CHAPTER 97a
HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND HISTORIC PROPERTIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 7-147a. Historic districts authorized. Definitions.
Sec. 7-147b. Procedure for establishment of historic district.
Sec. 7-147c. Historic district commission.
Sec. 7-147j. Exempted acts. Delay of demolition.
Sec. 7-147p. Historic property ordinances authorized. Definitions.
Sec. 7-147q. Procedures for establishment of historic properties.
Sec. 7-147y. Exempted acts. Delay of demolition.

PART I
HISTORIC DISTRICTS

      Sec. 7-147a. Historic districts authorized. Definitions. (a) As used in this part: "Altered" means changed, modified, rebuilt, removed, demolished, restored, razed, moved or reconstructed; "erected" means constructed, built, installed or enlarged; "exterior architectural features" means such portion of the exterior of a structure or building as is open to view from a public street, way or place; "building" means a combination of materials forming a shelter for persons, animals or property; "structure" means any combination of materials, other than a building, which is affixed to the land, and shall include, but not be limited to, signs, fences and walls; "municipality" means any town, city, borough, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough; "appropriate" means not incongruous with those aspects of the historic district which the historic district commission determines to be historically or architecturally significant.

      (b) Any municipality may, by vote of its legislative body and in conformance with the standards and criteria formulated by the Department of Economic and Community Development, establish within its confines an historic district or districts to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of the distinctive characteristics of buildings and places associated with the history of or indicative of a period or style of architecture of the municipality, of the state or of the nation.

      (c) The legislative body of any municipality may make appropriations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this part.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 1; February, 1965, P.A. 221, S. 2; P.A. 80-314, S. 1; P.A. 86-105, S. 1; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30; P.A. 11-48, S. 142.)

      History: 1965 act added provision requiring district to conform to standards and criteria of historical commission; P.A. 80-314 added Subsec. (a) containing definitions and divided earlier provisions into Subsecs. (b) and (c); P.A. 86-105 added definition of "appropriate" in Subsec. (a); June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; P.A. 11-48 amended Subsec. (b) to replace "Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism" with "Department of Economic and Community Development", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 7-147b. Procedure for establishment of historic district. Prior to the establishment of an historic district or districts, the following steps shall be taken:

      (a) The legislative body shall appoint or authorize the chief elected official of the municipality to appoint an historic district study committee for the purpose of making an investigation of a proposed historic district or districts. The legislative body of a municipality which proposes to establish more than one district may establish more than one committee if the proposed districts are not contiguous to each other nor to any existing historic district. Each committee established under the provisions of this section shall consist of five regular and three alternate members who shall be electors of the municipality holding no salaried municipal office. Such alternate members shall, when seated as provided in this section, have all powers and duties of a member of the committee. If a regular member of such committee is absent or has a conflict of interest, the chairman of the committee shall designate an alternate to so act, choosing alternates in rotation so that they shall act as nearly equal a number of times as possible. If any alternate is not available in accordance with such rotation, such fact shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

      (b) The historic district study committee shall investigate and submit a report which shall include the following: (1) An analysis of the historic significance and architectural merit of the buildings, structures, places or surroundings to be included in the proposed historic district or districts and the significance of the district as a whole; (2) a general description of the area to be included within the district or districts, including the total number of buildings in each such district or districts listed according to their known or estimated ages; (3) a map showing the exact boundaries of the area to be included within the district or districts; (4) a proposed ordinance or proposed ordinances designed to create and provide for the operation of an historic district or districts in accordance with the provisions of this part; (5) such other matters as the committee may deem necessary or advisable.

