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Town of Suffield, CT
Hartford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Suffield 5-27-1963 (Ch. 14, Art. V, of the 1987 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
Established. In order to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the Town through the preservation and protection of buildings and places of historic interest by the maintenance of such as landmarks in the history of the Town, of the state and of the nation, and through the development of appropriate settings for such buildings and places, an historic district within the Town as more particularly described in Subsection B is hereby established pursuant to the provisions of §§ 7-147a to 7-147k inclusive of the General Statutes.
B. 
Boundaries. The boundaries of the historic district as set forth on a map titled "Proposed Historic District, Suffield, Connecticut" prepared by Close, Jensen & Miller, Civil Engineers, and dated January 1963, are hereby established and approved as the boundaries of such historic district. The map is made a part of this chapter by reference.
A. 
Commission established; composition; compensation of members. The Historic District Commission, hereinafter referred to as the "Commission," is hereby established. The Commission shall consist of five regular and three alternate members who shall be appointed as provided in the Town Charter. Each regular and alternate member of the Commission shall be a resident elector of the Town holding no salaried municipal office. Not fewer than three of the five regular members of the Historic District Commission shall be residents within the historic district and not fewer than one of the two alternate members shall be a resident of the historic district. The Historic District Commission shall possess the powers and perform the duties and functions of an Historic District Commission as provided in the General Statutes and as more particularly set forth in this chapter. No regular or alternate member of the Historic District Commission shall receive any compensation for his service.
[Amended 12-19-2019]
B. 
Organization. Within 30 days after the appointment of the members of the Historic District Commission, they shall meet, organize and, from among the regular members of the Historic District Commission, elect a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and a Clerk. Thereafter annually during the month of September the Historic District Commission shall elect from among its regular members a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and a Clerk. Alternate members of the Historic District Commission shall not participate in any election of officers of the Historic District Commission. In all other matters, when a regular member of the Historic District Commission is unable to act because of absence, illness or disqualification, he/she shall notify the Chairperson who shall forthwith designate one of the alternate members to serve in the place of such regular member, and such alternate member shall thereupon exercise all the powers and duties of such regular member until the absence, illness or disqualification of the regular member shall have been terminated.
C. 
Powers; quorum.
(1) 
The Historic District Commission shall exercise the powers and responsibilities imposed upon an Historic District Commission by the provisions of the General Statutes. It shall fix the time and place of its regular meetings and may hold such special meetings as may from time to time be required. The Historic District Commission shall keep a record of its proceedings, deliberations and actions and shall annually report to the Town respecting its work. The Historic District Commission shall adopt rules of procedure not inconsistent with the provisions of the General Statutes and may, within the limit of appropriations made for the purpose by the Town, employ clerical and technical assistance or consultants.
(2) 
The presence of four regular members or, in the case of proper designation of an alternate or alternates as provided by the terms of this chapter, the presence of four regular and alternate members shall constitute a quorum. No resolution or vote except a vote to adjourn or to fix the time and place of its next meeting shall be adopted by fewer than three affirmative votes.
A. 
Generally. No building or structure shall be erected, altered, restored, moved or demolished within the Suffield historic district until after an application for a certificate of appropriateness as to exterior architectural features has been submitted to the Historic District Commission and approved by the Historic District Commission. "Exterior architectural features" shall include such portion of the exterior of a structure as is open to view from a public street, way or place. The style, material, size and location of outdoor advertising signs and bill posters within the historic district shall also be under the control of the Historic District Commission. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to extend to the color of paint used on the exterior of any building or structure.
[Amended 1-7-1964]
B. 
Application for certificate of appropriateness; hearing; approval.
(1) 
The Historic District Commission shall hold a public hearing upon each application for a certificate of appropriateness. Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given by publication in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town at least seven days before such hearing. Within not more than 60 days after the filing of an application as required by Subsection A, the Historic District Commission shall pass upon such application and shall give written notice of its decision to the applicant. Evidence of approval, as required by Subsection A, shall be by certificate of appropriateness issued by the Historic District Commission.
