CHAPTER 118
NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION ZONES

Table of Contents

Sec. 7-600. Neighborhood revitalization zones: Establishment.
Sec. 7-601. Neighborhood revitalization planning committee. Strategic plan.
Sec. 7-602. Approval of strategic plan. Amendments.
Sec. 7-603. Legislative finding; exercise of power of eminent domain in neighborhood revitalization areas.
Sec. 7-604. Reuse and resale of property acquired by eminent domain.
Sec. 7-605. Waiver of codes and regulations.
Sec. 7-606. Receiver of rents.
Sec. 7-607. Duties of Office of Policy and Management re neighborhood revitalization zones.
Sec. 7-608. Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Advisory Board. Duties. Neighborhood revitalization zone grant-in-aid program.
Secs. 7-609 to 7-619.

      Sec. 7-600. Neighborhood revitalization zones: Establishment. (a) Any municipality may by resolution of its legislative body establish neighborhood revitalization zones, in one or more neighborhoods, for the development by neighborhood groups of a collaborative process for federal, state and local governments to revitalize neighborhoods where there is a significant number of deteriorated property and property that has been foreclosed, is abandoned, blighted or is substandard or poses a hazard to public safety. The resolution shall (1) provide that the chief executive official facilitate the planning process for neighborhood revitalization zones by assigning municipal staff to make available information to neighborhood groups and to modify municipal procedures to assist neighborhood revitalization zones and (2) establish a process for determination of the boundaries of neighborhood revitalization zones.

      (b) Public buildings in the municipality shall be available for neighborhood groups to meet for neighborhood revitalization purposes as determined by the chief executive official.

      (c) As used in this section "deteriorated property" means property in serious noncompliance with state and local health and safety codes and regulations.

      (P.A. 95-340, S. 1.)

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      Sec. 7-601. Neighborhood revitalization planning committee. Strategic plan. (a) Upon passage of a resolution pursuant to section 7-600, a neighborhood revitalization planning committee may organize to develop a strategic plan to revitalize the neighborhood. The membership of such committee shall reflect the composition of the neighborhood and include, but not be limited to, tenants and property owners, community organizations and representatives of businesses located in the neighborhood or which own property in the neighborhood. A majority of the members shall be residents of the neighborhood. The chief executive official may appoint a municipal official to the committee who shall be a voting member. The committee shall adopt bylaws which shall include a process for consensus-building decision-making. Notice of adoption of such bylaws and any amendments thereto shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality not more than seven days after adoption or amendment.

      (b) The neighborhood revitalization planning committee shall develop a strategic plan for short-term and long-term revitalization of the neighborhood. The plan shall be designed to promote self-reliance in the neighborhood and home ownership, property management, sustainable economic development, effective relations between landlords and tenants, coordinated and comprehensive delivery of services to the neighborhood and creative leveraging of financial resources and shall build neighborhood capacity for self-empowerment. The plan shall consider provisions for obtaining funds from public and private sources. The plan shall consider provisions for property usage, neighborhood design, traditional and nontraditional financing of development, marketing and outreach, property management, utilization of municipal facilities by communities, recreation and the environment. The plan may contain an inventory of abandoned, foreclosed and deteriorated property, as defined in section 7-600, located within the revitalization zone and may analyze federal, state and local environmental, health and safety codes and regulations that impact revitalization of the neighborhood. The plan shall include recommendations for waivers of state and local environmental, health and safety codes that unreasonably jeopardize implementation of the plan, provided any waiver shall be in accordance with section 7-605 and shall not create a substantial threat to the environment, public health, safety or welfare of residents or occupants of the neighborhood. The plan may include components for public safety, education, job training, youths, the elderly and the arts and culture. The plan may contain recommendations for the establishment by the municipality of multiagency collaborative delivery teams, including code enforcement teams. The plan shall assign responsibility for implementing each aspect of the plan and may have recommendations for providing authority to the chief executive official to enter into tax agreements and to allocate municipal funds to achieve the purposes of the plan. The plan shall include a list of members and the bylaws of the committee.

      (c) The neighborhood revitalization planning committee shall conduct a public hearing on the proposed strategic plan, notice of the time and place of which shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality at least twice at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than fifteen days nor less than ten days and the last not less than two days prior to the day of such hearing. The proposed plan shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management for review. The secretary may submit comments on the plan to the neighborhood revitalization planning committee.

      (d) The strategic plan shall be adopted in accordance with the bylaws of the neighborhood revitalization planning committee. The committee shall submit the approved strategic plan to the legislative body of the municipality for adoption by ordinance pursuant to section 7-602.

