CHAPTER 97a*
HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND HISTORIC PROPERTIES

      *Cited. 196 C. 596. Sec. 7-147a et seq. cited. 227 C. 71.

      Sec. 7-147a et seq. cited. 29 CA 28.


Table of Contents

Sec. 7-147a. Historic districts authorized. Definitions.
Sec. 7-147b. Procedure for establishment of historic district.
Sec. 7-147c. Historic district commission.
Sec. 7-147d. Certificate of appropriateness: Parking areas.
Sec. 7-147e. Application for certificate. Hearing. Approval.
Sec. 7-147f. Considerations in determining appropriateness. Solar energy systems.
Sec. 7-147g. Variations, permissible when.
Sec. 7-147h. Action by commission to prevent illegal acts.
Sec. 7-147i. Appeals.
Sec. 7-147j. Exempted acts. Delay of demolition.
Sec. 7-147k. Prior districts unaffected. Validation of prior creations and actions. Nonprofit institutions of higher education excluded.
Secs. 7-147l and 7-147m. Method of balloting; eligibility to vote; balloting on prior districts.
Secs. 7-147n and 7-147o.
Sec. 7-147p. Historic property ordinances authorized. Definitions.
Sec. 7-147q. Procedures for establishment of historic properties.
Sec. 7-147r. Historic properties commission.
Sec. 7-147s. Certificate of appropriateness.
Sec. 7-147t. Procedure for application for certificate.
Sec. 7-147u. Considerations in determining appropriateness.
Sec. 7-147v. Variations, permissible when.
Sec. 7-147w. Action by commission to prevent illegal acts.
Sec. 7-147x. Appeals.
Sec. 7-147y. Exempted acts. Delay of demolition.

PART I*
HISTORIC DISTRICTS

      *Cited. 196 C. 596, 602, 607.

      Because this part (Sec. 7-147a et seq.) provides comprehensive, detailed legislative scheme for establishment of historic district, including approval of legislative body, and because referendum authorized by town charter is not such a legislative body, provision of town charter is inapplicable to adoption of historic district ordinance in accordance with this part and has no place in such scheme. 62 CA 298.


      Sec. 7-147a. Historic districts authorized. Definitions. (a) As used in this part: "Altered" means changed, modified, rebuilt, removed, demolished, restored, razed, moved or reconstructed; "erected" means constructed, built, installed or enlarged; "exterior architectural features" means such portion of the exterior of a structure or building as is open to view from a public street, way or place; "building" means a combination of materials forming a shelter for persons, animals or property; "structure" means any combination of materials, other than a building, which is affixed to the land, and shall include, but not be limited to, signs, fences and walls; "municipality" means any town, city, borough, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough; "appropriate" means not incongruous with those aspects of the historic district which the historic district commission determines to be historically or architecturally significant.

      (b) Any municipality may, by vote of its legislative body and in conformance with the standards and criteria formulated by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, establish within its confines an historic district or districts to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of the distinctive characteristics of buildings and places associated with the history of or indicative of a period or style of architecture of the municipality, of the state or of the nation.

      (c) The legislative body of any municipality may make appropriations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this part.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 1; February, 1965, P.A. 221, S. 2; P.A. 80-314, S. 1; P.A. 86-105, S. 1; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30.)

      History: 1965 act added provision requiring district to conform to standards and criteria of historical commission; P.A. 80-314 added Subsec. (a) containing definitions and divided earlier provisions into Subsecs. (b) and (c); P.A. 86-105 added definition of "appropriate" in Subsec. (a); June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727. Cited. 196 C. 596.

      Subsec. (a):

      Includes objects embedded in the earth, such as posts, stakes and foundations connected to objects rising above the surface and very heavy objects "affixed" to the ground by gravity, but not isolated objects that rest lightly on the surface of the ground that can easily be moved. 282 C. 672.


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      Sec. 7-147b. Procedure for establishment of historic district. Prior to the establishment of an historic district or districts, the following steps shall be taken:

      (a) The legislative body shall appoint or authorize the chief elected official of the municipality to appoint an historic district study committee for the purpose of making an investigation of a proposed historic district or districts. The legislative body of a municipality which proposes to establish more than one district may establish more than one committee if the proposed districts are not contiguous to each other nor to any existing historic district. Each committee established under the provisions of this section shall consist of five regular and three alternate members who shall be electors of the municipality holding no salaried municipal office. Such alternate members shall, when seated as provided in this section, have all powers and duties of a member of the committee. If a regular member of such committee is absent or has a conflict of interest, the chairman of the committee shall designate an alternate to so act, choosing alternates in rotation so that they shall act as nearly equal a number of times as possible. If any alternate is not available in accordance with such rotation, such fact shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

      (b) The historic district study committee shall investigate and submit a report which shall include the following: (1) An analysis of the historic significance and architectural merit of the buildings, structures, places or surroundings to be included in the proposed historic district or districts and the significance of the district as a whole; (2) a general description of the area to be included within the district or districts, including the total number of buildings in each such district or districts listed according to their known or estimated ages; (3) a map showing the exact boundaries of the area to be included within the district or districts; (4) a proposed ordinance or proposed ordinances designed to create and provide for the operation of an historic district or districts in accordance with the provisions of this part; (5) such other matters as the committee may deem necessary or advisable.

      (c) The historic district study committee shall transmit copies of its report to the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the planning commission and zoning commission, or the combined planning and zoning commission, of the municipality, if any, and, in the absence of such a planning commission, zoning commission or combined planning and zoning commission, to the chief elected official of the municipality for their comments and recommendations. In addition to such other comments and recommendations as it may make, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism may recommend either approval, disapproval, modification, alteration or rejection of the proposed ordinance or ordinances and of the boundaries of each proposed district. Each such commission, board or individual shall deliver such comments and recommendations to the committee within sixty-five days of the date of transmission of such report. Failure to deliver such comments and recommendations shall be taken as approval of the report of the committee.

