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Substitute Senate Bill No. 201

Public Act No. 10-152

AN ACT MAKING TECHNICAL REVISIONS TO THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT STATUTES, DELAYING REVALUATION FOR CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES, MAKING SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES TO STATUTES CONCERNING HOUSING BLIGHT AND AUTHORIZING THE MODIFICATION OF CERTAIN ELECTRICITY PURCHASE AGREEMENTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 7-136i of the 2010 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2010):

Notwithstanding any provision of title 13b or 14, 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 submitted by a municipality, the commissioner or commission shall, within available appropriations, not later than sixty days after the date on which the commissioner or commission receives such petition, application or request, make a preliminary review of the petition, application or request for the sole purpose of determining whether such petition, application or request is acceptable for filing. The commissioner or commission shall notify the municipality of the results of such preliminary review. Nothing in this section shall preclude the commissioner or commission from requesting additional information from the municipality subsequent to such notification.

Sec. 2. Section 12-63c of the 2010 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2010):

(a) In determining the present true and actual value in any town of real property used primarily for purposes of producing rental income, the assessor, which term whenever used in this section shall include assessor or board of assessors, may require in the conduct of any appraisal of such property pursuant to the capitalization of net income method, as provided in section 12-63b, that the owner of such property annually submit to the assessor not later than the first day of June, on a form provided by the assessor not later than forty-five days before said first day of June, the best available information disclosing the actual rental and rental-related income and operating expenses applicable to such property. Submission of such information may be required whether or not the town is conducting a revaluation of all real property pursuant to section 12-62. Upon determination that there is good cause, the assessor may grant an extension of not more than thirty days to [file] submit such information, if the owner of such property files a request for an extension with the assessor not later than May first.

(b) Any such information related to actual rental and rental-related income and operating expenses and not already a matter of public record [which] that is submitted [or made available] to the assessor shall not be subject to the provisions of section 1-210.

(c) If upon receipt of information as required under subsection (a) of this section the assessor finds that such information does not appear to reflect actual rental and rental-related income or operating expenses related to the current use of such property, additional verification concerning such information may be requested by the assessor. All information received by the assessor under subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to audit by the assessor or a designee of the assessor. Any person claiming to be aggrieved by the action of the assessor hereunder may appeal the actions of the assessor to the board of assessment appeals and the Superior Court as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(d) Any owner of such real property required to submit [or make available] information to the assessor in accordance with subsection (a) of this section for any assessment year, who fails to submit such information [or fails to make it available] as required under said subsection (a) or who submits information [or makes it available] in incomplete or false form with intent to defraud, shall be subject to a penalty equal to a ten per cent increase in the assessed value of such property for such assessment year. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, an assessor or board of assessment appeals shall waive such penalty if the owner of the real property required to submit the information is not the owner of such property on the assessment date for the grand list to which such penalty is added. Such assessor or board may waive such penalty upon receipt of such information in any town in which the legislative body adopts an ordinance allowing for such a waiver.

Sec. 3. Section 16a-29 of the 2010 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2010):

The secretary shall consider the comments received at the public hearings and shall make any necessary or desirable revisions to said plan and within three months of completion of the public hearings submit the plan to the continuing legislative committee on state planning and development [,] for its approval, revision or disapproval, in whole or in part. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the secretary shall submit the state Conservation and Development Policies Plan, 2012-2017, to said committee on or before December 1, 2011.

Sec. 4. (Effective from passage) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 12-62 of the general statutes or any other provision of the general statutes, any municipal charter, any special act or any home rule ordinance, the city of Middletown shall not be required to effect a revaluation prior to the 2013 assessment year, provided any decision not to implement a revaluation pursuant to this section is approved by the legislative body of such city. The rate maker, as defined in section 12-131 of the general statutes, in such city may prepare new rate bills under the provisions of chapter 204 of the general statutes in order to carry out the provisions of this section. Any required revaluation subsequent to any delayed revaluation effected pursuant to this section shall be effected in accordance with the provisions of section 12-62 of the general statutes. Such subsequent revaluation shall recommence at the point in the schedule required pursuant to section 12-62 of the general statutes that such city was following prior to such delay.

