[HISTORY: Adopted by the Special Town Meeting of the Town of Griswold 9-23-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to Section 8-1c of the Connecticut General Statutes there is established a schedule of fees for the processing of land use applications received by the Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Conservation Commission. The schedule of fees established shall supersede those fees presently charged by the land use commissions and boards as previously established in Chapter 143 and pursuant to any provision of the General Statutes or any Special Act. These fees are intended to cover a portion of the Town's costs for processing and administrative handling of land use applications, including, but not limited to, legal advertisements regarding public hearings, decisions of a commission, and other matters requiring publication in a newspaper; other notifications or referrals required or authorized by applicable law; recording and transcribing, where necessary, of public hearings and meetings, the preparation of minutes and other documentation applicable to the application, and other clerical expenses; staff salaries and overhead expenses for staff to the commission, including officials of the Town for whom land use application review is only a part of his/her duties, such as the sanitarian, fire chief, etc.; Town Attorney fees in direct connection with legal advice, review of documents, and attendance at meeting, where deemed desirable, in connection with the application; inspection of construction and other work to insure compliance with approved permits and applicable regulations; keeping and updating of files and other documentation relative to the application; such other expenses as may be incidental to the processing of land use applications or subsequent research or review relating to land status requested by outside parties but involving documents or procedures within the Town of Griswold.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
- One or all of the land use regulatory agencies of the Town of Griswold known as the Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Conservation Commission.
- IMPROVED LAND AREA
- Any portion(s) of a development site not covered by buildings, but covered by parking, driveways, outdoor storage or loading areas, lawns, formal landscaped areas, or any other area not in its natural state.
- PROCESSING OF LAND USE APPLICATION(S)
- The actions of a commission, supported by staff employed by the Town of Griswold, independent contractors, or consultants, in receiving, reviewing and acting upon an application to conduct an activity regulated by said commission and including both pre-action reviews and post-approval supervision of work and inspection of activities permitted.
Any other term not defined in this chapter shall have the meaning set forth in the definitions section of any applicable regulations (e.g., the zoning regulations for zoning applications, the subdivision regulations for subdivision or resubdivision applications, etc.).
Fixed application fees. Commissions shall charge fixed application fees for the processing of land use applications in accordance with the following schedule:
Planning and Zoning Commission. Completed application forms along with the required fee are to be submitted to the Planning and Community Development Department no later than 10 business days prior to the meeting. Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month.
Zoning Board of Appeals. Completed application forms along with the required fee are to be submitted to the Planning and Community Development Department no later than three Thursdays prior to the meeting. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month.
Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Conservation Commission. Completed application forms along with the required fee shall be submitted to the Planning and Community Development Department no later than 15 days prior to the meeting. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month.
Maximum fee; calculation of fee. Except as provided in Subsection C below, no application fee calculated in accordance with the preceding formulae shall exceed $20,000. Each applicant for any permit shall provide, at the time of application, the necessary data to permit the calculation of the application fee (such as square footage of buildings or outside storage or active display area requested, the proposed number of lots, or acreage involved in a zone change), and such information shall, where appropriate, be certified by a licensed land surveyor, professional engineer, or registered architect. Failure to file any application fee set forth in this chapter shall be grounds for denial, without prejudice, of such application.
Additional reimbursable costs.
In addition to the fixed fees set forth in Subsection A of this section, the commissions may collect payment for direct costs of materials and review services performed by other than town employees, including but not limited to:
Third party reviews with professional certifications.
Reviews by consultant Town attorneys.
Reviews by consultant Town professional engineers.
Reviews by licensed landscape architects.
Reviews by licensed architects.
Reviews by archeologist/cultural resource consultants.
Reviews by certified soil scientists, wildlife biologists, or ecologists.
Reviews by licensed environmental professionals.
Reviews by certified professional in stormwater quality.
Legal, stenographic and transcription services associated with any type of land use application.
The Commission may require an applicant to provide certifications, inspections or professional consultant reports at the applicant's expense. It is intended that the fixed fees set forth in Subsection A do not cover such costs for additional expenses resulting from non-Town staff reviews necessitated by land use applications. These additional expenses will be required where applicable for any permit application before any land use Board or Commission, regardless of whether a public hearing is required. This section is also applicable to all expenses incurred after an approval is issued in the event that action is needed to enforce compliance with specific conditions of approval or violation of regulations.
Fees not in lieu of bonds. The payment of fees shall not prohibit commissions from requiring performance or forfeiture bonds to ensure the successful completion of all work as may be prescribed in the respective land use regulations.
All boards and agencies of the Town of Griswold, including the use of fire company properties for fire protection purposes, shall be exempt from the payment of fees established pursuant to this chapter. Each board may in whole or in part exempt an application from the payment of any or all fees if said application is for low- and moderate-income housing or special-needs housing. In addition, each commission shall be authorized, by majority vote, to reduce or waive application fees where (1) the application does not appear, upon initial examination, to require intensive staff review and (2) the applicant is a nonprofit entity which qualifies for tax deductible charitable contributions under regulations of the United States Internal Revenue Service. The commission may also credit all or a portion of application fees from previous application(s) which were denied or withdrawn, where the review work performed on the previous application(s) may be of benefit in reviewing the new application. Any commission exempting an application from payment of a fee, in whole or in part, shall state in the minutes of the meeting at which the plan was received the fee type exempted, the percentage exempt and reasons for granting the exemption. This exemption shall not prohibit a commission from requiring consultant reports, professional certification or conducting inspection to ensure conformance with land-use regulations.
Other fees. The payment of a fee established in accordance with the provision of this chapter shall not relieve the applicant, owner or their agent from the payment of other fees that may be prescribed for a different type of land use application, or by another ordinance of the Town of Griswold.
Fees nonrefundable. All fees received by a commission as part of a land use application submission shall be nonrefundable.
Method and timing of payment; failure to pay. All fixed application fees shall be paid by cash, check or money order made payable to the Town of Griswold. Fees shall be paid at the time of application submission. The applicant shall be provided with invoices or other evidence of any additional expense(s), and reimbursement to the Town shall be made within 30 days after presentation of such invoices or other evidence. Failure to comply with this subsection shall be grounds for denial of any application without prejudice, or revocation of any permit previously issued. Reimbursement of the Town under this subsection shall be a condition for the endorsement of any plan, the issuance of any final permit, or the issuance of any certificate of zoning compliance for an approved application, or the renewal of any periodic or temporary approval, as the case may be.
Post-approval notices and fees. The Town is authorized to place a notice of nonpayment of review fees on the land records if any fees from pre-approval or post-approval non-staff reviews are not paid for a period of 90 days.
The foregoing fees schedules are based upon an analysis of the expenses incurred, on average, in the processing of land use applications as of the date of passage of this chapter. The First Selectman shall periodically examine the expenses incurred by the Town in the processing of land use applications, and shall make recommendations based on input from land use boards and commissions to the Board of Selectmen for adjustments to the foregoing fee schedules based upon current staffing, regulatory requirements, and other relevant factors.