2018 Legislative Session
Learn more about bills that passed during the 2018 Legislative Session from the Government Relations Committee annual update provided at Hot Topics in Land Use Law in June 2018.
A summary of proposed legislation prepared during the 2018 Session is also available.is available.
Bills Passed by the Legislature:
SB 7 AAC Climate Change and Resiliency (esp. flood prevention):
- Incorporates UConn CIRCA’s recommendation of planning for scenario of sea level rise of 1’8” by 2050 into numerous state and local requirements that reference sea level rise, including municipal plans of conservation and development.
- Establishes interim GHG target of 45% reduction by 2030 (below 2001 levels)
- Coastal Management Act incorporates new SLR scenario:
- Requires municipal planning commissions to revise coastal boundaries within one year of SLR scenario update.
- Some coastal boundaries subject to CMA will push inland
- “Coastal Hazard Areas” now include areas subject to inundation under SLR scenario.
- “Flood-proofing” within coastal boundary now requires two foot freeboard or more per future SLR scenarios.
SB 9– AAC Connecticut’s Energy Future
- Double the state’s commitment to renewable energy by expanding the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 40% renewables by 2030
- Ends net metering for new residential customers
- Exempts Class I renewable energy sources if they are (1) installed on or after January 1, 2014; (2) is for commercial or industrial purposes; and (3) if the generating capacity does not exceed its location’s demand or, if it is a virtual net metering facility, the aggregated load of its beneficial accounts (CGS § 12-81(57)).
- See CT Fund for the Environment’s post on 2018 Legislation.
18-132 Grandfathered non-conforming uses
- Prohibits zoning commissions from requiring a special permit or special exception to continue a grandfathered non-conforming use.
- Further protects grandfathered uses after last year’s 17-39 clarified “intent to abandon
18-171 Sober home registry
- Allows certain sober homes certified as “recovery residences” to report their status and number of beds weekly to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and for DMHAS to maintain an updated list of these reported homes on its website.
PA 18-28 Regulating brightness of signs and billboards
- Permits zoning commissions to regulate the brightness and illumination of billboards.
- Grandfathered signs not equipped with ability to calibrate brightness/illumination are exempt.
PA 18-175 State and Local Data Initiatives
- Establishes State Data Officer at OPM; requires biennial state data plan; requires state agencies to inventory data to OPM; creates 16-member CT Data Analysis Technology Advisory Board; continues Open Data Portal.
- *Requires municipalities with digital property data to submit the data to their Council of Government (COG) annually starting May 1, 2019.
- Requires COGs to annually provide list of non-compliant or exempt municipalities to OPM and P&D Committee starting July 1, 2019.
- Directs state agencies to allow electronic submission of required forms.
18-146: Establish process for new or expanding businesses to request pre-application meetings with DEEP
18-85: Extends maximum term of DECD Brownfields loans to 30 years and makes other changes to brownfields programs
18-118: Prohibits insurance companies from cancelling policies because of underground storage tanks
18-145: Ends new use of certain tax credit programs for businesses in Enterprise Zones
PA 18-110: Requires municipalities to defend NRZ members from civil actions related to their NRZ activities
Comments on draft Connecticut Conservation and Development Policies Plan 4/23/18. The 2018-2023 State Conservation and Development Policies Plan was not approved by the Legislature prior to the end of session.
Bills That Did Not Pass:
HB 5045 AN ACT ESTABLISHING ACCOUNTABILITY FOR FAIR AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING THROUGH ZONING REGULATIONS.
- Bill would modify CGS §8-2 (zoning enabling statute):
- Would require zoning to further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act.
- Would remove statutory language allowing zoning to consider “the character of the district” in determining suitability of land uses.
- Would strengthen language requiring that zoning include the development of housing opportunities, including multifamily dwellings, for all residents of the municipality and the planning region in which the municipality is located; and promote housing choice and economic diversity and the development of housing that will meet the housing needs identified in the State Consolidated Plan and CT Plan of Conservation and Development.
- Would establish a review process to confirm that municipal zoning meets statutory requirements. On or before July 1, 2019, and every five years thereafter, municipalities would have to demonstrate compliance to the Department of Housing. Municipalities failing to comply would lose eligibility for discretionary state funding, unless waived the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management (review proposal also in HB 5482).
- CCAPA testimony proposed an alternative timeline for establishing a review process which would enable baseline data to be developed and the review process to occur before municipalities would be at risk of losing funding eligibility. John Guszkowski and Amanda Kennedy appeared in person to speak on the bill at its 3/16 hearing.
- JFS bill passed out of committee 3/26. A version without the funding penalty above was narrowly approved by the House on 4/24 and was not called to a Senate vote.
- Associated bill HB 5482 failed to pass out of committee.
