Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 7090

    January Session, 2007

*_____HB07090APP___050107____*

AN ACT CONCERNING RESPONSIBLE GROWTH.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a Responsible Growth Task Force. The task force shall consist of the following members: (1) The Commissioners of Agriculture, Economic and Community Development, Environmental Protection, Public Health and Transportation and the chairperson of the board of directors of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, or their respective designees, and (2) six members appointed as follows: One each by the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader of the Senate, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the Senate and the minority leader of the House of Representatives. The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, shall be a member and the chairperson of the task force.

(b) The task force shall identify responsible growth criteria and standards to guide the state's future investment decisions, and study transfer of development rights laws, policies and programs.

(c) Not later than October 1, 2007, the task force shall submit a report containing its recommendations to the Governor. The task force shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or October 1, 2007, whichever is later.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) No state agency or quasi-public agency, as defined in section 1-120 of the general statutes, shall provide discretionary state funding for any economic development project unless the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management determines that the proposed use is consistent with responsible growth development criteria adopted pursuant to the provisions of the general statutes or any regulations adopted thereunder.

Sec. 3. Section 16a-31 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2007):

(a) The following actions when undertaken by any state agency, with state or federal funds, shall be consistent with the plan:

(1) The acquisition of real property when the acquisition costs are in excess of one hundred thousand dollars;

(2) The development or improvement of real property when the development costs are in excess of one hundred thousand dollars;

(3) The acquisition of public transportation equipment or facilities when the acquisition costs are in excess of one hundred thousand dollars; and

(4) The authorization of each state grant [, any application for which is not pending on July 1, 1991,] for an amount in excess of one hundred thousand dollars, for the acquisition or development or improvement of real property or for the acquisition of public transportation equipment or facilities.

(5) Any use of state bond funds, other than for school construction, unless the provisions of this subdivision are waived by the State Bond Commission.

(b) When a quasi-public agency, as defined in section 1-120, authorizes any grant with state or federal funds for an amount in excess of one hundred thousand dollars for the acquisition or development or improvement of real property or for the acquisition of public transportation equipment or facilities, such grant shall be consistent with the plan.

[(b)] (c) A state agency or quasi-public agency shall request, and the secretary shall provide, an advisory statement commenting on the extent to which any of the actions specified in subsection (a) or (b) of this section conforms to the plan and any agency or quasi-public agency may request and the secretary shall provide such other advisory reports as the state agency or quasi-public agency deems advisable.

[(c)] (d) The secretary shall submit and the State Bond Commission shall consider prior to the allocation of any bond funds for any of the actions specified in subsection (a) or (b) an advisory statement commenting on the extent to which such action is in conformity with the plan of conservation and development.

[(d)] (e) Notwithstanding subsection [(b)] (c) of this section, The University of Connecticut shall request, and the secretary shall provide, an advisory statement commenting on the extent the projects included in the third phase of UConn 2000, as defined in subdivision (25) of section 10a-109c, conform to the plan and the university may request and the secretary shall provide such other advisory reports as the university deems advisable. Notwithstanding subsection [(c)] (d) of this section, the secretary shall submit and the State Bond Commission shall consider prior to the approval of the master resolution or indenture for securities for the third phase of UConn 2000, pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10a-109g, the advisory statement prepared under this subsection.

[(e)] (f) Whenever a state agency is required by state or federal law to prepare a plan, it shall consider the state plan of conservation and development in the preparation of such plan. A draft of such plan shall be submitted to the secretary who shall provide for the preparer of the plan an advisory report commenting on the extent to which the proposed plan conforms to the state plan of conservation and development.

Sec. 4. Section 8-23 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2008):

(a) (1) At least once every ten years, the commission shall prepare or amend and shall adopt a plan of conservation and development for the municipality. Following adoption, the commission shall regularly review and maintain such plan. The commission may adopt such geographical, functional or other amendments to the plan or parts of the plan, in accordance with the provisions of this section, as it deems necessary. The commission may, at any time, prepare, amend and adopt plans for the redevelopment and improvement of districts or neighborhoods which, in its judgment, contain special problems or opportunities or show a trend toward lower land values.

