Substitute House Bill No. 5485
          Substitute House Bill No. 5485

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-116


AN  ACT  AUTHORIZING  THE ESTABLISHMENT OF VILLAGE
DISTRICTS.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    (NEW)  (a)  The   zoning  commission  of  each
municipality may establish  village  districts  as
part  of  the  zoning  regulations  adopted  under
section 8-2 of  the  general statutes, as amended.
The  regulations  establishing  village  districts
shall protect the distinctive character, landscape
and historic structures  of  such  areas  and  may
regulate, on and  after the effective date of such
regulations, (1) alterations  and  improvements in
such areas and  (2) substantial reconstruction and
rehabilitation of properties  within  the district
and in view of public roadways, including, but not
limited  to,  (A)  the  design  and  placement  of
buildings, (B) the  maintenance  of  public views,
(C) the design,  paving materials and placement of
public roadways and  (D)  other  elements that the
commission  deems  appropriate   to  maintain  and
protect the character  of the village district. In
adopting  the regulations,  the  commission  shall
consider    the    design,     relationship    and
compatibility  of  structures,   planting,  signs,
roadways, street hardware  and  other  objects  in
public view. Such  regulations shall encourage the
conversion and preservation  of existing buildings
and  sights  in   a   manner  that  maintains  the
historic, natural and  community  character of the
district. The regulations  concerning the exterior
of structures or  sites  shall  be consistent with
the   "Connecticut  Historical   Commission   -The
Secretary   of  the   Interior's   Standards   for
Rehabilitation and Guidelines  for  Rehabilitating
Historic  Buildings",  revised  through  1990,  as
amended. The regulations  shall  provide  (i) that
proposed buildings or  modifications  to  existing
buildings  be  harmoniously   related   to   their
surroundings, to the terrain and to the use, scale
and  architecture of  existing  buildings  in  the
vicinity  that  have   a   functional   or  visual
relationship   to   a    proposed    building   or
modification, (ii) that  all spaces and structures
visible to the  public  from  public  roadways  be
designed to add  to  the  visual  amenities of the
area consistent with those of the village district
in   and   around   the   proposed   building   or
modification, (iii) that  the color, size, height,
proportion of openings,  roof treatments, building
materials  and  landscaping   of   commercial   or
residential property and  any  proposed  signs and
lighting be evaluated  for  compatibility with the
local architectural motif  and  the maintenance of
views,   historic   buildings,    monuments    and
landscaping,  and  (iv)   that   the   removal  or
disruption of historic  traditional or significant
structures  or  architectural  elements  shall  be
minimized.
    (b) All development  in  the  village district
shall  be  designed   to   achieve  the  following
compatibility objectives with  other  uses  within
the  immediate  neighborhood   of   the   proposed
development: (1) The  arrangement  and orientation
of any proposed building or site improvement shall
be similar in  the immediate neighborhood; (2) the
building and layout  of buildings and parking lots
shall reinforce existing buildings and streetscape
patterns  and  the   placement  of  buildings  and
parking lots shall  assure  there  is  no  adverse
impact on the immediate neighborhood; (3) proposed
streets  shall  be   connected   to  the  existing
neighborhood road network,  wherever possible; (4)
open  spaces of  the  proposed  development  shall
reinforce open space  patterns  of  the  immediate
neighborhood,  in form  and  siting;  (5)  locally
significant  features  of   the   site   such   as
distinctive   buildings  or   vistas,   shall   be
integrated into the site design; (6) the landscape
design   shall   complement   the   neighborhood's
landscape   patterns  and   reinforce   functional
qualities; (7) the  exterior  signs, site lighting
and accessory structures  shall  support a uniform
architectural  theme  and   present  a  harmonious
relationship  with the  surrounding  neighborhood;
and  (8)  the   scale,  proportions,  massing  and
detailing of the  proposed  building  shall  be in
proportion to the  scale,  proportion, massing and
detailing in the neighborhood.
    (c) All applications  for new construction and
substantial reconstruction within the district and
in view from  public  roadways shall be subject to
review  and  recommendation  by  an  architect  or
architectural firm selected  and contracted by the
commission and designated  as the village district
architectural consultant for such application. The
village  district architectural  consultant  shall
review an application and report to the commission
within  thirty-five  days   of   receipt   of  the
application. The report  and recommendation of the
village district architectural consultant shall be
entered  into  the   public   hearing  record  and
considered  by  the  commission  in  making  their
decision.   Failure  of   the   village   district
architectural  consultant  to  report  within  the
specified time shall  not alter or delay any other
time  limit  imposed   by   the  regulations.  The
commission may seek  the  recommendations  of  any
town or regional agency or outside specialist with
which it consults,  including, but not limited to,
the   municipality's   historical   society,   the
Connecticut Trust for  Historic  Preservation  and
The   University   of   Connecticut   College   of
Agriculture and Natural  Resources. Any reports or
recommendations    from    such     agencies    or
organizations shall be  entered  into  the  public
hearing record.
    (d) No decision  of  a  commission  under this
section shall be  effective  until a copy thereof,
certified by the  commission,  containing the name
of the owner  of  record,  a  description  of  the
premises to which  it  relates  and specifying the
reasons for its  decision, is recorded in the land
records of the  town  in  which  such premises are
located. The town  clerk  shall  index the same in
the grantor's index  under  the  name  of the then
record owner and  the  record  owner shall pay for
such recording.
    (e) As used  in  this  section  "neighborhood"
means  the  existing   buildings   and  land  uses
adjacent  to  and   extending   from   a  proposed
development to a  definable  boundary  such  as  a
primary   collector  or   arterial   boundary,   a
significant change in  character  or land use or a
major natural feature.

Approved May 22, 1998