion of all work in connection with such site plan, which date shall be not less than five nor more than ten years from the date of approval of such site plan, provided such commission, agency or official approving such plan and setting a date for completion which is less than ten years from the date of approval may extend the date of completion for an additional period or periods, not to exceed ten years in the aggregate from the date of the original approval of such site plan. The certificate of approval of such site plan shall state the date on which such work shall be completed. Failure to complete all work within such period shall result in automatic expiration of the approval of such site plan. "Work" for purposes of this subsection means all physical improvements required by the approved plan.

      (k) A separate zoning district may be established for shorefront land areas utilized for water-dependent uses, as defined in section 22a-93, existing on October 1, 1987. Such district may be composed of a single parcel of land, provided the owner consents to such establishment. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to limit the authority of a zoning commission to establish and apply land use districts for the promotion and protection of water-dependent uses pursuant to section 8-2 and sections 22a-101 to 22a-104, inclusive. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all zoning commissions or other final zoning authority of each municipality whether or not such municipality has adopted the provisions of this chapter or the charter of such municipality or special act establishing zoning in the municipality contains similar provisions.

      (l) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section to the contrary, any site plan approval made under this section on or before October 1, 1989, except an approval made under subsection (j) of this section, shall expire not more than seven years from the date of such approval and the commission may grant one or more extensions of time to complete all or part of the work in connection with such site plan, provided the time for all extensions under this subsection shall not exceed ten years from the date the site plan was approved.

      (1949 Rev., S. 838; 1951, 1953, June, 1955, S. 375d; 1957, P.A. 662; 1959, P.A. 452; 577, S. 4; 614, S. 3; February, 1965, P.A. 622, S. 1; 1971, P.A. 862, S. 1; P.A. 77-450, S. 1; 77-509, S. 2; P.A. 78-104, S. 4; P.A. 80-177; P.A. 82-90; P.A. 84-147, S. 1; 84-174; P.A. 86-236, S. 1; P.A. 87-215, S. 2, 7; 87-371, S. 2, 5; 87-474, S. 2; 87-533, S. 7, 14; P.A. 88-105, S. 1; P.A. 89-277, S. 2; 89-356, S. 10, 11; P.A. 91-153, S. 1; P.A. 93-19, S. 1, 3; P.A. 00-145, S. 2; P.A. 02-74, S. 1; 02-77, S. 1; P.A. 03-144, S. 1; 03-177, S. 1; P.A. 06-20, S. 1; P.A. 07-102, S. 1.)

