CHAPTER 137

REHABILITATION OF ABANDONED INDUSTRIAL
AND COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

Table of Contents

Sec. 8-290. Declaration of policy.

Sec. 8-291. Definitions.

Sec. 8-292. Designation of urban rehabilitation agency.

Sec. 8-293. Acquisition of abandoned property by urban rehabilitation agency.

Sec. 8-294. Disposition of property by urban rehabilitation agency.

Sec. 8-295. Selection of applicants.

Sec. 8-296. Financial assistance. Abatement of real property taxes.

Secs. 8-297 to 8-299. Reserved


Sec. 8-290. Declaration of policy. It is hereby found and declared that there exists within the municipalities of this state a large number of real properties containing vacant and abandoned buildings that were once used for industrial or commercial purposes, that many of these vacant and abandoned buildings are located in areas which are blighted or dilapidated and that the existence of such vacant and abandoned buildings contributes to the further decline of such blighted or dilapidated areas. It is further found that the abandonment and forfeiture of real properties with structures thereon is adversely affecting the economic well being of the municipalities and is inimical to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of this state. It is further found that many of the vacant and abandoned buildings can be rehabilitated, reconstructed or reused so as to provide safe and productive industrial or commercial facilities and that such rehabilitation, reconstruction or reuse would eliminate, remedy and prevent the adverse conditions described above. It is further found that private enterprise has not been able to undertake and carry out the rehabilitation, reconstruction or reuse of abandoned and vacant industrial or commercial buildings within the blighted or dilapidated areas of the municipalities of this state and that the provisions of this chapter are necessary and in the public interest.

(P.A. 77-503, S. 1.)

Sec. 8-291. Definitions. As used in this chapter:

(a) “Abandoned property” means any real property and any vacant structure thereon used or previously used for industrial or commercial purposes, which the owner has declared, in writing, to the building official to be abandoned, or real property on which there is a vacant structure used or previously used for industrial or commercial purposes which the owner has been given a written order by the building official to demolish and no application for a permit for rehabilitation or demolition has been applied for within thirty days after the date of such order or, if such permit has been granted, no rehabilitation or demolition work has been commenced within thirty days after the granting of such permit;

(b) “Building official” means the person appointed pursuant to section 29-260;

(c) “Municipality” means city, town or borough;

(d) “Owner” means any holder, as appears in the land records of the municipality, of (1) title to real property and (2) any mortgage or other secured or equitable interest in such property;

(e) “Rehabilitation permit” and “demolition permit” mean those permits obtained from a local building official under the state building code for the purpose of rehabilitating or demolishing a structure;

(f) “Urban rehabilitator” means any person, firm, partnership, corporation, limited liability company or other legal entity to which urban rehabilitation program property is conveyed;

(g) “Urban rehabilitation agency” means the agency designated by the legislative body of a municipality pursuant to section 8-292.

(P.A. 77-503, S. 2; P.A. 95-79, S. 17, 189.)

History: P.A. 95-79 redefined “urban rehabilitator” to include a limited liability company, effective May 31, 1995.

Subdiv. (d):

Cited. 194 C. 129.

Sec. 8-292. Designation of urban rehabilitation agency. Any municipality may, by ordinance, establish an urban rehabilitation program and may authorize any existing board, commission, department or agency to be the urban rehabilitation agency or may, by ordinance, establish a new board, commission, department or agency to act as the urban rehabilitation agency. Such new urban rehabilitation agency shall be composed of not less than three nor more than nine members, all of whom shall be residents of the municipality appointed by the chief elected official with the approval of the legislative body. Those first appointed shall be designated to serve one, two and three years respectively and thereafter members shall be appointed annually to serve for three years. Each member shall serve until his successor is appointed and has qualified. Action by such an urban rehabilitation agency shall be taken by majority vote of members present, provided no action may be taken unless at least fifty per cent of the members are present. An urban rehabilitation agency created pursuant to this section shall select a secretary, who may be a member of the agency and may elect or employ such other officer, agent, technical consultants, legal counsel and employees as the agency requires. The members shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.

(P.A. 77-503, S. 3.)

Sec. 8-293. Acquisition of abandoned property by urban rehabilitation agency. (a) In any municipality adopting an ordinance pursuant to section 8-292, the building official shall certify to the urban rehabilitation agency all industrial and commercial properties which are abandoned together with a statement as to which structures are suitable for rehabilitation. At least quarterly thereafter the building official shall certify to the urban rehabilitation agency any changes in the number or condition of the abandoned properties.

(b) Upon receipt of the list of the abandoned properties pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the urban rehabilitation agency shall serve notice to each owner of such properties by mailing to the owner by certified mail to the last known address of such owner or in the case of the owner who cannot be identified or whose address is unknown by publishing a copy of such notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality, stating such property has been determined to be abandoned and setting a date for a hearing before the urban rehabilitation agency, or any hearing examiner appointed by the urban rehabilitation agency, for the purpose of determining whether the owner is willing and able to rehabilitate or demolish the vacant structure on such abandoned property within a reasonable time. At such hearing, the owner may contest the designation of such property as abandoned and such hearing shall be held in the same manner as under sections 4-176e to 4-181, inclusive. A decision rendered by a hearing examiner after such hearing shall be in writing and shall be filed with the urban rehabilitation agency for its final decision. All decisions of the urban rehabilitation agency shall be in writing and shall be mailed, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each owner and to all parties to the proceedings. A decision of the urban rehabilitation agency may be appealed to the Superior Court in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183.