Sec. 5. (Effective from passage) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 12-62 of the general statutes or any other provision of the general statutes, any municipal charter, any special act or any home rule ordinance, the town of Guilford shall not be required to effect a revaluation prior to the 2013 assessment year, provided any decision not to implement a revaluation pursuant to this section is approved by the legislative body of such town. The rate maker, as defined in section 12-131 of the general statutes, in such town may prepare new rate bills under the provisions of chapter 204 of the general statutes in order to carry out the provisions of this section. Any required revaluation subsequent to any delayed revaluation effected pursuant to this section shall be effected in accordance with the provisions of section 12-62 of the general statutes. Such subsequent revaluation shall recommence at the point in the schedule required pursuant to section 12-62 of the general statutes that such town was following prior to such delay.

Sec. 6. (Effective from passage) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 12-62 of the general statutes or any other provision of the general statutes, any municipal charter, any special act or any home rule ordinance, the town of Madison shall not be required to effect a revaluation prior to the 2013 assessment year, provided any decision not to implement a revaluation pursuant to this section is approved by the legislative body of such town. The rate maker, as defined in section 12-131 of the general statutes, in such town may prepare new rate bills under the provisions of chapter 204 of the general statutes in order to carry out the provisions of this section. Any required revaluation subsequent to any delayed revaluation effected pursuant to this section shall be effected in accordance with the provisions of section 12-62 of the general statutes. Such subsequent revaluation shall recommence at the point in the schedule required pursuant to section 12-62 of the general statutes that such town was following prior to such delay.

Sec. 7. Subparagraph (H) of subdivision (7) of subsection (c) of section 7-148 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2010):

(H) (i) Secure the safety of persons in or passing through the municipality by regulation of shows, processions, parades and music;

(ii) Regulate and prohibit the carrying on within the municipality of any trade, manufacture, business or profession which is, or may be, so carried on as to become prejudicial to public health, conducive to fraud and cheating, or dangerous to, or constituting an unreasonable annoyance to, those living or owning property in the vicinity;

(iii) Regulate auctions and garage and tag sales;

(iv) Prohibit, restrain, license and regulate the business of peddlers, auctioneers and junk dealers in a manner not inconsistent with the general statutes;

(v) Regulate and prohibit swimming or bathing in the public or exposed places within the municipality;

(vi) Regulate and license the operation of amusement parks and amusement arcades including, but not limited to, the regulation of mechanical rides and the establishment of the hours of operation;

(vii) Prohibit, restrain, license and regulate all sports, exhibitions, public amusements and performances and all places where games may be played;

(viii) Preserve the public peace and good order, prevent and quell riots and disorderly assemblages and prevent disturbing noises;

(ix) Establish a system to obtain a more accurate registration of births, marriages and deaths than the system provided by the general statutes in a manner not inconsistent with the general statutes;

(x) Control insect pests or plant diseases in any manner deemed appropriate;

(xi) Provide for the health of the inhabitants of the municipality and do all things necessary or desirable to secure and promote the public health;

(xii) Regulate the use of streets, sidewalks, highways, public places and grounds for public and private purposes;

(xiii) Make and enforce police, sanitary or other similar regulations and protect or promote the peace, safety, good government and welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants;

(xiv) Regulate, in addition to the requirements under section 7-282b, the installation, maintenance and operation of any device or equipment in a residence or place of business which is capable of automatically calling and relaying recorded emergency messages to any state police or municipal police or fire department telephone number or which is capable of automatically calling and relaying recorded emergency messages or other forms of emergency signals to an intermediate third party which shall thereafter call and relay such emergency messages to a state police or municipal police or fire department telephone number. Such regulations may provide for penalties for the transmittal of false alarms by such devices or equipment;

(xv) Make and enforce regulations [preventing] for the prevention and remediation of housing blight, including regulations reducing assessments and authorizing designated agents of the municipality to enter property during reasonable hours for the purpose of remediating blighted conditions, provided such regulations define housing blight, and further provided such regulations shall not authorize such municipality or its designated agents to enter any dwelling house or structure on such property, and including regulations establishing a duty to maintain property and specifying standards to determine if there is neglect; prescribe fines for the violation of such regulations of not less than ten or more than one hundred dollars for each day that a violation continues and, if such fines are prescribed, such municipality shall adopt a citation hearing procedure in accordance with section 7-152c;

(xvi) Regulate, on any property owned by the municipality, any activity deemed to be deleterious to public health, including the lighting or carrying of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or similar device;

Sec. 8. Section 7-148ff of the 2010 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2010):

(a) Any municipality that has regulations preventing housing blight under subparagraph (H)(xv) of subdivision (7) of subsection (c) of section 7-148, as amended by this act, may, by ordinance adopted by its legislative body on recommendation of its board of finance or equivalent body, provide for a special assessment on housing that is blighted, as defined in such regulations. Such ordinance may authorize a municipality to designate an agent or agents who shall have the right to enter property during reasonable hours for the purpose of remediating blighted conditions, provided such agent or agents shall not enter any dwelling house or other structure.

