CHAPTER 132
MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

Table of Contents

Sec. 8-189. Project plan. Approval. Notice. Review.
Sec. 8-191. Adoption of development plan.
Sec. 8-191a. Effect of commissioner's failure to make environmental evaluation.
Sec. 8-193. Acquisition and transfer of real property. Procedure. Powers of agency. Limitations.
Sec. 8-200. Modification of development plan. Abandonment of plan and conveyance of property. Limitations.

      Sec. 8-189. Project plan. Approval. Notice. Review. (a) The developmentújy agency may initiate a development project by preparing a project plan in accordance with regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 8-198. The project plan shall meet an identified public need and include: (1) A legal description of the land within the project area; (2) a description of the present condition and uses of such land or building; (3) a description of the process utilized by the agency to prepare the plan and a description of alternative approaches considered to achieve project objectives; (4) a description of the types and locations of land uses or building uses proposed for the project area; (5) a description of the types and locations of present and proposed streets, sidewalks and sanitary, utility and other facilities and the types and locations of other proposed site improvements; (6) statements of the present and proposed zoning classification and subdivision status of the project area and the areas adjacent to the project area; (7) a plan for relocating project-area occupants; (8) a financing plan; (9) an administrative plan; (10) a marketability and proposed land-use study or building use study if required by the commissioner; (11) appraisal reports and title searches; (12) a description of the public benefits of the project including, but not limited to, (A) the number of jobs which the development agency anticipates would be created by the project; (B) the estimated property tax benefits; (C) the number and types of existing housing units in the municipality in which the project would be located, and in contiguous municipalities, which would be available to employees filling such jobs; (D) a general description of infrastructure improvements, including public access, facilities or use, that the development agency anticipates may be needed to implement the development plan; (E) a general description of the development agency's goals for blight remediation or, if known, environmental remediation; (F) a general description of any aesthetic improvements that the development agency anticipates may be generated by the project; (G) a general description of the project's intended role in increasing or sustaining market value of land in the municipality; (H) a general description of the project's intended role in assisting residents of the municipality to improve their standard of living; and (I) a general statement of the project's role in maintaining or enhancing the competitiveness of the municipality; (13) findings that (A) the land and buildings within the project area will be used principally for industrial or business purposes; (B) the plan is in accordance with the plan of conservation and development for the municipality adopted by its planning commission under section 8-23, and the plan of development of the regional planning agency adopted under section 8-35a, if any, for the region within which the municipality is located; (C) the plan was prepared giving due consideration to the state plan of conservation and development adopted under chapter 297 and any other state-wide planning program objectives of the state or state agencies as coordinated by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management; and (D) the project will contribute to the economic welfare of the municipality and the state; and that to carry out and administer the project, public action under this chapter is required; and (14) a preliminary statement describing the proposed process for acquiring each parcel of real property, including findings that (A) public benefits resulting from the development plan will outweigh any private benefits; (B) existing use of the real property cannot be feasibly integrated into the overall development plan for the project; (C) acquisition by eminent domain is reasonably necessary to successfully achieve the objectives of such development plan; and (D) the development plan is not for the primary purpose of increasing local tax revenues. Any plan that has been prepared by a redevelopment agency under chapter 130 may be submitted by the development agency to the legislative body and to the commissioner for approval in lieu of a plan initiated and prepared in accordance with this section, provided all other requirements of this chapter for obtaining the approval of the commissioner of the project plan are satisfied.

      (b) (1) The approval of a development plan shall be given by the legislative body pursuant to section 8-191.

      (2) The plan shall be effective for a period of ten years after the date of approval and may be amended in accordance with this section. The legislative body shall review the plan at least once every ten years after the initial approval, and shall reapprove the plan or an amended plan at least once every ten years after the initial approval in accordance with this section in order for the plan or amended plan to remain in effect. With respect to a development plan for a project that is funded in whole or in part by federal funds, the provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to the extent that such provisions are prohibited by federal law.

      (3) The development agency shall cause notice of the initial approval of the plan to be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality.

      (1967, P.A. 760, S. 4; 1969, P.A. 628, S. 14; 1971, P.A. 505, S. 2; P.A. 74-184, S. 3, 10; P.A. 75-480, S. 3, 8; 75-537, S. 48, 55; P.A. 77-614, S. 19, 610; P.A. 81-98, S. 2; P.A. 86-232, S. 1; P.A. 07-141, S. 10.)