(2) If a plan is not amended decennially, the chief elected official of the municipality shall submit a letter to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the Commissioners of Transportation, Environmental Protection and Economic and Community Development that explains why such plan was not amended. A copy of such letter shall be included in each application by the municipality for discretionary funding submitted to any state agency.

(b) Until the plan is amended in accordance with this subsection, [a copy of such letter shall be included in each application by the municipality for funding for the conservation or development of real property submitted to said secretary or commissioners] the municipality shall be ineligible for discretionary state funding unless such prohibition is expressly waived by the secretary.

[(b)] (c) In the preparation of such plan, the commission may appoint one or more special committees to develop and make recommendations for the plan. The membership of any special committee may include: Residents of the municipality and representatives of local boards dealing with zoning, inland wetlands, conservation, recreation, education, public works, finance, redevelopment, general government and other municipal functions. In performing its duties under this section, the commission or any special committee may accept information from any source or solicit input from any organization or individual. The commission or any special committee may hold public informational meetings or organize other activities to inform residents about the process of preparing the plan.

[(c)] (d) In preparing such plan, the commission or any special committee shall consider the following: (1) The community development action plan of the municipality, if any, (2) the need for affordable housing, (3) the need for protection of existing and potential public surface and ground drinking water supplies, (4) the use of cluster development and other development patterns to the extent consistent with soil types, terrain and infrastructure capacity within the municipality, (5) the state plan of conservation and development adopted pursuant to chapter 297, (6) the regional plan of development adopted pursuant to section 8-35a, (7) physical, social, economic and governmental conditions and trends, (8) the needs of the municipality including, but not limited to, human resources, education, health, housing, recreation, social services, public utilities, public protection, transportation and circulation and cultural and interpersonal communications, (9) the objectives of energy-efficient patterns of development, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy and energy conservation, and (10) protection and preservation of agriculture.

[(d)] (e) (1) Such plan of conservation and development shall (A) be a statement of policies, goals and standards for the physical and economic development of the municipality, (B) provide for a system of principal thoroughfares, parkways, bridges, streets, sidewalks, multipurpose trails and other public ways as appropriate, (C) be designed to promote, with the greatest efficiency and economy, the coordinated development of the municipality and the general welfare and prosperity of its people and identify areas where it is feasible and prudent (i) to have compact, transit accessible, pedestrian-oriented mixed use development patterns and land reuse, and (ii) to promote such development patterns and land reuse, (D) recommend the most desirable use of land within the municipality for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, conservation and other purposes and include a map showing such proposed land uses, (E) recommend the most desirable density of population in the several parts of the municipality, (F) note any inconsistencies with the following growth management principles: (i) Redevelopment and revitalization of commercial centers and areas of mixed land uses with existing or planned physical infrastructure; (ii) expansion of housing opportunities and design choices to accommodate a variety of household types and needs; (iii) concentration of development around transportation nodes and along major transportation corridors to support the viability of transportation options and land reuse; (iv) conservation and restoration of the natural environment, cultural and historical resources and existing farmlands; (v) protection of environmental assets critical to public health and safety; and (vi) integration of planning across all levels of government to address issues on a local, regional and state-wide basis, (G) make provision for the development of housing opportunities, including opportunities for multifamily dwellings, consistent with soil types, terrain and infrastructure capacity, for all residents of the municipality and the planning region in which the municipality is located, as designated by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management under section 16a-4a, (H) promote housing choice and economic diversity in housing, including housing for both low and moderate income households, and encourage the development of housing which will meet the housing needs identified in the housing plan prepared pursuant to section 8-37t and in the housing component and the other components of the state plan of conservation and development prepared pursuant to chapter 297. In preparing such plan the commission shall consider focusing development and revitalization in areas with existing or planned physical infrastructure.

