CHAPTER 126
MUNICIPAL PLANNING COMMISSIONS

Table of Contents

Sec. 8-19. Creation of planning commissions. Exemption re certain affordable housing.
Sec. 8-23. *(See end of section for amended version and effective date.) Preparation, amendment or adoption of plan of conservation and development.
Sec. 8-25. Subdivision of land.
Sec. 8-26. Approval of subdivision and resubdivision plans. Waiver of certain regulation requirements. Applications involving inland wetlands and watercourses.

      Sec. 8-19. Creation of planning commissions. Exemption re certain affordable housing. (a) 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. 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promulgated by such planning commission prior to that time shall continue in full force and effect until modified, repealed or superseded in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.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.

      (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, any municipality, by ordinance adopted by its legislative body, may exempt from the subdivision regulations in such municipality adopted pursuant to this chapter the first subdivision of land by a landowner, provided the lot created is for affordable housing to be developed by the municipality or a nonprofit organization. The ordinance shall also provide that (1) any further subdivision of such lot shall not be exempt from the subdivision regulations, and (2) any exemption under this section shall be in addition to any other exemption authorized under section 8-26 and shall not be construed as exercising any right under any other exemption.

      (1949 Rev., S. 854; 1953, S. 385d; 1957, P.A. 142; 1959, P.A. 679, S. 2; 1971, P.A. 763, S. 7; P.A. 75-21, S. 2, 3; P.A. 02-83, S. 10; P.A. 03-184, S. 7; P.A. 06-97, S. 1; P.A. 07-217, S. 30.)

      History: 1959 act deleted provision chief executive officer and engineer or public works commissioner of municipality be ex-officio members of commission and stipulated they be members without voting privileges and added provisions re jurisdiction of town commission where city or borough is within town; 1971 act added requirement that annual report be filed; P.A. 75-21 changed maximum number of terms allowed to expire in one year to three; P.A. 02-83 deleted prohibition on salaried municipal officeholders serving on planning commission and added provisions re ordinance creating the planning commission may provide that members may be municipal employees if municipality has adopted ordinance authorizing such membership; P.A. 03-184 specified that vacancies are to be filled by the planning commission "unless otherwise provided by charter"; P.A. 06-97 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (b) re exemption of certain affordable housing from subdivision regulations; P.A. 07-217 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), effective July 12, 2007.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 8-23. *(See end of section for amended version and effective date.) Preparation, amendment or adoption of plan of conservation and development. (a)(1) At least once every ten years, the commission shall prepare or amend and shall adopt a plan of conservation and development for the municipality. Following adoption, the commission shall regularly review and maintain such plan. The commission may adopt such geographical, functional or other amendments to the plan or parts of the plan, in accordance with the provisions of this section, as it deems necessary. The commission may, at any time, prepare, amend and adopt plans for the redevelopment and improvement of districts or neighborhoods which, in its judgment, contain special problems or opportunities or show a trend toward lower land values.

      (2) If a plan is not amended decennially, the chief elected official of the municipality shall submit a letter to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the Commissioners of Transportation, Environmental Protection and Economic and Community Development that explains why such plan was not amended. Until the plan is amended in accordance with this subsection, a copy of such letter shall be included in each application by the municipality for funding for the conservation or development of real property submitted to said secretary or commissioners.

      (b) In the preparation of such plan, the commission may appoint one or more special committees to develop and make recommendations for the plan. The membership of any special committee may include: Residents of the municipality and representatives of local boards dealing with zoning, inland wetlands, conservation, recreation, education, public works, finance, redevelopment, general government and other municipal functions. In performing its duties under this section, the commission or any special committee may accept information from any source or solicit input from any organization or individual. The commission or any special committee may hold public informational meetings or organize other activities to inform residents about the process of preparing the plan.

      (c) In preparing such plan, the commission or any special committee shall consider the following: (1) The community development action plan of the municipality, if any, (2) the need for affordable housing, (3) the need for protection of existing and potential public surface and ground drinking water supplies, (4) the use of cluster development and other development patterns to the extent consistent with soil types, terrain and infrastructure capacity within the municipality, (5) the state plan of conservation and development adopted pursuant to chapter 297, (6) the regional plan of development adopted pursuant to section 8-35a, (7) physical, social, economic and governmental conditions and trends, (8) the needs of the municipality including, but not limited to, human resources, education, health, housing, recreation, social services, public utilities, public protection, transportation and circulation and cultural and interpersonal communications, (9) the objectives of energy-efficient patterns of development, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy and energy conservation, and (10) protection and preservation of agriculture.

      (d) (1) Such plan of conservation and development shall (A) be a statement of policies, goals and standards for the physical and economic development of the municipality, (B) provide for a system of principal thoroughfares, parkways, bridges, streets, sidewalks, multipurpose trails and other public ways as appropriate, (C) be designed to promote, with the greatest efficiency and economy, the coordinated development of the municipality and the general welfare and prosperity of its people and identify areas where it is feasible and prudent (i) to have compact, transit accessible, pedestrian-oriented mixed use development patterns and land reuse, and (ii) to promote such development patterns and land reuse, (D) recommend the most desirable use of land within the municipality for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, conservation and other purposes and include a map showing such proposed land uses, (E) recommend the most desirable density of population in the several parts of the municipality, (F) note any inconsistencies with the following growth management principles: (i) Redevelopment and revitalization of commercial centers and areas of mixed land uses with existing or planned physical infrastructure; (ii) expansion of housing opportunities and design choices to accommodate a variety of household types and needs; (iii) concentration of development around transportation nodes and along major transportation corridors to support the viability of transportation options and land reuse; (iv) conservation and restoration of the natural environment, cultural and historical resources and existing farmlands; (v) protection of environmental assets critical to public health and safety; and (vi) integration of planning across all levels of government to address issues on a local, regional and state-wide basis, (G) make provision for the development of housing opportunities, including opportunities for multifamily dwellings, consistent with soil types, terrain and infrastructure capacity, for all residents of the municipality and the planning region in which the municipality is located, as designated by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management under section 16a-4a, (H) promote housing choice and economic diversity in housing, including housing for both low and moderate income households, and encourage the development of housing which will meet the housing needs identified in the housing plan prepared pursuant to section 8-37t and in the housing component and the other components of the state plan of conservation and development prepared pursuant to chapter 297. In preparing such plan the commission shall consider focusing development and revitalization in areas with existing or planned physical infrastructure.