      History: 1959 acts provided notice of hearing be published "in the form of a legal advertisement appearing" in a newspaper, provided for filing of copy of regulations and proposed regulations in case of district, provided protest of change to be effective must be signed by at least 20% of property owners within 500 feet "in all directions" rather than "in any direction" and that a two-thirds rather than three-quarters vote of commission is needed to overcome protest, allowed petitions for change in regulations as well as boundaries and added "or substantially the same changes" in the last sentence; 1965 act required copy of zoning regulations, boundaries or changes in the case of a district be filed with both district and town clerk and specified notice of decision of commission, rather than of the filing of the regulation, boundary or change, be published; 1971 act required that hearing be held within 65, rather than 90, days after receipt of petition, that decision be made within 65, rather than 90, days after hearing and that extensions not exceed 65 days; P.A. 77-450 made provisions of Sec. 8-7d applicable to changes and amendments and replaced 65 periods for hearing, decision and extension with time period permitted under Sec. 8-7d; P.A. 77-509 divided section into subsecs., placed provision for filing fee in Subsec. (a) rather than Subsec. (c), required recording of reasons for making changes in Subsec. (c) and added Subsecs. (d) to (g), inclusive, re effective dates, enforcement, building permits and site plans; P.A. 78-104 amended Subsec. (g) to specify that site plans may be modified or denied only for noncompliance and to replace reference to 65-day period for decision or extensions with reference to time periods in Sec. 8-7d; P.A. 80-177 amended Subsec. (g) concerning posting of bond as condition of approval; P.A. 82-90 amended Subsec. (g) to provide for issuance of a certificate of approval upon the expiration of the time limit and for the publication of notices of approval; P.A. 84-147 added Subsecs. (h) and (i) concerning the effect of subsequent zoning changes on approved site plans and expiration of site plan approval; P.A. 84-174 amended Subsec. (f) to include certificates of occupancy; P.A. 86-236 amended Subsec. (g) to require the commission to publish notice of the denial of site plans; P.A. 87-215 amended Subsec. (a) to allow for notice by mail to included and adjacent landowners; P.A. 87-371 added Subsec. (j) concerning completion of work on site plans for projects consisting of 400 or more dwelling units; P.A. 87-474 added Subsec. (k) regarding separate zoning districts for shorefront land areas utilized for dependent uses; P.A. 87-533 amended Subsec. (g) to add provision re site plan applications involving activities regulated under Secs. 22a-36 to 22a-45, inclusive; P.A. 88-105 amended Subsec. (j) to provide for expiration of site plan approval in the case of certain commercial, industrial or retail projects; P.A. 89-277 amended Subsec. (i) to authorize the granting of one or more extensions of the 5-year period for site plans approved on or after October 1, 1989, and limited the total extension or extensions to 10 years; P.A. 89-356 amended Subsec. (d) to authorize any applicant or petitioner for a change in zoning regulations or boundaries to provide for publication of the notice of the decision of the commission when such notice is not published in a timely manner and amended Subsec. (g) to authorize the person who submitted a site plan application to provide for the publication of the notice of the decision of the commission when such notice is not published in a timely manner; P.A. 91-153 added Subsec. (l) which provided that site plans approved on or before October 1, 1989, be valid for 7 years after the date of approval; P.A. 93-19 amended Subsec. (g) to authorize planning commissions to extend the time to complete work on a modified site plan and to condition such approval in determination of the adequacy of the bond, amended Subsec. (i) to replace reference to a 5-year period with provisions re completion of work and amended Subsec. (l) to authorize extensions of site plans approved on or before October 1, 1989, effective April 21, 1993; P.A. 00-145 amended Subsec. (a) to add reference to Sec. 8-2j; P.A. 02-74 amended Subsec. (b) to require commission to consider the municipal plan of conservation and development in decisions and to state on the record its findings on consistency with such plan; P.A. 02-77 amended Subsec. (c) to authorize commissions to act upon petitions, removing limitation of adoption or denial, effective June 3, 2002, and applicable to petitions filed on and after that date; P.A. 03-144 amended Subsec. (f) to add provisions re notice of certification by the applicant; P.A. 03-177 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that public hearings be conducted in accordance with Sec. 8-7d, and to delete provisions re notice of time and place for public hearing and notice to adjacent landowners, effective October 1, 2003, and applicable to applications filed on or after that date; P.A. 06-20 amended Subsec. (g) to apply subsection to all zoning commissions or final zoning authorities, effective May 2, 2006; P.A. 07-102 amended Subsec. (g) to add provision re acceptance and processing of site plan application involving inland wetlands and watercourses and to replace provision re consideration of report of inland wetlands agency with provision re consideration of report of inland wetlands agency and statement on the record of terms and conditions consistent with final decision of inland wetlands agency.

      There is a strong presumption of regularity in proceedings of a public body such as a municipal planning and zoning commission. The settled standard of review of questions of fact determined by a zoning authority is that a court may not substitute its judgment for that of the zoning authority as long as it reflects an honest judgment reasonably exercised. Court's review is based on the record, which includes the knowledge of the board members gained through personal observation of the site or through their personal knowledge of the area involved. 99 CA 768.

      Subsec. (a):

      Publication of additional notices for rescheduled public hearing not required where zoning commission had satisfied notice requirements for the originally scheduled public hearing. Although failure to comply with requirement of filing a copy of proposed zoning amendment with town clerk at least ten days before public hearing is a jurisdictional defect that would render commission's zoning amendment invalid, plaintiff did not sustain its burden of proving that notice requirements were not met. 281 C. 66.


