CHAPTER 127

REGIONAL PLANNING AGENCIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 8-31. Formation. Representation.

Sec. 8-31a. Formation of regional planning agencies. Representation.

Sec. 8-32. Jurisdiction.

Sec. 8-32a. Jurisdiction. Extension to contiguous municipality.

Sec. 8-33. Termination.

Sec. 8-33a. Officers of agency. Bylaws. Meetings. Annual report.

Sec. 8-34. Withdrawal from regional planning authority.

Sec. 8-34a. Receipt of funds. Dues. Borrowing. Employees and consultants. Contracts. Audits.

Sec. 8-35. Officers of board. Meetings.

Sec. 8-35a. Regional plan of conservation and development. Assistance to municipalities or other public agencies.

Sec. 8-35b. Recommendations for metropolitan, regional or intermunicipal arrangements.

Sec. 8-35c. Feasibility studies for municipalities.

Sec. 8-35d. Referral of proposal for interlocal agreement or formation of district to regional planning agency.

Sec. 8-35e. Interagency committees and staff sharing.

Sec. 8-36. Authority to receive funds. Employees and consultants.

Sec. 8-36a. Withdrawal from agency.

Sec. 8-37. Regional plans of development.

Sec. 8-37a. Termination of agency.

Sec. 8-37b. Powers and duties of prior authorities.


Sec. 8-31. Formation. Representation. Section 8-31 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 863, 865; 1955, S. 395d, 397d; 1957, P.A. 13, S. 43; 635, S. 1; 1959, P.A. 613, S. 10.)

Sec. 8-31a. Formation of regional planning agencies. Representation. Within any planning region of the state as defined or redefined by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or his designee under the provisions of section 16a-4a a regional planning agency may be created by the adoption of sections 8-31a to 8-37a, inclusive, by ordinance of the legislative bodies of two or more towns, cities or boroughs within such region, provided the total number of representatives of such towns, cities or boroughs shall equal sixty per cent or more of the total number of representatives possible of all the towns, cities or boroughs within such region computed as prescribed in this section. Any other town, city or borough within such region may join such regional planning agency by the adoption of said sections by ordinance of its legislative body. Each town, city or borough within such region, except as provided herein, shall be entitled to two representatives on such agency, one of whom shall be the chief elected official of such town, city or borough or the designee of such official, and additional representation on such agency at the ratio of one representative for each fifty thousand of population or fraction thereof over and above a population of twenty-five thousand as determined by the last-completed federal census. Cities and boroughs with boundaries not coterminous with the boundaries of the town in which they are located, upon adoption of the provisions of said sections, may have their chief elected official, or the designee of such official, and one other representative on such agency provided the population of the city or borough is greater than fifty per cent of the total population of the town as determined by the last-completed federal census, and the town, upon adoption of the provisions of said sections, may have the chief elected official of such town, or the designee of such official, and one other representative on such agency. If the total population of the town is greater than twenty-five thousand, the town may elect or appoint the extra representative or representatives as prescribed above, except that, for each fifty thousand population residing in the city or borough, the city or borough may have one additional representative. Noncoterminous cities or boroughs which do not contain fifty per cent or more of the total population of the town in which they are located shall not adopt the provisions of said sections and shall not join such regional planning agency. Where a planning commission exists in a town, city or borough established under the provisions of the general statutes or any special act, at least one of the representatives from such town, city or borough to the regional planning agency shall be appointed by such planning commission. The other representative or representatives shall be elected or appointed in the manner provided by ordinance adopted by the legislative body of such town, city or borough.

(1959, P.A. 613, S. 1, 2; 1969, P.A. 628, S. 6; P.A. 73-679, S. 30, 43; P.A. 75-537, S. 43, 55; P.A. 77-604, S. 43, 84; 77-614, S. 19, 610; P.A. 09-80, S. 1; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 62.)