      (2) For any municipality that is contiguous to Long Island Sound, such plan shall be (A) consistent with the municipal coastal program requirements of sections 22a-101 to 22a-104, inclusive, (B) made with reasonable consideration for restoration and protection of the ecosystem and habitat of Long Island Sound, and (C) designed to reduce hypoxia, pathogens, toxic contaminants and floatable debris in Long Island Sound.

      (e) Such plan may show the commission's and any special committee's recommendation for (1) conservation and preservation of traprock and other ridgelines, (2) airports, parks, playgrounds and other public grounds, (3) the general location, relocation and improvement of schools and other public buildings, (4) the general location and extent of public utilities and terminals, whether publicly or privately owned, for water, sewerage, light, power, transit and other purposes, (5) the extent and location of public housing projects, (6) programs for the implementation of the plan, including (A) a schedule, (B) a budget for public capital projects, (C) a program for enactment and enforcement of zoning and subdivision controls, building and housing codes and safety regulations, (D) plans for implementation of affordable housing, (E) plans for open space acquisition and greenways protection and development, and (F) plans for corridor management areas along limited access highways or rail lines, designated under section 16a-27, (7) proposed priority funding areas, and (8) any other recommendations as will, in the commission's or any special committee's judgment, be beneficial to the municipality. The plan may include any necessary and related maps, explanatory material, photographs, charts or other pertinent data and information relative to the past, present and future trends of the municipality.

      (f) (1) A plan of conservation and development or any part thereof or amendment thereto prepared by the commission or any special committee shall be reviewed, and may be amended, by the commission prior to scheduling at least one public hearing on adoption.

      (2) At least sixty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall submit a copy of such plan or part thereof or amendment thereto for review and comment to the legislative body or, in the case of a municipality for which the legislative body of the municipality is a town meeting or representative town meeting, to the board of selectmen. The legislative body or board of selectmen, as the case may be, may hold one or more public hearings on the plan and shall endorse or reject such entire plan or part thereof or amendment and may submit comments and recommended changes to the commission. The commission may render a decision on the plan without the report of such body or board.

      (3) At least thirty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall post the plan on the Internet web site of the municipality, if any.

      (4) At least sixty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall submit a copy of such plan or part thereof or amendment thereto to the regional planning agency for review and comment. The regional planning agency shall submit an advisory report along with its comments to the commission at or before the hearing. Such comments shall include a finding on the consistency of the plan with (A) the regional plan of development, adopted under section 8-35a, (B) the state plan of conservation and development, adopted pursuant to chapter 297, and (C) the plans of conservation and development of other municipalities in the area of operation of the regional planning agency. The commission may render a decision on the plan without the report of the regional planning agency.

      (5) At least thirty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall file in the office of the town clerk a copy of such plan or part thereof or amendment thereto but, in the case of a district commission, such commission shall file such information in the offices of both the district clerk and the town clerk.

      (6) The commission shall cause to be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality, 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 prior to the date of each such hearing, notice of the time and place of any such public hearing. Such notice shall make reference to the filing of such draft plan in the office of the town clerk, or both the district clerk and the town clerk, as the case may be.

      (g) (1) After completion of the public hearing, the commission may revise the plan and may adopt the plan or any part thereof or amendment thereto by a single resolution or may, by successive resolutions, adopt parts of the plan and amendments thereto.

      (2) Any plan, section of a plan or recommendation in the plan that is not endorsed in the report of the legislative body or, in the case of a municipality for which the legislative body is a town meeting or representative town meeting, by the board of selectmen, of the municipality may only be adopted by the commission by a vote of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the commission.

      (3) Upon adoption by the commission, any plan or part thereof or amendment thereto shall become effective at a time established by the commission, provided notice thereof shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality prior to such effective date.

      (4) Not more than thirty days after adoption, any plan or part thereof or amendment thereto shall be posted on the Internet web site of the municipality, if any, and shall be filed in the office of the town clerk, except that, if it is a district plan or amendment, it shall be filed in the offices of both the district and town clerks.

      (5) Not more than sixty days after adoption of the plan, the commission shall submit a copy of the plan to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and shall include with such copy a description of any inconsistency between the plan adopted by the commission and the state plan of conservation and development and the reasons therefor.

      (h) Any owner or tenant, or authorized agent of such owner or tenant, of real property or buildings thereon located in the municipality may submit a proposal to the commission requesting a change to the plan of conservation and development. Such proposal shall be submitted in writing and on a form prescribed by the commission. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of section 8-7d, the commission shall review and may approve, modify and approve or reject the proposal in accordance with the provisions of subsection (f) of this section.

