Table of Contents:

pdf file download the handbook as a PDF

Other Mechanisms for Historic Preservation

Other Mechanisms for Historic Preservation
A.    State Building Code        

The state building code recognizes the special nature of historic structures and allows certain alternatives to the life safety code so long as safe design, use, and construction are not affected. The State\'s Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) reviews applications for designation of historic structure status and for preservation and rehabilitation work in compliance with established standards. 

B.     Connecticut Environmental Protection Act

Connecticut Public Act 82-367 directs that the provisions of Sections 22a -15 through 22a - 19, inclusive, of the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act, which permit legal recourse for the unreasonable destruction of the state\'s natural resources such as air, water, and soil, shall also be applicable to historic structures and landmarks. Structures and landmarks are defined as those properties that are listed or under consideration for listing as individual units on the National Register of Historic Places and that have been determined by the State Historic Preservation Board to contribute to the historic significance of such a district.

C.  Certified Local Government Program

The federally authorized Certified Local Government (CLG) program recognizes local preservation planning expertise and allows communities nationwide to participate more formally in federal and state preservation programs. The CLG program in Connecticutpromotes preservation of historic resources by establishing a partnership between local governments and the SHPO. In accordance with federal law, a minimum of 10 percent ofConnecticut’s annual federal appropriation for historic preservation is earmarked for grants to municipalities under the CLG program. Any general-purpose political subdivision of the state (city, town, municipality, or borough), which meets CLG requirements, is eligible to apply for funds.

D.  Federal Review and Compliance

Cultural resource review under federal law (National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106) involves providing technical guidance and professional advice on the potential impact of publicly funded, assisted, licensed, or permitted projects on the state\'s historic, architectural, and archaeological resources. This responsibility of the SHPO is discharged in two steps: (1) identification of significant historic, architectural, and archaeological resources, and (2) advisory assistance to promote compatibility between new development and preservation of the state\'s cultural heritage. Annually, the SHPO reviews 1200-1500 federal projects, a majority of which are implemented with no impact to cultural resources.

E.  Village Districts

The Village District Act is a zoning tool which can protect a community\'s character and historic development patterns. Connecticut Public Act (PA) 98-116 allows municipal zoning commissions to create village districts to preserve historic and scenic resources and Village District regulations are a part of the town\'s zoning regulations. The scope of the Village District is a little broader than an LHD; landscaping, road design, maintenance of public views, and all new construction and major reconstruction can come under review. Creating a Village District does not require approval of property owners, municipal government, or review by the SHPO, but is established by a local zoning ordinance.

F.   Scenic Roads

A scenic road is defined as one that (1) passes through agricultural land or abuts land on which is located an historic building or structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places or State Register of Historic Places, or (2) affords vistas of marshes, shorelines, forests with mature trees, or notable geologic or other natural features.  The program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Transportation Scenic Roads Advisory Committee.  CCT routinely reviews applications for scenic road designation and assists applicants.

G.  Cemetery Protection and Maintenance

Connecticut General Statutes, Section 19a - 315a-c mandates the protection of the state\'s ancient burial grounds, the preservation of the historic grave markers, and the respectful renovation and maintenance of historic cemeteries. The SHPO is a mandated review authority in partnership with lineal descendants and the appropriate probate court regarding all proposed improvements and/or changes within ancient burial grounds.

For more information go to the web sites of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism:; the Connecticut Trust for Historic; and the National Trust for Historic