      (d) The historic district study committee shall hold a public hearing on the establishment of a proposed historic district or districts not less than sixty-five nor more than one hundred thirty days after the transmission of the report to each party as provided in subsection (c) of this section, except that, if all such parties have delivered their comments and recommendations to the committee, such hearing may be held less than sixty-five days after the transmittal of the report. The comments and recommendations received pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be read in full at the public hearing.

      (e) Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given as follows: (1) Written notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing, postage prepaid, shall be mailed to the owners of record of all real property to be included in the proposed historic district or districts, as they appear on the last-completed grand list, at the addresses shown thereon, at least fifteen days before the time set for such hearing, together with a copy of the report of the historic district study committee or a fair and accurate synopsis of such report. A complete copy of the report, a copy of all recommendations made under subsection (c) of this section, a map showing the boundaries of the area to be included in the proposed district and a copy of the proposed ordinance shall be available at no charge from the town clerk during business hours or shall be mailed, upon request, to any owner of record of real property in the proposed historic district or districts with the notice of the hearing; and (2) by publication of such notice in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality 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 such hearing.

      (f) The historic district study committee shall submit its report with any changes made following the public hearing, along with any comments or recommendations received pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and such other materials as the committee may deem necessary or advisable to the legislative body and the clerk of the municipality within sixty-five days after the public hearing.

      (g) The clerk or his designee shall, not later than sixty-five days from receipt of such report, mail ballots to each owner of record of real property to be included in the proposed district or districts on the question of creation of an historic district or districts, as provided for in sections 7-147a to 7-147k, inclusive. Only an owner who is eighteen years of age or older and who is liable, or whose predecessors in title were liable, to the municipality for taxes on an assessment of not less than one thousand dollars on the last-completed grand list of the municipality on real property within the proposed district, or who would be or would have been so liable if not entitled to an exemption under subdivision (7), (8), (10), (11), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (20), (21), (22), (23), (24), (25), (26), (29) or (49) of section 12-81, may vote, provided such owner is the record owner of the property, thirty days before the ballots must be returned. Any tenant in common of any freehold interest in any land shall have a vote equal to the fraction of his ownership in said interest. Joint tenants of any freehold interest in any land shall vote as if each joint tenant owned an equal, fractional share of such land. A corporation shall have its vote cast by the chief executive officer of such corporation or his designee. No owner shall have more than one vote.

      (h) The form of the ballot to be mailed to each owner shall be consistent with the model ballot prepared by the Historic Preservation Council of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism established pursuant to section 10-409. The ballot shall be a secret ballot and shall set the date by which such ballots shall be received by the clerk of the municipality. The ballots shall be mailed by first class mail to each owner eligible to vote in such balloting at least fifteen days in advance of the day on which ballots must be returned. Notice of balloting shall be published in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial 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 before the day on which the ballots must be returned. Such ballot shall be returned to the municipal clerk, inserted in an inner envelope which shall have endorsed on the face thereof a form containing a statement as follows: "I, the undersigned, do hereby state under the penalties of false statement that I am an owner of record of real property to be included in the proposed historic district and that I am, or my predecessors in title were, liable to the municipality for taxes on an assessment of not less than one thousand dollars on the last grand list of the municipality of real property within the district, or who would be or would have been so liable if not entitled to an exemption under subdivision (7), (8), (10), (11), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (20), (21), (22), (23), (24), (25), (26), (29) or (49) of section 12-81." Such statement shall be signed and dated. Any person who intentionally falsely signs such ballot shall be guilty of false statement as provided in section 53a-157b. The inner envelope, in which the ballot has been inserted by the owner, shall be returned to the municipal clerk in an outer envelope endorsed on the outside with the words: "Official ballot". Such outer envelope shall also contain, in the upper left corner of the face thereof, blank spaces for the name and return address of the sender. In the lower left corner of such outer envelope, enclosed in a printed box, there shall be spaces upon which the municipal clerk, before issuance of the ballot and envelopes, shall inscribe the name, street and number of the elector's voting residence and the date by which the ballot must be returned, and before issuance the municipal clerk shall similarly inscribe such envelope with his name and address for the return thereof. All outer envelopes shall be serially numbered. The ballots shall be returned to the municipal clerk by the close of business on the day specified, and such clerk shall compare each ballot to the list of property owners to whom such ballots were mailed to insure that each such ballot has been properly signed and returned.

      (i) If two-thirds of all property owners voting cast votes in the affirmative, the legislative body of the municipality shall by majority vote take one of the following steps: (1) Accept the report of the committee and enact an ordinance or ordinances to create and provide for the operation of an historic district or districts in accordance with the provisions of this part; (2) reject the report of the committee, stating its reasons for such rejection; (3) return the report to the historic district study committee with such amendments and revisions thereto as it may deem advisable, for consideration by the committee. The committee shall submit an amended report to the legislative body within sixty-five days of such return. The committee need not hold a public hearing other than the one provided for in subsection (d) of this section, notwithstanding any changes in its report following such hearing, unless the legislative body has recommended a change in the boundaries of the proposed district or districts. The legislative body of the municipality may authorize another ballot of the owners within a proposed district or districts to be cast, other than the balloting provided for in subsection (g) of this section, notwithstanding any changes in the proposed ordinance following such balloting, if the boundaries of the proposed district in which the owners' property is situated are changed.

      (j) Any ordinance, or amendment thereof, enacted pursuant to this part, which creates or alters district boundaries, shall contain a legal description of the area to be included within the historic district. The legislative body, when it passes such an ordinance, or amendment thereof, shall transmit to the municipal clerk a copy of the ordinance or amendment thereof. Such ordinance, or amendment thereof, shall be recorded in the land records of the municipality in which such real property is located and indexed by the municipal clerk in the grantor index under the names of the owners of record of such property.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 2; 1963, P.A. 600, S. 1; P.A. 75-52; P.A. 77-338, S. 1; P.A. 80-314, S. 2; P.A. 87-167; P.A. 91-135, S. 1; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e), 235; P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; 04-257, S. 4; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30.)