      (1949 Rev., S. 856; 1959, P.A. 577, S. 6; 1969, P.A. 477, S. 1; 1971, P.A. 862, S. 5, 6; P.A. 78-314, S. 3; P.A. 80-327, S. 2; P.A. 85-279, S. 4; P.A. 88-13, S. 1, 3; P.A. 91-392, S. 2; 91-395, S. 3, 11; 91-398, S. 2, 7; P.A. 95-239, S. 3; 95-335, S. 9, 26; P.A. 99-117, S. 1, 2; P.A. 01-197, S. 1, 4; P.A. 03-19, S. 20; P.A. 05-205, S. 1; P.A. 06-17, S. 1; 06-24, S. 1.)

      *Note: On and after July 1, 2010, this section, as amended by section 3 of public act 07-239 and section 4 of public act 07-5 of the June special session, is to read as follows:

      "Sec. 8-23. Preparation, amendment or adoption of plan of conservation and development. (a)(1) At least once every ten years, the commission shall prepare or amend and shall adopt a plan of conservation and development for the municipality. Following adoption, the commission shall regularly review and maintain such plan. The commission may adopt such geographical, functional or other amendments to the plan or parts of the plan, in accordance with the provisions of this section, as it deems necessary. The commission may, at any time, prepare, amend and adopt plans for the redevelopment and improvement of districts or neighborhoods which, in its judgment, contain special problems or opportunities or show a trend toward lower land values.

      (2) If a plan is not amended decennially, the chief elected official of the municipality shall submit a letter to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the Commissioners of Transportation, Environmental Protection and Economic and Community Development that explains why such plan was not amended. A copy of such letter shall be included in each application by the municipality for discretionary state funding submitted to any state agency.

      (b) Until the plan is amended in accordance with this subsection the municipality shall be ineligible for discretionary state funding unless such prohibition is expressly waived by the secretary.

      (c) In the preparation of such plan, the commission may appoint one or more special committees to develop and make recommendations for the plan. The membership of any special committee may include: Residents of the municipality and representatives of local boards dealing with zoning, inland wetlands, conservation, recreation, education, public works, finance, redevelopment, general government and other municipal functions. In performing its duties under this section, the commission or any special committee may accept information from any source or solicit input from any organization or individual. The commission or any special committee may hold public informational meetings or organize other activities to inform residents about the process of preparing the plan.

      (d) In preparing such plan, the commission or any special committee shall consider the following: (1) The community development action plan of the municipality, if any, (2) the need for affordable housing, (3) the need for protection of existing and potential public surface and ground drinking water supplies, (4) the use of cluster development and other development patterns to the extent consistent with soil types, terrain and infrastructure capacity within the municipality, (5) the state plan of conservation and development adopted pursuant to chapter 297, (6) the regional plan of development adopted pursuant to section 8-35a, (7) physical, social, economic and governmental conditions and trends, (8) the needs of the municipality including, but not limited to, human resources, education, health, housing, recreation, social services, public utilities, public protection, transportation and circulation and cultural and interpersonal communications, (9) the objectives of energy-efficient patterns of development, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy and energy conservation, and (10) protection and preservation of agriculture.

      (e) (1) Such plan of conservation and development shall (A) be a statement of policies, goals and standards for the physical and economic development of the municipality, (B) provide for a system of principal thoroughfares, parkways, bridges, streets, sidewalks, multipurpose trails and other public ways as appropriate, (C) be designed to promote, with the greatest efficiency and economy, the coordinated development of the municipality and the general welfare and prosperity of its people and identify areas where it is feasible and prudent (i) to have compact, transit accessible, pedestrian-oriented mixed use development patterns and land reuse, and (ii) to promote such development patterns and land reuse, (D) recommend the most desirable use of land within the municipality for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, conservation and other purposes and include a map showing such proposed land uses, (E) recommend the most desirable density of population in the several parts of the municipality, (F) note any inconsistencies with the following growth management principles: (i) Redevelopment and revitalization of commercial centers and areas of mixed land uses with existing or planned physical infrastructure; (ii) expansion of housing opportunities and design choices to accommodate a variety of household types and needs; (iii) concentration of development around transportation nodes and along major transportation corridors to support the viability of transportation options and land reuse; (iv) conservation and restoration of the natural environment, cultural and historical resources and existing farmlands; (v) protection of environmental assets critical to public health and safety; and (vi) integration of planning across all levels of government to address issues on a local, regional and state-wide basis, (G) make provision for the development of housing opportunities, including opportunities for multifamily dwellings, consistent with soil types, terrain and infrastructure capacity, for all residents of the municipality and the planning region in which the municipality is located, as designated by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management under section 16a-4a, (H) promote housing choice and economic diversity in housing, including housing for both low and moderate income households, and encourage the development of housing which will meet the housing needs identified in the housing plan prepared pursuant to section 8-37t and in the housing component and the other components of the state plan of conservation and development prepared pursuant to chapter 297. In preparing such plan the commission shall consider focusing development and revitalization in areas with existing or planned physical infrastructure.

      (2) For any municipality that is contiguous to Long Island Sound, such plan shall be (A) consistent with the municipal coastal program requirements of sections 22a-101 to 22a-104, inclusive, (B) made with reasonable consideration for restoration and protection of the ecosystem and habitat of Long Island Sound, and (C) designed to reduce hypoxia, pathogens, toxic contaminants and floatable debris in Long Island Sound.