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      Sec. 8-3e. Regulation of community residences for mentally retarded persons, child-care residential facilities and community residences for persons receiving mental health or addiction services. (a) No zoning regulation shall treat the following in a manner different from any single family residence: (1) Any community residence that houses six or fewer mentally retarded persons and necessary staff persons and that is licensed under the provisions of section 17a-227, (2) any child-care residential facility that houses six or fewer children with mental or physical disabilities and necessary staff persons and that is licensed under sections 17a-145 to 17a-151, inclusive, or (3) any community residence that houses six or fewer persons receiving mental health or addiction services and necessary staff persons paid for or provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and that has been issued a license by the Department of Public Health under the provisions of section 19a-491, if a license is required.

      (b) Any resident of a municipality in which such a community residence or child-care residential facility is located may, with the approval of the legislative body of such municipality, petition (1) the Commissioner of Developmental Services to revoke the license of such community residence on the grounds that such community residence is not in compliance with the provisions of any statute or regulation concerning the operation of such residences, (2) the Commissioner of Children and Families to revoke the license of such child-care residential facility on the grounds that such child-care residential facility is not in compliance with the provision of any general statute or regulation concerning the operation of such child-care residential facility, or (3) the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services to withdraw funding from such community residence on the grounds that such community residence is not in compliance with the provisions of any general statute or regulation adopted thereunder concerning the operation of a community residence.

      (P.A. 79-353; P.A. 84-341, S. 6, 8; P.A. 89-375, S. 4, 5; P.A. 01-161, S. 1, 4; P.A. 05-280, S. 56; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(b).)

      History: P.A. 83-341 added Subsec. (b) concerning petitions for revocation of license; P.A. 89-375 substituted "necessary" for "two" in referring to staff persons; P.A. 01-161 applied provisions to child-care residential facilities and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 05-280 amended Subsec. (a) by adding Subdiv. (3) re zoning regulations pertaining to any community residence that houses six or fewer persons receiving mental health or addiction services and by making technical changes and amended Subsec. (b) by adding Subdiv. (3) re the ability of a resident of a municipality to petition the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services to withdraw funding from a community residence not operating in compliance with the provisions of a governing statute or regulation, effective July 1, 2005; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Commissioner of Mental Retardation" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 8-6. Powers and duties of board of appeals.

      In reviewing a zoning board's decision, reviewing court is bound by the substantial evidence rule. The question is not whether trial court would have reached the same conclusion but whether the record before the board supports the decision reached. If trial court finds there is substantial evidence to support board's findings, it cannot substitute its judgment for that of the board. 281 C. 553. Person who seeks a variance must show that because of some unusual characteristic of a person's property, literal enforcement of zoning regulations would result in unusual hardship to such person. The hardship must arise directly out of the application of the regulations to circumstances or conditions beyond such person's control. Where extreme hardship has not been established, the reduction of a nonconforming use to a less offensive prohibited use may constitute independent ground for granting a variance. Conversion of property use from current nonconforming use as a foundry to prohibited use as automobile repair shop would be less offensive to surrounding residents. Decision of board granting variance was proper because it reduced preexisting nonconforming use of property to a less offensive prohibited use. Id.

      Subsec. (a):

      Zoning commission's denial of application for special exception was an enforcement action and therefore administrative in nature and board of appeals has authority to hear appeals re such enforcement actions. 280 C. 274.


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      Sec. 8-7d. Hearings and decisions. Time limits. Day of receipt. Notice to adjoining municipality. Public notice registry. (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 or an aquifer protection agency under chapter 446i 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, chapter 440 or chapter 446i. 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 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 not later than sixty-five days after completion of such hearing, unless a shorter period of time is required under this chapter, chapter 126, chapter 440 or chapter 446i. 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 not later than 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 not later than 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 not later than sixty-five days after receipt of such application. Whenever a decision is to be made on an aquifer protection area application under chapter 446i on which no hearing is held, such decision shall be rendered not later than 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, inland wetlands agency or aquifer protection 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 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.