      History: 1963 act amended Subsec. (c) to extend time for recommendations after receipt of report from 60 to 90 days and to authorize Connecticut historical commission to recommend re boundaries of proposed districts, amended Subsec. (d) to extend time within which hearing is to be held, amended Subsec. (e) to provide for sending a copy or synopsis of the study committee's report, together with a copy of the recommendations under Subsec. (c), a map and a copy of the proposed ordinance to property owners, amended Subsec. (f) to provide for inclusion of list of all buildings in report of committee and amended Subsec. (g) to provide for balloting by property owners; P.A. 75-52 added Subsec. (i) re ordinance contents; P.A. 77-338 deleted requirement in Subsec. (d) that hearing be held not less than 120 days after report; P.A. 80-314 amended Subsec. (a) to allow more than one committee and to include provisions for alternate members, amended Subsec. (b) to include in requirements for report consideration of architectural merit, description of area to be included, map of exact boundaries, proposed ordinance etc., amended Subsec. (c) to include combined planning and zoning commissions and to replace previous provision requiring that recommendations be read at hearing with provision for turning over recommendations to committee, amended Subsec. (d) to require that hearing be held not less than 65 days after report sent to commissions unless conditions specified in exception are met, amended Subsec. (e) to require 15 rather than 20 days' notice and to allow towns to have available on request rather than to automatically send out complete report and other data, amended Subsec. (f) to change deadline from 60 to 65 days and deleted specific accounting of report contents, amended Subsec. (g) to set deadline for mailing ballots and to replace general provisions for voting and action on result with detailed provisions for voting, deleted former Subsec. (h) re proposed amendments to ordinance replacing it with further voting detail, added Subsec. (i) re actions taken following vote and relettered former Subsec. (i) as Subsec. (j) and added requirement that copy of ordinance be sent to municipal clerk; P.A. 87-167 amended Subsec. (i) to reduce the affirmative vote requirement from 75% to two-thirds of all owners voting; P.A. 91-135 amended Subsec. (g) to transfer authority to mail ballots from the legislative body to the town clerk or his designee and amended Subsec. (h) to require that the ballot be consistent with a model ballot prepared by the Connecticut historical commission; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film in Subsec. (c), and June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 also amended Subsec. (h) to substitute Historic Preservation Council of Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film for Connecticut Historical Commission, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes in Subsec. (h), effective June 14, 2004.

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727. Cited. 196 C. 596. Cited. 227 C. 71.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 43 CS 297.

      Subsec. (g):

      Each condominium unit owner "entitled to a vote proportionate to his freehold interest in the land ..." 196 C. 596.


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      Sec. 7-147c. Historic district commission. (a) Once an historic district has been established, the historic district study committee shall cease to exist and thereafter an historic district commission shall perform all the functions of the committee relative to the new district and to administering the provisions of this part.

      (b) The historic district commission may from time to time, by following the procedure for creation of an historic district provided for in section 7-147b, suggest that an historic district be enlarged or that additional districts be created. Where additional property is to be included within an existing district, the owners of such additional property shall vote pursuant to subsection (g) of section 7-147b.

      (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7-147b, the legislative body of the municipality may enact amendments to the ordinance or ordinances of an historic district established pursuant to this part if such amendments do not involve changing district boundaries or the creation of new districts. No amendment shall be enacted until the substance of such amendment has first been submitted to the historic district commission having jurisdiction over the district affected for its comments and recommendations and either its comments and recommendations have been received or sixty-five days have elapsed without receipt of such comments and recommendations. The historic district commission may suggest amendments to the legislative body.

      (d) The historic district commission established under the provisions of this part shall consist of five regular and three alternate members, who shall be electors of the municipality in which the district is situated holding no salaried municipal office. The ordinance shall provide that one or more of the members or alternates of the historic district commission shall reside in an historic district under the jurisdiction of the commission, if any persons reside in any such district and are willing to serve on such commission. Such alternate members shall, when seated as provided in this section, have all powers and duties of a member of the commission. If a regular member of said commission is absent or has a conflict of interest, the chairman of the commission shall designate an alternate to so act, choosing alternates in rotation so that they shall act as nearly equal a number of times as possible. If any alternate is not available in accordance with such rotation, such fact shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The method of appointment shall be fixed by ordinance. The appointments to membership in the commission shall be so arranged that the term of at least one member shall expire each year, and their successors shall be appointed in like manner for terms of five years. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term and in the same manner as the original appointment. The commission shall elect annually a chairman, a vice-chairman and a clerk from its own number. Each member and alternate shall continue in office until his successor is duly appointed. All members and alternates shall serve without compensation. Any member or alternate may be appointed for another term or terms.

      (e) The historic district commission shall adopt rules of procedure not inconsistent with the provisions of this part. The commission may adopt regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this part to provide guidance to property owners as to factors to be considered in preparing an application for a certificate of appropriateness.

      (f) The historic district commission shall keep a permanent record of its resolutions, transactions and determinations and of the vote of each member participating therein.

      (g) A copy of any ordinance creating an historic district adopted under authority of this part, amendments to any such ordinance, maps of any districts created under this part, annual reports and other publications of the historic district commission and the roster of membership of such commission shall be transmitted to the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. The historic district commission shall also file with the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism at least once every year a brief summary of its actions during that year, including a statement of the number and nature of certificates of appropriateness issued, any changes in the membership of the commission and any other information deemed appropriate by the historic district commission.

      (h) The historic district commission may accept grants and gifts, employ clerical and technical assistance or consultants and incur other expenses appropriate to the carrying on of its work, subject to appropriation by the municipality or receipt of such grants or gifts and may expend the same for such purposes.

      (i) A municipality which has more than one historic district may establish more than one historic district commission if the districts are not contiguous.