      History: 1969 act substituted "state or state agencies as coordinated by the state planning council" for "Connecticut interregional planning program"; 1971 act substituted Connecticut development commission for commissioner of community affairs; P.A. 74-184 substituted commissioner of commerce for Connecticut development commission, included building description in Subdiv. (b), building use study in Subdiv. (i) and findings concerning buildings in Subdiv. (j) and substituted planning and budgeting division, department of finance and control for state planning council; P.A. 75-480 made studies under Subdiv. (i) necessary only if required by commissioner, made appraisal reports and title searches new Subdiv. (j) and relettered former Subdiv. (j) as Subdiv. (k); P.A. 75-537 substituted department of planning and energy policy for planning and budgeting division of finance and control department; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of economic development for commissioner of commerce, effective January 1, 1979, and substituted secretary of [sic] the office of policy and management for department of planning and energy policy; P.A. 81-98 allowed for use of plans prepared under chapter 130; P.A. 86-232 added new Subdiv. (k) requiring statement re jobs and housing to be included in project plan and relettered remaining Subdiv. accordingly; P.A. 07-141 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended same to substitute "regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 8-198" for "regulations of the commissioner", add "meet an identified public need", insert new provisions as Subdiv. (3) re description of process utilized and alternative approaches considered, insert new provisions as Subdiv. (12) re public benefits and estimated property tax benefits and insert new provisions therein as Subparas. (D) to (I) re general descriptions and statements, substitute "plan of conservation and development" for "plan of development" and "prepared giving due consideration" for "is not inimical to" re plan in Subdiv. (13), insert new provisions as Subdiv. (14) re public benefits, integration of existing use, reasonable necessity of acquisition by eminent domain, and primary purpose of plan not being to increase tax revenue, and make technical changes, and added Subsec. (b) re approval, effective period and review, and notice of approval, effective October 1, 2007, and applicable to development plans adopted on or after that date.

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      Sec. 8-191. Adoption of development plan. (a) Before the development agency adopts a plan for a development project, (1) the planning commission of the municipality shall find that the plan is in accord with the plan of development for the municipality; and (2) the regional planning agency, if any, for the region within which such municipality is located shall find that such plan is in accord with the plan of development for such region, or if such agency fails to make a finding concerning the plan within thirty-five days of receipt of the plan by such agency, it shall be presumed that such agency does not disapprove of the plan; and (3) the development agency shall hold at least one public hearing on the plan. At least thirty-five days prior to any public hearing, the development agency shall post the plan on the Internet web site of the development agency, if any. Upon approval by the development agency, the agency shall submit the plan to the legislative body which shall vote to approve or disapprove the plan. After approval of the plan by the legislative body, the development agency shall submit the plan for approval to the commissioner. Notice of the time, place and subject of any public hearing held under this section shall be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality, such publication to be made not less than one week nor more than three weeks prior to the date set for the hearing. In the event the commissioner requires a substantial modification of the project plan before giving approval, then upon the completion of such modification such plan shall first have a public hearing and then be approved by the development agency and the legislative body. Any legislative body, agency or commission in approving a plan for a development project shall specifically approve the findings made in the plan.

      (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section with respect to submission of a development project to and approval by the commissioner shall not apply to a project for which no grant has been made under section 8-190 and no application for a grant is to be made under section 8-195.

      (1967, P.A. 760, S. 6; 1971, P.A. 505, S. 4; P.A. 74-184, S. 5, 10; P.A. 75-480, S. 5, 8; P.A. 77-410, S. 1, 5; P.A. 81-98, S. 3; P.A. 07-141, S. 11; 07-217, S. 34.)

      History: 1971 act substituted Connecticut development commission for commissioner of community affairs and deleted provisions ceasing payments to municipalities not meeting deadlines for development of community development action plans; P.A. 74-184 substituted commissioner of commerce for Connecticut development commission; P.A. 75-480 deleted provision requiring public hearing before submission to regional planning agency, required regional agency to make finding within 35 rather than 60 days and stated that plan presumed to be not disapproved if finding not made, deleted provision that plan be submitted to legislative body after development agency commissioner's preliminary approval and required that substantial modifications be approved by development agency and legislative body after public hearing; P.A. 77-410 added Subsec. (b) excepting certain projects from provisions of Subsec. (a); P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of economic development for commissioner of commerce, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 81-98 provided for a mandatory vote on the plan by the legislative body of the municipality; P.A. 07-141 amended Subsec. (a) to add requirement that agency post plan on its Internet web site, if any, at least 35 days prior to any hearing, and made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b), effective October 1, 2007, and applicable to development plans adopted on or after that date; P.A. 07-217 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), effective July 12, 2007.

