Municipal Improvements (Zoning)

South Branch Park River Trail

This section applies to improvements proposed either by the council or city agencies, or by qualifying private party action sanctioned or permitted or otherwise approved by the council or city agencies.

The commission shall advise the council and city agencies about municipal improvement in accordance with section 8-24 of the CT General Statues.

  • This application applies to the design and/or installation of any and all pieces of furniture (including but not limited to benches, chair, and table) trash receptacles, drinking water fountains, lighting fixture, fencing, building, structure, historic and monument sites, playground equipment, athletic equipment, decorative fountain, man-made ponds and water features, sculpture, and artwork within any park or parkette in the OS district, provided, however, the if the commission adopts an approved schedule for the preceding items for the relevant park, no additional commission review is required.  

The Commission shall also exercise its powers to prepare its own proposals for highways, streets, and sidewalks; to decide the precise location, dimensions, and direction of highways, streets, and sidewalks; to determine accompanying drainage, landscape improvements, stormwater management, and the like; to approve accompanying street furniture, and poles and other lighting fixtures pursuant to section 31-116 of the municipal code; and to make other technical decisions related to the proper and safe functioning of the highways, streets, and sidewalks at issue.

Such powers shall extend to both public and private streets.



The Department of Development Services uses the Accela portal to accept all Planning and Zoning applications. Please create an account to submit applications.

After logging on, you should be able to "Select a Record Type" for the applicable application. To view existing applications and check their status, please select "My Records".

To begin a request for Municipal Improvement, please choose the “Municipal Improvement” Record Group and select the applicable Record Type from the dropdown list. 

Planning & Zoning Application Portal

Review Process: 

  • The commission review of proposal for any artwork to be placed in the OS district may be conducted simultaneously with the advisory review of the city commission on cultural affairs, or the council if no commission on cultural affairs exists or is available to act, pursuant to section 2-178 of the municipal code.
  • Failure of the commission to issue a report within 35 days of the official submission of the proposal for municipal improvement shall be deemed a for municipal improvements shall be deemed an approval of such proposal.
  • The issuance of a negative report may only be superseded by the council with two third vote. 



Applications must be submitted with supporting documents in order to begin the review process. If the application is not submitted by the owner of record directly, owner authorization is required for the application to be accepted. 

Costs of permits vary based upon permit type. If more than one permit is required, the cost is the total of all applicable fees. Fees must be paid at time of application.

Applicants will be notified if the submittal is deemed incomplete. Correspondence will include the list of documents or fees that are required to proceed. If outstanding documents have not been received after 65 days, the incomplete application will be denied. A new application must be submitted to continue the request.


Applicants will be notified once all supporting documents and fees have been received by intake staff. The application will then be transferred to Plan Reviewers for processing.

Review Types:

  • Administrative Reviews: Certain types are permitted "by-right". This means they are permitted in the corresponding district without conditions. Although these requests are permitted, they still require going through the plan review process as the form-based code specifics design details which must be followed.

    Applications undergoing administrative review may take up to 35 days to process, depending on the type of request.

  • Commission Reviews: The Table of Principal Uses in the Zoning Regulations may indicate that a use is permitted by special permit, which can only be granted by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Likewise, demolition requests and changes in material of properties in historic districts must be heard by the Historic Commission, and applicants seeking an exception from the Zoning Regulations must appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals. These meetings provide opportunity for the public to formally comment before a decision is made. 

Per Connecticut General Statute (state law), public hearings must be opened within 65 days of receipt of a complete application. Staff will be in contact to schedule the public hearing date. 


  • In reviewing proposals for municipal improvements, the commission shall focus primarily on whether the municipal improvement will be completed in a manner consistent with the comprehensive plan of development, health and safety, environmental impacts, and the provision of light and air.
  • The commission shall not base its decision solely on financial matters (including but not limited to the cost to the city of the municipal improvement).

For commission level reviews, public noticing is required. The conditions and requirements of the public notice may vary depending on the commission that will hear the request. Staff will take care of all legal noticing. Applicants will be responsible for contacting abutting property owners and putting up public hearing signs. Public Hearing Signs are provided by the Planning Division with a $50 refundable deposit.


No decision is final until a permit or notice recorded by the Town Clerk’s Office is issued. Note that after a Commission Hearing a Notice of Decision must first be published in the newspaper. Note as well that applications are subject to appeal periods after a decision is made.

If your request is denied, you have the right to appeal. If you are a party that is aggrieved by a decision that was made you ALSO have the right to appeal. Administrative Appeals are heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals. To file for an appeal visit the “File An Appeal” page.