      (j) Any historic district commission established under this section may, unless prohibited by charter, ordinance or special act: (1) Make periodic reports to the legislative body; (2) provide information to property owners and others involving the preservation of the district; (3) suggest pertinent legislation; (4) initiate planning and zoning proposals; (5) cooperate with other regulatory agencies and civic organizations and groups interested in historic preservation; (6) comment on all applications for zoning variances and special exceptions where they affect historic districts; (7) render advice on sidewalk construction and repair, tree planting, street improvements and the erection or alteration of public buildings not otherwise under its control where they affect historic districts; (8) furnish information and assistance in connection with any capital improvement program involving historic districts; (9) consult with groups of experts.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 3; P.A. 77-338, S. 2; P.A. 80-314, S. 3; P.A. 86-105, S. 2; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30.)

      History: P.A. 77-338 added Subsec. (b) re procedure for inclusion of individual's property in district after its establishment; P.A. 80-314 deleted previous Subsec. (b), inserted new material concerning enlarging districts or creating new ones and ordinance amendments as Subsecs. (b) and (c), placed provisions for commission membership, appointments, etc. in Subsec. (d) rather than Subsec. (a) as previously, amending provisions for alternate members and adding provision concerning vacancies and reappointments, placed provision for adopting rules in Subsec. (e) rather than Subsec. (a) and added provision concerning regulations providing guidance for property owners in preparing applications, added Subsecs. (f) and (g) re permanent records and information required to be sent to the state historical commission, amended provision re acceptance of grants and gifts and employment of personnel, formerly in Subsec. (a), and designated it as Subsec. (h) and added Subsecs. (i) and (j) re multiple commissions and further powers; P.A. 86-105 amended Subsec. (d) to require that one or more residents of historic district be included on commission as members or alternates; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727.

      Subsec. (j):

      Cited. 227 C. 71.


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      Sec. 7-147d. Certificate of appropriateness: Parking areas. (a) No building or structure shall be erected or altered within an historic district until after an application for a certificate of appropriateness as to exterior architectural features has been submitted to the historic district commission and approved by said commission.

      (b) No building permit for erection of a building or structure or for alteration of an exterior architectural feature within an historic district and no demolition permit for demolition or removal of a building or structure within an historic district shall be issued by a municipality or any department, agency or official thereof until a certificate of appropriateness has been issued. A certificate of appropriateness shall be required whether or not a building permit is required.

      (c) The historic district commission may request such plans, elevations, specifications, material and other information, including in the case of demolition or removal, a statement of the proposed condition and appearance of property after such demolition or removal, as may be reasonably deemed necessary by the commission to enable it to make a determination on the application. The style, material, size and location of outdoor advertising signs and bill posters within an historic district shall also be under the control of such commission. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to extend to the color of paint used on the exterior of any building or structure.

      (d) No area within an historic district shall be used for industrial, commercial, business, home industry or occupational parking, whether or not such area is zoned for such use, until after an application for a certificate of appropriateness as to parking has been submitted to the commission and approved by said commission. The provisions of this section shall apply to the enlargement or alteration of any such parking area in existence on October 1, 1973.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 4; 1963, P.A. 600, S. 2; P.A. 73-473, S. 1; P.A. 80-314, S. 4.)

      History: 1963 act redefined "exterior architectural features", deleted stone walls, fences, signs, light fixtures, steps and paving from purview of certificate and excluded exterior paint color from provisions of section; P.A. 73-473 added Subsec. (b) re parking areas; P.A. 80-314 deleted "restored, moved or demolished" and removed definition of "exterior architectural features" from Subsec. (a), added Subsec. (b) re certificates of appropriateness, added Subsec. (c) including provisions re signs and exterior paint color, previously in Subsec. (a), and stating what information is necessary for commission's decision on application and relettered former Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (d).

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727. Cited. 196 C. 596.

      Cited. 29 CA 28.

      Subsec. (d):

      A reading of the word "occupational" that restricts it strictly to for-profit commercial or industrial uses would render other words unnecessary surplusage, which would violate basic tenet of statutory construction that legislature does not intend to enact meaningless provisions. 284 C. 838. Subsec. plainly and unambiguously encompasses parking for private elementary educational facilities because legislature drafted statute with language clearly intended to subject a broad variety of nonresidential parking uses to historic district regulation. Id. Legislature's enactment of Sec. 7-147k(b) which exempts from provisions of historic district act "any property owned by a nonprofit institution of higher education, for as long as a nonprofit institution of higher education owns such property" further supports a construction of Subsec. subjecting nonprofit private elementary school to jurisdiction of the commission. Id.


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      Sec. 7-147e. Application for certificate. Hearing. Approval. (a) The historic district commission shall hold a public hearing upon each application for a certificate of appropriateness unless the commission determines that such application involves items not subject to approval by the commission. The commission shall fix a reasonable time and place for such hearing. Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given by publication in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality not more than fifteen days nor less than five days before such hearing.

      (b) Unless otherwise provided by ordinance, a majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum and the concurring vote of a majority of the members of the commission shall be necessary to issue a certificate of appropriateness. Within not more than sixty-five days after the filing of an application as required by section 7-147d, the commission shall pass upon such application and shall give written notice of its decision to the applicant. When a certificate of appropriateness is denied, the commission shall place upon its records and in the notice to the applicant the reasons for its determination, which shall include the bases for its conclusion that the proposed activity would not be appropriate. In the notice to the applicant the commission may make recommendations relative to design, arrangement, texture, material and similar features. The commission may issue a certificate of appropriateness with stipulations. Evidence of approval, as referred to in section 7-147d, shall be by certificate of appropriateness issued by the commission. Failure of the commission to act within said sixty-five days shall constitute approval and no other evidence of approval shall be needed.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 5, 7; 1969, P.A. 37; P.A. 73-473, S. 2; P.A. 80-314, S. 5; P.A. 86-105, S. 3.)