      (f) Such plan may show the commission's and any special committee's recommendation for (1) conservation and preservation of traprock and other ridgelines, (2) airports, parks, playgrounds and other public grounds, (3) the general location, relocation and improvement of schools and other public buildings, (4) the general location and extent of public utilities and terminals, whether publicly or privately owned, for water, sewerage, light, power, transit and other purposes, (5) the extent and location of public housing projects, (6) programs for the implementation of the plan, including (A) a schedule, (B) a budget for public capital projects, (C) a program for enactment and enforcement of zoning and subdivision controls, building and housing codes and safety regulations, (D) plans for implementation of affordable housing, (E) plans for open space acquisition and greenways protection and development, and (F) plans for corridor management areas along limited access highways or rail lines, designated under section 16a-27, (7) proposed priority funding areas, and (8) any other recommendations as will, in the commission's or any special committee's judgment, be beneficial to the municipality. The plan may include any necessary and related maps, explanatory material, photographs, charts or other pertinent data and information relative to the past, present and future trends of the municipality.

      (g) (1) A plan of conservation and development or any part thereof or amendment thereto prepared by the commission or any special committee shall be reviewed, and may be amended, by the commission prior to scheduling at least one public hearing on adoption.

      (2) At least sixty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall submit a copy of such plan or part thereof or amendment thereto for review and comment to the legislative body or, in the case of a municipality for which the legislative body of the municipality is a town meeting or representative town meeting, to the board of selectmen. The legislative body or board of selectmen, as the case may be, may hold one or more public hearings on the plan and shall endorse or reject such entire plan or part thereof or amendment and may submit comments and recommended changes to the commission. The commission may render a decision on the plan without the report of such body or board.

      (3) At least thirty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall post the plan on the Internet web site of the municipality, if any.

      (4) At least sixty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall submit a copy of such plan or part thereof or amendment thereto to the regional planning agency for review and comment. The regional planning agency shall submit an advisory report along with its comments to the commission at or before the hearing. Such comments shall include a finding on the consistency of the plan with (A) the regional plan of development, adopted under section 8-35a, (B) the state plan of conservation and development, adopted pursuant to chapter 297, and (C) the plans of conservation and development of other municipalities in the area of operation of the regional planning agency. The commission may render a decision on the plan without the report of the regional planning agency.

      (5) At least thirty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall file in the office of the town clerk a copy of such plan or part thereof or amendment thereto but, in the case of a district commission, such commission shall file such information in the offices of both the district clerk and the town clerk.

      (6) The commission shall cause to be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality, 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 prior to the date of each such hearing, notice of the time and place of any such public hearing. Such notice shall make reference to the filing of such draft plan in the office of the town clerk, or both the district clerk and the town clerk, as the case may be.

      (h) (1) After completion of the public hearing, the commission may revise the plan and may adopt the plan or any part thereof or amendment thereto by a single resolution or may, by successive resolutions, adopt parts of the plan and amendments thereto.

      (2) Any plan, section of a plan or recommendation in the plan that is not endorsed in the report of the legislative body or, in the case of a municipality for which the legislative body is a town meeting or representative town meeting, by the board of selectmen, of the municipality may only be adopted by the commission by a vote of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the commission.

      (3) Upon adoption by the commission, any plan or part thereof or amendment thereto shall become effective at a time established by the commission, provided notice thereof shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality prior to such effective date.

      (4) Not more than thirty days after adoption, any plan or part thereof or amendment thereto shall be posted on the Internet web site of the municipality, if any, and shall be filed in the office of the town clerk, except that, if it is a district plan or amendment, it shall be filed in the offices of both the district and town clerks.

      (5) Not more than sixty days after adoption of the plan, the commission shall submit a copy of the plan to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and shall include with such copy a description of any inconsistency between the plan adopted by the commission and the state plan of conservation and development and the reasons therefor.

      (i) Any owner or tenant, or authorized agent of such owner or tenant, of real property or buildings thereon located in the municipality may submit a proposal to the commission requesting a change to the plan of conservation and development. Such proposal shall be submitted in writing and on a form prescribed by the commission. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of section 8-7d, the commission shall review and may approve, modify and approve or reject the proposal in accordance with the provisions of subsection (g) of this section."

      (1949 Rev., S. 856; 1959, P.A. 577, S. 6; 1969, P.A. 477, S. 1; 1971, P.A. 862, S. 5, 6; P.A. 78-314, S. 3; P.A. 80-327, S. 2; P.A. 85-279, S. 4; P.A. 88-13, S. 1, 3; P.A. 91-392, S. 2; 91-395, S. 3, 11; 91-398, S. 2, 7; P.A. 95-239, S. 3; 95-335, S. 9, 26; P.A. 99-117, S. 1, 2; P.A. 01-197, S. 1, 4; P.A. 03-19, S. 20; P.A. 05-205, S. 1; P.A. 06-17, S. 1; 06-24, S. 1; P.A. 07-239, S. 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5, S. 4.)

