Planning & Zoning

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Planning is the mechanism that negotiates, captures, and expresses the aspirations of government, residents, and stakeholders into pragmatic and implementable guides. The most effective plans are contextual and relatable, taking in the unique features of a place and its people. 

The Planning & Zoning Division utilizes best practices in urban design, data analysis, and social impact to enhance quality of life, improve aesthetic beauty, and moderate land use citywide.

Using the City's Plan of Conservation and Development as a guide, planning staff and commissioners make recommendations which generate economic opportunity and encourage growth. In addition, division staff manage: 

  • Historic Preservation
  • Design of bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements
  • Development of policies, small area plans, and projects in partnership with key stakeholders
  • Community engagement activities 
  • Enforcement of and adherence to the standards set forth in the land use regulations

 

Land Use Regulations and Plan Review

Zoning is the legal method by which a city regulates how land is used and developed. This is done by assigning every parcel of land (or "lot") in the city to a particular zoning district. Each district allows certain uses and has specific development requirements.

Plan review is one of the essential functions of this Division as it is often the first step in the development process. The plan review process promotes compliance with Hartford's standards of development; protects public and private investment in land and structures; and maintains a desirable working and living environment for the residents of the city. 

Land Use Regulations

GUIDES AND CHECKLISTS

 


 

Land Use Boards & Commissions

This Planning Division supports several boards & commissions led by volunteers who commit their time, skills, and knowledge to shaping our community and our local government. Click below for more information:

  

Historic Preservation

WHY IS THe historic preservation ordinance IMPORTANT?A._Everett_Austin_House_Hartford_CT.jpg

Hartford is filled with historic architecture from the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Although this housing stock is older, it cannot be replaced with equivalent quality. If you own and maintain a building in one of Hartford’s historic neighborhoods, you are helping to restore Hartford to its place as one of the most beautiful cities in America. Property maintenance not only protects one’s investment, but also benefits the neighborhood and the city as a whole. When making material selections and color selections, property owners should be aware of the historic character of their properties.

The Hartford Preservation Ordinance gives Hartford a chance to reassert its historic beauty. Your compliance with the ordinance can help make this possible. 

WHO NEEDS TO APPLY FOR HISTORIC REVIEW?
  1. If you are planning on making modifications to a property in a Historic District, you will need to apply for Historic Review and receive approval for the work before applying for your Building Permit.
  2. Property owners doing work on a property within a National Historic District, Local Historic District, or State Historic District should make note! Any work which requires a building permit and is visible from the street needs Historic Commission for approval.
  3. Any owner requesting a Demolition Permit for a property which is within a National Historic District, Local Historic District, or State Historic District needs to apply to the Commission for approval.
HOW LONG WILL THE REVIEW TAKE?
  • Simple applications can be reviewed and approved by staff in the same day.
  • More complicated matters will be heard by the Commission, which meets once a month. Any item needing approval by the Commission will be placed on the next Commission agenda if an application is received at least 10 days prior to the meeting.

  

Historic Preservation Resources


You can view the city's Historic Districts by turning on this layer in the Planning Viewer.

Search for your address there or check out the list of historic properties by address.

 Preservation Partners

Complete Streets

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Streets help define our neighborhoods. They are public spaces where we live, work and play. They are formed by the 'streetscape' - the street’s overall appearance as expressed by the relationship between road size, landscaping, decorative lighting, sidewalks, green spaces, bike lanes, public transit facilities and handicapped accessibility. On-street parking and architecture also contribute to the streetscape. Parking and bikelanes can be a safeguard between pedestrians on sidewalks and passing vehicles in the travel lanes while supporting small businesses. Buildings help frame views and define the edge of the public space. The rhythm of building façades unifies a street and architectural focal points. When these elements and traffic management measures are appropriately planned and engineered, they create great city streets that are safe, comfortable and enjoyable destinations.