History: 1969 act substituted director of the office of state planning for Connecticut development commission; P.A. 73-679 substituted managing director, planning and budgeting division, department of finance and control or his designee for director of office of state planning; P.A. 75-537 substituted commissioner of planning and energy policy for managing director; P.A. 77-604 replaced reference to Sec. 4-70b with reference to Sec. 16a-4a; P.A. 77-614 substituted secretary of the office of policy and management for commissioner; P.A. 09-80 made the chief elected official of a town, city or borough, or the official’s designee, a member of the agency and made conforming changes; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 replaced provision allowing certain towns, cities or boroughs 3 representatives on a regional planning agency, including the chief elected official or such official’s designee, with provision allowing such towns, cities or boroughs 2 such representatives, including such official or designee, effective October 5, 2009.

See Sec. 16a-4b re municipality’s authority to petition for redefinition of planning region or redesignation as part of different planning region.

Sec. 8-32. Jurisdiction. Section 8-32 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 863; 1955, S. 395d; 1957, P.A. 13, S. 43; 635, S. 2; 1959, P.A. 613, S. 10.)

Sec. 8-32a. Jurisdiction. Extension to contiguous municipality. The area of operation of such agency shall be coterminous with the area of such planning region as defined or redefined by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or his designee. Any town, city or borough which is contiguous to the area of operation of a regional planning agency and is not located within any defined region may, by vote of its legislative body, petition such regional planning agency requesting inclusion in the area of operation of such agency. The regional planning agency shall forward such petition to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or his designee and it shall be accompanied by a report from the regional planning agency with recommendations regarding the same. The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or his designee shall study such petition and report and may redefine such region to include the town, city or borough which has submitted the petition. If the redefinition is made, the area of operation of such agency shall be extended accordingly, and such town, city or borough may join such regional planning agency by adoption of sections 8-31a to 8-37a, inclusive, by ordinance of its legislative body.

(1959, P.A. 613, S. 3; 1969, P.A. 628, S. 7; P.A. 73-679, S. 31, 43; P.A. 75-537, S. 44, 55; P.A. 77-614, S. 19, 610.)

History: 1969 act substituted director of the office of state planning for Connecticut development commission; P.A. 73-679 substituted managing director, planning and budgeting division, department of finance and control or his designee for director of office of state planning; P.A. 75-537 substituted commissioner of planning and energy policy for managing director; P.A. 77-614 substituted secretary of the office of policy and management for commissioner.

Sec. 8-33. Termination. Section 8-33 is repealed.

(1957, P.A. 635, S. 3; 1959, P.A. 613, S. 10.)

Sec. 8-33a. Officers of agency. Bylaws. Meetings. Annual report. The regional planning agency shall annually elect from among its members a chairman, a treasurer, who shall be bonded, and such other officers as the agency determines. Bylaws shall be adopted by the agency. Such bylaws shall include provisions for quarterly meetings on regional issues with the chief elected officials of the towns, cities or boroughs that are members of the regional planning agency. All meetings of the agency shall be held at the call of the chairman and at such other times as the agency determines. The treasurer shall receive all funds and moneys of the agency and shall pay out the same only in accordance with the bylaws and within limits of such receipts. The agency shall keep minutes of all its meetings and official actions, which minutes shall be filed in the office of the agency and shall be a public record. Each regional planning agency shall file an annual report with the chief executive officers, town, city or borough clerks, as the case may be, and planning commissions, if any, of member towns, cities or boroughs, and with the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or his designee.

(1959, P.A. 613, S. 4; 1969, P.A. 628, S. 8; P.A. 73-679, S. 32, 43; P.A. 75-537, S. 45, 55; P.A. 77-614, S. 19, 610; P.A. 08-182, S. 7.)

History: 1969 act substituted director of the office of state planning for Connecticut development commission; P.A. 73-679 substituted managing director, planning and budgeting division, department of finance and control or his designee for director of office of state planning; P.A. 75-537 substituted commissioner of planning and energy policy for managing director; P.A. 77-614 substituted secretary of the office of policy and management for commissioner; P.A. 08-182 added provision re quarterly meetings on regional issues with chief elected officials.

Sec. 8-34. Withdrawal from regional planning authority. Section 8-34 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 864; 1955, S. 396d; 1957, P.A. 13, S. 44; 1959, P.A. 613, S. 10.)

