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Discretionary Powers

Discretionary Powers

HDCs and HPCs  should always be working to build mutually beneficial partnerships with property owners and municipal officials.  The effort to build partnerships requires more than just the public hearing and review of applications for a certificate of appropriateness. The state enabling statute (CGS, Section 7-147c(j)) grants local HDCs and  HPCs a range ofdiscretionary powers that can strengthen the body’s public outreach and local advocacy. These powers include the authority to:

Make periodic reports to the local legislative body
Provide information to property owners and others involving the preservation of the district
Suggest pertinent legislation
Initiate planning and zoning proposals
Cooperate with other regulatory agencies and civic organizations and groups interested in historic preservation
Comment on all applications for zoning variances and special exceptions where they affect historic districts
Render advice on sidewalk construction and repair, tree planting, street improvements, and the erection or alteration of public buildings not otherwise under its control where they affect historic districts
Furnish information and assistance in connection with any capital improvement program involving historic districts
Consult with groups of experts

The use of discretionary powers will vary by community depending on the character and needs of the specific LHD or LHP.  The use of discretionary powers should always support the four broad administrative goals of an effective local HDC or HPC.