CHAPTER 249
TRAFFIC CONTROL AND HIGHWAY SAFETY

Table of Contents

Sec. 14-298. State Traffic Commission.
Sec. 14-311. Open air theaters, shopping centers and certain other developments affecting state highway traffic.
Sec. 14-311c. Developed parcels of land separately owned and utilized together for a single development purpose which affects state highway traffic.
Sec. 14-311d. Economic development project applications. Action by Commissioner of Transportation or State Traffic Commission. Deadline for final determination. Approval.

PART I
TRAFFIC CONTROL

      Sec. 14-298. State Traffic Commission. There shall be within the Department of Transportation a State Traffic Commission. Said Traffic Commission shall consist of the Commissioner of Transportation, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, or his or her designee, shall be a member of the commission when the commission discusses and votes on any matter relating to an economic development project. For the purpose of standardization and uniformity, said commission shall adopt and cause to be printed for publication regulations establishing a uniform system of traffic control signals, devices, signs and markings consistent with the provisions of this chapter for use upon the public highways. The Commissioner of Transportation shall make known to the General Assembly the availability of such regulations and any requesting member shall be sent a written copy or electronic storage media of such regulations by said commissioner. Taking into consideration the public safety and convenience with respect to the width and character of the highways and roads affected, the density of traffic thereon and the character of such traffic, said commission shall also adopt regulations, in cooperation and agreement with local traffic authorities, governing the use of state highways and roads on state-owned properties, and the operation of vehicles including but not limited to motor vehicles, as defined in section 14-1, and bicycles, as defined in section 14-286, thereon. A list of limited-access highways shall be published with such regulations and said list shall be revised and published once each year. The Commissioner of Transportation shall make known to the General Assembly the availability of such regulations and list and any requesting member shall be sent a written copy or electronic storage media of such regulations and list by the commissioner. A list of limited-access highways opened to traffic by the Commissioner of Transportation in the interim period between publications shall be maintained in the office of the State Traffic Commission and such regulations shall apply to the use of such listed highways. Said commission shall also make regulations, in cooperation and agreement with local traffic authorities, respecting the use by through truck traffic of streets and highways within the limits of, and under the jurisdiction of, any city, town or borough of this state for the protection and safety of the public. If said commission determines that the prohibition of through truck traffic on any street or highway is necessary because of an immediate and imminent threat to the public health and safety and the local traffic authority is precluded for any reason from acting on such prohibition, the commission, if it is not otherwise precluded from so acting, may impose such prohibition. Said commission may place and maintain traffic control signals, signs, markings and other safety devices, which it deems to be in the interests of public safety, upon such highways as come within the jurisdiction of said commission as set forth in section 14-297. The traffic authority of any city, town or borough may place and maintain traffic control signals, signs, markings and other safety devices upon the highways under its jurisdiction, and all such signals, devices, signs and markings shall conform to the regulations established by said commission in accordance with this chapter, and such traffic authority shall, with respect to traffic control signals, conform to the provisions of section 14-299.

      (1949 Rev., S. 2517; 1957, P.A. 331, S. 1; 1967, P.A. 685, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 151; P.A. 77-375, S. 6; 77-614, S. 558, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 11, 136; P.A. 84-429, S. 67; P.A. 88-242, S. 1, 2; P.A. 98-222, S. 6; P.A. 11-51, S. 134; Oct. Sp. Sess. P.A. 11-1, S. 7.)

      History: 1967 act added provisions re regulations governing use of state highways and roads on state-owned properties and re list of limited access highways; 1969 act replaced highway commissioner with commissioner of transportation; P.A. 77-375 added reference to role of local traffic authorities in adoption of regulations and specifically referred to regulations re operation of vehicles "not limited to motor vehicles" and of bicycles; P.A. 77-614 placed state traffic commission in department of transportation and changed membership to include commissioner of public safety rather than commissioner of motor vehicles, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-303 restored membership of commissioner of motor vehicles and deleted reference to no longer existing commissioner of state police; P.A. 84-429 made technical changes for statutory consistency; P.A. 88-242 added provisions authorizing the state traffic commission to prohibit through truck traffic in certain cases involving an immediate and imminent threat to public health and safety; P.A. 98-222 added a requirement that the commissioner notify the General Assembly that the regulations establishing a uniform system of traffic control signals and the list of limited-access highways are available upon request in a written format or as electronic storage; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, "Commissioner of Public Safety" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection", effective July 1, 2011; Oct. Sp. Sess. P.A. 11-1 added provision making Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, or his or her designee, a member of commission when commission discusses and votes on any matter re an economic development project, and made technical changes, effective October 27, 2011.