(2) 
Failure of the Historic District Commission to act within such 60 days shall constitute approval and no other evidence of approval shall be needed. The Historic District Commission shall keep a record of all applications for certificates of appropriateness and its actions with respect to each. The Historic District Commission's records and its written decision rendered on each such application shall specify the grounds for approval or denial.
(3) 
In its deliberations, the Historic District Commission shall not consider interior arrangement or use and shall take no action except for the purpose of preventing the erection, reconstruction, restoration, alteration or razing of buildings in the historic district obviously incongruous with the historic aspects of the district.
C. 
Considerations in determining appropriateness. If the Historic District Commission determines that the proposed erection, construction, restoration, alteration or razing will be appropriate, it shall issue a certificate of appropriateness. In passing upon appropriateness the Historic District 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 architectural features involved and the relationship thereof to the exterior architectural style and pertinent features of other structures in the immediate neighborhood. A certificate of appropriateness may be refused for any building or structure, the erection, reconstruction, restoration, alteration or razing of which, in the opinion of the Historic District Commission, would be detrimental to the interest of the historic district.
Where, by reason of topographical conditions, district borderline situations, immediately adjoining existing developments or because of other unusual circumstances, the strict application of the provisions of this chapter would result in exceptional practical difficulty or undue hardship upon the owner of any specific property, the Historic District Commission in passing upon applications shall have power to vary or modify strict adherence to the provisions of this chapter or to interpret the meaning of this chapter so as to relieve such difficulty or hardship, provided such variance, modification, or interpretation shall remain in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this chapter so that the general character of the district shall be conserved and substantial justice done. In granting variations, the Historic District Commission may impose such reasonable and additional stipulations and conditions as will, in its judgment, better fulfill the purposes of this chapter.
A. 
If any action or ruling taken by the Historic District Commission pursuant to the provisions of §§ 7-147a to 7-147k, inclusive, of the General Statutes or of this chapter has been violated, the Commission may, in addition to other remedies, institute an action or proceeding to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, razing, maintenance or use or to restrain, correct or abate such violation or to prevent the occupancy of such building, structure or land, or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.
B. 
Regulations and orders of the Historic District Commission issued pursuant to such sections of the General Statutes or of this chapter shall be enforced by the Building Official of the Town, who is hereby authorized to inspect and examine any building, structure, place or premises and to require, in writing, the remedying of any condition found to exist therein or thereon in violation of any provision of the regulations or orders made under the authority of such sections of the General Statutes or of this chapter.
[Amended 12-19-2019]
C. 
The owner or agent of any building or premises where such a violation has been committed or exists, or the lessee or tenant of an entire building or entire premises where such violation has been committed or exists, or the owner, agent, lessee or tenant of any part of the building or premises in which such violation has been committed or exists, or the agent, architect, builder, contractor, or any other person who commits, takes part in or assists in any such violation or who maintains any building or premises in which any such violation exists, shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100 for each day that such violation continues, but if the offense is willful, the person convicted thereof shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $250 for each day that such violation continues, and the Superior Court for the judicial district wherein such violation continues or exists shall have jurisdiction of all such offenses, subject to appeal as in other cases. Each day that a violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 12-19-2019]
[Amended 12-19-2019]
Any person or persons severally or jointly aggrieved by any decision of the Historic District Commission or of any officer thereof may, within 15 days from the date when such decision was rendered, take an appeal to the Superior Court, which appeal shall be made returnable to such court in the same manner as that prescribed for civil actions brought to such court. Notice of such appeal shall be given by leaving a true and attested copy thereof in the hands of or at the usual place of abode of the Chairperson or Clerk of the Historic District Commission within 12 days before the return day to which such appeal has been taken. Procedure upon such appeal shall be the same as that defined in § 8-8 of the General Statutes.
[Amended 1-7-1964; 12-19-2019]
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance or repair of any exterior feature in the historic district which does not involve a change of design thereof; nor to prevent the construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition of any such feature which the Building Official certifies is required by the public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition; nor to prevent the construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition of any such feature under a permit issued by the Building Official prior to the effective date of establishment of the district.