      (c) The historic district study committee shall transmit copies of its report to the Department of Economic and Community Development, the planning commission and zoning commission, or the combined planning and zoning commission, of the municipality, if any, and, in the absence of such a planning commission, zoning commission or combined planning and zoning commission, to the chief elected official of the municipality for their comments and recommendations. In addition to such other comments and recommendations as it may make, the Department of Economic and Community Development may recommend either approval, disapproval, modification, alteration or rejection of the proposed ordinance or ordinances and of the boundaries of each proposed district. Each such commission, board or individual shall deliver such comments and recommendations to the committee within sixty-five days of the date of transmission of such report. Failure to deliver such comments and recommendations shall be taken as approval of the report of the committee.

      (d) The historic district study committee shall hold a public hearing on the establishment of a proposed historic district or districts not less than sixty-five nor more than one hundred thirty days after the transmission of the report to each party as provided in subsection (c) of this section, except that, if all such parties have delivered their comments and recommendations to the committee, such hearing may be held less than sixty-five days after the transmittal of the report. The comments and recommendations received pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be read in full at the public hearing.

      (e) Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given as follows: (1) Written notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing, postage prepaid, shall be mailed to the owners of record of all real property to be included in the proposed historic district or districts, as they appear on the last-completed grand list, at the addresses shown thereon, at least fifteen days before the time set for such hearing, together with a copy of the report of the historic district study committee or a fair and accurate synopsis of such report. A complete copy of the report, a copy of all recommendations made under subsection (c) of this section, a map showing the boundaries of the area to be included in the proposed district and a copy of the proposed ordinance shall be available at no charge from the town clerk during business hours or shall be mailed, upon request, to any owner of record of real property in the proposed historic district or districts with the notice of the hearing; and (2) by publication of such notice in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality at least twice, at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than fifteen days nor less than ten days and the last not less than two days before such hearing.

      (f) The historic district study committee shall submit its report with any changes made following the public hearing, along with any comments or recommendations received pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and such other materials as the committee may deem necessary or advisable to the legislative body and the clerk of the municipality within sixty-five days after the public hearing.

      (g) The clerk or his designee shall, not later than sixty-five days from receipt of such report, mail ballots to each owner of record of real property to be included in the proposed district or districts on the question of creation of an historic district or districts, as provided for in sections 7-147a to 7-147k, inclusive. Only an owner who is eighteen years of age or older and who is liable, or whose predecessors in title were liable, to the municipality for taxes on an assessment of not less than one thousand dollars on the last-completed grand list of the municipality on real property within the proposed district, or who would be or would have been so liable if not entitled to an exemption under subdivision (7), (8), (10), (11), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (20), (21), (22), (23), (24), (25), (26), (29) or (49) of section 12-81, may vote, provided such owner is the record owner of the property, thirty days before the ballots must be returned. Any tenant in common of any freehold interest in any land shall have a vote equal to the fraction of his ownership in said interest. Joint tenants of any freehold interest in any land shall vote as if each joint tenant owned an equal, fractional share of such land. A corporation shall have its vote cast by the chief executive officer of such corporation or his designee. No owner shall have more than one vote.

      (h) The form of the ballot to be mailed to each owner shall be consistent with the model ballot prepared by the Historic Preservation Council of the Department of Economic and Community Development established pursuant to section 10-409. The ballot shall be a secret ballot and shall set the date by which such ballots shall be received by the clerk of the municipality. The ballots shall be mailed by first class mail to each owner eligible to vote in such balloting at least fifteen days in advance of the day on which ballots must be returned. Notice of balloting shall be published in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial 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 before the day on which the ballots must be returned. Such ballot shall be returned to the municipal clerk, inserted in an inner envelope which shall have endorsed on the face thereof a form containing a statement as follows: "I, the undersigned, do hereby state under the penalties of false statement that I am an owner of record of real property to be included in the proposed historic district and that I am, or my predecessors in title were, liable to the municipality for taxes on an assessment of not less than one thousand dollars on the last grand list of the municipality of real property within the district, or who would be or would have been so liable if not entitled to an exemption under subdivision (7), (8), (10), (11), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (20), (21), (22), (23), (24), (25), (26), (29) or (49) of section 12-81." Such statement shall be signed and dated. Any person who intentionally falsely signs such ballot shall be guilty of false statement as provided in section 53a-157b. The inner envelope, in which the ballot has been inserted by the owner, shall be returned to the municipal clerk in an outer envelope endorsed on the outside with the words: "Official ballot". Such outer envelope shall also contain, in the upper left corner of the face thereof, blank spaces for the name and return address of the sender. In the lower left corner of such outer envelope, enclosed in a printed box, there shall be spaces upon which the municipal clerk, before issuance of the ballot and envelopes, shall inscribe the name, street and number of the elector's voting residence and the date by which the ballot must be returned, and before issuance the municipal clerk shall similarly inscribe such envelope with his name and address for the return thereof. All outer envelopes shall be serially numbered. The ballots shall be returned to the municipal clerk by the close of business on the day specified, and such clerk shall compare each ballot to the list of property owners to whom such ballots were mailed to insure that each such ballot has been properly signed and returned.