(2) For any municipality that is contiguous to Long Island Sound, such plan shall be (A) consistent with the municipal coastal program requirements of sections 22a-101 to 22a-104, inclusive, (B) made with reasonable consideration for restoration and protection of the ecosystem and habitat of Long Island Sound, and (C) designed to reduce hypoxia, pathogens, toxic contaminants and floatable debris in Long Island Sound.

[(e)] (f) Such plan may show the commission's and any special committee's recommendation for (1) conservation and preservation of traprock and other ridgelines, (2) airports, parks, playgrounds and other public grounds, (3) the general location, relocation and improvement of schools and other public buildings, (4) the general location and extent of public utilities and terminals, whether publicly or privately owned, for water, sewerage, light, power, transit and other purposes, (5) the extent and location of public housing projects, (6) programs for the implementation of the plan, including (A) a schedule, (B) a budget for public capital projects, (C) a program for enactment and enforcement of zoning and subdivision controls, building and housing codes and safety regulations, (D) plans for implementation of affordable housing, (E) plans for open space acquisition and greenways protection and development, and (F) plans for corridor management areas along limited access highways or rail lines, designated under section 16a-27, (7) proposed priority funding areas, and (8) any other recommendations as will, in the commission's or any special committee's judgment, be beneficial to the municipality. The plan may include any necessary and related maps, explanatory material, photographs, charts or other pertinent data and information relative to the past, present and future trends of the municipality.

[(f)] (g) (1) A plan of conservation and development or any part thereof or amendment thereto prepared by the commission or any special committee shall be reviewed, and may be amended, by the commission prior to scheduling at least one public hearing on adoption.

(2) At least sixty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall submit a copy of such plan or part thereof or amendment thereto for review and comment to the legislative body or, in the case of a municipality for which the legislative body of the municipality is a town meeting or representative town meeting, to the board of selectmen. The legislative body or board of selectmen, as the case may be, may hold one or more public hearings on the plan and shall endorse or reject such entire plan or part thereof or amendment and may submit comments and recommended changes to the commission. The commission may render a decision on the plan without the report of such body or board.

(3) At least thirty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall post the plan on the Internet web site of the municipality, if any.

(4) At least sixty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall submit a copy of such plan or part thereof or amendment thereto to the regional planning agency for review and comment. The regional planning agency shall submit an advisory report along with its comments to the commission at or before the hearing. Such comments shall include a finding on the consistency of the plan with (A) the regional plan of development, adopted under section 8-35a, (B) the state plan of conservation and development, adopted pursuant to chapter 297, and (C) the plans of conservation and development of other municipalities in the area of operation of the regional planning agency. The commission may render a decision on the plan without the report of the regional planning agency.

(5) At least thirty-five days prior to the public hearing on adoption, the commission shall file in the office of the town clerk a copy of such plan or part thereof or amendment thereto but, in the case of a district commission, such commission shall file such information in the offices of both the district clerk and the town clerk.

(6) The commission shall cause to 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, or less than ten days, and the last not less than two days prior to the date of each such hearing, notice of the time and place of any such public hearing. Such notice shall make reference to the filing of such draft plan in the office of the town clerk, or both the district clerk and the town clerk, as the case may be.

[(g)] (h) (1) After completion of the public hearing, the commission may revise the plan and may adopt the plan or any part thereof or amendment thereto by a single resolution or may, by successive resolutions, adopt parts of the plan and amendments thereto.

(2) Any plan, section of a plan or recommendation in the plan that is not endorsed in the report of the legislative body or, in the case of a municipality for which the legislative body is a town meeting or representative town meeting, by the board of selectmen, of the municipality may only be adopted by the commission by a vote of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the commission.

(3) Upon adoption by the commission, any plan or part thereof or amendment thereto shall become effective at a time established by the commission, provided notice thereof shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality prior to such effective date.