      History: 1969 act changed deadline for commission action in Subsec. (a) from 60 to 120 days; P.A. 73-473 specified parking as well as exterior architectural features as concern of certificate of appropriateness; P.A. 80-314 deleted reference specifying parking or exterior architectural features, changed number of times notice to appear in newspaper from seven to two and add specific time requirements, deleted requirement that commission record applications and activities and deleted former Subsec. (b) and placed in new Subsec. (b) procedure for action on application, changing deadline for action to 65 days, adding provisions re quorum, voting and denial of application or issuance with stipulations; P.A. 86-105 reduced newspaper notice requirements to one publication and provided that the bases for commission's determination shall be included in any notice of denial of certificate of appropriateness.

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727. Cited. 196 C. 596.

      Subsec. (a):

      Failure to republish notice of continuance of a hearing in newspaper did not violate Subsec. 49 CS 498.

      Subsec. (b):

      In appeal from a decision by historic district commission, reviewing courts are limited to determining whether reason or reasons stated by commission are supported by substantial evidence in the record. 285 C. 755.

      Although commission mailed the notice of the denial of the application to applicant 68 days after the filing of the application, applicant was not entitled to automatic approval of the application on that basis since commission had acted within 65 days after the filing of the application and applicant had actual notice of the commission's decision. 108 CA 682.


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      Sec. 7-147f. Considerations in determining appropriateness. Solar energy systems. (a) If the commission determines that the proposed erection, alteration or parking will be appropriate, it shall issue a certificate of appropriateness. In passing on appropriateness as to exterior architectural features, buildings or structures, the commission shall consider, in addition to other pertinent factors, the type and style of exterior windows, doors, light fixtures, signs, above-ground utility structures, mechanical appurtenances and the type and texture of building materials. In passing upon appropriateness as to exterior architectural features the commission shall also consider, in addition to any other pertinent factors, the historical and architectural value and significance, architectural style, scale, general design, arrangement, texture and material of the architectural features involved and the relationship thereof to the exterior architectural style and pertinent features of other buildings and structures in the immediate neighborhood. No application for a certificate of appropriateness for an exterior architectural feature, such as a solar energy system, designed for the utilization of renewable resources shall be denied unless the commission finds that the feature cannot be installed without substantially impairing the historic character and appearance of the district. A certificate of appropriateness for such a feature may include stipulations requiring design modifications and limitations on the location of the feature which do not significantly impair its effectiveness. In passing upon appropriateness as to parking, the commission shall take into consideration the size of such parking area, the visibility of cars parked therein, the closeness of such area to adjacent buildings and other similar factors.

      (b) In its deliberations, the historic district commission shall act only for the purpose of controlling the erection or alteration of buildings, structures or parking which are incongruous with the historic or architectural aspects of the district. The commission shall not consider interior arrangement or use. However, the commission may recommend adaptive reuse of any buildings or structures within the district compatible with the historic architectural aspects of the district.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 8; P.A. 73-473, S. 3; P.A. 80-314, S. 6; P.A. 81-326.)

      History: P.A. 73-473 added specific provisions concerning certificates of appropriateness for parking; P.A. 80-314 added Subsec. (b) re exclusion of consideration of interior space except to recommend adaptive reuse and expanded considerations for certificate concerning exterior features with specific references to doors, windows, signs, etc.; P.A. 81-326 added provisions concerning issuance of certificate of appropriateness for exterior architectural feature designed for utilization of renewable resources.

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727. Cited. 196 C. 596. Cited. 227 C. 71.

      Subsec. (a):

      Commission may consider historic value and significance of buildings in their existing locations, including outbuildings, as a "pertinent factor" in denying an application for alterations. 285 C. 755.


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      Sec. 7-147g. Variations, permissible when. Where, by reason of topographical conditions, district borderline situations or because of other unusual circumstances solely with respect to a certain parcel of land and not affecting generally the district in which it is situated, the strict application of any provision of this part would result in exceptional practical difficulty or undue hardship upon the owner of any specific property, the commission in passing upon applications shall have power to vary or modify strict adherence to said sections or to interpret the meaning of said sections so as to relieve such difficulty or hardship; provided such variance, modification or interpretation shall remain in harmony with the general purpose and intent of said sections so that the general character of the district shall be conserved and substantial justice done. In granting variations, the commission may impose such reasonable and additional stipulations and conditions as will, in its judgment, better fulfill the purposes of said sections. In addition to the filing required by subsection (b) of section 7-147e, the commission shall, for each variation granted, place upon its records and in the notice to the applicant the reasons for its determinations.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 9; P.A. 80-314, S. 7.)

      History: P.A. 80-314 required that record of granted variance and commission's reasons for granting it be kept.

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727. Cited. 196 C. 596.

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      Sec. 7-147h. Action by commission to prevent illegal acts. (a) If any provision of this part or any action taken or ruling made by the historic district commission pursuant to the provisions of said sections or of any regulation or ordinance adopted under said sections has been violated, the commission may, in addition to other remedies, institute an action in the superior court for the judicial district wherein such violation exists, which court shall have jurisdiction to restrain such violation and to issue orders directing that the violation be corrected or removed. Such order may direct the removal of any building, structure or exterior architectural feature erected in violation of said sections or any bylaw or ordinance adopted under said sections or the substantial restoration of any building, structure, or exterior architectural feature altered or demolished in violation of said sections or any regulation or ordinance adopted under said sections. Regulations and orders of the commission issued pursuant to said sections, or to any regulation or ordinance adopted under said sections, shall be enforced by the zoning enforcement official or building inspector or by such other person as may be designated by ordinance, who may be authorized to inspect and examine any building, structure, place or premises and to require in writing the remedying of any condition found to exist therein or thereon in violation of any provision of the regulations or orders made under the authority of said sections or of any regulation or ordinance adopted under said sections.