      (1971, P.A. 862, S. 12; P.A. 77-450, S. 4; P.A. 78-104, S. 1; P.A. 82-81, S. 1; P.A. 87-533, S. 10, 14; P.A. 93-385, S. 2; P.A. 99-21, S. 1; P.A. 03-177, S. 5; P.A. 04-257, S. 6; P.A. 06-80, S. 1; P.A. 07-85, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 77-450 reworded previous provisions and designated them as Subsec. (c) and inserted new Subsecs. (a) and (b) before and new Subsec. (d) after; P.A. 78-104 amended Subsec. (a) to allow more than one extension and changed maximum extension time from double the original period to a time equaling the original period, made Subsec. (b) applicable to cases where site plan approval is only requirement to be met or remaining to be met and clarified Subsec. (c) by replacing references to "official receipt" with references to "submission"; P.A. 82-81 provided that town clerk would act as agent for receipt of documents for any board or commission not having regular office hours; P.A. 87-533 added Subsec. (e) regarding applications involving activity regulated pursuant to Secs. 22a-36 to 22a-45, inclusive; P.A. 93-385 amended Subsec. (b) by applying provisions to all buildings, uses or structures instead of limiting applications to proposals; P.A. 99-21 amended Subsec. (a) to extend the time for completion of a hearing from 30 to 35 days after commencement; P.A. 03-177 amended Subsec. (a) to apply provisions to planning commissions and inland wetlands agencies and add provisions re public hearings, amended Subsec. (b) to add provisions re date for rendering decisions, amended Subsec. (c) to add reference to Sec. 7-246a and make conforming changes and added new Subsec. (f) re notification to adjoining municipalities, effective October 1, 2003, and applicable to applications filed on or after that date; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 06-80 amended Subsec. (a) to add provisions re mailing and posting of additional notice, amended Subsec. (d) to add reference to planning commission and to any subdivision regulation and added Subsec. (g) re a public notice registry for changes initiated by commissions for zoning regulations or boundaries, subdivision regulations or the plan of conservation and development; P.A. 07-85 amended Subsecs. (a), (b) and (f) to apply provisions to aquifer protection agency and made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b).

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      Sec. 8-8. Appeal from board to court. Mediation. Review by Appellate Court. (a) As used in this section:

      (1) "Aggrieved person" means a person aggrieved by a decision of a board and includes any officer, department, board or bureau of the municipality charged with enforcement of any order, requirement or decision of the board. In the case of a decision by a zoning commission, planning commission, combined planning and zoning commission or zoning board of appeals, "aggrieved person" includes any person owning land that abuts or is within a radius of one hundred feet of any portion of the land involved in the decision of the board.

      (2) "Board" means a municipal zoning commission, planning commission, combined planning and zoning commission, zoning board of appeals or other board or commission the decision of which may be appealed pursuant to this section, or the chief elected official of a municipality, or such official's designee, in a hearing held pursuant to section 22a-250, whose decision may be appealed.

      (b) Except as provided in subsections (c), (d) and (r) of this section and sections 7-147 and 7-147i, any person aggrieved by any decision of a board, including a decision to approve or deny a site plan pursuant to subsection (g) of section 8-3 or a special permit or special exception pursuant to section 8-3c, may take an appeal to the superior court for the judicial district in which the municipality is located, notwithstanding any right to appeal to a municipal zoning board of appeals under section 8-6. The appeal shall be commenced by service of process in accordance with subsections (f) and (g) of this section within fifteen days from the date that notice of the decision was published as required by the general statutes. The appeal shall be returned to court in the same manner and within the same period of time as prescribed for civil actions brought to that court.

      (c) In those situations where the approval of a planning commission must be inferred because of the failure of the commission to act on an application, any aggrieved person may appeal under this section. The appeal shall be taken within twenty days after the expiration of the period prescribed in section 8-26d for action by the commission.

      (d) Any person affected by an action of a planning commission taken under section 8-29 may appeal under this section. The appeal shall be taken within thirty days after notice to such person of the adoption of a survey, map or plan or the assessment of benefits or damages.

      (e) The proceedings of the court for an appeal may be stayed by agreement of the parties when a mediation conducted pursuant to section 8-8a commences, provided any such stay shall terminate upon termination of the mediation.

