Guidance for Statutory Referrals to WestCOG

State law requires municipal planning and zoning commissions to forward many proposed land use decisions to one or more regional Councils of Governments (COGs) for review through a process called “referral.”

This document, Guidance for Statutory Referrals to WestCOG, can also be downloaded here for your convenience.

When is a referral required?

Applicable land use proposals that require a referral include:

  1. Zoning map or text change affecting land within five hundred feet of the boundary of another municipality. Notice to WestCOG shall be made no later than thirty days before the public hearing. (Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 8-3b)
  2. Subdivision of land abutting or in two or more municipalities. Notice to WestCOG shall be made no later than thirty days before the public hearing. (Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 8-26b)
  3. Municipal Plans of Conservation and Development for a report of consistency with the Regional, State, and other municipal POCDs in the region. Notice to WestCOG shall be made no later than sixty-five days before the public hearing. (Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 8-23h (4))
  4. Addition/revision of coastal regulations in the Municipal Plan of Conservation and Development shall be submitted to WestCOG and to the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Revisions may be adopted upon receipt of comments from both the COG and the Commissioner or ninety days after receipt by the Commissioner. (Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 22a-102d)
  5. Proposals of regional significance may be submitted to WestCOG for referral on a voluntary basis. (Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 4-124u) Some examples of projects of regional significance include ones including at least:
    1. Five hundred thousand square feet of indoor commercial or industrial space,
    1. Two hundred fifty residential housing units in structures under four stories, or
    1. One thousand parking spaces.

Where should a referral be sent?

State law requires each referral to be sent to WestCOG and, if one or more municipalities outside of the region are implicated (under #1-2 above), to the COGs representing those municipalities. No referrals are required to New York State.

How do I send a referral?

Submissions should include all relevant materials and the date of the public hearing. While email submissions are preferred, hard copies can be sent by certified mail, return receipt to the appropriate contacts below.

Referrals to WestCOG

Send referrals to:

Attn: Land Use Referral
Western Connecticut Council of Governments
1 Riverside Road
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
Phone: 475-323-2060
Email: referrals@westcog.org

Referrals to MetroCOG

Send referrals to:

Send referrals to:
Matt Fulda, Executive Director
Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments
1000 Lafayette Boulevard
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604
Phone: (203) 366-5405
Email: mfulda@ctmetro.org

Referrals to NHCOG

Send referrals to:

Richard Lynn, Executive Director
Northwest Hills Council of Governments
59 Torrington Road, Suite A-1
Goshen, Connecticut 06756
Phone: (860) 491-9884
Email: jayer@northwesthillscog.org

Referrals to NVCOG

Send referrals to:

Rick Dunne, Executive Director
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
49 Leavenworth Street, Suite 303
Waterbury, Connecticut 06702
Phone: (203) 757-0535
Email: referrals@nvcogct.org

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