      (P.A. 95-340, S. 2; P.A. 06-196, S. 44.)

      History: P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), effective June 7, 2006.

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      Sec. 7-602. Approval of strategic plan. Amendments. (a) The strategic plan shall not be implemented unless approved by ordinance of the legislative body of the municipality. Such ordinance shall create a neighborhood revitalization zone committee for the neighborhood and establish the membership of the committee, provided the categories of membership shall be consistent with the categories of membership of the neighborhood revitalization planning committee and consistent with any recommendations of the neighborhood revitalization planning committee.

      (b) The neighborhood revitalization zone committee shall submit a report on the implementation of the strategic plan to the chief executive official and the legislative body of the municipality and to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management at intervals of six months in the first year after adoption of the ordinance and annually thereafter. Any amendment to the strategic plan made subsequent to the date of enactment of the ordinance shall be adopted by the neighborhood revitalization zone committee and the municipality in accordance with the procedures set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of section 7-601 and shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management for review. After the date of approval of the amendment by the legislative body of the municipality, any report required to be made pursuant to this section shall include information concerning the amendment. An amendment to a strategic plan shall be deemed to be a concept or proposal not reflected within the scope of the plan as originally adopted by ordinance of the municipality.

      (P.A. 95-340, S. 3; P.A. 99-35, S. 1, 3.)

      History: P.A. 99-35 amended Subsec. (a) to require categories of membership on the neighborhood revitalization committee to be consistent with recommendations of the neighborhood revitalization planning committee and to repeal authority of the local legislative body to specify powers of the neighborhood revitalization committee and amended Subsec. (b) to add provisions re amendments to the strategic plan, effective July 1, 1999.

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      Sec. 7-603. Legislative finding; exercise of power of eminent domain in neighborhood revitalization areas. It is found and declared that there has existed and will continue to exist in municipalities of the state substandard, insanitary and blighted neighborhoods in which there are significant properties that have been foreclosed, and are abandoned, which constitute a serious menace to the environment, public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the state; that the existence of such conditions in neighborhoods contributes substantially and increasingly to the spread of disease and crime, necessitating excessive and disproportionate expenditures of public funds for the preservation of the public health and safety, for crime prevention, correction, prosecution, punishment and the treatment of juvenile delinquency and for the maintenance of adequate police, fire and accident protection and other public services and facilities, and the existence of such conditions constitutes an economic and social liability, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of municipalities and retards the provision of housing accommodations; that this menace is beyond remedy and control solely by regulatory process in the exercise of the police power and cannot be dealt with effectively by the ordinary operations of private enterprise and government without the powers herein provided; that the acquisition of the property because of the substandard, insanitary and blighted conditions thereon, the removal of structures and improvement of sites, the disposition of the property for revitalization incidental to accomplish the purposes of sections 7-600 to 7-607, inclusive, the exercise of powers by municipalities acting to create neighborhood revitalization zones as provided in sections 7-600 to 7-602, inclusive, and any assistance which may be given by any public body in connection therewith, are public uses and purposes for which public money may be expended and the power of eminent domain exercised; and that the necessity in the public interest for the provisions of this section and section 48-6 is declared to be a matter of legislative determination.

      (P.A. 95-340, S. 4.)

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      Sec. 7-604. Reuse and resale of property acquired by eminent domain. In the reuse and resale of residential property acquired by a municipality pursuant to subsection (c) of section 48-6, the municipality shall give preference to persons who declare an intent to reside in such property. The municipality may establish financial penalties for failure to reside in such residential property when a declaration has been made. In establishing such penalties the municipality shall take into consideration any mitigating factors.

      (P.A. 95-340, S. 6.)

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      Sec. 7-605. Waiver of codes and regulations. (a) After enacting a resolution establishing a neighborhood revitalization zone, a municipality may establish a process to request that a state or local official waive the application of any provision of state and local environmental, health and safety codes and regulations that unreasonably jeopardize implementation of a strategic plan adopted under section 7-602, except a provision necessary to comply with federal law. Any waiver shall not create a substantial threat to the environment, public health, safety or welfare of the residents and occupants of the neighborhood. Any request for a waiver shall identify the state or local code or regulation for which the waiver is sought and shall include recommendations for alternate requirements to replace the standard being waived in the existing code or regulation.