Sec. 8-34a. Receipt of funds. Dues. Borrowing. Employees and consultants. Contracts. Audits. Any regional planning agency established under the provisions of sections 8-31a to 8-37a, inclusive, is authorized to receive for its own uses and purposes any funds from any source, including the state and federal governments, and including bequests, gifts or contributions made by any individual, corporation or association. Any town, city or borough participating in a regional planning agency shall annually appropriate funds for the expenses of such agency in the performance of its purposes. Such funds shall be appropriated and paid in accordance with a dues formula established by the regional agency. Such agency may withhold any services it deems advisable from any town, city or borough which has failed to pay such dues. Such regional planning agency may from time to time borrow in anticipation of any funds it is authorized to receive under this section and may issue temporary notes for such purpose provided that (1) such agency has received a specific, legally enforceable, written commitment from the state or federal government, individual, corporation or association as to the amount and the approximate date of receipt of such funds, (2) such funds shall be used only to meet current operating expenses, (3) a majority of the representatives of the participating towns, cities and boroughs approve such borrowing at a meeting of such agency called pursuant to section 8-33a and (4) a majority of such towns, cities and boroughs, voting by their representatives at such meeting, also approve such borrowing. Within the amounts so received an agency may engage employees and contract with professional consultants, municipalities, the state and the federal governments, other regional councils of governments, regional councils of elected officials, regional planning and other intertown, regional or metropolitan agencies, or with any one or more of them and may enter into contracts from time to time to carry out its purpose. The accounts of any regional planning agency shall be subject to an annual audit under the provisions of the Municipal Auditing Act.

(1959, P.A. 613, S. 5; P.A. 81-229, S. 1; P.A. 83-256, S. 3; P.A. 91-96, S. 3; 91-401, S. 9, 20.)

History: P.A. 81-229 inserted provisions allowing borrowing in anticipation of funds; P.A. 83-256 provided for the establishment of a dues formula and the withholding of services for failure to pay; P.A. 91-96 expanded agencies regional planning agencies can contract with to include municipalities, other regional councils of government, regional councils of elected officials, regional planning and other intertown, regional or metropolitan agencies and made technical changes; P.A. 91-401 made a technical change.

See chapter 111 re municipal auditing procedures.

Sec. 8-35. Officers of board. Meetings. Section 8-35 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 866; 1959, P.A. 613, S. 10.)

Sec. 8-35a. Regional plan of conservation and development. Assistance to municipalities or other public agencies. (a) At least once every ten years, each regional planning agency shall make a plan of conservation and development for its area of operation, showing its recommendations for the general use of the area including land use, housing, principal highways and freeways, bridges, airports, parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, schools, public institutions, public utilities, agriculture and such other matters as, in the opinion of the agency, will be beneficial to the area. Any regional plan so developed shall be based on studies of physical, social, economic and governmental conditions and trends and shall be designed to promote with the greatest efficiency and economy the coordinated development of its area of operation and the general welfare and prosperity of its people. Such plan may encourage energy-efficient patterns of development, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy, and energy conservation. Such plan shall be designed to promote abatement of the pollution of the waters and air of the region. The regional plan shall identify areas where it is feasible and prudent (1) to have compact, transit accessible, pedestrian-oriented mixed use development patterns and land reuse, and (2) to promote such development patterns and land reuse and shall note any inconsistencies with the following growth management principles: (A) Redevelopment and revitalization of regional centers and areas of mixed land uses with existing or planned physical infrastructure; (B) expansion of housing opportunities and design choices to accommodate a variety of household types and needs; (C) concentration of development around transportation nodes and along major transportation corridors to support the viability of transportation options and land reuse; (D) conservation and restoration of the natural environment, cultural and historical resources and traditional rural lands; (E) protection of environmental assets critical to public health and safety; and (F) integration of planning across all levels of government to address issues on a local, regional and state-wide basis. The plan of each region contiguous to Long Island Sound shall be designed to reduce hypoxia, pathogens, toxic contaminants and floatable debris in Long Island Sound.