      (i) If two-thirds of all property owners voting cast votes in the affirmative, the legislative body of the municipality shall by majority vote take one of the following steps: (1) Accept the report of the committee and enact an ordinance or ordinances to create and provide for the operation of an historic district or districts in accordance with the provisions of this part; (2) reject the report of the committee, stating its reasons for such rejection; (3) return the report to the historic district study committee with such amendments and revisions thereto as it may deem advisable, for consideration by the committee. The committee shall submit an amended report to the legislative body within sixty-five days of such return. The committee need not hold a public hearing other than the one provided for in subsection (d) of this section, notwithstanding any changes in its report following such hearing, unless the legislative body has recommended a change in the boundaries of the proposed district or districts. The legislative body of the municipality may authorize another ballot of the owners within a proposed district or districts to be cast, other than the balloting provided for in subsection (g) of this section, notwithstanding any changes in the proposed ordinance following such balloting, if the boundaries of the proposed district in which the owners' property is situated are changed.

      (j) Any ordinance, or amendment thereof, enacted pursuant to this part, which creates or alters district boundaries, shall contain a legal description of the area to be included within the historic district. The legislative body, when it passes such an ordinance, or amendment thereof, shall transmit to the municipal clerk a copy of the ordinance or amendment thereof. Such ordinance, or amendment thereof, shall be recorded in the land records of the municipality in which such real property is located and indexed by the municipal clerk in the grantor index under the names of the owners of record of such property.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 2; 1963, P.A. 600, S. 1; P.A. 75-52; P.A. 77-338, S. 1; P.A. 80-314, S. 2; P.A. 87-167; P.A. 91-135, S. 1; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e), 235; P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; 04-257, S. 4; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30; P.A. 11-48, S. 125, 126.)