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      Sec. 14-311. Open air theaters, shopping centers and certain other developments affecting state highway traffic. (a) No person, firm, corporation, state agency, or municipal agency or combination thereof shall build, expand, establish or operate any open air theater, shopping center or other development generating large volumes of traffic that substantially affect state highway traffic within this state, as determined by the State Traffic Commission, until such person, firm, corporation, or agency has procured from the State Traffic Commission a certificate that the operation thereof will not imperil the safety of the public, except that any development, including any development to be built in phases, without regard to when such phases are approved by the municipal planning and zoning agency or other responsible municipal agency, that contains a total of one hundred or fewer residential units shall not be required to obtain such certificate if such development is a residential-only development and is not part of a mixed-use development that contains office, retail or other such nonresidential uses, provided if any future development increases the total number of residential units to more than one hundred, and such total substantially affects state highway traffic within the state as determined by the State Traffic Commission, a certificate shall be procured from said commission.

      (b) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no local building official shall issue a building or foundation permit to any person, firm, corporation, state agency or municipal agency to build, expand, establish or operate such a development until the person, firm, corporation or agency provides to such official a copy of the certificate issued under this section by the commission. If the commission determines that any person, firm, corporation, or state or municipal agency has (1) started building, expanding, establishing or operating such a development without first obtaining a certificate from the commission, or (2) has failed to comply with the conditions of such a certificate, it shall order the person, firm, corporation or agency to (A) cease constructing, expanding, establishing or operating the development, or (B) comply with the conditions of the certificate within a reasonable period of time. If such person, firm, corporation or agency fails to (i) cease such work, or (ii) comply with an order of the commission within such time as specified by the commission, the commission may make an application to the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district where the development is located enjoining the construction, expansion, establishment or operation of such development. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, for single family home building lots within a subdivision of land, for which a certificate is required and which do not have a direct exit or entrance on, or directly abut or adjoin any state highway, no local building official shall issue a certificate of occupancy to any person, firm, corporation, state agency or municipal agency to occupy homes on such lots until the person, firm, corporation or agency provides to such official a copy of the certificate issued under this section by the commission and such official confirms that the certificate conditions have been satisfied.

      (c) The State Traffic Commission shall issue its decision on an application for a certificate under subsection (a) of this section not later than one hundred twenty days after it is filed, except that, if the commission needs additional information from the applicant, it shall notify the applicant in writing as to what information is required and (1) the commission may toll the running of such one-hundred-twenty-day period by the number of days between and including the date such notice is received by the applicant and the date the additional information is received by the commission, and (2) if the commission receives the additional information during the last ten days of the one-hundred-twenty-day period and needs additional time to review and analyze such information, it may extend such period by not more than fifteen days. The State Traffic Commission may also, at its discretion, postpone action on any application submitted pursuant to this section or section 14-311a until such time as it is shown that an application has been approved by the municipal planning and zoning agency or other responsible municipal agency. The State Traffic Commission, to the extent practicable, shall begin its review of an application prior to final approval of the proposed activity by the municipal planning and zoning agency or other responsible municipal agency.

      (d) In determining the advisability of such certification, the State Traffic Commission shall include, in its consideration, highway safety, the width and character of the highways affected, the density of traffic thereon, the character of such traffic and the opinion and findings of the traffic authority of the municipality wherein the development is located. The State Traffic Commission may require improvements to be made by the applicant to the extent that such improvements address impacts to highway safety created by the addition of the applicant's proposed development or activity. If the State Traffic Commission determines that such improvements, including traffic signals, pavement markings, channelization, pavement widening or other changes or traffic control devices, are required to handle traffic safely and efficiently, one hundred per cent of the cost thereof shall be borne by the person building, establishing or operating such open air theater, shopping center or other development generating large volumes of traffic, except that such cost shall not be borne by any municipal agency. The Commissioner of Transportation may issue a permit to said person to construct or install the changes required by the State Traffic Commission.

      (e) Any person aggrieved by any decision of the State Traffic Commission hereunder may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183, except venue for such appeal shall be in the judicial district in which it is proposed to operate such establishment. The provisions of this section except insofar as such provisions relate to expansion shall not apply to any open air theater, shopping center or other development generating large volumes of traffic in operation on July 1, 1967.