      (f) Service of legal process for an appeal under this section shall be directed to a proper officer and shall be made as follows:

      (1) For any appeal taken before October 1, 2004, process shall be served by leaving a true and attested copy of the process with, or at the usual place of abode of, the chairman or clerk of the board, and by leaving a true and attested copy with the clerk of the municipality. Service on the chairman or clerk of the board and on the clerk of the municipality shall be for the purpose of providing legal notice of the appeal to the board and shall not thereby make the chairman or clerk of the board or the clerk of the municipality a necessary party to the appeal.

      (2) For any appeal taken on or after October 1, 2004, process shall be served in accordance with subdivision (5) of subsection (b) of section 52-57. Such service shall be for the purpose of providing legal notice of the appeal to the board and shall not thereby make the clerk of the municipality or the chairman or clerk of the board a necessary party to the appeal.

      (g) Service of process shall also be made on each person who petitioned the board in the proceeding, provided such person's legal rights, duties or privileges were determined therein. However, failure to make service within fifteen days on parties other than the board shall not deprive the court of jurisdiction over the appeal. If service is not made within fifteen days on a party in the proceeding before the board, the court, on motion of the party or the appellant, shall make such orders of notice of the appeal as are reasonably calculated to notify the party not yet served. If the failure to make service causes prejudice to the board or any party, the court, after hearing, may dismiss the appeal or may make such other orders as are necessary to protect the party prejudiced.

      (h) The appeal shall state the reasons on which it has been predicated and shall not stay proceedings on the decision appealed from. However, the court to which the appeal is returnable may grant a restraining order, on application, and after notice to the board and cause shown.

      (i) Within thirty days after the return date to court, or within any further time the court allows, the board shall transmit the record to the court. The record shall include, without limitation, (1) the original papers acted on by the board and appealed from, or certified copies thereof, (2) a copy of the transcript of the stenographic or sound recording prepared in accordance with section 8-7a, and (3) the written decision of the board including the reasons therefor and a statement of any conditions imposed. If the board does not provide a transcript of the stenographic or the sound recording of a meeting where the board deliberates or makes a decision on a petition, application or request on which a public hearing was held, a certified, true and accurate transcript of a stenographic or sound recording of the meeting prepared by or on behalf of the applicant or any other party shall be admissible as part of the record. By stipulation of all parties to the appeal, the record may be shortened. A party unreasonably refusing to stipulate to limit the record may be taxed by the court for additional costs. The court may require or permit subsequent corrections or additions to the record.

      (j) Any defendant may, at any time after the return date of the appeal, make a motion to dismiss the appeal. If the basis of the motion is a claim that the appellant lacks standing to appeal, the appellant shall have the burden of proving standing. The court may, on the record, grant or deny the motion. The court's order on the motion may be appealed in the manner provided in subsection (o) of this section.

      (k) The court shall review the proceedings of the board and shall allow any party to introduce evidence in addition to the contents of the record if (1) the record does not contain a complete transcript of the entire proceedings before the board, including all evidence presented to it, pursuant to section 8-7a, or (2) it appears to the court that additional testimony is necessary for the equitable disposition of the appeal. The court may take the evidence or may appoint a referee or committee to take such evidence as it directs and report the same to the court, with any findings of facts and conclusions of law. Any report of a referee, committee or mediator under subsection (f) of section 8-8a shall constitute a part of the proceedings on which the determination of the court shall be made.

      (l) The court, after a hearing thereon, may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify or revise the decision appealed from. If a particular board action is required by law, the court, on sustaining the appeal, may render a judgment that modifies the board decision or orders the particular board action. In an appeal from an action of a planning commission taken under section 8-29, the court may also reassess any damages or benefits awarded by the commission. Costs shall be allowed against the board if the decision appealed from is reversed, affirmed in part, modified or revised.

      (m) Appeals from decisions of the board shall be privileged cases and shall be heard as soon as is practicable unless cause is shown to the contrary.

      (n) No appeal taken under subsection (b) of this section shall be withdrawn and no settlement between the parties to any such appeal shall be effective unless and until a hearing has been held before the Superior Court and such court has approved such proposed withdrawal or settlement.