(b) Before adopting the regional plan of conservation and development or any part thereof or amendment thereto the agency shall hold at least one public hearing thereon, notice of the time, place and subject of which shall be given in writing to the chief executive officer and planning commission, where one exists, of each member town, city or borough. Notice of the time, place and subject of such hearing shall be published once in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the region. Such notices shall be given not more than twenty days or less than ten days before such hearing. At least sixty-five days before the public hearing the regional planning agency shall post the plan on the Internet web site of the agency, if any, and submit the plan to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management for findings in the form of comments and recommendations. By October 1, 2011, the secretary shall establish, by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, criteria for such findings which shall include procedures for a uniform review of regional plans of conservation and development to determine if a proposed regional plan of conservation and development is not inconsistent with the state plan of conservation and development and the state economic strategic plan. The regional planning agency shall note on the record any inconsistency with the state plan of conservation and development and the reasons for such inconsistency. Adoption of the plan or part thereof or amendment thereto shall be made by the affirmative vote of not less than a majority of the representatives on the agency. The plan shall be posted on the Internet web site of the agency, if any, and a copy of the plan or of any amendments thereto, signed by the chairman of the agency, shall be transmitted to the chief executive officers, the town, city or borough clerks, as the case may be, and to planning commissions, if any, in member towns, cities or boroughs, and to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or his designee. The regional planning agency shall notify the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management of any inconsistency with the state plan of conservation and development and the reasons therefor.

(c) The regional planning agency shall revise the plan of conservation and development not more than three years after July 1, 2005.

(d) The regional planning agency shall assist municipalities within its region and state agencies and may assist other public and private agencies in developing and carrying out any regional plan or plans of such regional planning agency. The regional planning agency may provide administrative, management, technical or planning assistance to municipalities within its region and other public agencies under such terms as it may determine, provided, prior to entering into an agreement for assistance to any municipality or other public agency, the regional planning agency shall have adopted a policy governing such assistance. The regional planning agency may be compensated by the municipality or other public agency with which an agreement for assistance has been made for all or part of the cost of such assistance.

(1959, P.A. 613, S. 6; 1967, P.A. 232; 1969, P.A. 628, S. 9; P.A. 73-679, S. 33, 43; P.A. 75-537, S. 46, 55; P.A. 77-614, S. 19, 610; P.A. 78-314, S. 5; P.A. 82-411, S. 2, 6; P.A. 87-550, S. 1, 10; P.A. 91-170, S. 2; P.A. 96-68, S. 2; P.A. 05-205, S. 2; P.A. 07-239, S. 6; P.A. 08-182, S. 12.)

History: 1967 act deleted provision concerning assistance to planning commissions of towns and inserted provision for assistance to municipalities, state agencies and other public and private agencies and permitted regional planning agency to provide technical assistance under guidelines set out in section; 1969 act substituted director of the office of state planning for Connecticut development commission; P.A. 73-679 substituted managing director, planning and budgeting division, department of finance and control or his designee for director of planning office; P.A. 75-537 substituted commissioner of planning and energy policy for managing director; P.A. 77-614 substituted secretary of the office of policy and management for commissioner; P.A. 78-314 provided that development plan may encourage energy efficiency, use of renewable forms of energy and energy conservation; P.A. 82-411 provided for the provision of administrative, management and planning assistance by the agencies to municipalities; P.A. 87-550 designated existing section as Subsec. (a), required housing recommendations to be included in regional plans of development, and added Subsec. (b) re housing needs assessments; P.A. 91-170 required that plans be designed to promote pollution abatement and added provisions re content of plans in municipalities contiguous to Long Island Sound; P.A. 96-68 deleted Subsec. (b) re housing needs assessments and eliminated Subsec. (a) designator; P.A. 05-205 designated existing section as Subsecs. (a), (b) and (d), amended Subsec. (a) to require the plan to be prepared at least once every 10 years and add requirements that the plan have recommendations on agriculture, identify areas for mixed use development patterns and land reuse and note inconsistencies with growth management principles, amended Subsec. (b) to require the plan to be posted on the Internet web site of the agency and submitted to the Office of Policy and Management for review and comment and add provisions re inconsistency with state plan of conservation and development, and added Subsec. (c) requiring revision of the plan not more than 3 years after July 1, 2005, effective July 1, 2005; P.A. 07-239 amended Subsec. (b) to require that plan review include a determination that proposed regional plan of development is not inconsistent with state economic strategic plan, effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 08-182 changed “regional plan of development” to “regional plan of conservation and development” in Subsecs. (a), (b), and (c) and amended Subsec. (b) to revise provision re time for notice of public hearing on regional plan and add provision re adoption of regulations by Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management establishing criteria for review of regional plans.