Hartford's streets should be safe and comfortable. They should provide convenient access to destinations by walking, driving, bicycling, or via public transportation. They should accommodate everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race, or ethnicity. Hartford’s Complete Streets Ordinance(PDF, 33KB) (adopted 2016) works to achieve this for all public rights of way. This policy also strives to achieve Vision Zero principles to eliminate traffic-related fatalities.

 
Current Projects

 Additional Resources

Neighborhood Engagement

The Planning Division helps the City achieve its community development goals by working with residents, leaders, and stakeholders to form consensus on how the Hartford should grow, both in the short and long term. Staff work closely with HartfordNEXT leadership and attend Neighborhood Revitalization Zone meetings. Contact us if you would like to request that a planner attend your next meeting. 

Neighborhood Revitalization Zones


Plans & Studies

Small Area Plans

Complete Streets and Transportation Plans 

 

Parks and Trails 

other plans and studies

 

CONTACT THE PLANNING DIVISION FOR ARCHIVED PLANS


 

Plan of Conservation and Development

Every ten years, the Planning & Zoning Commission must adopt a comprehensive plan, called a Plan of Conservation and Development in line with State of Connecticut Public Act No. 15-95. This plan is meant to be a guiding document, highlighting the social, structural, and developmental aspirations and goals that the community has for itself.

After it is developed and adopted by the municipality, the document must be submitted to the State of Connecticut Office of Policy & Management for review and approval. The Planning Division plays an important role in implementing the Plan of Conservation and Development through land use and zoning. Check out our plan below:

Zoning Enforcement

Zoning Enforcement Powers

 Zoning Enforcement Officers have the following enforcement powers where a violation exists:

  1. To issue Notices of Violation to the owner or tenant of any building or structure and any architect, builder, contractor, agent, or other person (including a user of public property in the OS district) who commits, participates in, assists in, or maintains such violations 
  2. To deny or withhold all permits, certificates, or other forms of authorization
  3. To withhold all permits, certificates, or other forms of authorization on any other land owned by the same owner
  4. To stop work
  5. To confiscate signs illegally placed on public property.
  6. The City may seek an injunction or other equitable relief in court to stop any violation
  7. The City may seek a court order to abate or remove a violation or to otherwise restore the premises to its previous condition
  8. The City may issue a municipal citation and a penalty of $150.00 per day, per violation. 

 

Zoning Violations

In accordance with Section 1.4 of the Hartford Zoning Regulations, the following activities are considered violations:

  1. To use land, buildings, or other structures in any way that is not consistent with the requirements of the zoning regulations;
  2. To erect a building or other structure in any way not consistent with the requirements of the zoning regulations;
  3. To install or use a sign in any way not consistent with the requirements of the zoning regulations;
  4. To engage in the use of a building, structure, or land, the use or installation of a sign, or any other activity requiring one or more permits or approvals under the zoning regulations, without obtaining such required permits or approvals;
  5. To engage in the use of a building, structure, or land, the use or installation of a sign, or any other activity for which a permit or approval has been granted under the zoning regulations or under previous zoning regulations of the city, that is in any way inconsistent with such permit or approval or any conditions imposed on the permit or approval;
  6. To violate the terms of any permit or approval granted under the zoning regulations, or under previous zoning regulations of the city, or any condition imposed on the permit or approval;
  7. To obscure, obstruct, or destroy any notice required to be posted under the zoning regulations;
  8. To violate any lawful order issued by any authorized public official; or
  9. To continue any violation after receipt of notice of a violation.

REPORT A ZONING VIOLATION

Maps and Tools

planning and zoning Tools 

 

SUBMITTING PLANS FOR REVIEW

Plan review applications may be submitted through this website, but payments and supporting documentation must be submitted in-person until further notice. Documents must be submitted at 260 Constitution Plaza, 1st Floor. Applications fees must be paid before the staff will begin researching your request. 

PLEASE SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TO SUBMIT OR PICK UP PLANS