      History: 1963 act amended Subsec. (c) to extend time for recommendations after receipt of report from 60 to 90 days and to authorize Connecticut historical commission to recommend re boundaries of proposed districts, amended Subsec. (d) to extend time within which hearing is to be held, amended Subsec. (e) to provide for sending a copy or synopsis of the study committee's report, together with a copy of the recommendations under Subsec. (c), a map and a copy of the proposed ordinance to property owners, amended Subsec. (f) to provide for inclusion of list of all buildings in report of committee and amended Subsec. (g) to provide for balloting by property owners; P.A. 75-52 added Subsec. (i) re ordinance contents; P.A. 77-338 deleted requirement in Subsec. (d) that hearing be held not less than 120 days after report; P.A. 80-314 amended Subsec. (a) to allow more than one committee and to include provisions for alternate members, amended Subsec. (b) to include in requirements for report consideration of architectural merit, description of area to be included, map of exact boundaries, proposed ordinance etc., amended Subsec. (c) to include combined planning and zoning commissions and to replace previous provision requiring that recommendations be read at hearing with provision for turning over recommendations to committee, amended Subsec. (d) to require that hearing be held not less than 65 days after report sent to commissions unless conditions specified in exception are met, amended Subsec. (e) to require 15 rather than 20 days' notice and to allow towns to have available on request rather than to automatically send out complete report and other data, amended Subsec. (f) to change deadline from 60 to 65 days and deleted specific accounting of report contents, amended Subsec. (g) to set deadline for mailing ballots and to replace general provisions for voting and action on result with detailed provisions for voting, deleted former Subsec. (h) re proposed amendments to ordinance replacing it with further voting detail, added Subsec. (i) re actions taken following vote and relettered former Subsec. (i) as Subsec. (j) and added requirement that copy of ordinance be sent to municipal clerk; P.A. 87-167 amended Subsec. (i) to reduce the affirmative vote requirement from 75% to two-thirds of all owners voting; P.A. 91-135 amended Subsec. (g) to transfer authority to mail ballots from the legislative body to the town clerk or his designee and amended Subsec. (h) to require that the ballot be consistent with a model ballot prepared by the Connecticut historical commission; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film in Subsec. (c), and June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 also amended Subsec. (h) to substitute Historic Preservation Council of Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film for Connecticut Historical Commission, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes in Subsec. (h), effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 11-48 amended Subsecs. (c) and (h) by replacing "Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism" with "Department of Economic and Community Development", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 7-147c. Historic district commission. (a) Once an historic district has been established, the historic district study committee shall cease to exist and thereafter an historic district commission shall perform all the functions of the committee relative to the new district and to administering the provisions of this part.

      (b) The historic district commission may from time to time, by following the procedure for creation of an historic district provided for in section 7-147b, suggest that an historic district be enlarged or that additional districts be created. Where additional property is to be included within an existing district, the owners of such additional property shall vote pursuant to subsection (g) of section 7-147b.

      (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7-147b, the legislative body of the municipality may enact amendments to the ordinance or ordinances of an historic district established pursuant to this part if such amendments do not involve changing district boundaries or the creation of new districts. No amendment shall be enacted until the substance of such amendment has first been submitted to the historic district commission having jurisdiction over the district affected for its comments and recommendations and either its comments and recommendations have been received or sixty-five days have elapsed without receipt of such comments and recommendations. The historic district commission may suggest amendments to the legislative body.

      (d) The historic district commission established under the provisions of this part shall consist of five regular and three alternate members, who shall be electors of the municipality in which the district is situated holding no salaried municipal office. The ordinance shall provide that one or more of the members or alternates of the historic district commission shall reside in an historic district under the jurisdiction of the commission, if any persons reside in any such district and are willing to serve on such commission. Such alternate members shall, when seated as provided in this section, have all powers and duties of a member of the commission. If a regular member of said commission is absent or has a conflict of interest, the chairman of the commission shall designate an alternate to so act, choosing alternates in rotation so that they shall act as nearly equal a number of times as possible. If any alternate is not available in accordance with such rotation, such fact shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The method of appointment shall be fixed by ordinance. The appointments to membership in the commission shall be so arranged that the term of at least one member shall expire each year, and their successors shall be appointed in like manner for terms of five years. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term and in the same manner as the original appointment. The commission shall elect annually a chairman, a vice-chairman and a clerk from its own number. Each member and alternate shall continue in office until his successor is duly appointed. All members and alternates shall serve without compensation. Any member or alternate may be appointed for another term or terms.

      (e) The historic district commission shall adopt rules of procedure not inconsistent with the provisions of this part. The commission may adopt regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this part to provide guidance to property owners as to factors to be considered in preparing an application for a certificate of appropriateness.

      (f) The historic district commission shall keep a permanent record of its resolutions, transactions and determinations and of the vote of each member participating therein.

      (g) A copy of any ordinance creating an historic district adopted under authority of this part, amendments to any such ordinance, maps of any districts created under this part, annual reports and other publications of the historic district commission and the roster of membership of such commission shall be transmitted to the Department of Economic and Community Development. The historic district commission shall also file with the department at least once every year a brief summary of its actions during that year, including a statement of the number and nature of certificates of appropriateness issued, any changes in the membership of the commission and any other information deemed appropriate by the historic district commission.