See Sec. 25-206 re consistency of regional plan of conservation and development with approved river corridor protection plan.

See Sec. 25-236 re consistency of regional plan of conservation and development with approved river corridor management plan.

See Sec. 32-7 re Economic and Community Development Department’s assistance to municipal and regional economic development commissions.

Sec. 8-35b. Recommendations for metropolitan, regional or intermunicipal arrangements. A regional planning agency may make recommendations to the municipalities within its area of operation for such metropolitan, regional or intermunicipal arrangements for the most efficient and economical development or operation of public facilities or services as it deems desirable for the economic and social welfare of the region and the municipalities located therein.

(1967, P.A. 862, S. 1.)

Sec. 8-35c. Feasibility studies for municipalities. Whenever any municipality is considering the feasibility of developing or operating a physical facility and services, the regional planning agency may, upon request from such municipality, render assistance by making studies and recommendations and may make contractual arrangements with the municipality for the conduct of such studies.

(1967, P.A. 862, S. 2; P.A. 82-411, S. 3, 6.)

History: P.A. 82-411 applied provisions to single municipalities where previously applicable to two or more municipalities.

Sec. 8-35d. Referral of proposal for interlocal agreement or formation of district to regional planning agency. Section 8-35d is repealed.

(1967, P.A. 862, S. 3; P.A. 95-308, S. 10.)

Sec. 8-35e. Interagency committees and staff sharing. (a) Two or more regional planning agencies may establish one or more interagency committees to recommend policies relating to matters of an interregional nature, provided each participating agency shall have first adopted a resolution authorizing establishment of any such interagency committees and defining the scope of its duties.

(b) Two or more regional planning agencies may share staff and staff from one agency may work in the area of another agency, provided each agency involved in such a cooperative effort shall have first adopted a resolution authorizing such action and specifying the extent of cooperation and the terms under which it is to be provided.

(P.A. 76-7.)

Sec. 8-36. Authority to receive funds. Employees and consultants. Section 8-36 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 867; 1955, S. 398d; 1959, P.A. 613, S. 10.)

Sec. 8-36a. Withdrawal from agency. Any town, city or borough which has adopted the provisions of sections 8-31a to 8-37a, inclusive, may withdraw from such regional planning agency but only six months after the legislative body of such town, city or borough has declared its intent to so withdraw by enactment of an ordinance by its legislative body.

(1959, P.A. 613, S. 7; 1967, P.A. 764.)

History: 1967 act deleted provisions concerning liability of withdrawing towns for funds advanced by state and federal governments.

Sec. 8-37. Regional plans of development. Section 8-37 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 868; 1959, P.A. 613, S. 10.)

Sec. 8-37a. Termination of agency. Subject to the provisions of section 8-36a, whenever the total number of representatives of the member towns, cities or boroughs of any regional planning agency established under sections 8-31a to 8-37a, inclusive, is less than forty per cent of the possible total number of representatives of all the towns, cities or boroughs within the planning region defined by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or his designee embracing such regional planning agency, such regional planning agency shall cease to exist.

(1959, P.A. 613, S. 8; 1969, P.A. 628, S. 10; P.A. 73-679, S. 34, 43; P.A. 75-537, S. 47, 55; P.A. 77-614, S. 19, 610.)

History: 1969 act substituted director of the office of state planning for Connecticut development commission; P.A. 73-679 substituted managing director, planning and budgeting division, department of finance and control or his designee for director of planning office; P.A. 75-537 substituted commissioner of planning and energy policy for managing director; P.A. 77-614 substituted secretary of the office of policy and management for commissioner.

Sec. 8-37b. Powers and duties of prior authorities. Any regional planning authority established prior to January 1, 1957, under the provisions of chapter 46 of the general statutes, revision of 1949, (a) may continue to exist and shall have all the powers and duties as provided in said chapter, or (b) may vote to act in accordance with the provisions of sections 8-31a to 8-37a, inclusive, by a majority vote of the members of the board thereof and shall thereafter be subject to said sections. Any regional planning authority established after January 1, 1957, shall conform to the provisions of said sections.

(1959, P.A. 613, S. 9.)