      (b) A neighborhood revitalization zone committee may determine, by a majority vote of the members present at a meeting scheduled for such purpose and conducted within the boundaries of the zone, if practical, that a provision of a state or local environmental, health or safety code or regulation jeopardizes implementation of the strategic plan and may request a waiver of such provision, provided such request complies with subsection (a) of this section. The committee shall forward such waiver request to the chief executive official of the municipality. Within five business days of receipt of the request, the chief executive official shall forward a copy thereof to the local official responsible for code enforcement, if any, and to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. If the request is for waiver of a state code or regulation, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall, within five business days of receipt, notify the state official responsible for enforcement of the code or regulation that a provision of such code or regulation is requested to be waived. The state official or local official shall conduct a public hearing on the waiver within thirty calendar days of receipt of the request at a place determined by the chief executive official. Within fifteen business days of the conclusion of the hearing, the state official or local official shall notify, in writing, the chief executive official of his decision. The decision of the state official or local official shall be final.

      (c) Any abandoned or vacant property located in a neighborhood revitalization zone established pursuant to sections 7-600 to 7-602, inclusive, shall be deemed to be in continuous use for purposes of enforcement of state or local environmental, health and safety codes or regulations.

      (P.A. 95-340, S. 7; P.A. 99-35, S. 2, 3.)

      History: P.A. 99-35 amended Subsec. (a) to require identification of the state or local code or regulation for which a waiver is sought, and made technical changes to the waiver process, and amended Subsec. (b) re waiver requests by neighborhood revitalization zone committees, changed hearing requirement from 10 to 30 calendar days and notification requirement from 5 to 15 business days, effective July 1, 1999.

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      Sec. 7-606. Receiver of rents. (a) Any municipality in which a neighborhood revitalization zone has been established pursuant to sections 7-600 to 7-602, inclusive, may petition the Superior Court or a judge thereof, for appointment of a receiver of the rents or payments for use and occupancy for any deteriorated property, as defined in section 7-600, located within the neighborhood revitalization zone to assure that environmental, health and safety standards established in state and local codes and regulations are met and to prevent further deterioration of such property. Any such petition shall be in accordance with the strategic plan adopted pursuant to sections 7-601 and 7-602. The court or judge shall immediately issue an order to show cause why a receiver should not be appointed, which shall be served upon the owner, agent, lessor or manager in a manner most reasonably calculated to give notice to such owner, agent, lessor or manager as determined by such court or judge, including, but not limited to, a posting of such order on the premises in question. A hearing shall be had on such order no less than three days after its issuance and not more than ten days. The purpose of such a hearing shall be to determine the need for a receiver of the property, the condition of the property and the cost to bring it into compliance with such state and local codes and regulations or into compliance with any waivers approved under section 7-605. The court shall make a determination of such amount and there shall be an assignment of the rents of such property in the amount of such determination. A certificate shall be recorded in the land records of the town in which such property is located describing the amount of the assignment and the name of the party who owns the property. When the amount due and owing has been paid, the receiver shall issue a certificate discharging the assignment and shall file the certificate in the land records of the town in which such assignment was recorded. The receiver appointed by the court shall collect rents or payments for use and occupancy forthcoming from the occupants of the building in question in place of the owner, agent, lessor or manager. The receiver shall make payments from such rents or payments for use and occupancy for the cost of bringing the property into compliance with such state and local codes and regulations or into compliance with any waivers approved under section 7-605. The owner, agent, lessor or manager shall be liable for such reasonable fees and costs determined by the court to be due the receiver, which fees and costs may be recovered from the rents or payments for use and occupancy under the control of the receiver, provided no such fees or costs shall be recovered until after payment for current taxes, electric, gas, telephone and water services and heating oil deliveries have been made. The owner, agent, lessor or manager shall be liable to the petitioner for reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred by the petitioner, provided no such fees or costs shall be recovered until after payment for current taxes, electric, gas, telephone and water services and heating oil deliveries have been made and after payments of reasonable fees and costs to the receiver. Any moneys remaining thereafter shall be turned over to the owner, agent, lessor or manager. The court may order an accounting to be made at such times as it determines to be just, reasonable and necessary.

      (b) Any receivership established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall have priority over any other rights to receive rent and shall be terminated by the court upon its finding that the property complies with state and local environmental, health and safety codes and regulations or is in compliance with any waivers approved under section 7-605.

      (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the petitioner from pursuing any other action or remedy at law or equity that it may have against the owner, agent, lessor or manager.

      (d) Any owner, agent, lessor or manager who collects or attempts to collect any rent or payment for use and occupancy from any occupant of a building subject to an order appointing a receiver after due notice and hearing, shall be found to be in contempt of court.