      History: 1959 act added provisions re districts; 1969 act substituted "shall" for "may" thereby requiring that recommendation for most desirable land uses and population density be included in development plan, but did leave optional the inclusion of other recommendations re streets, bridges etc. and further clarified contents of plan re economic development, schedules, budgets, various codes and regulations and community needed and deleted requirement that report be filed annually; 1971 act changed public hearing notice requirements from publication at least seven days before hearing to publication "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 hearing; P.A. 78-314 allowed consideration of energy-efficient development, renewable forms of energy and energy conservation in development plan; P.A. 80-327 allowed consideration of water supplies and their protection in development plan; P.A. 85-279 made consideration of surface and ground drinking water supplies in preparation of the plan mandatory rather than discretionary; P.A. 88-13 allowed consideration of affordable housing and open space acquisition in the plan of development and required that the plan of development be reviewed and updated at least once every 10 years; P.A. 91-392 added provisions re development of housing opportunities and promotion of housing choice and economic diversity in housing; P.A. 91-395 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended them to require that municipal plans take into account the state plan and that plans adopted under this section be reviewed for consistency with the state plan of development and added Subsec. (b) requiring municipalities to consider use of cluster development; P.A. 91-398 added provision re plans in municipalities contiguous to Long Island Sound; P.A. 95-239 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that the plan may make regulations re traprock ridgelines; P.A. 95-335 amended Subsec. (a) to change the name of the plan of development to the plan of conservation and development and authorized the plan to include provisions re greenways protection and development, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-117 divided existing Subsec. (a) into (a) and (b), redesignating existing Subsec. (b) as (c), and amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision regarding explanation of failure to conduct review of the plan, effective January 1, 2000; P.A. 01-197 deleted former provisions and inserted new Subsecs. (a) to (h) which reorganized former provisions and authorized planning commissions to appoint special committees and to submit the plan to the legislative body of the town, broadened the scope of the plan to include cluster development, traprock and other ridgelines and neighborhood and district plans and made technical changes to form and content, effective July 1, 2001, and applicable to municipal plans of conservation and development adopted after that date; P.A. 03-19 made a technical change in Subsecs. (f) and (g), effective May 12, 2003; P.A. 05-205 amended Subsec. (c) to add Subdiv. (10) re protection and preservation of agriculture, amended Subsec. (d)(1) to redesignate subparagraphs and require the commission to consider focusing development and revitalization in areas with infrastructure, adding new Subpara. (B) re system of principal thoroughfares, revising new Subpara. (C) to add provisions re identification and promotion of areas of mixed use development patterns and land reuse, and revising new Subpara. (F) re growth management principles, amended Subsec. (e) to eliminate provisions re principal thoroughfares consistent with changes in Subsec. (d), revising Subdiv. (3) to add recommendations for schools and adding new Subdiv. (6)(F) re corridor management areas and new Subdiv. (7) re priority funding areas, amended Subsec. (f) to require posting of plan on Internet web site of the municipality, change the number of days the regional planning agency has for review from 65 to 35, require the regional planning agency to make specific findings and add provisions re revision of the plan and submission to the legislative body, amended Subsec. (g) to add provisions re Internet posting and notice to the Office of Policy and Management, replaced former Subsec. (h) re hearings and endorsement with new Subsec. (h) authorizing an owner or tenant to request changes to the plan and made technical changes throughout the section, effective July 1, 2005 (Revisor's note: In Subsec. (d)(1)(C)(ii), the words "land and reuse" were changed editorially by the Revisors to "and land reuse" for consistency); P.A. 06-17 amended Subsec. (f) by revising provisions re submission to the legislative body or board of selectmen and organizing subsection into subdivisions, amended Subsec. (g) by adding requirement that a plan of conservation and development not endorsed by the legislative body or board of selectmen be approved by a two-thirds majority of the commission, making conforming changes and organizing subsection into subdivisions and amended Subsec. (h) by making conforming changes, effective October 1, 2006, and applicable to plans of conservation and development adopted after that date; P.A. 06-24 amended Subsec. (g) by replacing requirement that the commission notify the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management of inconsistencies of the municipal plan with the state plan with requirement that the commission submit to the secretary a copy of the plan and a description of any such inconsistencies not more than 60 days after adoption of the plan; P.A. 07-239 divided existing Subsec. (a) into Subsecs. (a) and (b), added provisions re discretionary funding therein, deleted provision re application for funding for conservation or development submitted to secretary or commissioners in said Subsec. (b) and redesignated existing Subsecs. (b) to (h) as Subsecs. (c) to (i), effective July 1, 2010; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5 amended Subsec. (a)(2) to insert "state" re discretionary funding, effective July 1, 2010.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 8-25. Subdivision of land. (a) No subdivision of land shall be made until a plan for such subdivision has been approved by the commission. Any person, firm or corporation making any subdivision of land without the approval of the commission shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars for each lot sold or offered for sale or so subdivided. Any plan for subdivision shall, upon approval, or when taken as approved by reason of the failure of the commission to act, be filed or recorded by the applicant in the office of the town clerk not later than ninety days after the expiration of the appeal period under section 8-8, or in the case of an appeal, not later than ninety days after the termination of such appeal by dismissal, withdrawal or judgment in favor of the applicant but, if it is a plan for subdivision wholly or partially within a district, it shall be filed in the offices of both the district clerk and the town clerk, and any plan not so filed or recorded within the prescribed time shall become null and void, except that the commission may extend the time for such filing for two additional periods of ninety days and the plan shall remain valid until the expiration of such extended time. All such plans shall be delivered to the applicant for filing or recording not more than thirty days after the time for