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      Sec. 8-191a. Effect of commissioner's failure to make environmental evaluation. No plan prepared and approved under sections 8-189 and 8-191, which includes the findings enumerated in subdivisions (12) and (13) of section 8-189, shall be invalid and deemed ineffective solely because of the commissioner's failure to comply with any provision of sections 22a-1a to 22a-1f, inclusive. All actions taken by the commissioner between February 1, 1975, and June 14, 1977, are validated. Nothing in this section or section 8-191, 8-193 or 8-196 shall relieve the commissioner from the commissioner's obligation to comply with sections 22a-1a to 22a-1f, inclusive, subsequent to June 14, 1977.

      (P.A. 77-410, S. 4, 5; P.A. 07-141, S. 21.)

      History: P.A. 07-141 substituted "subdivisions (12) and (13)" for "subsection (k)" re findings and made a technical change.

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      Sec. 8-193. Acquisition and transfer of real property. Procedure. Powers of agency. Limitations. (a) After approval of the development plan as provided in this chapter, the development agency may proceed by purchase, lease, exchange or gift with the acquisition or rental of real property within the project area and real property and interests therein for rights-of-way and other easements to and from the project area.

      (b) (1) The development agency may, with the approval of the legislative body in accordance with this subsection, and in the name of the municipality, acquire by eminent domain real property located within the project area and real property and interests therein for rights-of-way and other easements to and from the project area, in the same manner that a redevelopment agency may acquire real property under sections 8-128 to 8-133, inclusive, as if said sections specifically applied to development agencies, except that no real property may be acquired by eminent domain pursuant to this subsection for the primary purpose of increasing local tax revenue.

      (2) The development agency shall conduct a public hearing on any proposed acquisition of real property by eminent domain. The development agency shall cause notice of the time, place and subject of the hearing to be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality not more than ten days before the date set for the hearing. Not less than ten days before the date of the hearing, the development agency shall send, by first class mail, notice of the time, place and subject of the hearing to the owners of record of the real property and to all owners of real property within one hundred feet of the real property to be acquired by eminent domain.

      (3) (A) No parcel of real property may be acquired by eminent domain under this section except by approval by vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the legislative body of the municipality or, in the case of a municipality for which the legislative body is a town meeting or a representative town meeting, the board of selectmen. Such approval shall be by (i) separate vote on each parcel of real property to be acquired, or (ii) a vote on one or more groups of such parcels, provided each parcel to be acquired is identified for the purposes of a vote on a group of such parcels under this subparagraph. The legislative body or the board of selectmen, as the case may be, shall not approve the use of eminent domain by the development agency unless the legislative body or board of selectmen has (I) considered the benefits to the public and any private entity that will result from the development project and determined that the public benefits outweigh any private benefits, (II) determined that the current use of the real property cannot be feasibly integrated into the overall development plan, and (III) determined that the acquisition of the real property by eminent domain is reasonably necessary to successfully achieve the objectives of the development plan.

      (B) The municipality shall cause notice of any approved acquisition by eminent domain under this subdivision to be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality not more than ten days after such approval.

      (C) (i) The development agency shall acquire any property identified in the plan as property to be acquired by eminent domain by a date that is five years after the date the first property is acquired by eminent domain under the plan unless the development agency approves an extension of the time for acquisition, except that no property may be acquired by eminent domain under the plan more than ten years after the first property is acquired by eminent domain under the plan.

      (ii) With respect to a development plan for a project that is funded in whole or in part by federal funds, the provisions of this subparagraph shall not apply to the extent that such provisions are prohibited by federal law.

      (4) The owner-occupant of property acquired by eminent domain under this section may file an application in the superior court for the judicial district in which the municipality is located to enjoin the acquisition of such property. The court may issue such injunction if the court finds that the development agency or municipality failed to comply with the requirements of this chapter. The filing of an application to enjoin the acquisition of property by eminent domain, in a court of competent jurisdiction, shall toll the five-year period or ten-year period set forth in subparagraph (C) of subdivision (3) of this subsection with respect to such property until the date a final judgment is entered in any such action, or any appeal thereof, whichever date is later.

      (c) (1) With respect to real property acquired by eminent domain pursuant to this section on or after June 25, 2007, if the municipality does not use the real property for the purpose for which it was acquired or for some other public use and seeks to sell the property, the municipality shall first offer the real property for sale pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection to the person from whom the real property was acquired, or heirs of the person designated pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, if any, for a price not to exceed the lesser of (A) the amount paid by the development agency to acquire the property, or (B) the fair market value of the property at the time of any sale under this subsection. After the municipality provides notice pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, the municipality may not sell such property to a third party unless the municipality has permitted the person or named heirs six months during which to exercise the right to purchase the property, and an additional six months to finalize the purchase if the person or named heirs provide the municipality with notice of intent to purchase the property within the initial six-month period.

