Sidebar Planning and Zoning Code- Section 55

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SECTION 55- SITE PLAN APPROVAL REQUIREMENT-

55.01- GENERAL- It shall be unlawful to construct, erect, enlarge, alter, or rebuild any structure or significantly modify any site or change any land-use or to apply for any required municipal permit unless such proposed development shall have received a certificate of zoning compliance or site plan approval as herein provided.

For the purpose of this Code a site plan is a drawing which shows the location of a parcel of land in relationship to its contiguous territory in sufficient detail to locate it on the City Zoning Map, and also meets the specifications herein set forth.

A complete application to the Planning and Zoning Commission for subdivision, re-subdivision and special exception shall include an application, the required fee, plans and written approval, conditional approval, or denial obtained by the applicant of the final revised plans from the City of Middletown Departments of Health, Public Works, Water and Sewer, Police and Fire. The Planning and Zoning Commission is not bound by any department comment.

Further, no application for special exception, subdivision or re-subdivision shall be deemed complete without the submission of a notice of decision of an Inland Wetlands Permit as issued by the Middletown Inland Wetlands Agency, provided such a permit shall be required under regulations adopted by said Agency. Any plans submitted to the Commission shall conform, in all relevant respects, to those plans which were approved, or modified and approved, by said Agency.
(Section amended effective 3/15/02)

55.02- PURPOSE- The purpose of the site plan is: (1) to provide an opportunity to assure that the requirements of this Code, and other pertinent City regulations, ordinances, inspections and procedures are met and; (2) where required, to provide an opportunity for participation in any proposal by various technical personnel and to also incorporate the value judgment of the Commission.

55.03- PROCEDURE- Proposals shall be considered in the following four categories which are arranged in terms of increasing complexity.

Category (1) includes alterations which do not change the size of the footprint or use of a building or structure or the site or, if served by well and septic, add additional bedrooms. Examples include re-roofing or residing a building or interior renovations. Proposals in this category shall be approved by the Building Inspector without an actual site plan being presented.

Category (2) includes all single and two family detached dwellings or any addition or accessory uses thereto which meet all Code requirements. Proposals in this category may be issued a certificate of zoning compliance by the Zoning Enforcement officer and need not go through the formal site plan review process. Class A-2 surveys are required for single and two family dwellings and additions thereto and may be required for other proposals in this category. Proposals for decks, pools, shed, and other accessory uses may not require the submission of an A-2 survey but the applicant accepts all responsibility for adhering to the approved site plan.

Category (3) includes any proposal not in Categories 1 or 2 which meets all Code requirements and does not require the granting of a Special Exception. Examples of this category include new buildings and additional to existing buildings in a proper zone. Proposals in this category which add greater than 5,000 square feet of new construction and more than ten (10) new parking spaces shall be considered for site plan approval by the Commission. Any other proposal within this category shall be considered for site plan approval by the Director of Planning and the Zoning Enforcement Officer. Class A-2 surveys are required for all proposals in this category.

Category (4) includes any proposal not in categories 1, 2, or 3 and further any proposal about which there is disagreement among any of the participants in categories 1, 2, or 3. Examples of this category include requests for Special Exception, lot line rearrangements and changes in non-conforming uses. Classes A-2 Surveys are required for all proposals in this category, unless waived by the Commission. After processing as herein set forth, the site plan shall be considered for approval by the Commission and, if required, a public hearing shall be held in accordance with the Connecticut General Statues, as amended.
(Revised effective 4/15/94)

55.04- SITE PLAN REVIEW- For all uses requiring a Certificate of Zoning Compliance or Site Plan Approval, an application shall be submitted to the Planning and Zoning Office and shall include a minimum of six (6) sets of the following information, maps and plans. Category 4 projects will require twenty-one (21) sets of plans and supporting documentation.

In addition to other requirements, the site plan for projects in Category 3 or 4 and subdivisions shall be shown on at least one (1) print of the "Topography Map of the City of Middletown, Connecticut, Showing Drainage Systems and Inland Wetlands Superimposed" at the scale of 1" = 100', sheet 24' x 36', date of photography April 17, 1980 or a later revision.