taking an appeal from the action of the commission has elapsed or not more than thirty days after the date that plans modified in accordance with the commission's approval and that comply with section 7-31 are delivered to the commission, whichever is later, and in the event of an appeal, not more than thirty days after the termination of such appeal by dismissal, withdrawal or judgment in favor of the applicant or not more than thirty days after the date that plans modified in accordance with the commission's approval and that comply with section 7-31 are delivered to the commission, whichever is later. No such plan shall be recorded or filed by the town clerk or district clerk or other officer authorized to record or file plans until its approval has been endorsed thereon by the chairman or secretary of the commission, and the filing or recording of a subdivision plan without such approval shall be void. Before exercising the powers granted in this section, the commission shall adopt regulations covering the subdivision of land. No such regulations shall become effective until after a public hearing held in accordance with the provisions of section 8-7d. Such regulations shall provide that the land to be subdivided shall be of such character that it can be used for building purposes without danger to health or the public safety, that proper provision shall be made for water, sewerage and drainage, including the upgrading of any downstream ditch, culvert or other drainage structure which, through the introduction of additional drainage due to such subdivision, becomes undersized and creates the potential for flooding on a state highway, and, in areas contiguous to brooks, rivers or other bodies of water subject to flooding, including tidal flooding, that proper provision shall be made for protective flood control measures and that the proposed streets are in harmony with existing or proposed principal thoroughfares shown in the plan of conservation and development as described in section 8-23, especially in regard to safe intersections with such thoroughfares, and so arranged and of such width, as to provide an adequate and convenient system for present and prospective traffic needs. Such regulations shall also provide that the commission may require the provision of open spaces, parks and playgrounds when, and in places, deemed proper by the planning commission, which open spaces, parks and playgrounds shall be shown on the subdivision plan. Such regulations may, with the approval of the commission, authorize the applicant to pay a fee to the municipality or pay a fee to the municipality and transfer land to the municipality in lieu of any requirement to provide open spaces. Such payment or combination of payment and the fair market value of land transferred shall be equal to not more than ten per cent of the fair market value of the land to be subdivided prior to the approval of the subdivision. The fair market value shall be determined by an appraiser jointly selected by the commission and the applicant. A fraction of such payment the numerator of which is one and the denominator of which is the number of approved parcels in the subdivision shall be made at the time of the sale of each approved parcel of land in the subdivision and placed in a fund in accordance with the provisions of section 8-25b. The open space requirements of this section shall not apply if the transfer of all land in a subdivision of less than five parcels is to a parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle or first cousin for no consideration, or if the subdivision is to contain affordable housing, as defined in section 8-39a, equal to twenty per cent or more of the total housing to be constructed in such subdivision. Such regulations, on and after July 1, 1985, shall provide that proper provision be made for soil erosion and sediment control pursuant to section 22a-329. Such regulations shall not impose conditions and requirements on manufactured homes having as their narrowest dimension twenty-two feet or more and built in accordance with federal manufactured home construction and safety standards or on lots containing such manufactured homes which are substantially different from conditions and requirements imposed on single-family dwellings and lots containing single-family dwellings. Such regulations shall not impose conditions and requirements on developments to be occupied by manufactured homes having as their narrowest dimension twenty-two feet or more and built in accordance with federal manufactured home construction and safety standards which are substantially different from conditions and requirements imposed on multifamily dwellings, lots containing multifamily dwellings, cluster developments or planned unit developments. The commission may also prescribe the extent to which and the manner in which streets shall be graded and improved and public utilities and services provided and, in lieu of the completion of such work and installations previous to the final approval of a plan, the commission may accept a bond in an amount and with surety and conditions satisfactory to it securing to the municipality the actual construction, maintenance and installation of such improvements and utilities within a period specified in the bond. Such regulations may provide, in lieu of the completion of the work and installations above referred to, previous to the final approval of a plan, for an assessment or other method whereby the municipality is put in an assured position to do such work and make such installations at the expense of the owners of the property within the subdivision. Such regulations may provide that in lieu of either the completion of the work or the furnishing of a bond as provided in this section, the commission may authorize the filing of a plan with a conditional approval endorsed thereon. Such approval shall be conditioned on (1) the actual construction, maintenance and installation of any improvements or utilities prescribed by the commission, or (2) the provision of a bond as provided in this section. Upon the occurrence of either of such events, the commission shall cause a final approval to be endorsed thereon in the manner provided by this section. Any such conditional approval shall lapse five years from the date it is granted, provided the applicant may apply for and the commission may, in its discretion, grant a renewal of such conditional approval for an additional period of five years at the end of any five-year period, except that the commission may, by regulation, provide for a shorter period of conditional approval or renewal of such approval. Any person who enters into a contract for the purchase of any lot subdivided pursuant to a conditional approval may rescind such contract by delivering a written notice of rescission to the seller not later than three days after receipt of written notice of final approval if such final approval has additional amendments or any conditions that were not included in the conditional approval and are unacceptable to the buyer. Any person, firm or corporation who, prior to such final approval, transfers title to any lot subdivided pursuant to a conditional approval shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars for each lot transferred. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize the marketing of any lot prior to the granting of conditional approval or renewal of such conditional approval.