      (2) For the purposes of any offer of sale pursuant to this subsection, the municipality shall provide a form to any person whose property is acquired by eminent domain pursuant to this section to permit such person to provide an address for notice of sale to be sent, or to provide the name and address of an agent to receive such notice. Such form shall be designed to permit the person to designate heirs of the person who shall be eligible to purchase such property pursuant to this subsection. The person or agent shall update information in the form in writing. If the person or agent does not provide or update the information in the form in a manner that permits the municipality to send notice of sale pursuant to this subsection, no such notice shall be required.

      (3) With respect to a development plan for a project that is funded in whole or in part by federal funds, the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the extent that such provisions are prohibited by federal law.

      (d) The development agency may, with the approval of the legislative body and, of the commissioner if any grants were made by the state under section 8-190 or 8-195 for such development project, and in the name of such municipality, transfer by sale or lease at fair market value or fair rental value, as the case may be, the whole or any part of the real property in the project area to any person, in accordance with the project plan and such disposition plans as may have been determined by the commissioner.

      (e) A development agency shall have all the powers necessary or convenient to undertake and carry out development plans and development projects, including the power to clear, demolish, repair, rehabilitate, operate, or insure real property while it is in its possession, to make site improvements essential to the preparation of land for its use in accordance with the development plan, to install, construct or reconstruct streets, utilities and other improvements necessary for carrying out the objectives of the development project, and, in distressed municipalities, as defined in section 32-9p, to lend funds to businesses and industries in a manner approved by the commissioner.

      (1967, P.A. 760, S. 8; 1971, P.A. 505, S. 5; 1972, P.A. 87, S. 3; P.A. 74-184, S. 6, 10; P.A. 77-138, S. 2, 3; 77-410, S. 2, 5; P.A. 80-18, S. 2, 3; P.A. 84-243, S. 2; P.A. 07-141, S. 1.)

      History: 1971 act amended Subsec. (a) by substituting Connecticut development commission for commissioner of community affairs; 1972 act added power to rehabilitate real property in Subsec. (b); P.A. 74-184 substituted commissioner of commerce for Connecticut development commission; P.A. 77-138 amended Subsec. (a) to delete phrase which had restricted transfers of property by development agencies by allowing transfers only after completion of improvements called for in plan; P.A. 77-410 required commissioner's approval of transfers if grants were made by the state for the project in Subsec. (a); P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of economic development for commissioner of commerce, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-18 substituted "real property" for "land" and deleted reference to acquisition of real property under Sec. 8-129; P.A. 84-243 amended Subsec. (b) to provide for loans to businesses and industries in distressed municipalities; P.A. 07-141 inserted new Subsec. designators (b) and (c) and inserted Subdiv. designators, inserted exception in Subsec. (b)(1) that no property may be acquired for primary purpose of increasing local tax revenue, inserted new provisions as Subsecs. (b)(2) to (4) re process for acquisition, inserted new provisions as Subsec. (c) re offer of sale to owner if property not used for a public purpose, designated existing provisions re transfer of property as Subsec. (d), and redesignated existing Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (e), effective June 25, 2007, and applicable to property acquired on or after that date.

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      Sec. 8-200. Modification of development plan. Abandonment of plan and conveyance of property. Limitations. (a) A development plan may be modified at any time by the development agency, provided, if modified after the lease or sale of real property in the development project area, the modification must be consented to by the lessees or purchasers of such real property or their successor or successors in interest affected by the proposed modification. Where the proposed modification will substantially change the development plan as previously approved, the modification must be approved in the same manner as the development plan.

      (b) If after three years from the date of approval of the development plan the development agency has been unable to transfer by sale or lease at fair market value or fair rental value, as the case may be, the whole or any part of the real property acquired in the project area to any person in accordance with the project plan, and no grant has been made for such project pursuant to section 8-195, the municipality may, by vote of its legislative body, abandon the project plan and such real property may be conveyed free of any restriction, obligation or procedure imposed by the plan but shall be subject to all other local and state laws, ordinances or regulations, including, but not limited to, any offer of sale required under subsection (c) of section 8-193.

      (1967, P.A. 760, S. 16; P.A. 80-41; P.A. 81-415, S. 3, 4; P.A. 07-141, S. 12.)

      History: P.A. 80-41 substituted "development" for "redevelopment"; P.A. 81-415 added Subsec. (b) authorizing municipality to abandon project plan and convey real property in the project area if, after three years from the date of the plan's approval the development agency is unable to sell or lease all or any part of the property; P.A. 07-141 amended Subsec. (b) to add "including, but not limited to, any offer of sale required under subsection (c) of section 8-193", effective June 25, 2007, and applicable to property acquired on or after that date.

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