  1. Site Plan Map. The Site Plan Map shall illustrate the existing and proposed development of the property and shall include the following information. All submitted plans shall be properly sealed as required by state statues or the City of Middletown. For minor accessory uses in Category 2, these requirements may not apply.
    1. General Information
      1. Name and address of the applicant and owner of record as listed on the Town's land records, and applicant's interest in property.
      2. Date and subsequent revision dates, north arrow, and numerical and graphical scale.
      3. A key map showing the subject property in relationship to adjoining and nearby streets, at a scale of 1 inch = 1,000 feet.
      4. A table or chart indicating the proposed number or amount and types of uses, lot area, lot width, yards, building height, coverage, floor area, parking spaces, landscaping, open spaces, wetlands and other elements as they relate to the requirements of these Regulations.
    2. The Property
      1. The boundaries and area of the property and names of all abutting owners, including those across the street.
      2. Location, width, and purpose of all existing and proposed easements and rights-of-way on the property.
    3. Building and Uses
      1. Location, dimensions, area, height and setbacks of all existing and proposed buildings, signs, fences, and walls.
      2. Location of all existing and proposed uses and facilities not requiring a building such as but limited to, swimming pools, tennis courts, light standards, tanks, transformers, and dumpsters.
    4. Parking, loading, and circulation
      1. Location, arrangement, and dimensions of automobile parking spaces, aisles, vehicular drives, fire lanes, entrances, exits, and ramps.
      2. Location, arrangement, and dimensions of loading docks, loading and unloading areas, including provisions for and access to areas for loading and storage of refuse and recyclable materials and type of screen or enclosure provided therefore.
      3. Location and dimensions of pedestrian walkways, entrances, and exits.
      4. Bridges for Vehicular Access to property. Signed and sealed plans shall be submitted by a Connecticut licensed structural engineer certifying that the proposed bridge will be capable of carrying H-20 loading all per ASHTO Standards. The load limit shall be prominently posted on the bridge.

        Once constructed, the owner of the bridge shall obtain the services of structural engineer (at the owner's expense) once every five (5) years to inspect the bridge and certify to the appropriate Fire Chief and/or Marshal that the bridge remains capable of carrying the original design load. Such certification shall be submitted to the Public Works Engineering Division for review and comment.

        Failure to comply will result in notification by the Fire Chief and/or Marshal to the owner, the mortgage holder and the homeowner's insurance company that the Fire Department shall not cross the bridge with the fire apparatus in the event of a fire. However, all other methods practical will be employed to fight the fire.
        (Section added eff. 3/1/98)