      (b) The regulations adopted under subsection (a) of this section shall also encourage energy-efficient patterns of development and land use, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy, and energy conservation. The regulations shall require any person submitting a plan for a subdivision to the commission under subsection (a) of this section to demonstrate to the commission that such person has considered, in developing the plan, using passive solar energy techniques which would not significantly increase the cost of the housing to the buyer, after tax credits, subsidies and exemptions. As used in this subsection and section 8-2, passive solar energy techniques mean site design techniques which maximize solar heat gain, minimize heat loss and provide thermal storage within a building during the heating season and minimize heat gain and provide for natural ventilation during the cooling season. The site design techniques shall include, but not be limited to: (1) House orientation; (2) street and lot layout; (3) vegetation; (4) natural and man-made topographical features; and (5) protection of solar access within the development.

      (c) The regulations adopted under subsection (a) of this section, may, to the extent consistent with soil types, terrain, infrastructure capacity and the plan of development for the community, provide for cluster development, and may provide for incentives for cluster development such as density bonuses, or may require cluster development.

      (1949 Rev., S. 858; November, 1955, S. N12; 1959, P.A. 577, S. 7; 669; 1971, P.A. 196; 862, S. 8; P.A. 75-131; P.A. 77-545, S. 2; P.A. 78-104, S. 5; 78-314, S. 4; P.A. 79-301; P.A. 81-254; 81-334, S. 1; P.A. 83-388, S. 8, 9; P.A. 85-91, S. 4, 5; P.A. 88-203, S. 2; 88-263; P.A. 90-239, S. 1; P.A. 91-395, S. 4, 11; P.A. 93-29; P.A. 95-335, S. 15, 26; P.A. 99-131; P.A. 01-52; P.A. 03-177, S. 6; P.A. 07-182, S. 1.)

      History: 1959 acts added provision for filing of subdivision plans in case of a district and added provision regulations authorize commission to provide open spaces for parks and playgrounds; 1971 acts added provisions concerning extensions for filing subdivision plans, specified that applicant must do filing and that endorsement of approval must be made by chairman or secretary and changed notice requirement from publication at least seven days before hearing to publication "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 hearing; P.A. 75-131 required that plans be delivered to applicant promptly for filing purposes after appeal deadline passed or after appeal terminated; P.A. 77-545 added provision that regulations made govern sedimentation and erosion control; P.A. 78-104 included "maintenance" of improvements and utilities in bond provision; P.A. 78-314 allowed encouragement of energy-efficient development, use of renewable forms of energy and energy conservation through regulations; P.A. 79-301 increased fine for making unapproved subdivision from $200 to $500; P.A. 81-254 allowed for conditional approval of plans; P.A. 81-334 moved provisions re regulations to encourage energy-efficient patterns of development, use of solar and other renewable forms of energy and energy conservation into new Subsec. (b) and outlined content of regulations; P.A. 83-388 amended Subsec. (a) to require that provision be made for soil erosion and sediment control, effective July 1, 1985; P.A. 85-91 amended Subsec. (a) to specify the date by which time provision for soil erosion and sediment control is required; P.A. 88-203 added provisions in Subsec. (a) re imposition of conditions and requirements on certain manufactured homes and developments to be occupied by certain manufactured homes; P.A. 88-263 substituted "shall" for "may" in Subsec. (b) to require that subdivision regulations encourage energy-efficient patterns of development and land use, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy and energy conservation; P.A. 90-239 amended Subsec. (a) to allow the payment of a fee in lieu of the provision of open spaces and to exempt transfers of land to certain relatives from the open spaces requirements; P.A. 91-395 added Subsec. (c) concerning authorization for cluster development in regulations adopted under this section; P.A. 93-29 amended Subsec. (a) to change the time planning commissions have to deliver approved plans to subdivision applicants from "promptly" after the expiration of an appeal or termination in the applicant's favor to 30 days after either event and to change the date for filing of approved plans by a developer from 90 days after the time for appeal to 90 days after termination in the applicant's favor; P.A. 95-335 amended Subsec. (a) to change "plan of development" to "plan of conservation and development", effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-131 amended Subsec. (a) by requiring regulations covering the subdivision of land to include a provision for the "upgrading of any downstream ditch, culvert or other drainage structure which, through the introduction of additional drainage due to such subdivision, becomes undersized and creates the potential for flooding on a state highway"; P.A. 01-52 amended Subsec. (a) to change the time for delivery of approved subdivision plans from not less than 30 days to not more than 30 days and add provisions re modified plans and amended Subsec. (b) to make a technical change for purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 03-177 replaced provisions in Subsec. (a) re publication of notice of time, place and purpose of public hearing with requirement that the public hearing be held in accordance with Sec. 8-7d, effective October 1, 2003, and applicable to applications filed on or after that date; P.A. 07-182 amended Subsec. (a) to allow a person who enters into a contract to purchase a subdivided lot pursuant to conditional approval to rescind such contract if such final approval has additional amendments or any conditions not included in the conditional approval that are unacceptable to the buyer, to provide that a fine of $1,000 be imposed on any person who, before final approval, transfers title to any lot subdivided pursuant to conditional approval for each lot transferred, deleting prior fine of $500 imposed on any person who sells or offers for sale any such lot, to require that nothing in subsection be construed to authorize the marketing of any lot before granting or renewal of conditional approval, and to make technical changes, effective July 1, 2007.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 8-26. Approval of subdivision and resubdivision plans. Waiver of certain regulation requirements. Applications involving inland wetlands and watercourses. All plans for subdivisions and resubdivisions, including subdivisions and resubdivisions in existence but which were not submitted to the commission for required approval, whether or not shown on an existing map or plan or whether or not conveyances have been made of any of the property included in such subdivisions or resubdivisions, shall be submitted to the commission with an application in the form to be prescribed by it. The commission shall have the authority to determine whether the existing division of any land constitutes a subdivision or resubdivision under the provisions of this chapter, provided nothing in this section shall be deemed to authorize the commission to approve any such subdivision or resubdivision which conflicts with applicable zoning regulations. Such regulations may contain provisions whereby the commission may waive certain requirements under the regulations by a three-quarters vote of all the members of the commission in cases where conditions exist which affect the subject land and are not generally applicable to other land in the area, provided that the regulations shall specify the conditions under which a waiver may be considered and shall provide that no waiver shall be granted that would have a significant adverse effect on adjacent property or on public health and safety. The commission shall state upon its records the reasons for which a waiver is granted in each case. The commission may establish a schedule of fees and charge such fees. The amount of the fees shall be sufficient to cover the costs of processing subdivision applications, including, but not limited to, the cost of registered or certified mailings and the publication of notices, and the costs of inspecting subdivision improvements. Any schedule of fees established under this section shall be superseded by fees established by ordinance under section 8-1c. The commission may hold a public hearing regarding any subdivision proposal if, in its judgment, the specific circumstances require such action. No plan of resubdivision shall be acted upon by the commission without a public hearing. Such public hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of section 8-7d. The commission shall approve, modify and approve, or disapprove any subdivision or resubdivision application or maps and plans submitted therewith, including existing subdivisions or resubdivisions made in violation of this section, within the period of time permitted under section 8-26d. Notice of the decision of the commission shall be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality and addressed by certified mail to any person applying to the commission under this section, 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 made such application may provide for the publication of such notice within ten days thereafter. Such notice shall be a simple statement that such application was approved, modified and approved or disapproved, together with the date of such action. The failure of the commission to act thereon shall be considered as an approval, and a certificate to that effect shall be issued by the commission on demand. The grounds for its action shall be stated in the records of the commission. No planning commission shall be required to consider an application for approval of a subdivision plan while another application for subdivision of the same or substantially the same parcel is pending before the commission. For the purposes of this section, an application is not "pending before the commission" if the commission has rendered a decision with respect to such application and such decision has been appealed to the Superior Court. If an application involves land regulated as an inland wetland or watercourse under the provisions of chapter 440, the applicant shall submit an application to the agency responsible for administration of the inland wetlands regulations no later than the day the application is filed for the subdivision or resubdivision. 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 subdivision or resubdivision involving land regulated as an inland wetland or watercourse under chapter 440. The commission shall not render a decision until the inland wetlands agency has submitted a report with its final decision to such commission. 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. In making a decision on an application, the commission shall consider information submitted by the applicant under subsection (b) of section 8-25 concerning passive solar energy techniques. The provisions of this section shall apply to any municipality which exercises planning power pursuant to any special act.

