What we mean by Land Use…

How land is used and developed influences the infrastructure and service needs of a community and region, and its residents’ quality of life. Transportation, housing, open space and water supply planning consider questions of land use. Because land is a limited resource, development of land comes with costs and trade-offs involving the environment, society and economy. Striking a balance among the three is difficult, and it is this balance which planning seeks.

How is Regional different?

Regional approaches to land use encourage regional cooperation and ensure development in one municipality does not burden or disadvantage surrounding communities. A regional planning perspective considers the fit of a proposed development with the capacity of the region’s environment and man made infrastructure. To foster this spirit of regional cooperation, the NVCOG hosts a Regional Planning Commission (RPC), an advisory subcommittee of the Council, which considers regional development and conservation issues on behalf of the Council.  

What are Land Use Plans?

Regional land use plans provide guidance to local decision makers as to when their land use actions may have regional impacts. The plans lay out the basic conditions for the conservation and development of the region, and are informed by both local land use plans and the State of Connecticut’s growth management principles outlined in its State Conservation and Development Plan. In the NVCOG regional planning area, land use policy is described in the Regional Plan of Conservation and Development.

What are Statutory Land Use Referrals?

Land use actions include changes to land use plans, maps and zoning regulations. The State of Connecticut requires municipalities to refer certain types of proposed land use actions to the regional council of governments for advisory review. The NVCOG RPC oversees the referral advisory reporting process.  The NVCOG staff works in concert with the RPC to evaluate the proposed regulation or map change for potential intermunicipal land use conflicts and may offer planning advice on the proposal.   

Please submit Referrals to NVCOG at referrals@nvcogct.org. Types of referrals include:

  • ZONING – Proposed zone change to a land parcel or change to zoning regulations that will affect a property within five hundred feet (500’) of a municipality with a thirty (30) day advance written notice before the public hearing (Connecticut General Statute 8-3b).
  • SUBDIVISION – Proposed subdivisions which abut or include another municipality with a thirty (30) day advance written notice before the public hearing (Connecticut General Statute 8-26b).
  • POCD – Proposed amendments or revisions to local Plans of Conservation and Development (POCD) with a 65-day advance written notice before the public hearing on adoption (Connecticut General Statute 8-23(h)4).

How about Land Use Education?

The NVCOG partners with the Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) at the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Bar Association to provide training for municipal land use commissioners and local non-profit organizations. Topics include map reading, site review, roles and responsibilities, and how to run a meeting.

  • Please see the Calendar for the latest NVCOG hosted land use education opportunities.