(b) Prior to initial approval by the legislative body of such municipality of the plan for implementation of the special assessment to be provided pursuant to the provisions of this section, the executive authority of such municipality shall appoint a committee consisting of not less than six taxpayers of such municipality, one of whom shall be a landlord, the tax assessor and representatives of municipal agencies responsible for zoning and health, housing, fire and other safety code compliance. The committee shall undertake and complete, within a period not in excess of sixty days following such appointment, a study and investigation with respect to such special assessment and shall submit a report to the board of finance or equivalent body of such municipality. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) A statement describing the fiscal effect of a special assessment on the revenue for the municipality; (2) identification of properties that may be subject to a special assessment; (3) the amount of property taxes generated by the properties and the cost to the municipality for code enforcement on such properties, including costs for police and fire personnel; (4) recommendations with respect to the form and extent of any assessment; and (5) standards for imposition of the assessment. In establishing any standards, the committee shall consider the number of outstanding health, housing and safety violations for the property, the number of times municipal health, housing and safety personnel have had to inspect the property and the cost to the municipality to enforce code compliance on the property. After the initial approval of the special assessment by the legislative body of such municipality, such plan may be amended from time to time by vote of its legislative body on recommendation of its board of finance or equivalent body without compliance with the requirements of this subsection applicable to such initial approval.

(c) Any ordinance adopted under subsection (a) of this section shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) Standards to determine (A) if a special assessment should be imposed on a property, and (B) under what circumstances, if any, a right of entry to remediate a blighted condition on a property shall be authorized, (2) the amount of the assessment, which shall be a reasonable amount and based on an analysis of the costs to the municipality for code inspection and enforcement, including costs for police and fire personnel, (3) procedures for notice to the property owner of imposition of the special assessment and determination that a right of entry to remediate a blighted condition on a property is authorized, which shall include a time period to remedy the code noncompliance before the assessment is due or the right of entry is authorized and a process for appeal of an assessment or authorization, and which may allow for notice to be delivered in accordance with section 7-148ii when the property owner is a registrant, and (4) the appointment of a board consisting of the finance director, tax assessor and municipal code enforcement official to determine when the special assessment should be imposed or the right of entry authorized on specific property. Annually, the legislative body shall review the amount of any assessment to be imposed pursuant to an ordinance adopted under this section and may revise such amount.

(d) Any funds received by a municipality from a special assessment imposed pursuant to an ordinance adopted under subsection (c) of this section shall be deposited into a special fund or account maintained by the municipality which shall be dedicated for expenses of the municipality related to enforcement of ordinances regulating blight and state and local health, housing and safety codes and regulations, including expenses related to community police, and the remediation of blighted conditions, when authorized.

(e) Any unpaid special assessment imposed by a municipality pursuant to the provisions of an ordinance adopted under subsection (c) of this section shall constitute a lien upon the real estate against which the fine was imposed from the date of such fine. Each such lien may be continued, recorded and released in the manner provided by the general statutes for continuing, recording and releasing property tax liens. Each such lien may be enforced in the same manner as property tax liens.

Sec. 9. (NEW) (Effective from passage) The administrator of any project utilizing fuel cells with an electricity purchase agreement entered into and approved by the Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to subsection (j) of section 16-244c of the general statutes, with a generating capacity of not greater than five megawatts, to be sited within fifty feet of a natural gas transmission facility that operates at pressures in excess of one hundred fifty pounds, may submit a request to said department for a modification to such purchase agreement that would permit the project to move to an alternative location and allow for an equitable adjustment in contract pricing to account for any change in the project attributable to the change in location. Said department shall open a docket to review such modification request not later than thirty days after receipt of such request. Said department may approve such modification request not later than one hundred twenty days after receipt of such request. Factors affecting such modification shall be limited to location, contract pricing and schedule attributable to the change in location. No existing electricity purchase agreement shall be cancelled or deemed in noncompliance by an electric distribution company until such modification is approved.

Approved June 8, 2010