      (o) There shall be no right to further review except to the Appellate Court by certification for review, on the vote of two judges of the Appellate Court so to certify and under such other rules as the judges of the Appellate Court establish. The procedure on appeal to the Appellate Court shall, except as otherwise provided herein, be in accordance with the procedures provided by rule or law for the appeal of judgments rendered by the Superior Court unless modified by rule of the judges of the Appellate Court.

      (p) The right of a person to appeal a decision of a board to the Superior Court and the procedure prescribed in this section shall be liberally interpreted in any case where a strict adherence to these provisions would work surprise or injustice. The appeal shall be considered to be a civil action and, except as otherwise required by this section or the rules of the Superior Court, pleadings may be filed, amended or corrected, and parties may be summoned, substituted or otherwise joined, as provided by the general statutes.

      (q) If any appeal has failed to be heard on its merits because of insufficient service or return of the legal process due to unavoidable accident or the default or neglect of the officer to whom it was committed, or the appeal has been otherwise avoided for any matter of form, the appellant shall be allowed an additional fifteen days from determination of that defect to properly take the appeal. The provisions of section 52-592 shall not apply to appeals taken under this section.

      (r) In any case in which a board fails to comply with a requirement of a general or special law, ordinance or regulation governing the content, giving, mailing, publishing, filing or recording of any notice either of a hearing or of an action taken by the board, any appeal or action by an aggrieved person to set aside the decision or action taken by the board on the grounds of such noncompliance shall be taken not more than one year after the date of that decision or action.

      (1949 Rev., S. 844; 1951, 1955, S. 379d; 1959, P.A. 460, S. 2; 1963, P.A. 45; February, 1965, P.A. 622, S. 3; 1967, P.A. 348; 712; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 9; P.A. 74-183, S. 179, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 158, 681; P.A. 77-470; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 81-165; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-29, S. 13, 82; P.A. 84-227, S. 1; P.A. 85-284, S. 3; P.A. 86-236, S. 2; P.A. 88-79, S. 1, 4; P.A. 89-356, S. 1; P.A. 90-286, S. 1, 2, 9; P.A. 91-219; P.A. 92-249, S. 8; P.A. 99-238, S. 5, 8; P.A. 00-84, S. 3, 6; 00-108, S. 2; P.A. 01-47, S. 1; 01-110; 01-195, S. 112, 181; P.A. 02-74, S. 2; P.A. 04-78, S. 1; P.A. 07-60, S. 1.)