      (b) The owner or agent of any building, structure or place where a violation of any provision of this part or of any regulation or ordinance adopted under said sections has been committed or exists, or the lessee or tenant of an entire building, entire structure or place where such violation has been committed or exists, or the owner, agent, lessee or tenant of any part of the building, structure or place in which such violation has been committed or exists, or the agent, architect, builder, contractor, or any other person who commits, takes part or assists in any such violation or who maintains any building, structure or place in which any such violation exists, shall be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for each day that such violation continues; but, if the offense is wilful, the person convicted thereof shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for each day that such violation continues. The superior court for the judicial district wherein such violation continues or exists shall have jurisdiction of all such offenses, subject to appeal as in other cases. Each day that a violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate offense. All costs, fees and expenses in connection with actions under this section may, in the discretion of the court, be assessed as damages against the violator, which, together with reasonable attorney's fees, may be awarded to the historic district commission which brought such action. Any funds collected as fines pursuant to this section shall be used by the commission to restore the affected buildings, structures, or places to their condition prior to the violation wherever possible and any excess shall be paid to the municipality in which the district is situated.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 10; P.A. 73-473, S. 4; P.A. 74-183, S. 166, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 145, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 80-314, S. 8.)

      History: P.A. 73-473 included reference to parking; P.A. 74-183 substituted court of common pleas for circuit court and included reference to "county or judicial district"; P.A. 76-436 substituted superior court for court of common pleas, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to "county"; P.A. 80-314 divided section into Subsecs. (a) and (b), replaced former provisions for proceedings to prevent unlawful acts with provisions for proceedings in superior court and added provisions concerning court costs, attorneys' fees and fines.

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727. Cited. 196 C. 596.

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      Sec. 7-147i. Appeals. Any person or persons severally or jointly aggrieved by any decision of the historic district commission or of any officer thereof may, within fifteen days from the date when such decision was rendered, take an appeal to the superior court for the judicial district in which such municipality is located, which appeal shall be made returnable to such court in the same manner as that prescribed for other civil actions brought to such court. Notice of such appeal shall be given by leaving a true and attested copy thereof in the hands of or at the usual place of abode of the chairman or clerk of the commission within twelve days before the return day to which such appeal has been taken. Procedure upon such appeal shall be the same as that defined in section 8-8.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 11; P.A. 76-436, S. 282, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 80-314, S. 9.)

      History: P.A. 76-436 substituted superior court for court of common pleas and added reference to judicial district, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to county; P.A. 80-314 provided that appeal be made returnable to court in same manner as that prescribed for "other" civil actions.

      See Sec. 51-197b re administrative appeals.

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727. In appeals from administrative zoning decisions, decisions will be invalidated even if they were reasonably supported by the record, if they were not supported by substantial evidence in the record. In an appeal from decision of a commission, the record is reviewed to determine whether there is factual support for commission's decision. Should substantial evidence exist in record to support any basis or stated reason for commission's decision, the court must sustain that decision. 284 C. 838. Although judicial review of land use decisions is deferential, it is not a rubber stamp as a court cannot take view in every case that discretion exercised by local zoning authority must not be disturbed, for if it did the right of appeal would be empty. Id. Although defendant's decision in this case was guided by proper statutory factors under Sec. 7-147f, the application of those factors was not supported by substantial evidence and, therefore, was an abuse of its discretion. Id. Because neighborly animosity and outcry are not, without more, factors for defendant's consideration under Sec. 7-147f(a), testimony does not support the defendant's conclusion in this case. Id.

      If an appeal has been taken and the trial court remands a case to the commission, the scope of the remand order determines the finality of the trial court's judgment for appeal purposes. 108 CA 682.


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      Sec. 7-147j. Exempted acts. Delay of demolition. (a) Nothing in this part shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural feature in the historic district which does not involve a change in the appearance or design thereof; nor to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature which the building inspector or a similar agent certifies is required by the public safety because of a condition which is unsafe or dangerous due to deterioration; nor to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature under a permit issued by a building inspector or similar agent prior to the effective date of establishment of such district.

      (b) If a building in an historic district is to be demolished, no demolition shall occur for ninety days from issuance of a demolition permit if during such time the historic district commission or the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism is attempting to find a purchaser who will retain or remove such building or who will present some other reasonable alternative to demolition. During such ninety-day period the municipality may abate all real property taxes. At the conclusion of such ninety-day period, the demolition permit shall become effective and the demolition may occur. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mandate that the owner of such property sell such property or building.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 6; 1963, P.A. 600, S. 3; P.A. 80-314, S. 10; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30.)

      History: 1963 act deleted restriction on maintenance or repairs involving a change of material or outward appearance; P.A. 80-314 deleted references to construction, reconstruction and demolition and inserted references to "erection" and added Subsec. (b) re demolition procedure; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

      Cited. 153 C. 160. Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727.

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      Sec. 7-147k. Prior districts unaffected. Validation of prior creations and actions. Nonprofit institutions of higher education excluded. (a) The provisions of this part shall in no way impair the validity of any historic district previously established under any special act or the general statutes. Any and all historic districts created under the general statutes, prior to October 1, 1980, otherwise valid except that such districts, district study committees, municipalities or officers or employees thereof, failed to comply with the requirements of any general or special law, and any and all actions of such districts or historic district commission, are validated.

      (b) The provisions of this part shall not apply to any property owned by a nonprofit institution of higher education, for as long as a nonprofit institution of higher education owns such property.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 12; P.A. 80-314, S. 11; P.A. 06-196, S. 39.)

      History: P.A. 80-314 expanded validation to cover districts created before October 1, 1980, and added Subsec. (b) excepting property of nonprofit higher education institutions from provisions of Secs. 7-147a to 7-147k; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), effective June 7, 2006.

      Cited. 171 C. 199. Cited. 189 C. 727.

      Subsec. (a):

      Validation of the Farmington Historic District by this statute rendered moot the basis for complaint. 189 C. 727.

      Subsec. (b):

      Where express exceptions are made, legal presumption is legislature did not intend to save other cases from operation of the statute. The enactment of section indicates that legislature, when it desires to do so, knows how to exempt specific kinds of educational institutions from historic district regulation. 284 C. 838.


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      Secs. 7-147l and 7-147m. Method of balloting; eligibility to vote; balloting on prior districts. Sections 7-147l and 7-147m are repealed.