(4) Not more than thirty days after adoption, any plan or part thereof or amendment thereto shall be posted on the Internet web site of the municipality, if any, and shall be filed in the office of the town clerk, except that, if it is a district plan or amendment, it shall be filed in the offices of both the district and town clerks.

(5) Not more than sixty days after adoption of the plan, the commission shall submit a copy of the plan to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and shall include with such copy a description of any inconsistency between the plan adopted by the commission and the state plan of conservation and development and the reasons therefor.

[(h)] (i) Any owner or tenant, or authorized agent of such owner or tenant, of real property or buildings thereon located in the municipality may submit a proposal to the commission requesting a change to the plan of conservation and development. Such proposal shall be submitted in writing and on a form prescribed by the commission. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of section 8-7d, the commission shall review and may approve, modify and approve or reject the proposal in accordance with the provisions of subsection [(f)] (g) of this section.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2007) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Host community" means the municipality or municipalities in which a project having a significant regional impact will be located;

(2) "Significant regional impact" means a significant and measurable impact on the environment, economy, housing, public facilities or transportation system in one or more municipalities other than the host community.

(b) On and after the effective date of this section, each public agency considering undertaking a project which has, or is likely to have, a significant regional impact, as defined in subsection (a) of this section, shall, at least sixty days before approving such project, submit such project to each regional planning organization in the area of the host community and any municipality adjoining such host community. The regional planning agency shall submit its comments, if any, to the public agency not more than thirty days after receiving such submission. The report of said regional planning organization shall be advisory only.

Sec. 6. Section 8-3b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

When the zoning commission of any municipality proposes to establish or change a zone or any regulation affecting the use of a zone and (1) any portion of which is within five hundred feet of the boundary of another municipality located within the area of operation of a regional planning agency, or (2) the proposed zone change involves more than ten acres of development and would increase the permitted density by more than fifty per cent, the zoning commission shall give written notice of its proposal to the regional planning agency or agencies of the region in which it and the other municipality are located. Such notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested not later than thirty days before the public hearing to be held in relation thereto. The regional planning agency shall study such proposal and shall report its findings and recommendations thereon to the zoning commission at or before the hearing, and such report shall be made a part of the record of such hearing. The report of any regional planning agency of any region that is contiguous to Long Island Sound shall include findings and recommendations on the environmental impact of the proposal on the ecosystem and habitat of Long Island Sound. If such report of the regional planning agency is not submitted at or before the hearing, it shall be presumed that such agency does not disapprove of the proposal. A regional planning agency receiving such a notice may transmit such notice to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or his designee for comment. The planning agency may designate its executive committee to act for it under this section or may establish a subcommittee for the purpose. The report of said planning agency shall be purely advisory.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2007) (a) As used in this section, "proposed development that has a significant regional impact" means a proposed development that: (1) Involves development of more than fifty thousand square feet; (2) involves development of more than one hundred housing units; or (3) requires more than one hundred fifty parking spaces.

(b) When the zoning commission, planning commission or planning and zoning commission of any municipality receives an application for a proposed development that has a significant regional impact, such commission shall give written notice of the proposal to the regional planning agency of the region in which the municipality is located. Such notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested not later than thirty days before the public hearing to be held in relation thereto. The regional planning agency shall study the proposal and report its findings and recommendations thereon to the commission at or before the hearing, and such report shall be made a part of the record of such hearing. The report of said planning agency shall be purely advisory. If such report of the regional planning agency is not submitted at or before the hearing, it shall be presumed that such agency does not disapprove of the proposal. The planning agency may designate its executive committee to act for it under this section or may establish a subcommittee for the purpose.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Sec. 2

July 1, 2008

New section

Sec. 3

July 1, 2007

16a-31

Sec. 4

July 1, 2008

8-23

Sec. 5

October 1, 2007

New section

Sec. 6

October 1, 2007

8-3b

Sec. 7

October 1, 2007

New section

PD

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

APP

Joint Favorable