      History: 1959 act deleted qualification in sentence re taking of evidence in addition to record "if said record does not contain a stenographic report or a complete mechanical recording of the entire proceedings before said board including all evidence presented to it"; 1963 act added to the same sentence "if the record does not contain a complete transcript of the entire proceedings before said board, including all evidence presented to it, pursuant to section 8-7a"; 1965 act provided 15 days allowed for taking appeal run from date decision was published rather than from date it was rendered; 1967 acts allowed costs against board if decision "reversed, affirmed in part, modified or revised" rather than allowing costs only when court decides board acted with gross negligence, in bad faith or with malice as previously and allowed appeals by persons owning land adjacent to land involved in decision; 1971 act added provisions concerning appeals to supreme court; P.A. 74-183 included judicial districts; P.A. 76-436 substituted superior court for court of common pleas, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-470 allowed appeals by persons whose land is within one-hundred-foot radius of land involved in decision; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; P.A. 81-165 allowed for service of notice upon the clerk of the municipality; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-29 deleted reference to supreme court and substituted appellate court in lieu thereof; P.A. 84-227 inserted Subsec. indicators, added Subsec. (d) re a hearing on a motion to dismiss made by the person who applied for the board's decision where each appellant has the burden of proving his standing to bring the appeal, and added Subsec. (h) prohibiting withdrawal or settlement without court approval; P.A. 85-284 provided for notice of appeals to be given to the chairman or clerk of the board and the clerk of the municipality, rather than just one; P.A. 86-236 amended Subsec. (c) to require the return of the transcript of the stenographic or sound recording; P.A. 88-79 amended Subsec. (b) to add proviso that service of the notice of the appeal upon the clerk of the municipality is for the purpose of providing additional notice of such appeal to the board and does not thereby make such clerk a necessary party to such appeal; P.A. 89-356 entirely reorganized existing provisions and added Subsec. (a) defining "aggrieved person" and "board", added Subsec. (c) re the procedure for taking an appeal where the approval of the planning commission must be inferred, formerly part of Sec. 8-28, added Subsec. (d) re the procedure for taking an appeal by a person affected by an action of a planning commission under Sec. 8-29, formerly part of Sec. 8-30, added Subsec. (f) re service of process on parties other than the board and the consequences and court remedies if such service is not made, added provisions in Subsec. (i) requiring the record to include the board's findings of fact and conclusions of law, authorizing the record to be shortened by stipulation and additional costs to be taxed against a party who unreasonably refuses to stipulate to limit the record and authorizing the court to require or permit subsequent corrections or additions to the record, added provisions in Subsec. (l) authorizing the court in sustaining an appeal to render a judgment that modifies the board decision or orders the particular board action if a particular board action is required by law and authorizing the court in an appeal from an action of a planning commission taken under Sec. 8-29 to reassess damages or benefits awarded by the commission, formerly part of Sec. 8-30, added Subsec. (p) providing for a liberal interpretation of the right to appeal and the appeal procedure and providing that an appeal shall be considered a civil action, and added Subsec. (q) allowing an appellant additional time to take the appeal if the appeal has failed to be heard on its merits because of certain defects and providing that Sec. 52-592 shall not apply to appeals taken under this section; P.A. 90-286 amended Subsec. (b) to replace "The appeal shall be taken" with "The appeal shall be commenced by service of process in accordance with subsections (e) and (f) of this section" and to replace "The appeal shall be commenced and returned to court in the same manner as prescribed for civil actions brought to that court" with "The appeal shall be returned to court in the same manner and within the same period of time as prescribed for civil actions brought to that court" and amended Subsec. (i) to replace requirement that the board transmit the record within 30 days "after the appeal is served" with within 30 days "after the return date to court"; P.A. 91-219 amended Subsec. (i) to require that the record include the written decision of the board rather than the board's findings of fact and conclusions of law; P.A. 92-249 amended Subdiv. (2) of Subsec. (a) to include the chief elected official of a municipality in the definition of "board" re hearings under Sec. 22a-250; P.A. 99-238 amended Subsec. (b) by adding reference to new Subsec. (r), and added new Subsec. (r) re appeal of aggrieved person to set aside decision or action of board for noncompliance with requirement of notice of content, giving, mailing, publishing, filing or recording of hearing or action taken by board within two years of the date of such decision or action, effective July 1, 2000; P.A. 00-84 revised effective date of P.A. 99-238 to specify applicability of section as amended by that act to errors, irregularities and omissions occurring on or after January 1, 1999, effective July 1, 2000; P.A. 00-108 deleted former Subsec. (h) re surety bond, relettered the subsections accordingly and amended new Subsec. (h) to add provision re transcripts of meetings; P.A. 01-47 inserted new Subsec. (e) re mediation, redesignated existing Subsecs. (e) to (q) as Subsecs. (f) to (r) and made technical and conforming changes; P.A. 01-110 amended former Subsec. (q) by reducing the time for appeal from within two years to not more than one year; P.A. 01-195 made technical changes, effective July 11, 2001 (Revisor's note: In merging the gender-neutral technical changes to Subsec. (a)(2) contained in P.A. 01-47 and P.A. 01-195, the Revisors gave precedence to the changes contained in P.A. 01-195); P.A. 02-74 amended Subsec. (b) to allow appeals of decisions to approve or deny site plans under Sec. 8-3(g), effective June 3, 2002; P.A. 04-78 amended Subsec. (f) by designating existing service requirements as Subdiv. (1), applicable to appeals taken before October 1, 2004, adding Subdiv. (2) re service requirements applicable to appeals taken on or after said date and making conforming changes; P.A. 07-60 amended Subsec. (b) to authorize appeal of special permits and special exceptions and add provision notwithstanding right to appeal under Sec. 8-6.

      Subsec. (r):

      Legislature specifically intended the limitation period to apply only to challenges of failures of notice postdating January 1, 1999, as expressed in P.A. 00-84. 98 CA 213.


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