(c) In the event that an owner fails to appear, either personally or by an attorney, on the date set for the hearing or any adjourned date of such hearing or in the event the urban rehabilitation agency, after holding the hearing pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, determines that the owner of such property is not willing or able to rehabilitate or demolish such property within a reasonable time, the urban rehabilitation agency may recommend to (1) the legislative body of the municipality that the urban rehabilitation agency be authorized to acquire the property, either by purchase of the property free and clear of any liens for an amount not in excess of fair market value of the land exclusive of any improvements thereon as determined by the urban rehabilitation agency, or by eminent domain, provided all eminent domain proceedings instituted under this part shall be undertaken by the urban rehabilitation agency in the same manner as under sections 8-129 to 8-133, inclusive, and title to all property acquired pursuant to this subsection shall be held in the name of the municipality; or (2) the building official that he order the structure demolished; or (3) the tax collector, if any liens for real property taxes are due to the municipality against the abandoned property, that he institute tax foreclosure proceedings under chapter 205.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section an urban rehabilitation agency may at any time, with the concurrence of the legislative body, accept free and clear title to an abandoned property upon which exists a structure deemed rehabilitable by a building official for such consideration not in excess of fair market value of the land exclusive of any improvements on such land as determined by the urban rehabilitation agency.

(P.A. 77-503, S. 4; P.A. 82-472, S. 22, 183; P.A. 88-317, S. 50, 107; P.A. 06-196, S. 192.)

History: P.A. 82-472 replaced obsolete reference to court of common pleas with reference to superior court in Subsec. (b); P.A. 88-317 amended reference to Secs. 4-177 to 4-181 in Subsec. (b) to include new sections added to Ch. 54, effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes in Subsec. (b), effective June 7, 2006.

Sec. 8-294. Disposition of property by urban rehabilitation agency. (a) Upon acquisition of real property by the urban rehabilitation agency under section 8-293, the urban rehabilitation agency shall publish at least twice a notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality that such property is available. Such notice shall include the estimated purchase price, the qualifications of the applicant, procedures for bidding on the property and the closing date for such bidding. The second notice shall be published not less than two weeks before such closing date.

(b) Within thirty days after the closing date for bidding, the urban rehabilitation agency shall recommend to the legislative body the transfer of abandoned property to a qualified applicant under such terms and conditions as are determined by the agency, provided the applicant shall be selected in accordance with priorities established under section 8-295.

(c) The legislative body may, by resolution, vote to transfer the urban rehabilitation property with or without compensation to the person selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. Such transfer shall be made pursuant to a contract of sale and rehabilitation which shall provide among other things that (1) the property transferred be rehabilitated predominantly for industrial or commercial use and be brought into and maintained in conformity with applicable health, housing and building code standards; (2) that the rehabilitation shall commence and be completed within a period of time as determined by the urban rehabilitation agency; (3) prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy by the building official, no transfer of the property or any interest therein, except a transfer to a bona fide mortgagee or similar lien holder, may be made by the rehabilitator without the approval of the urban rehabilitation agency, provided any such transfer may only be made for a consideration not in excess of the cost of the property to the rehabilitator together with the costs of any improvements made thereon by the rehabilitator; (4) in the sale or rental of the property, or any portion of such property, no person shall be discriminated against because of such person’s race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression or national origin; (5) representatives of the urban rehabilitation agency, representatives of the municipality, and if state or federal assistance is involved, representatives of the federal and state governments shall be allowed access to the property during normal business hours for the purpose of inspecting compliance with the provisions of this subsection.

(P.A. 77-503, S. 5; P.A. 86-403, S. 19, 132; P.A. 06-196, S. 193; P.A. 11-55, S. 6.)

History: P.A. 86-403 made technical change in Subsec. (b); P.A. 06-196 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (c), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 11-55 amended Subsec. (c)(4) to prohibit discrimination on basis of gender identity or expression.

Sec. 8-295. Selection of applicants. The urban rehabilitation agency shall select from among applicants for urban rehabilitation program property those applicants who in determination of the agency can acquire the necessary financial and technical resources to rehabilitate, own and manage urban rehabilitation program property.

(P.A. 77-503, S. 6.)

Sec. 8-296. Financial assistance. Abatement of real property taxes. (a) An urban rehabilitation agency may provide financial assistance to urban rehabilitators in the form of grants or loans for the purchase and rehabilitation of urban rehabilitation program property. All such loans, if made by the urban rehabilitation agency, shall be secured by a mortgage naming the municipality as the mortgagee, provided if any such loans are made from funds provided by the state or federal government or any other public or private entity, the state or federal government or the public or private agency may be the mortgagee, and provided further that a municipality may assign any such mortgage to another entity.

(b) An urban rehabilitation agency may utilize federal, state or other public or private financial assistance, provided that any such assistance requiring local financial participation shall be first approved by the legislative body of the municipality.

(c) An urban rehabilitation agency may recommend to the legislative body the abatement in whole or in part of real property taxes due on urban rehabilitation program property conveyed to an urban rehabilitator pursuant to sections 8-294 and 8-295, or the deferral of such taxes for a period not to exceed ten years. Such legislative body may, by resolution, authorize such abatement. All urban rehabilitation program property conveyed to an urban rehabilitator may be designated by the legislative body of a municipality as property eligible for deferral of increased assessment under the provisions of sections 12-65c to 12-65f, inclusive.

(P.A. 77-503, S. 7.)

Secs. 8-297 to 8-299. Reserved for future use.