      (1963, P.A. 600, S. 4, 5; 1971, P.A. 333; 1972, P.A. 127, S. 8; P.A. 75-158; P.A. 78-285; P.A. 80-314, S. 12.)

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      Secs. 7-147n and 7-147o. Reserved for future use.

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PART II*
HISTORIC PROPERTIES

      *Cited. 196 C. 596.

      Sec. 7-147p. Historic property ordinances authorized. Definitions. (a) As used in this part: "Historic property" means any individual building, structure, object or site that is significant in the history, architecture, archaeology and culture of the state, its political subdivisions or the nation and the real property used in connection therewith; "altered" means changed, modified, rebuilt, removed, demolished, restored, razed, moved or reconstructed; "erected" means constructed, built, installed or enlarged; "exterior architectural features" means such portion of the exterior of a structure or building as is open to view from a public street, way or place; "building" means a combination of materials forming a shelter for persons, animals or property; "structure" means any combination of materials, other than a building, which is affixed to the land, and shall include, but not be limited to, signs, fences and walls; "municipality" means any town, city, borough, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough.

      (b) Any municipality may, by ordinance and in conformance with the standards and criteria formulated by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, designate within its confines an historic property or properties to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of the distinctive characteristics of individual buildings and places associated with the history of or indicative of a period or style of architecture of the municipality, of the state or of the nation.

      (c) The legislative body of any municipality may make appropriations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this part.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 1; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30.)

      History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

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      Sec. 7-147q. Procedures for establishment of historic properties. Prior to the designation of an historic property or properties, the following steps shall be taken:

      (a) The legislative body shall appoint or authorize the chief elected official of the municipality to appoint an historic properties study committee for the purpose of making an investigation of one or more proposed historic properties. The legislative body of a municipality which proposes to establish more than one historic property may establish more than one committee. An already existing historic properties commission or an historic district commission established in the municipality pursuant to part I of this chapter may be appointed to make this investigation. Each committee established under the provisions of this section shall consist of five regular and three alternate members who shall be electors of the municipality holding no salaried municipal office. Such alternate members shall, when seated as provided in this section, have all powers and duties of a member of the committee. If a regular member of such committee is absent or has a conflict of interest, the chairman of the committee shall designate an alternate to so act, choosing alternates in rotation so that they shall act as nearly equal a number of times as possible. If any alternate is not available in accordance with such rotation, such fact shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

      (b) The historic properties study committee shall investigate and submit a report which shall include the following: (1) An analysis of the historic significance and architectural merit of the buildings, structures, objects or sites proposed as historic properties; (2) a map showing the exact boundaries of the area to be designated as the historic property or properties; (3) a proposed ordinance or proposed ordinances designed to designate and provide for the protection of an historic property or properties in accordance with the provisions of this part; and (4) such other matters as the committee may deem necessary or advisable.

      (c) The historic properties study committee shall transmit copies of its report to the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the planning commission and zoning commission, or the combined planning and zoning commission, of the municipality, if any, and, in the absence of such a planning commission, zoning commission or combined planning and zoning commission, to the chief elected official of the municipality for their comments and recommendations. In addition to such other comments and recommendations as it may make, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism may recommend either approval, disapproval, modification, alteration or rejection of the proposed ordinance or ordinances and of the boundaries of each proposed historic property. Each such commission, board or individual shall deliver such comments and recommendations to the committee within sixty-five days of the date of transmission of such report. Failure to deliver such comments and recommendations shall be taken as approval of the report of the committee.

      (d) The historic properties study committee shall hold a public hearing on the designation of each proposed historic property not less than sixty-five nor more than one hundred thirty days after the transmission of the report to each party as provided in subsection (c) of this section, except that, if all such parties have delivered their comments and recommendations to the committee, such hearing may be held less than sixty-five days after the transmittal of the report. The comments and recommendations received pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be read in full at the public hearing.

      (e) Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given as follows: (1) Written notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing, postage prepaid, shall be mailed by certified mail to the owner or owners of record of the real property to be included in each proposed historic property, as they appear on the last-completed grand list, at the addresses shown thereon, at least fifteen days before the time set for such hearing, together with a copy of the report of the historic properties study committee or a fair and accurate synopsis of such report. A complete copy of the report, a copy of all recommendations made under subsection (c) of this section, a map showing the boundaries of the real property to be included in each proposed historic property and a copy of the proposed ordinance shall be available at no charge from the town clerk during business hours or shall be mailed, upon request, to any owner of record of real property in the proposed historic property or properties with the notice of the hearing; and (2) by publication of such notice in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality 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 such hearing.

      (f) The historic properties study committee shall submit its report with any changes made following the public hearing, along with any comments or recommendations received pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and such other materials as the committee may deem necessary or advisable to the legislative body of the municipality within sixty-five days after the public hearing.

      (g) The owner or owners of record of a proposed historic property may object to the proposed designation by submitting to the historic properties study committee or to the legislative body of the municipality a notarized statement certifying that the person filing such objection is the entire or partial owner of the property and objects to the designation. Unless persons holding fifty per cent or more of the ownership interest in a proposed historic property object to the proposed designation within thirty days following the public hearing held pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the legislative body of the municipality shall, by majority vote, take one of the following steps: (1) Accept the report of the committee as to the proposed historic property and enact an ordinance to designate the historic property and provide for its regulation in accordance with the provisions of this part; (2) reject the report of the committee, stating its reasons for such rejection; or (3) return the report to the historic properties study committee, with such amendments and revisions as it may deem advisable, for consideration by the committee. The committee shall, within sixty-five days of such return, submit an amended report to the legislative body and mail by certified mail a copy of the amended report to the owner or owners of record of each proposed historic property covered by the report. The committee need not hold a public hearing other than the one provided for in subsection (d) of this section. Unless persons holding fifty per cent or more of the ownership interest in a proposed historic property object to the proposed designation within thirty days of receipt of the amended report by written submission in the manner set forth in this subsection, the legislative body of the municipality may accept or reject the amended report as provided in this subsection.