      (e) If a proceeding is initiated pursuant to sections 47a-14a to 47a-14h, inclusive, or sections 47a-56 to 47a-56i, inclusive, or if a receiver of rents is appointed pursuant to chapter 735a or pursuant to any other action involving the making of repairs to real property under court supervision, rent or use and occupancy payments shall be made pursuant to such proceeding or action without regard to whether such proceeding or action is initiated before or after a receivership is established under this section, and such proceeding or action shall take priority over a receivership established under this section in regard to expenditure of such rent or use and occupancy payments.

      (P.A. 95-340, S. 8.)

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      Sec. 7-607. Duties of Office of Policy and Management re neighborhood revitalization zones. The Office of Policy and Management, within available funds, shall be the lead agency for coordination of state services to neighborhood revitalization zones. On or before January 1, 1996, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management may develop guidelines for state departments, agencies and institutions to provide technical assistance to neighborhood revitalization zones. Such guidelines may provide for multiagency collaboration as well as a process to make funds, technical support and training available to neighborhoods and may recommend models for community outreach, job training and education, conflict resolution, environmental and health performance standards, new technologies and public safety strategies.

      (P.A. 95-340, S. 9.)

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      Sec. 7-608. Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Advisory Board. Duties. Neighborhood revitalization zone grant-in-aid program. (a) There is established a Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Advisory Board. The board shall consist of the following voting members: (1) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management; (2) the President of the Connecticut Institute of Municipal Studies; (3) the chancellor of the Regional Community-Technical Colleges; (4) the heads of those state agencies deemed appropriate by the secretary; (5) the chief executive officer of a municipality in which a neighborhood revitalization zone planning committee, pursuant to this chapter, was established on or before July 1, 1998; and (6) one member of each such neighborhood revitalization zone planning committee appointed by the chief executive officer based upon recommendations submitted to him by such committee. In a municipality having more than one neighborhood revitalization zone planning committee, each committee shall submit its recommendations to the chief executive officer and he shall choose the board member to be appointed from such recommendations. Each member of the board may designate a person to represent him on said board. The membership of the board shall be increased on September 1, 1999, and annually thereafter, to reflect the addition of a municipal chief executive officer and a member of a neighborhood revitalization zone planning committee having been established in the preceding twelve months, in a municipality not previously represented on said board. The members of the board shall serve without compensation.

      (b) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall serve as chairman of the board and shall convene the first meeting of the board not later than September 1, 1998. At the meeting the board shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of its business. Subsequent to said meeting or any continuation thereof, the board shall meet on a quarterly basis. The Office of Policy and Management shall provide staff support to the board.

      (c) The board shall promote neighborhood self-sufficiency and economic development and assist neighborhood revitalization zone planning committees in developing and implementing strategic plans. The board shall make recommendations regarding the disbursement of moneys in accordance with subsection (d) of this section. The board may serve as a clearinghouse for information about neighborhood revitalization zones, including information on (1) linkages with technical experts for the development of strategic plans, (2) innovative neighborhood success models, and (3) training and mentoring opportunities for members of neighborhood revitalization planning zone committees. The board may also conduct seminars or conferences and establish collaborative partnerships with public or private entities, including, but not limited to, financial institutions, nonprofit or religious organizations, state and private institutions of higher learning and libraries.

      (d) There is created a neighborhood revitalization zone grant-in-aid program to be administered by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, for the purpose of providing financial assistance for the benefit of neighborhood revitalization zone planning committees. Such financial assistance, within available appropriations, shall be used for activities that promote neighborhood organizational development, economic development and business planning, specialized curriculum development, leadership training, the use of technology, property management, landlord-tenant relations, intergovernmental relations and such other activities as the board may deem appropriate. The secretary shall review recommendations regarding the disbursement of moneys made by the board and shall make a determination concerning the awarding of such financial assistance. Upon making a determination, the secretary shall certify to the State Comptroller the amount payable and the recipient of such grant. Not later than five business days after such certification, the State Comptroller shall draw his or her order on the State Treasurer, who shall pay such grant. The secretary shall not certify a grant in an amount exceeding ten thousand dollars.

      (e) The board shall periodically monitor a recipient's use of such grant, to ensure full compliance with the provisions of this section. Each grant recipient shall, for a period of two years following receipt of such moneys, maintain all invoices, purchase orders and other evidence of expenditures related to the use of such grant.

      (P.A. 98-223, S. 1, 2; P.A. 07-213, S. 11.)

      History: P.A. 98-223 effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 07-213 amended Subsec.(d) to change "fifteen days" to "five business days" and make technical changes, effective July 10, 2007.

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      Secs. 7-609 to 7-619. Reserved for future use.

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