Historic District Commission

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The Glastonbury Historic District Commission is established pursuant to section 7-147a et seq. of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, to establish and otherwise administer one or more historic districts for the purpose of promoting the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the town by the preservation and protection of structures, districts and neighborhoods of historic interest.

The Commission meets as needed at Town Hall.  Click here to view Minutes and Agendas.

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Sec. 8.5-7. Same—Authority of commission.
(a) Regulations. The commission hereby is empowered to adopt from time to time, and shall adopt, not later than six (6) months after its initial members are appointed, regulations to implement the provisions of this chapter. The commission shall have the authority and act in all respects as permitted by G.S. §§ 7-147a through 7-147k, inclusive, as amended, and such other statutes as may be adopted hereafter by the Connecticut General Assembly to amend, supersede or supplement the foregoing statutes.                                                                              
(b) Definitions; criteria. For the purposes of this section, the word "structure" means and includes any building, structure or other physical betterment of real property and the word "construction" means and includes construction, erection, alteration, restoration, moving or demolition of any structure. No structure shall be constructed within the historic district until after an application for a certificate of appropriateness as to exterior architectural features has been approved by the commission. "Exterior architectural features" shall include only the location, architectural style, general design and general arrangement of such portion of the exterior of a building structure or physical betterment as is open to view from a public road, way or place. "Exterior architectural features" shall not include alterations or renovations to the rear exterior of a building, structure or physical betterment which is not open to view from a public road, way or place. In passing upon appropriateness, the commission shall consider, in addition to any other pertinent factors, the historical and architectural value and significance, architectural style, general design, arrangement, texture and material of the exterior architectural features involved and the relationship of such to the exterior architectural system and pertinent features of the surroundings, including other structures in the immediate neighborhood. A certificate of appropriateness may be refused for any structure construction of which, in the opinion of the commission, would be detrimental to the interests of the historic district, unless as a result of such action the owner of such structure will be deprived of reasonable use of the structure. When a certificate of appropriateness is denied, the commission shall place upon its records and in the notice to the applicant the reasons for its determination, and to the extent practical, the commission shall identify what changes or modifications might be undertaken by the applicant in order to obtain approval of a new application. The style, material, size and location of fences, outdoor signs or similar devices within a historic district shall be under the control of the commission.
(c) Exclusions. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to extend to (i) the color of material used or (ii) the use of aluminum or vinyl exterior siding in lieu of wood clapboard siding on the exterior of any structure within the district. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior feature which does not involve a change of design or appearance thereof. In addition, in its deliberations the commission shall not consider arrangement or use of the interior of any improvement and shall take no action except for the purpose of preventing the construction of a structure obviously incongruous with the historical and aesthetic aspects of the other structures in the historic district.
(d) Application for certificate of appropriateness. An application for a certificate of appropriateness shall be filed with the commission through the office of community development (or whatever town agency or official is then performing the functions of such body). For purposes of this chapter, the office of community development shall require the applicant to provide such information on those forms devised by the commission as may be adopted or modified from time to time by the commission. Prior to considering each application for a certificate of appropriateness, the commission shall set a date for a public hearing to be held within thirty-five (35) days of receipt of a completed application.
(e) Hearing on application. Notice of the time and place of said hearing shall be given by publication in the form of a legal advertisement, at least twice at intervals of not less than two (2) days, appearing in a newspaper having substantial circulation in the municipality. The first such advertisement shall be no more than fifteen (15) days nor less than ten (10) days and the second not less than two (2) days before such hearing. Within sixty (60) days of the filing of an application, the commission shall act upon such application and shall give written notice of its decision to the applicant. Failure to act within sixty (60) days after receipt of a completed application shall constitute approval of the application. All hearings and all meetings of the commission shall be open to the public.
(f) Plan of appropriateness and protection. Within twelve (12) months after its initial members are appointed, the commission shall prepare, and update as necessary from time to time thereafter, a plan of appropriateness and protection for the historic district, as a standard by which to determine the appropriateness of historic exterior architectural features of any structure or of any modification of an existing structure within the district. The plan shall comprehend construction materials and architectural arrangements considered appropriate for the district, to be illustrative but not necessarily comprehensive or extensive and to serve as a general guide for the information of persons contemplating work involving historic exterior architectural features within the district. Copies of the plan shall be available to the public in the office of community development.
(g) How to construe chapter. The provisions of this chapter are separable from and in addition to whatever provisions of the zoning laws of the town also may affect any structure or use thereof within the district.
(h) Exceptions for public safety; "grandfathering." Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature which the building inspector or a similar agent certifies is required by the public safety because of a condition which is unsafe or dangerous due to deterioration; nor to prevent the erection or alteration of any such feature under a permit issued by a building inspector or similar agent prior to the effective date of the establishment of such district.
(Ord. of 10-23-84, § 7; Ord. of 6-25-85)