      (h) The historic district commission may accept grants and gifts, employ clerical and technical assistance or consultants and incur other expenses appropriate to the carrying on of its work, subject to appropriation by the municipality or receipt of such grants or gifts and may expend the same for such purposes.

      (i) A municipality which has more than one historic district may establish more than one historic district commission if the districts are not contiguous.

      (j) Any historic district commission established under this section may, unless prohibited by charter, ordinance or special act: (1) Make periodic reports to the legislative body; (2) provide information to property owners and others involving the preservation of the district; (3) suggest pertinent legislation; (4) initiate planning and zoning proposals; (5) cooperate with other regulatory agencies and civic organizations and groups interested in historic preservation; (6) comment on all applications for zoning variances and special exceptions where they affect historic districts; (7) render advice on sidewalk construction and repair, tree planting, street improvements and the erection or alteration of public buildings not otherwise under its control where they affect historic districts; (8) furnish information and assistance in connection with any capital improvement program involving historic districts; (9) consult with groups of experts.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 3; P.A. 77-338, S. 2; P.A. 80-314, S. 3; P.A. 86-105, S. 2; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30; P.A. 11-48, S. 143.)

      History: P.A. 77-338 added Subsec. (b) re procedure for inclusion of individual's property in district after its establishment; P.A. 80-314 deleted previous Subsec. (b), inserted new material concerning enlarging districts or creating new ones and ordinance amendments as Subsecs. (b) and (c), placed provisions for commission membership, appointments, etc. in Subsec. (d) rather than Subsec. (a) as previously, amending provisions for alternate members and adding provision concerning vacancies and reappointments, placed provision for adopting rules in Subsec. (e) rather than Subsec. (a) and added provision concerning regulations providing guidance for property owners in preparing applications, added Subsecs. (f) and (g) re permanent records and information required to be sent to the state historical commission, amended provision re acceptance of grants and gifts and employment of personnel, formerly in Subsec. (a), and designated it as Subsec. (h) and added Subsecs. (i) and (j) re multiple commissions and further powers; P.A. 86-105 amended Subsec. (d) to require that one or more residents of historic district be included on commission as members or alternates; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; P.A. 11-48 amended Subsec. (g) to replace "Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism" with "Department of Economic and Community Development" and "department", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 7-147j. Exempted acts. Delay of demolition. (a) Nothing in this part shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural feature in the historic district which does not involve a change in the appearance or design thereof; nor to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature which the building inspector or a similar agent certifies is required by the public safety because of a condition which is unsafe or dangerous due to deterioration; nor to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature under a permit issued by a building inspector or similar agent prior to the effective date of establishment of such district.

      (b) If a building in an historic district is to be demolished, no demolition shall occur for ninety days from issuance of a demolition permit if during such time the historic district commission or the Department of Economic and Community Development is attempting to find a purchaser who will retain or remove such building or who will present some other reasonable alternative to demolition. During such ninety-day period the municipality may abate all real property taxes. At the conclusion of such ninety-day period, the demolition permit shall become effective and the demolition may occur. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mandate that the owner of such property sell such property or building.

      (1961, P.A. 430, S. 6; 1963, P.A. 600, S. 3; P.A. 80-314, S. 10; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30; P.A. 11-48, S. 144.)

      History: 1963 act deleted restriction on maintenance or repairs involving a change of material or outward appearance; P.A. 80-314 deleted references to construction, reconstruction and demolition and inserted references to "erection" and added Subsec. (b) re demolition procedure; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; P.A. 11-48 amended Subsec. (b) to replace "Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism" with "Department of Economic and Community Development", effective July 1, 2011.