SB 490 AN ACT CONCERNING SHARED MUNICIPAL SERVICES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.
- Bill includes language that would specify that the chief executive officer of a municipality shall provide for the manner in which zoning regulations are enforced.
- CCAPA testimony opposed the proposed change.
- JFS bill passed out of P&D Committee 3/26/18.
SB 342 AN ACT CONCERNING THE THRESHOLD FOR DEEP’S REVIEW OF ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT SEPTIC SYSTEMS.
- JFS bill passed out of committee 3/22 that changes the language substantially. Current language under consideration would require DEEP to allow the use of alternative treatment septic systems under the following three conditions:
- the system replaces an existing failing septic system,
- it will not enable further subdivision of the property, and
- the number of bedrooms will not increase and there will be no improvements on the property.
- The original proposed bill:
- Would have established that the threshold for CT DEEP to review alternative septic treatment systems is 7,500 gallons per day (smaller systems would continue be reviewed by CT DPH).
- CCAPA submitted testimony supporting the bill, and recommending that DPH be given a stronger directive to establish review criteria for alternative treatment systems.
HB 5046 Concerning Transportation Funding Sustainability:
- Would enable and provide guidance to DOT to pursue a system to collect roadway tolls.
- JFS passed out of committee 4/5/18.
HB 5510 AN ACT CONCERNING THE ZONING OF GROUP HOMES:
- Would prohibit municipalities from adopting or enforcing any ordinance or regulation that prevents the location of a community-based residential facility housing disabled persons or persons recovering from substance abuse. For purposes of this section, “community-based residential facility” includes, but is not limited to, a transitional facility, group home, community companion home, community living arrangement or a supervised apartment and “municipality” means any town, city, borough, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough.enable and provide guidance to DOT to pursue a system to collect roadway tolls.
- JFS passed out of committee 4/5/18.
SB 422 AN ACT CONCERNING DEVELOPER INCENTIVES FOR THE REMEDIATION OF BROWNFIELDS.
- To provide tax incentives to developers for the remediation of brownfields.
- JFS passed out of committee 3/26. Passed House, died in Senate.
HB 5483 AN ACT AUTHORIZING A STUDY OF THE CREATION OF A LAND BANK AUTHORITY.
- To require the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to conduct a study regarding the creation of a land bank authority.
- JFS passed out of committee 3/26.
HB 5196 AN ACT CONCERNING HOUSING AUTHORITY JURISDICTION.
- To allow a housing authority to expand its jurisdiction to include certain high and very high opportunity areas, as determined by the Department of Housing.
- JFS passed out of committee 3/14.
Bills That Failed To Pass Out Of Committee:
HB 5183 AN ACT REQUIRING A STUDY OF THE PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT AND FINANCING OF MUNICIPAL ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICTS.
- To require the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to conduct a study concerning the planning, development and financing of municipal entertainment districts.
- CCAPA submitted testimony supporting the study.
HB 5482 AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE FAIR HOUSING WORKING GROUP.
- Bill includes proposals developed by the Fair Housing Working Group that formed in late 2017. Sections of particular interest include:
- Proposal to establish mandatory inclusionary zoning statewide. Would require multifamily developments 10 units or larger to include 12% affordable housing. Municipalities meeting certain criteria would be exempt (Distressed Communities, Low- and Very Low-Opportunity communities).
- Modifications to zoning similar to those proposed in HB5045.
HB 5198 AN ACT REQUIRING STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES AND UTILITIES TO ADOPT A HOUSING AFFORDABILITY IMPACT ANALYSIS.
- Would require state agencies, local agencies and utility companies to produce a housing affordability impact analysis of any proposed regulation, restriction or requirement.
- CCAPA submitted testimony supporting the idea of assessing the impact of regulations on housing costs as part of a required five-year affordable housing plan, but expressed concerns about the capacity of municipalities to perform the proposed analysis for each proposed regulatory change on an ongoing basis. John Guszkowski delivered testimony to the Housing Committee in person.
SB 181 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A PILOT PROGRAM FOR THE PRESERVATION OF OPEN SPACE.
- To require the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to establish a pilot program to permit certain municipalities to impose a buyer’s fee on the conveyance of certain real property sales to generate funds for the purchase, preservation or stewardship of open space.
- PD Public Hearing: Mon 2/26 10:00 AM @ Room 2B (2/22). Failed to pass out of committee.
HB 5180 AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPRAISAL OF CERTAIN RENTAL INCOME-PRODUCING REAL PROPERTY.
- To remove the requirement that an assessor or board of assessors consider the capitalization of net income based on market rent for a similar property when appraising certain real property used primarily for the purpose of producing rental income in order to determine the present true and actual value of such property. Failed to pass out of committee.
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