Posted by: Patricia Salkin | July 19, 2008

New CT Law Focuses on Regional Planning, Boundary Review and Criteria for Review of Regional Plans of Development

A new law in Connecticut requires the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary to (1) rank the state’s policies for developing and conserving land and (2) track the extent to which the state’s principles for managing growth are being implemented. These policies and principles are specified in the State Plan of Conservation and Development (Plan of C&D), which serves as the basis for state agencies deciding whether to fund major physical development projects.

The act also requires the secretary to reassess the boundaries of the state’s planning regions at least once every 20 years and change them if necessary. The law allows towns within these regions to form three types of regional planning bodies. The rules governing these bodies vary. The act gives them largely the same powers and duties and refers to them collectively as regional planning organizations (RPOs). It also makes many conforming technical changes regarding RPOs.

 

By law, most RPOs must prepare a 10-year regional plan of development. These plans do not have to be consistent with the state plan, but the law requires the secretary to review them to determine if they are not inconsistent with the state plan. The act requires the secretary to develop uniform criteria for reviewing regional plans of development.

 

Lastly, the act expands the range of projects eligible for regional performance incentive grants, which are currently available for delivering an existing municipal service on a regional basis. The act extends eligibility to new services that are not being provided anywhere in the region. It also drops the requirement that proposed projects increase local purchasing power or lower tax rates but requires the secretary to give priority to those that do.

 

The Act takes effect October 1, 2008 except for the changes affecting the regional performance incentive grants, which took effect July 1, 2008.  

This summary was prepared by the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research (June 2008).    http://www.cga.ct.gov/olr/2008aa/2008-r-0309.pdf

 

The Act, PA 08-182, cab be accessed at:  http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Public+Act&bill_num=182&which_year=2008&SUBMIT1.x=4&SUBMIT1.y=5


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