PA 18-132—HB 5487

Planning and Development Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CONTINUANCE OF A NONCONFORMING USE, BUILDING OR STRUCTURE

SUMMARY: This act prohibits municipal zoning authorities from requiring a special permit or special exception for the continuance of a nonconforming use, building, or structure.

By law, a nonconforming use is a property use that legally exists at the time a zoning restriction prohibiting or limiting it is adopted. Existing law specifies that municipal zoning regulations may not prohibit the continuance of a nonconforming use that was legal when the regulations were adopted or amended.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

BACKGROUND

Special Permits and Special Exceptions

“Special permit” and “special exception” are synonymous. Zoning commissions may grant special permits and exceptions pursuant to their general zoning powers (CGS 8-2).

Special permits and exceptions allow one to use a property in a manner explicitly permitted by the zoning regulations, but subject to conditions not applicable to other uses in the same district. The rationale for special permits and exceptions is that “while certain land uses may be generally compatible with the uses permitted as of right in a particular zoning district, their nature is such that their precise location and mode of operation must be individually regulated” (T. Tondro, Connecticut Land Use Regulation, (1992, 2d ed.)).