What Are the Roles of DEEP and Other State Agencies in Land Use and Development?
Several state agencies, including DEEP, have regulatory, municipal assistance, and other programs that affect land use. The DEEP owns certain lands (e.g., state parks and forests), and holds in trust, for all Connecticut citizens, the areas below (waterward of) mean high water in tidal, coastal and navigable waters in Long Island Sound and its bays, estuaries and related waterways. Thus, as owner or trustee, the Department has control over these lands.
In addition to its ownership and trustee roles, the DEEP is responsible for regulating the following:
- State agency actions in inland wetlands and watercourses and flood management areas;
- The use of specific resources (e.g., groundwater withdrawal and activities in tidal wetlands or coastal waters); and
- Certain subsurface wastewater disposal (septic) systems which include, in general, those with a capacity of over 5,000 gallons per day and those that utilize alternative technology.
State agency actions within the coastal zone may also be subject to the coastal consistency requirements of the Connecticut Coastal Management Act.
For additional information see DEEP Regulatory Programs Impacting Land Use.
The Department also provides technical assistance, planning tools, outreach and training to municipal land use agencies. Examples include annual training of inland wetlands commission members, led by the Inland Water Resources Division, and assistance with reviewing individual coastal site plans offered by the Office of Long Island Sound Programs. The DEEP has developed model municipal regulations that serve as a basis for locally adopted ordinances and regulations on such topics as inland wetlands and watercourses, stormwater management, harbor management, aquifer protection, and tidal wetlands buffers.
The DEEP also has developed and adopted a number of plans that influence land use and development which are online at DEEP plans.
Other State Agencies
Other state agencies have programs that can influence land use. For example:
- The Office of Policy and Management develops and updates the Conservation and Development Policies Plan for Connecticut;
- The Department of Public Health oversees implementation of the public health code and administers programs related to individual on-site subsurface sewage disposal (septic) systems, private drinking water wells, and public drinking water supplies;
- Department of Agriculture administers both funding and marketing programs to maintain agricultural viability;
- The Department of Economic and Community Development offers several programs to support a wide range of development programs, including brownfields redevelopment and housing; and
- The Department of Transportation has many programs for various modes of transportation that affect land use including programs for its local roads and bridges, aviation, and transportation-improvement.
These examples identify just a small portion of the programs available to municipalities for State assistance in managing land use; there are many more such programs available. Additional information on assistance offered by other state agencies can be found by either following the links provided above, checking out the State's Green and Growing Toolbox or by visiting the State of Connecticut home page and searching for the agency or topic of interest.
Content last updated March 27, 2009