Planning and Development Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-1045

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL PLANS OF CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT.

Vote Date:

3/27/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/6/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Committee on Planning and Development

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill would help attain the goals of the cross-acceptance process. This process, through Public Act 10-138, requires OPM to prepare the 2013-2018 State plans of conservation and Development (POCD), and any future revisions. This process merges OPM's revisions to the State's POCD which reoccur on a five-year schedule, and the Regional Councils of Governments (RCOGs) which reoccurs on a ten-year schedule. In addition to setting policies and determining OPM's priority funding areas, this bill also repeals obsolete language.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

W. David LaVasseur, Acting Undersecretary, Intergovernmental Policy Division, Office of Policy and Management:

Mr. LaVasseur, on behalf of the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), spoke in support of S.B. 1045. He stated in his written testimony that this bill would help with the cross-acceptance process, and would result in more robust and prompt plans regarding municipal POCDs. It would also improve the coordination between municipal land use commissions and local or regional Water Pollution Control Authorities. This can also assist the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEEP) determine the consistency of their Clean Water Fund projects with local plans. DEEP would be able to study sewer extensions or avoidance areas and see how they correlate to local land use goals and objectives.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

None Expressed

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Randy Collins, Senior Legislative Associate, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities:

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) opposes this bill, because it would add additional costs to local towns' and cities' Plans of Conservation and Development. Additionally, CCM submitted testimony that the effective date of July 1, 2015 along with being forced to expand the conditions of this bill puts a financial burden on municipalities that are currently in the process of updating any local plans.

Frank C. DeFelice, Planning and Zoning Commissioner and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commissioner, Town of Durham:

In addition to being the Commissioner in Durham, Mr. DeFelice is also the Chairman of the Regional Planning Committee of the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (RiverCOG). He testified that he finds the designation of sewer avoidance areas to be an unreasonable request, due to the high costs of fulfilling this requirement. New criteria would need to be developed in order to identify which areas would and should be designated as sewer avoidance areas. He expressed his concerns that mature sewer systems, if ultimately categorized to be within sewer-avoidance areas, will be able to connect to other sewer systems. This is a problem if these mature sewer systems fail, because it prevents homes from gaining access to sanitary water sources. He also testified that S.B. 1045 would add additional financial burdens to towns like Durham that are in the process of updating its Plans of Conservation and Development.

Reported by: Jenna Grande

Date: April 6, 2015