    5. Signs and Lighting
      1. Location, size, height, orientation and plans of all signs.
      2. Location, size, height, orientation and design of any outdoor lighting.
        1. With the exception of public street lights all outdoor lighting shall be installed in such a manner as to insure the highest level of energy conservation and cost efficiency using the best technology available and be so shielded that the cone of light shall fall, substantially, within the property. Through the use of shielding and limitations upon intensity, all sources of ambient light traveling outward and upward, producing a sky glow shall be reduced to the greatest extent possible without duly interfering with the intent and purpose of the outside lighting in the first instance.
        2. Illuminated graphics. illuminated street graphics, in addition to conforming to all other requirements of this section, shall be shielded in such a manner so that no direct source of light is cast into streets or residential properties. Illuminated street graphics shall not interfere with pedestrian or motorist vision. Said illumination shall not be reflective or phosphorescent and shall be in a steady nonfluctuating or nonundulating manner and placed in a manner that will not create a nuisance to other premises and interfere with traffic.
        3. Glare. All lighting shall be so hooded or shielded as to reflect the light in such a manner that no illumination source or glare creates a nuisance to any adjoining property or unreasonably interferes with the lawful use and enjoyment of any adjoining property.
          (Section amended effective 4/15/97)
    6. Utilities. Location, size, inverts, elevations, and design of all existing and proposed sanitary sewers, storm drainage, water supply facilities, septic tanks, leaching fields and refuse collection areas, as well as other underground utilities. Utility location, size and inverts in the street shall be shown to the limits of the property.
    7. Existing and proposed contours with intervals of two (2) feet, spot elevations of building, end of driveway at street, and at driveways at back of walks, spot elevation at location low or high points, site drainage, water interception drains, location of footing drain system, elevation of footing drain at foundation, elevation of outlet invert in street, or discharge point.
    8. Location of all existing wooded areas, watercourses, wetlands, rock outcrops, and other significant physical features and , where appropriate, the mean high water line, the wetlands boundary, the flood hazard area, the aquifer boundary, slopes over 25%, and stream encroachment lines.
    9. The approximate amount of earth products to be filled or removed from the site, if the amount exceeds 1,000 cubic yards.
    10. Location, type, size, and species of shrubs, trees, or other planting and landscaping materials.
    11. Location, general layout, type and size of buffer or landscaping area, planting material, fencing, screening devices, decorative paving, or other materials proposed.
    12. Location of existing trees with a trunk caliper of more than six (6) inches except in wooded areas where the foliage line shall be indicated.
    13. Architectural Plans. For all new commercial buildings, unless waived by the Commission, the applicant shall submit preliminary architectural drawings showing elevations of all proposed buildings and structures, indicating schematic building floor plans, and indicating square footage by use.
    14. Staging plan map. In cases where the applicant wishes to develop in stages, an overall site plan indicating ultimate development for the entire property shall be submitted at the same scale as the Site Plan.
    15. Sedimentation and erosion control plan. All applications shall contain the information required in Section 10.09, including:
      1. A statement explaining:
        1. the proposed use of the facility;
        2. the projected number of persons to be employed if an industrial use;
        3. the building area of a business or institutional use;
        4. the number of dwelling or housing units and a tabulation of units by number of bedrooms if a residential use;
      2. DELETED (effective 10/15/94)
      3. For proposed uses within watershed or aquifer areas, the Applicant shall submit the following information if the proposal is of category (2), (3), or (4) as defined in Section 55.03:
        1. List of all chemical substances to be used or stored on the premises including but not limited to those needed for pest and plant control, office uses, maintenance, cleaning, production, and raw material for wastewater treatment.
        2. Estimated annual use and stored quantities of listed materials
        3. Description of procedures ensuring safe handling, storage and disposal of listed materials and waste products.
        4. Response protocol for sudden or unsudden release of listed substances or by-products.
        5. Employee training program for handling and use of listed materials and waste products.
        6. Fuel storage requirements and measures ensuring safe handling and storage.
          (Added effective 11/10/88)
    16. Other information. The applicant shall submit any other information deemed by the approving authority to be necessary to determine conformity with the intent of these regulations.
    17. Exceptions. The Director of Planning with the concurrence of the appropriate department may make exceptions to the Site Plan Information required in this Section.

    55.05- REVIEW PROCEDURE- The review procedure for proposals in Categories 2, 3, and 4 may include requests for comments from any of the following departments or agencies:

    1. Public Works including Building Division;
    2. Water and Sewer;
    3. Health;
    4. Police Department Traffic Division;
    5. Applicable Fire Department;
    6. Superintendent of Schools shall comment on all proposals in Categories 3 and 4 if within 500 feet of a city school; and
    7. Other technical agencies or organizations who may undertake additional studies and investigations.
    • 55.05.01- Scope of Review
      In reviewing a site plan the following shall be taken into consideration:
      1. Compliance with the Zoning Code and general intent of the Plan of Development;
      2. Efficient provision of all public utilities;
      3. Effect of the proposal upon the public health and orderly growth of the community;
      4. Provision of adequate public safety devices and access as determined by the Fire and Police Departments;
      5. Effect of the proposal on area traffic patterns; and
      6. Compliance with the applicable Building, Health, and Housing Codes.
    55.06- APPROVAL- Upon submission, plans shall be distributed to pertinent city departments as outlined in Sec. 55.07 for review and comment. After all comments are received, the proposal shall be approved, modified and approved, or denied. The approving authority may attach reasonable conditions to an approval.

    55.07- VIOLATIONS- Whenever the approving authority shall find that any of the terms, conditions or restrictions upon which proposed site plan development approval was granted are not being complied with, the approving authority may rescind and revoke such approval after giving due notice to all parties concerned, and require performance as otherwise provided for in this Code.

    55.08- BUILDING PERMIT- Subsequent to the zoning approval and the satisfaction of all conditions and payment of all fees, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall cause to be delivered to the Building Department written zoning certification, in accordance with C.G.S. 8-3 (f), along with a stamped and initiated site plan.

    At this point, Chapter 5 Buildings of the Middletown Code of Ordinances shall apply to all projects with a valid building permit.