      (h) Any ordinance, or amendment thereof, enacted pursuant to this part, which designates or alters historic property boundaries, shall contain a legal description of the area to be included within each historic property. The legislative body, when it passes such an ordinance, or amendment thereof, shall transmit to the municipal clerk a copy of the ordinance or amendment thereof. Such ordinance, or amendment thereof, shall be recorded in the land records of the municipality in which such real property is located and indexed by the municipal clerk in the grantor index under the names of the owners of record of such property.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 2; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30.)

      History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

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      Sec. 7-147r. Historic properties commission. (a) The first ordinance enacted by a municipality to designate any historic properties shall provide for the creation of an historic properties commission and for the termination of the historic properties study committee or committees. The historic properties commission shall administer the provisions of this part relative to all historic properties then or thereafter designated by the municipality and, relative to such historic properties, the commission shall have all of the powers and duties that historic district commissions have over historic districts pursuant to part I of this chapter except as is otherwise provided in this part. A municipality may designate an historic properties commission to administer historic districts in accordance with part I of this chapter in the event that no historic district commission exists when the historic properties commission is created. A municipality may designate an existing historic district commission to administer historic properties in accordance with this part.

      (b) The historic properties commission may from time to time, in accordance with section 7-147q, initiate the designation of additional historic properties or the enlargement of the boundaries of an existing historic property.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 3.)

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      Sec. 7-147s. Certificate of appropriateness. (a) No building or structure located within the boundaries of an historic property shall be erected or altered until after an application for a certificate of appropriateness as to exterior architectural features has been submitted to the historic properties commission and approved by such commission. No earthworks or site of recognized historic or archaeological importance within the boundaries of an historic property shall be altered until after an application for a certificate of appropriateness has been submitted to the historic properties commission and approved by said commission.

      (b) No building permit for erection of a building or structure or for alteration of an exterior architectural feature within the boundaries of an historic property and no demolition permit for demolition or removal of a building or structure within the boundaries of an historic property shall be issued by a municipality or any department, agency or official thereof until a certificate of appropriateness has been issued. A certificate of appropriateness shall be required whether or not a building permit is required.

      (c) The historic properties commission may request such plans, elevations, specifications, material and other information, including in the case of demolition or removal, a statement of the proposed condition and appearance of property after such demolition or removal, as may be reasonably deemed necessary by the commission to enable it to make a determination on the application. The style, material, size and location of outdoor advertising signs and bill posters within the boundaries of an historic property shall also be under the control of such commission. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to extend to the color of paint used on the exterior of any building or structure.

      (d) No area within the boundaries of an historic property shall be used for industrial, commercial, business, home industry or occupational parking, whether or not such area is zoned for such use, until after an application for a certificate of appropriateness as to parking has been submitted to the commission and approved by said commission.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 4.)

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      Sec. 7-147t. Procedure for application for certificate. In reviewing and acting upon applications for certificates of appropriateness, the historic properties commission shall follow the procedures set forth in section 7-147e for use by historic district commissions in reviewing applications for certificates of appropriateness affecting historic districts.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 5.)

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      Sec. 7-147u. Considerations in determining appropriateness. Except as otherwise provided in this part, in reviewing and acting upon applications for certificates of appropriateness, the historic properties commission shall apply the same standards and take into account the same considerations as set forth in section 7-147f for use by historic district commissions in reviewing applications for certificates of appropriateness affecting historic districts. In passing upon the appropriateness of alterations to earthworks or sites of historic or archaeological importance, the commission shall consider, in addition to any other pertinent factors, their value and significance, size, design, arrangement, texture and materials. In its deliberations, the historic properties commission shall act only for the purpose of controlling the erection or alteration of buildings, structures, objects, sites or parking that are incongruous with the historic or architectural aspects of the historic property.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 6.)

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      Sec. 7-147v. Variations, permissible when. Where, by reason of topographical conditions or location or because of other unusual circumstances, the strict application of any provision of this part would result in exceptional practical difficulty or undue hardship upon the owner of the historic property, the commission in passing upon applications shall have power to vary or modify strict adherence to the provisions of this part, provided such variance or modification shall remain in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this part so that the historic and architectural aspects of the historic property shall be conserved. In granting variances or modifications, the commission may impose such reasonable stipulations and conditions as will, in its judgment, better fulfill the purposes of this part. The commission shall, for each variance or modification granted, place upon its records and in the notice to the applicant the reasons for its determinations.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 7.)

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      Sec. 7-147w. Action by commission to prevent illegal acts. If any provision of this part, or any action taken or ruling made by the historic properties commission pursuant to the provisions of this part or any regulation or ordinance adopted pursuant to this part, has been violated, the historic properties commission shall have, in addition to other remedies, those remedies available to historic district commissions as provided in section 7-147h.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 8.)

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      Sec. 7-147x. Appeals. Any person or persons severally or jointly aggrieved by any decision of the historic properties commission or of any officer thereof may appeal such decision in the same manner and according to the same procedure as set forth in section 7-147i for appeals from the decisions of the historic district commissions.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 9.)

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      Sec. 7-147y. Exempted acts. Delay of demolition. (a) Nothing in this part shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural feature within the boundaries of an historic property which does not involve a change in the appearance or design thereof; nor to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature which the building inspector or a similar agent certifies is required by the public safety because of a condition which is unsafe or dangerous due to deterioration; nor to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature under a permit issued by a building inspector or similar agent prior to designation of such historic property.

      (b) If a building within the boundaries of an historic property is to be demolished, no demolition shall occur for ninety days from issuance of a demolition permit if during such time the historic properties commission or the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism is attempting to find a purchaser who will retain or remove such building or who will present some other reasonable alternative to demolition. During such ninety-day period the municipality may abate all real property taxes. At the conclusion of such ninety-day period, the demolition permit shall become effective and the demolition may occur. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mandate that the owner of such property is under any obligation to sell such property or building.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 10; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30.)

      History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

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