      (1951, S. 1408d; 1967, P.A. 730; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 152; 1971, P.A. 611, S. 1; 870, S. 103; P.A. 73-136; P.A. 74-183, S. 202, 291; P.A. 76-412; 76-436, S. 173, 681; P.A. 77-603, S. 38, 125; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 83-362; P.A. 84-546, S. 46, 173; P.A. 85-498, S. 1, 3; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; 90-342, S. 1, 5; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 11-256, S. 14.)

      History: 1967 act made provisions applicable to shopping centers and other developments generating large volumes of traffic, added provisions re percentage of cost of traffic signals, pavement markings, road widening etc. to be borne by developer and re permit to construct or install required changes and replaced exemption for developments under construction or in operation on June 5, 1951, with exemption for developments in operation on July 1, 1967; 1969 act replaced highway commissioner with commissioner of transportation; 1971 acts made provisions applicable to expansions of developments or facilities, required developer to bear 75% rather than 50% of cost of road or traffic signal changes, qualified exemption by excluding expansion operations and replaced superior court with court of common pleas; P.A. 73-136 required developer to pay 100% of cost of road or traffic signal changes; P.A. 74-183 added reference to judicial districts; P.A. 76-412 included facilities or developments of state or municipal agencies, made provisions applicable to projects "substantially affecting state highway traffic", exempted municipal agency from payment of cost of changes and added provision re postponement of action on applications; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-603 replaced previous appeal provision with requirement that appeals be made in accordance with Sec. 4-183 except that venue remains in county or judicial district affected; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; P.A. 83-362 divided section into Subsecs., prohibited local building officials from issuing building or foundation permits for developments until commission issues certificates and required commission to act on certificate applications within 120 days unless additional information needed; P.A. 84-546 made technical grammatical change in Subsec. (e); P.A. 85-498 extended the provisions of Subsecs. (a) and (b) to firms, corporations or any combination of a firm, corporation, state agency or municipal agency; P.A. 90-342 added provision in Subsec. (b) authorizing injunction for failure to comply with commission's orders and provision in Subsec. (d) requiring the commission to seek the opinion of the traffic authority of the municipality where the development is located (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230 and P.A. 90-98 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in public and special acts of the 1990 session, effective September 1, 1993); P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 11-256 amended Subsec. (a) to establish exception from certificate requirement for certain developments and to make technical changes, amended Subsec. (b) to establish procedure applicable to certain single family home building lots re provision of copy of certificate and to make technical changes, amended Subsec. (c) to require commencement of commission review prior to final approval by municipal agency and to make a technical change, and amended Subsec. (d) to authorize commission to require highway safety improvements, effective July 13, 2011.

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      Sec. 14-311c. Developed parcels of land separately owned and utilized together for a single development purpose which affects state highway traffic. (a) No group of persons, firms, corporations, state agencies or municipal agencies or combination thereof shall build, expand, establish or operate any open air theater, shopping center or other development generating large volumes of traffic on any group of individual parcels of land which are separately owned but are utilized together for a single development purpose, whether or not such parcels are separated by any state, local or private roadway that substantially affect state highway traffic within this state, as determined by the State Traffic Commission, until such group has procured from the State Traffic Commission a certificate that the operation thereof will not imperil the safety of the public, except that any development, including any development to be built in phases without regard to when such phases are approved by the municipal planning and zoning agency or other responsible municipal agency, that contains a total of one hundred or fewer residential units shall not be required to obtain such a certificate if such development is a residential-only development and not part of a mixed-use development containing office, retail or other such nonresidential uses, provided if any future development increases the total number of residential units to more than one hundred, and this total substantially affects state highway traffic within the state as determined by the office of the State Traffic Commission, a certificate shall be procured from said commission.

      (b) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no local building official shall issue a building or foundation permit to any such group or member thereof to build, expand, establish or operate such a development until the group or member provides to such official a copy of the certificate issued under this section by the commission. If the commission determines that any group or member has (1) started building, expanding, establishing or operating such a development without first obtaining a certificate from the commission, or (2) has failed to comply with the conditions of such a certificate, it shall order the group or member to (A) cease constructing, expanding, establishing or operating the development, or (B) to comply with the conditions of the certificate within a reasonable period of time. If such group or member fails to (i) cease such work, or (ii) comply with an order of the commission within such time as specified by the commission, the commission or the traffic authority of the municipality wherein the development is located may make an application to the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district where the development is located enjoining the construction, expansion, establishment or the operation of such development. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, for single family home building lots within a subdivision of land, for which a certificate is required and which do not have a direct exit or entrance on, or directly abut or adjoin any state highway, no local building official shall issue a certificate of occupancy to any such group or member thereof or person to occupy homes on such lots until such group, member or person provides to such official a copy of the certificate issued under this section by the commission and such official confirms that the certificate conditions have been satisfied.