    • 55.08.01- Procedure
      1. The building permit applicant will apply and submit payment for a building permit. Barring any corrections to the building plans during the review process, the applicant will receive permission to start the foundation system for the structure through written notification by the department.
      2. When the foundation is in place, the applicant shall submit the A-2 As Built survey to the building department. The Building Department shall submit a copy of same to the Zoning Enforcement Officer for review.
      3. Upon receipt of the A-2 As Built survey and a finding that it complies with the original zoning approval, the department will immediately issue the building permit to the applicant.
      4. Prior to issuing the certificate of occupancy, the applicant shall submit a certification by a licensed land surveyor stating that the finished grades, utilities and drainage correspond to the approved plans and, if applicable, septic as-built and well analysis to the Health Department. The Building Department shall submit a copy of same to the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
    • 55.08.02- Utility Verification-
      All storm drainage facilities, and water sanitary sewer facilities required by any Site Plan, Special Permit, or Subdivision shall be installed by the applicant and inspected for compliance by the Engineering Departments of Public Works and Water/Sewer or, in the case of a site facility the Health Department, prior to the backfilling of any such utility holes or trenches. The applicant shall notify the proper department forty-eight (48) hours prior to any installation and shall comply with the proper utility regulations and requirements.
    • 55.08.03- Permits-
      When work is to be performed within the street right-of-way, an excavation permit must be obtained from the Sidewalk Conformance Inspector.
    • 55.08.04- Verification of Zoning Compliance-
      A Verification of Zoning Compliance shall be issued at the same time as application is made for a Certificate of Occupancy from the Building Inspector. The Verification of Zoning Compliance is signified by the Zoning Enforcement Officer's signature on the Certificate of Occupancy. After notification from the applicant that the land, building, or structure is ready for occupancy or use, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall determine if it is in compliance with these regulations. The Zoning Enforcement Officer may require any other information which may be necessary to make a determination as to compliance with these regulations.
      1. Change of use. The change of use of an existing use of land, building, or structure, or part thereof, to another proposed use which is allowable in the applicable zoning district shall be subject to the provisions of Section 55.05.04 for the issuance of a Zoning Verification in the same manner as a new building, structure, or use. (Typo corrected by P&Z Comm. at meeting of 3/24/2004)
      2. Conditional Verification of Zoning Compliance. When the required site work cannot be completed because of inclement weather or other pertinent reasons, a Conditional Verification or Zoning Compliance may be issued by the Zoning Enforcement Officer for a period not to exceed six (6) months. The applicant may be required to post a bond in accordance with Section 8.10, to guarantee satisfactory completion of the site work in accordance with these regulations.
    • 55.08.05- Certificate of Occupancy-
      No land shall hereafter be used except for farming or gardening purposes, and no new building or structure hereafter constructed shall be occupied or used unless a Verification of Zoning Compliance shall have been issued and until a Certificate of Occupancy shall have been issued. No building or structure which is altered, reconstructed, extended, enlarged, moved, changed or converted, such reconstruction, alteration, etc.., increasing the fair market value of the building or structure more than fifty (50) percent, shall be occupied or used unless a Verification of Zoning Compliance shall have been issued and until a Certification of Occupancy shall have been issued. Furthermore, no temporary certificate of occupancy shall be issued unless a Verification of Zoning Compliance shall have been issued.

      In situations where an application for a Certificate of Occupancy concerns property within an incomplete subdivision, a written confirmation is required from the Engineering Departments of Public Works and Water/Sewer that the first course of paving has been installed and is adequate to provide ingress and egress and that the public improvements required by the Subdivision Regulations are in sufficient state of completeness prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

    55.09- TIME LIMITATIONS-
    Building and any other required City construction or development permits must be applied for within one (1) year after site plan approval or such approval shall be null and void unless a different time limitation is specifically authorized. Upon written request stating specific reasons for delay, the approving authority may grant additional time beyond the initial one (1) year period. (Section amended effective 6/1/95)

    55.10- MAINTENANCE OF LANDSCAPING-
    All landscaping elements portrayed on the approved landscaping plan, including buffer treatments, shall be maintained in a manner sufficient to ensure its continuing performance and the survival of plantings. Where a maintenance problem arises, upon the order of the Zoning Enforcement Officer, said landscaping shall be restored to a satisfactory condition consistent with the approved landscaping plan. (Section amended effective 6/13/08)

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