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PART II
HISTORIC PROPERTIES

      Sec. 7-147p. Historic property ordinances authorized. Definitions. (a) As used in this part: "Historic property" means any individual building, structure, object or site that is significant in the history, architecture, archaeology and culture of the state, its political subdivisions or the nation and the real property used in connection therewith; "altered" means changed, modified, rebuilt, removed, demolished, restored, razed, moved or reconstructed; "erected" means constructed, built, installed or enlarged; "exterior architectural features" means such portion of the exterior of a structure or building as is open to view from a public street, way or place; "building" means a combination of materials forming a shelter for persons, animals or property; "structure" means any combination of materials, other than a building, which is affixed to the land, and shall include, but not be limited to, signs, fences and walls; "municipality" means any town, city, borough, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough.

      (b) Any municipality may, by ordinance and in conformance with the standards and criteria formulated by the Department of Economic and Community Development, designate within its confines an historic property or properties to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of the distinctive characteristics of individual buildings and places associated with the history of or indicative of a period or style of architecture of the municipality, of the state or of the nation.

      (c) The legislative body of any municipality may make appropriations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this part.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 1; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30; P.A. 11-48, S. 145.)

      History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; P.A. 11-48 amended Subsec. (b) to replace "Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism" with "Department of Economic and Community Development", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 7-147q. Procedures for establishment of historic properties. Prior to the designation of an historic property or properties, the following steps shall be taken:

      (a) The legislative body shall appoint or authorize the chief elected official of the municipality to appoint an historic properties study committee for the purpose of making an investigation of one or more proposed historic properties. The legislative body of a municipality which proposes to establish more than one historic property may establish more than one committee. An already existing historic properties commission or an historic district commission established in the municipality pursuant to part I of this chapter may be appointed to make this investigation. Each committee established under the provisions of this section shall consist of five regular and three alternate members who shall be electors of the municipality holding no salaried municipal office. Such alternate members shall, when seated as provided in this section, have all powers and duties of a member of the committee. If a regular member of such committee is absent or has a conflict of interest, the chairman of the committee shall designate an alternate to so act, choosing alternates in rotation so that they shall act as nearly equal a number of times as possible. If any alternate is not available in accordance with such rotation, such fact shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

      (b) The historic properties study committee shall investigate and submit a report which shall include the following: (1) An analysis of the historic significance and architectural merit of the buildings, structures, objects or sites proposed as historic properties; (2) a map showing the exact boundaries of the area to be designated as the historic property or properties; (3) a proposed ordinance or proposed ordinances designed to designate and provide for the protection of an historic property or properties in accordance with the provisions of this part; and (4) such other matters as the committee may deem necessary or advisable.

      (c) The historic properties study committee shall transmit copies of its report to the Department of Economic and Community Development, the planning commission and zoning commission, or the combined planning and zoning commission, of the municipality, if any, and, in the absence of such a planning commission, zoning commission or combined planning and zoning commission, to the chief elected official of the municipality for their comments and recommendations. In addition to such other comments and recommendations as it may make, the Department of Economic and Community Development may recommend either approval, disapproval, modification, alteration or rejection of the proposed ordinance or ordinances and of the boundaries of each proposed historic property. Each such commission, board or individual shall deliver such comments and recommendations to the committee within sixty-five days of the date of transmission of such report. Failure to deliver such comments and recommendations shall be taken as approval of the report of the committee.

      (d) The historic properties study committee shall hold a public hearing on the designation of each proposed historic property not less than sixty-five nor more than one hundred thirty days after the transmission of the report to each party as provided in subsection (c) of this section, except that, if all such parties have delivered their comments and recommendations to the committee, such hearing may be held less than sixty-five days after the transmittal of the report. The comments and recommendations received pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be read in full at the public hearing.