      (c) The State Traffic Commission shall issue its decision on an application for a certificate under subsection (a) of this section not later than one hundred twenty days after it is filed, except that, if the commission needs additional information from the applicant, it shall notify the applicant in writing as to what information is required and (1) the commission may toll the running of such one-hundred-twenty-day period by the number of days between and including the date such notice is received by the applicant and the date the additional information is received by the commission, and (2) if the commission receives the additional information during the last ten days of the one-hundred-twenty-day period and needs additional time to review and analyze such information, it may extend such period by not more than fifteen days. The State Traffic Commission may also, at its discretion, postpone action on any application submitted pursuant to this section or section 14-311a until such time as it is shown that an application has been approved by the municipal planning and zoning agency or other responsible municipal agency. The State Traffic Commission, to the extent practicable, shall begin its review of an application prior to final approval of the proposed activity by the municipal planning and zoning agency or other responsible municipal agency.

      (d) In determining the advisability of such certification, the State Traffic Commission shall include, in its consideration, highway safety, the width and character of the highways affected, the density of traffic thereon, the character of such traffic and the opinion and findings of the traffic authority of the municipality wherein the development is located. The State Traffic Commission may require improvements to be made by the applicant to the extent that such improvements address impacts to highway safety created by the addition of the applicant's proposed development or activity. If the State Traffic Commission determines that such improvements, including traffic signals, pavement markings, channelization, pavement widening or other changes or traffic control devices, are required to handle traffic safely and efficiently, one hundred per cent of the cost thereof shall be borne by the group building, establishing or operating such open air theater, shopping center or other development generating large volumes of traffic, except that such cost shall not be borne by any municipal agency. The Commissioner of Transportation may issue a permit to said group to construct or install the changes required by the State Traffic Commission, in consultation with the local traffic authority.

      (e) Any group aggrieved by any decision of the State Traffic Commission hereunder may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183, except venue for such appeal shall be in the judicial district in which it is proposed to operate such establishment. The provisions of this section except insofar as such provisions relate to expansion shall not apply to any open air theater, shopping center or other development generating large volumes of traffic which has received all necessary permits, variances, exceptions and approvals from the municipal zoning commission, planning commission, combined planning and zoning commission and zoning board of appeals in which such development is located prior to or on July 1, 1985, or to any such development which is in operation on that date.

      (P.A. 85-498, S. 2, 3; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; 90-342, S. 2, 5; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 11-256, S. 15.)

      History: P.A. 90-342 added provision in Subsec. (b) authorizing injunction for failure to comply with commission's orders and provision in Subsec. (d) requiring the commission to seek the opinion of the traffic authority of the municipality where the development is located (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230 and P.A. 90-98 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in public and special acts of the 1990 session, effective September 1, 1993); P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 11-256 amended Subsec. (a) to establish exception from certificate requirement for certain developments and to make technical changes, amended Subsec. (b) to establish procedure applicable to certain single family home building lots re provision of copy of certificate and to make technical changes, amended Subsec. (c) to require commencement of commission review prior to final approval by municipal agency and to make technical changes, and amended Subsec. (d) to authorize commission to require highway safety improvements, effective July 13, 2011.

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      Sec. 14-311d. Economic development project applications. Action by Commissioner of Transportation or State Traffic Commission. Deadline for final determination. Approval. Notwithstanding any provision of title 13b or this title, in all matters in which a formal petition, application or request for a permit is required to be submitted to the Commissioner of Transportation or the State Traffic Commission, and such petition, application or request is in connection with an economic development project, the commissioner or commission shall, not later than sixty days after the date on which the commissioner or commission receives a completed petition, application or request, make a final determination whether to approve such completed petition, application or request. The commissioner or commission shall notify the petitioner, applicant or requestor of such final determination. In the event that the commissioner or commission fails to make a final determination not later than sixty days after the date on which the commissioner or commission received such completed petition, application or request, such completed petition, application or request shall be deemed approved.

      (Oct. Sp. Sess. P.A. 11-1, S. 8.)

      History: Oct. Sp. Sess. P.A. 11-1 effective October 27, 2011.

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