9.6 Zone Change Application

9.6.A Applicability

A Zone Change application (a map amendment) shall be submitted for any proposal to alter the zoning designation of any parcel(s) of land or part thereof.

9.6.B Submission Requirements

  • A Zone Change application shall be submitted to the Commission or agent and shall include a completed application form and the appropriate fee. The Commission shall not be required to pay a fee for a zone change application made on its own initiative.
  • A Zone Change application shall be accompanied by:
    • Two full-size copies of a map at an appropriate scale indicating existing and proposed zone boundaries; and
    • Ten copies of an 11 x 17 map indicating existing and proposed zone boundaries.
  • The Zone Change application and accompanying documents shall be submitted to the City Planner three weeks prior to any regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission.
  • In addition to paper copies of the application a PDF of the initial application and all subsequent revisions and supplemental materials shall be provided.
  • The Commission shall not be required to hear a Zone Change application that has been rejected within one year from the date of rejection unless it finds, on facts presented in writing, that a material change in the situation justifies this action. A change of ownership of property or any interest therein shall not be deemed a material change in the situation for the purpose of this Section.

9.6.C Proceedings

  • The date of receipt for the Zone Change application shall be determined in accordance with Section 9.9.B.
  • An incomplete Zone Change application may be denied in accordance with Section 9.9.C.
  • The Commission shall hold a public hearing on the Zone Change application and shall:
    • Publish a legal notice in accordance with the requirements of Section 9.9.F of these Regulations;
    • Require that the applicant post a sign on the land affected by the application in accordance with the requirements of Section 9.9.G of these Regulations; and
    • Require that the applicant give notice to property owners in accordance with the requirements of Section 9.9.H of these Regulations.
  • In accordance with CGS Section 8-3b, the Commission shall give written notice to the regional planning agency when any portion of the land affected by a map change is located within five hundred (500) feet of the boundary of another municipality and:
    • Such notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested.
    • Such notice shall be made not later than thirty (30) days before the public hearing.
    • The regional planning agency may submit its advisory findings and recommendations to the Commission at or before the hearing but if such report is not submitted, it shall be presumed that such agency does not disapprove of the proposal.
  • Notification by the Commission may be required to:
    • Adjoining municipalities in accordance with the requirements of Section 9.9.I.
    • Water companies in accordance with the requirements of Section 9.9.J.
    • The Commissioner of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in accordance with CGS Section 22a-104.
  • The Commission may refer any application to amend the zoning map to any City department or other agency the Commission deems appropriate and may request any such department or agency to submit a report to the Commission on matters that are of concern to such department or agency.
  • A copy of the proposed zoning map change shall be filed by the applicant in the office of the City Clerk for public inspection at least ten days before the public hearing.
  • The Commission shall process the Zone Change application within the period of time provided under CGS Section 8-7d:
    • The public hearing shall commence within sixty-five (65) days after receipt of the application.
    • The public hearing shall be completed within thirty-five (35) days after such hearing commences.
    • All decisions shall be rendered within sixty-five (65) days after completion of such hearing.
    • The applicant may consent to one or more extensions of any period specified herein provided the total extension of all such periods shall not be for longer than sixty-five (65) days.
    • These provisions shall not apply to any action initiated by the Commission regarding a zoning map change.
  • The applicant may, at any time prior to action by the Commission, withdraw such application.

9.6.D Decision Considerations

  • The Commission shall act upon the changes requested in such Zone Change application.
  • On a Zone Change application involving notice to adjoining municipalities under Section 9.9.I or notice to water companies under Section 9.9.J or notice to a regional planning agency under CGS Section 8-3b:
    • Any report received from those agencies shall be made a part of the record of such hearing.
    • The Commission shall give due consideration to any report or testimony received from such agencies.
  • Changes in zone district boundaries:
    • Should be in harmony with the Plan of Conservation and Development for Groton, as amended.
    • Shall, where possible, constitute logical extensions of like or compatible districts.
    • Where appropriate, follow property lines or geo-physical features.
  • Except where a proposed zone change is to extend an existing zoning district, no area of land having less than 300 feet of frontage on one street shall be changed from one zoning district to another zoning district except by the affirmative vote of two‑thirds of the Commission.
  • Before approving any Zone Change application, the Commission shall determine that the proposed regulation change:
    • Is in accordance with the Plan of Conservation and Development;
    • Is suitable for the intended location;
    • Will aid in protecting the public health, safety, welfare, or property values; and
    • Will aid in attaining the purposes of these Regulations.
  • In accordance with CGS Section 8-3(b), such zone change(s) shall be established, changed or repealed only by a majority vote of all the members of the Commission except that, if a protest against a proposed change is filed at or before a hearing with the Commission, signed by the owners of twenty (20)% or more of the area of the lots affected by such proposed change or of the lots within five hundred feet in all directions of the property included in the proposed change, such change shall not be adopted except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the Commission.

9.6.E Action Documentation

  • Whenever the Commission acts upon a Zone Change application, it shall state upon the record:
    • The reason(s) for its decision.
    • Its findings on consistency of the proposed zone change with the Plan of Conservation and Development, as amended.
  • As part of approving a Zone Change application:
  • The Commission shall establish an effective date for the zoning map change provided that a notice of the decision of the Commission shall have been published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in Groton before such effective date; or
  • If an effective date is not so specified, the zoning map change shall become effective upon publication in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in Groton.
  • The Commission shall send, by certified mail, a copy of any decision on a Zone Change application to the applicant within fifteen (15) days after such decision is rendered.
  • The Commission shall cause notice of the approval or denial of the Zone Change application to be published within fifteen (15) days after such decision is rendered in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in Groton.
  • In any case in which such notice is not published within the fifteen-day period after a decision has been rendered, the person who submitted such application may provide for the publication of such notice within ten days thereafter.

9.6.F Following Approval

  • A zoning map change approved by the Commission shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk before the effective date.
  • When a zone boundary is changed by the Commission, such change shall:
    • Be made on the Zoning Map; and
    • Be noted with an entry on the Zoning Map as follows: "Amended to (date)," such date to be the effective date of the boundary amendment.