      (e) Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given as follows: (1) Written notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing, postage prepaid, shall be mailed by certified mail to the owner or owners of record of the real property to be included in each proposed historic property, as they appear on the last-completed grand list, at the addresses shown thereon, at least fifteen days before the time set for such hearing, together with a copy of the report of the historic properties study committee or a fair and accurate synopsis of such report. A complete copy of the report, a copy of all recommendations made under subsection (c) of this section, a map showing the boundaries of the real property to be included in each proposed historic property and a copy of the proposed ordinance shall be available at no charge from the town clerk during business hours or shall be mailed, upon request, to any owner of record of real property in the proposed historic property or properties with the notice of the hearing; and (2) by publication of such notice in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality at least twice, at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than fifteen days nor less than ten days and the last not less than two days before such hearing.

      (f) The historic properties study committee shall submit its report with any changes made following the public hearing, along with any comments or recommendations received pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and such other materials as the committee may deem necessary or advisable to the legislative body of the municipality within sixty-five days after the public hearing.

      (g) The owner or owners of record of a proposed historic property may object to the proposed designation by submitting to the historic properties study committee or to the legislative body of the municipality a notarized statement certifying that the person filing such objection is the entire or partial owner of the property and objects to the designation. Unless persons holding fifty per cent or more of the ownership interest in a proposed historic property object to the proposed designation within thirty days following the public hearing held pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the legislative body of the municipality shall, by majority vote, take one of the following steps: (1) Accept the report of the committee as to the proposed historic property and enact an ordinance to designate the historic property and provide for its regulation in accordance with the provisions of this part; (2) reject the report of the committee, stating its reasons for such rejection; or (3) return the report to the historic properties study committee, with such amendments and revisions as it may deem advisable, for consideration by the committee. The committee shall, within sixty-five days of such return, submit an amended report to the legislative body and mail by certified mail a copy of the amended report to the owner or owners of record of each proposed historic property covered by the report. The committee need not hold a public hearing other than the one provided for in subsection (d) of this section. Unless persons holding fifty per cent or more of the ownership interest in a proposed historic property object to the proposed designation within thirty days of receipt of the amended report by written submission in the manner set forth in this subsection, the legislative body of the municipality may accept or reject the amended report as provided in this subsection.

      (h) Any ordinance, or amendment thereof, enacted pursuant to this part, which designates or alters historic property boundaries, shall contain a legal description of the area to be included within each historic property. The legislative body, when it passes such an ordinance, or amendment thereof, shall transmit to the municipal clerk a copy of the ordinance or amendment thereof. Such ordinance, or amendment thereof, shall be recorded in the land records of the municipality in which such real property is located and indexed by the municipal clerk in the grantor index under the names of the owners of record of such property.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 2; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30; P.A. 11-48, S. 146.)

      History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; P.A. 11-48 amended Subdiv. (c) by replacing "Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism" with "Department of Economic and Community Development", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 7-147y. Exempted acts. Delay of demolition. (a) Nothing in this part shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior architectural feature within the boundaries of an historic property which does not involve a change in the appearance or design thereof; nor to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature which the building inspector or a similar agent certifies is required by the public safety because of a condition which is unsafe or dangerous due to deterioration; nor to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature under a permit issued by a building inspector or similar agent prior to designation of such historic property.

      (b) If a building within the boundaries of an historic property is to be demolished, no demolition shall occur for ninety days from issuance of a demolition permit if during such time the historic properties commission or the Department of Economic and Community Development is attempting to find a purchaser who will retain or remove such building or who will present some other reasonable alternative to demolition. During such ninety-day period the municipality may abate all real property taxes. At the conclusion of such ninety-day period, the demolition permit shall become effective and the demolition may occur. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mandate that the owner of such property is under any obligation to sell such property or building.

      (P.A. 84-286, S. 10; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 210(e); P.A. 04-20, S. 3; 04-205, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 30; P.A. 11-48, S. 147.)

      History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-20 replaced the Connecticut Historical Commission with the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-205, effective June 3, 2004, and May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, effective May 12, 2004, both replaced Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film with Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism; P.A. 11-48 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing "Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism" with "Department of Economic and Community Development", effective July 1, 2011.

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