      (1949 Rev., S. 859; 1959, P.A. 679, S. 6; 1963, P.A. 55, S. 2; 273, S. 1; February, 1965, P.A. 622, S. 5; 1967, P.A. 884, S. 2; 1971, P.A. 862, S. 9; P.A. 73-550; P.A. 75-40; P.A. 77-450, S. 5; 77-545, S. 3; P.A. 78-243, S. 1, 2; P.A. 86-236, S. 3, 4; P.A. 87-215, S. 5, 7; 87-533, S. 9, 14; P.A. 89-356, S. 14; P.A. 92-191; 92-218; P.A. 93-124, S. 1; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 10, 130; P.A. 03-177, S. 7; P.A. 07-102, S. 2.)

      History: 1959 act permitted charging of fees for processing applications and set amounts of charges and provided for action on "subdivision application or maps and plans submitted therewith" rather than "a subdivision plan"; 1963 acts required commission to state grounds for "its action" rather than for "disapproval," raised the maximum fee the commission may charge from $2 to $3 for each lot and provided for newspaper publication of decision of commission; 1965 act set 10-day time limit for notice by publication in a newspaper and provided notice by mail be given within 3 days instead of on or before day of notice by publication; 1967 act deleted requirement that applicant be notified of decision within 3 days and required instead notification within 10 days; 1971 act changed requirement that hearing notice be published at least 7 days before hearing to "publication ... 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 hearing, required that commission take action within 65 rather than 60 days of hearing or submission and that notice of decision be published and mailed to applicant within 15 rather than 10 days and limited extensions to 65 days; P.A. 73-550 included resubdivisions and subdivisions and resubdivisions in existence but not submitted to commission for approval under requirement re application to commission; P.A. 75-40 increased minimum fee from $25 to $35 and maximum fee from $3 to $5 per lot; P.A. 77-450 replaced 65-day limit for decision with limit equaling period of time under Sec. 8-26d and deleted provision for 65-day extension; P.A. 77-545 added provisions concerning waivers of requirements and added provisions concerning concurrent consideration of more than one plan for same or substantially same parcel and concerning applications involving wetlands and watercourses; P.A. 78-243 increased fees to $50 or $25 per lot; P.A. 86-236 specified that the provisions of the section shall apply to any municipality which exercises planning power pursuant to any special act; P.A. 87-215 authorized commission to provide by regulation for additional notice by mail to adjacent landowners; P.A. 87-533 substituted provision requiring filing of applications simultaneously with inland wetlands applications, prohibiting a decision until after submission of the report of the inland wetlands agency and requiring consideration of such report for prior provision requiring that applicant file copy of application with agency responsible for administering wetlands regulation; P.A. 89-356 added provision authorizing the person who made a subdivision or resubdivision 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. 92-191 added provision that an application is not "pending before the commission" if the commission has rendered a decision and such decision has been appealed to the superior court; P.A. 92-218 added provision re consideration of information on passive solar energy techniques; P.A. 93-124 eliminated the statutory fee schedule and authorized planning commissions to establish a fee schedule sufficient to cover the cost of processing applications; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1 made technical changes, effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 03-177 replaced provisions re publication of notice of public hearing and notice to adjacent landowners with requirement that the public hearing be held in accordance with Sec. 8-7d, effective October 1, 2003, and applicable to applications filed on or after that date; P.A. 07-102 added provision re acceptance and processing of subdivision or resubdivision involving inland wetlands and watercourses and replaced provision re due 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.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)