Pre-Application Review Process
The Town of Wethersfield offers a pre-application review service for the purposes of improving communication between individuals seeking guidance on development proposals and the town. Both the town's permit review staff and land use commissions are available to discuss prospective projects and applicable code and regulatory issues with property owners, developers and other interested parties prior to the submission of any formal application. We encourage applicants to meet with town staff as early as possible and get as much information as possible while the project is in the early planning stages.
The pre-application review process is a free and voluntary process that has been established to provide an opportunity to meet informally with staff and the commission to offer general advice and guidance, ask questions and to receive input prior to the submission of a formal application in order to:
- Avoid undue expense and delays caused by submitting inappropriate or incomplete submissions;
- To clarify the town's requirements;
- To avoid costly reworking of subsequent submissions; and
- To help move the project more quickly through the formal application review process.
In order to schedule a pre-application review meeting with the town please contact the Planning Department at (860) 721-2837. The Planning Department works closely with the Building and Engineering Departments, the Central Connecticut Health District and the Fire Marshal in order to facilitate a coordinated effort in land use reviews. The Planning Department will coordinate a meeting and will provide experienced representation from the following departments (depending upon the project) the Town Engineer, Wetlands Enforcement Official, Fire Marshal, Building Official, Zoning Officer, Town Planner, the Central CT Health District and any other necessary or requested departments. Plans are not required, however, preliminary site and floor plans can be helpful. The more information that is provided the better able staff will be able to respond. Prior to the meeting, any materials which have been received are distributed to staff who will be attending the meeting. This gives staff an opportunity to identify issues which could affect project viability. Staff may conduct a site visit prior to the review meeting. Any comments or suggestions on a project made by town staff shall not be construed as a form of approval and shall not be binding upon the town staff or boards/commissions should a subsequent application for the property be officially filed.
Items covered in the review include, but are not limited to:
- Any road, sidewalk or drainage improvements required.
- Any ordinances or policies that will apply to the project.
- Required applications, processes and filing fees.
- Identification of boards and commissions that would review the applications.
- Any required information, technical reports and documents that would accompany the applications.
- Any environmental concerns generated by the project.
The pre-application review will result in a written summary on the proposal addressing issues and/or the need for supplemental information including comments of all reviewing departments.
In addition, per the provisions of Article X, Section 10.1 of the Wethersfield Zoning Regulations, interested parties may also request a pre-application review with the Planning and Zoning Commission. In order to be placed upon a meeting agenda, a completed pre-application form must be submitted to the Planning Department at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting date.
Although not required, it is strongly suggested that the following information is submitted:
- A pre-application review request form.
- A narrative of the project which describes the nature of the project, the use of the land and buildings and other matters pertinent to summarize the project and design.
- Conceptual building floor plans.
- Preliminary exterior elevations to show the commission how the finished development will look and how it will be built.
- Conceptual site plans that provide information on the layout of the project, the location of proposed buildings, significant natural features, wetlands, watercourses, steep slopes, flood plains, landscaping, lighting and other relevant information.
- Any questions or issues that the applicant wants to be sure are addressed through the pre-application review.
- Photographs of exterior elevations and site conditions.
Upon receipt of the form and materials, staff will review the information in order to identify major issues with the proposal. Staff will then schedule the submission for a meeting. Pre-application reviews will be conducted at the end of the meeting agenda. At the meeting, the project shall be properly publicly noticed on an agenda and each review will be open to the public to observe but not to comment. (The applicant may wish to conduct a separate community or neighborhood level meeting with affected neighbors prior to submitting any formal application.) The commission shall informally review the plans for general conformance with the regulations and may request additional information where deemed necessary. The minutes of the meeting will reflect the comments made by the commission members.
In accordance with C.G.S. Section 7-159b, a pre-application review shall be considered only informational and advisory in nature, shall not be binding on the applicant or the commission and no development rights shall attain to the review or consideration of any proposed project. The filing of a pre-application review is not a formal development application and does not initiate the processing timeframes of the Connecticut General Statutes.