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Special Case Uses

20.1 Applications.
Applications for approval of all uses named as special cases by these Regulations, or for the approval of any use not provided for or allowed by these Regulations, shall be made to the Zoning Commission. In addition to specific uses requiring special case approval, special case approval is required for any proposal having any of the following characteristics:
1) Any increase in floor area by the following amounts per use:
Square Feet

2) Any new building, change of use or combination thereof, which requires an increase of parking by 50 spaces or greater.
3) Any building/use in which a drive-through window is proposed.
4) Any significant alteration of a previous special case, as determined by the Zoning Commission.
5) Any reuse of vacant commercial or industrial space greater than 150,000 square feet, regardless of the proposed use.

20.2 Special cases.
Those uses which are named as special cases by these Regulations shall be considered to be permitted uses in the districts under which they are named, subject to approval by the Commission as to each specific use. Each of these uses is declared to be of such peculiar and unusual nature in its effect on an area that in order to have it comply with the purposes of the zoning regulations it is necessary to consider it as a special case. In reviewing a special case application, the Commission shall require adherence to the following special case criteria and objectives and site plan objectives set forth in the following sections. The Commission may, after public notice and hearing in the same manner required by law for zoning amendments, and by the affirmative vote of four or more members present at the hearing, approve the use after making special application of these Regulations in harmony with their general intent by stipulating such restrictions as appear to the commission to be reasonable and the minimum necessary to protect property values in the district as a whole and the public health, safety and welfare. If the Commission determines that an application does not comply with the following criteria and objectives it shall deny the application.
Before approving any special case the Commission shall consider the following special case criteria and objectives in addition to all site plan objectives set forth in Section 20.2.2 of these Regulations.
20.2.1 Special case criteria and objectives.
A) The proposed use shall be in conformance to all requirements of the district in which it is located in addition to any other standard prescribed by these Regulations.
B) The location, size and intensity of such use shall be compatible and harmonious in relation to the size of the property and existing neighborhood development.
C) The proposed use shall be in conformance with the Town Plan of Development.
D) The design, location and specific details of the proposed use shall not adversely affect safety in the streets nor increase traffic congestion in the area nor interfere with the pattern of highway circulation. Information on past and present roadway conditions, existing roadway capacity, traffic accidents, existing and projected traffic volumes (ADT, Peak a.m. and Peak p.m.) existing and projected volume/capacity ratios, existing and projected levels of service and adequacy of traffic signalization and channelization shall be required for all projects impacting traffic conditions.
E) The emission of noise, light, smoke, odor, gas, dust or vibration shall not adversely affect land, water or air quality.
F) The proposed use shall not adversely affect the tax valuation of neighboring properties as a result of the proposed use.
G) The proposed use shall not create any fire or police hazards.
20.2.2 Site plan objectives. In reviewing a site plan, the commission shall take into consideration the health, safety and general welfare of the public and may require such modifications it shall deem necessary to ensure the accomplishment of the following objectives. If the Commission determines that an application does not comply with the following objectives it shall deny the application. General building and property considerations. That the location, size, design and specific details of all proposed buildings and uses shall be compatible and harmonious with the character and appearance of the surrounding neighborhood. The following aspects shall be evaluated to determine conformity to this objective.
A) The architectural design of all buildings including materials, color, elevations, roof line, height, size, location, bulk and signage.
B) The specific nature of the use including but not limited to occupancy, number of employees, hours of operation, etc.
C) The provision for open space and/or recreation areas.
D) The protection, preservation and/or enhancement of the natural environment including topography, vegetation, watercourses, wetlands, scenic views, historical structures, etc. Traffic, pedestrian access, circulation and parking. That all vehicular and pedestrian accessways, vehicular circulation patterns and off-street parking areas are safely designed to prevent traffic and pedestrian hazards both on and off the site. The following aspects shall be evaluated to determine conformity to this objective.
A) The number, location, width, grade and alignment of vehicular and pedestrian entrances, exits, drives and walkways and the adequacy of pedestrian drop-off areas.
B) The distance of entrances and exits from street corners, other accessways and places of public assembly.
C) The visibility in both directions at all entrances and exits of the site.
D) The extent, nature and arrangement of parking facilities, entrances and exits including the location and design of vehicle maneuvering areas, back around areas and fire lanes and the adequacy of vehicular stacking lanes.
E) The minimization of curb cuts and the interconnection of adjoining parking areas in order to encourage safe and convenient circulation.
F) The provision of safety devices necessary to protect life and property such as traffic signs, crosswalks, guardrails, etc. Landscaping and screening. That the proposed development will protect the environmental quality of the site and preserve and enhance adjacent property values. The following aspects shall be evaluated to determine conformity to this objective.
A) Existing trees shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible particularly within all setback and buffer areas.
B) The adequacy of landscaping within and bordering parking and loading areas.
C) The location, height and materials of walks, fences, berms, hedges so as to ensure compatibility with adjacent development. Lighting.
A) All exterior lights and illuminated signs shall be designed and directed so as to prevent objectionable light at, and glare across, the property lines.
B) All exterior light fixtures shall be located at a minimum height from the ground and the maximum distance from the property line necessary to provide adequate and safe lighting. Public health and safety. That all utility systems shall be suitably located, adequately designed and properly installed to serve the proposed uses and to protect the environment from adverse air, water or land pollution. All buildings and uses shall be directly accessible for fire, police, and emergency medical services.
A) All refuse and recycling areas shall be located near the service entrance and shall be screened or otherwise enclosed by plantings, walls or fencing.
B) The applicant shall prepare pre-development and post-development calculations of the stormwater runoff and provide a design that demonstrates a zero impact to the Town's storm drainage system, including natural waterway systems. Accordingly, the applicant shall evaluate the impacts to downstream conditions. The analysis shall include impacts from the quantity of runoff as well as the quality of the runoff. The drainage collection system shall be designed in accordance with the requirements of the Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual, as amended, as well as the requirements of Town stormwater ordinances. In addition to best management practices currently available and in the absence of specific design criteria which may not be identified in these documents or other requirements of the Town, the applicant shall, at a minimum, design the stormwater collection system to retain the first inch of runoff on site, and provide a zero increase in the peak rate of runoff from the site for the twenty-five-year storm, with an evaluation of the impacts from a fifty- and 100-year storm. After the evaluation is complete, if a larger design storm is warranted as determined in consultation with the Town Engineer, the applicant shall design the drainage for no net increase in the runoff from the 100-year storm.
C) Provision shall be made for all necessary sedimentation and erosion controls during construction. 
20.3 Time limit on special cases.
Any petition approved as a special case and no building permits having been secured within 18 months of the final approval by the Commission or no extension having been granted by the Planning and Zoning Administrator, the area shall revert back to its original status.
The Planning and Zoning Administrator may grant an extension of 18 months, not to exceed a cumulative total of six years, to obtain building permits for any petition approved as a special case. The Planning and Zoning staff shall report back to the Zoning Commission administratively when an extension is granted. The Planning and Zoning Administrator may choose to refer any request for an extension to the Zoning Commission for an administrative review. Any extension sought after the initial six years from the date of approval shall return to the Zoning Commission for an administrative review.
20.4 Site plan review required.
Application Materials
document icon Special Case Application