Sidebar Subdivision Regulations

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Department of Planning, Conservation, and Development.


Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purposes of this regulation, have the meaning herein indicated. All other terms shall be defined by "A Survey of Zoning Definitions" published by the American Planning Association or the "Subdivision and Site Plan Handbook" published by the Center for Urban Policy and Research, both are available in the Planning and Zoning Department.

ADT- (Average Daily Traffic). The average number of cars per day that pass over a given point.

Applicant- A developer submitting an application for development.

Application for Development- The application form and all accompanying documents required by this regulation for approval of a subdivision or re-subdivision plan.

Berm- A mound of soil, either natural or manmade, used to obstruct views.

Boulevard/boulevard entrance- A boulevard or boulevard entrance shall mean a right-of-way of sixty-six feet having two travel lanes eighteen feet wide separated by a landscaped island ten (10) feet wide and flanked on both sides by areas of ten (10) feet sidewalk purposes as defined in these Regulations and the Department of Public defined in these Regulations and the Department of Public Works. Openings, for turning, in the landscaped island shall be spaced not more than three hundred (300) feet apart.

Buffer- An area within a property or site, generally adjacent to and parallel with the property line, either consisting of natural existing vegetation or created by the use of trees, shrubs, fences, and/or berms, designed to limit continuously the view of and/or sound from the site to adjacent sites or properties.

Caliper- The diameter of a tree trunk measured in inches, six (6) inches above ground level for trees up to four (4) inches in diameter and twelve (12) inches above ground level for trees over four (4) inches in diameter.

Capped System- A completed water supply and/or sewerage system put in place for future use (contingent upon expansion), rather than to meet immediate development needs.

Cluster Development- means a building pattern concentrating units on a particular portion of a parcel so that a least one third of the parcel remains as open space to be used exclusively for recreational, conservation, and agricultural purposes.

Concept Plan- A preliminary presentation and attendant document of a proposed subdivision of sufficient accuracy to be used for the purpose of discussion and classification.

Construction Plan- A plan and profile drawing of all proposed improvements to be constructed, maintained, and installed as part of the proposed subdivision development. Such construction plan shall include methods of conveying the required information, including supportive documentation and calculation. All construction plans shall bear the seal of a qualified professional engineer registered in the State of Connecticut.

Cul-de-Sac- A local street with only one outlet and having the other end for reversal of traffic movement. See Street. Cul-de-sacs shall be measured from the point of intersection to the center of the turnaround.

Culvert- A structure designed to convey a water course, not incorporated in a closed drainage system, under a road or pedestrian walk.

Curb- A vertical or sloping edge of roadway.

Date of Receipt- The day of the next regularly scheduled Commission meeting immediately following the day of submission of an application, request, or appeal; or 35 days from the date of submission, whichever is sooner.

Date of Submittal- The day an application, request, or appeal, including appropriate fees or forms, is submitted to the Commission or its authorized agent.

Dedication- An act transferring property or interest thereto.

Density- The permitted number of dwelling units per area of land.

Design Standards- Standards that set forth specific improvement requirements.

Detention Basin- A man-made water collector facility designed to collect surface and sub-surface water in order to impede its flow and to release the same gradually at a rate not greater than that prior to the development of the property, into natural or man-made outlets.

Developer- The legal or beneficial owner or owners of a lot or of any land included in a proposed development or the holder of an option or contract to purchase or any other person having enforceable proprietary interest in such land.

Development- A construction project involving substantial property improvement and, usually, a change of land-use character within the site; the act of using land for building or extractive purposes.

Drainage- The removal of surface water or groundwater from land by drains, grading, or other means.

Drainage System- The system through which water flows from the land, including all watercourses, waterbodies and wetlands.

Driveway- A paved or unpaved area used for ingress and egress of vehicles, and allowing access from a street to a lot or other structure or facility.

Easement- A right-of-way granted, but not dedicated, for limited use of private land for a public or quasi-public purpose and within which the owner of the property shall not erect any permanent structures which interfere with the intended use of the right of way.

Environmental Constraints- Features, natural resources, or land characteristics that are sensitive to the improvements and may require conservation measures or the application of creative development techniques to prevent degradation of the environment, or may require limited development, or in certain instances may preclude development.

Erosion- The detachment and movement of soil or rock fragments, or the wearing away of the land surface by water, wind, ice, or gravity.

Fence- An artificially constructed barrier of wood, masonry, stone, wire, metal or any other manufactured materials or combination of materials.

Grade- The slope of a street, or other public way, specified in percentage (%) terms.

Ground Cover- A planting of low-growing plants or sod that in time forms a dense mat covering the area, preventing soil from being blown or washed away and the growth of unwanted plants.

Impervious Surface- A surface that has been compacted or covered with a layer of material so that it is highly resistant to infiltration by water.

Improvement- Any man-made immovable items which becomes part of, placed upon, or is affixed to , real estate.

Island- In street design, a raised area, usually curbed, placed to guide traffic and separate lanes, or used for landscaping, signing, or lighting.

ITE- Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Lot- A designated parcel, tract, or area of land established by a plat or otherwise as permitted by law and to be used, developed, or built upon now or in the future.

Lot Area- The size of a lot measured within the lot lines and expressed in terms of acres or square feet.

Lot Frontage- That portion of a lot extending along and parallel to a street line.

Maintenance Security- A Security deposit, furnished to the City by the developer, that guarantees all subdivision improvements against defective workmanship or materials for a period of time after the date of acceptance.

Median- That portion of a divided highway separating lanes of traffic proceeding in opposite directions.

Moving Lane- Any traffic lane where traffic movement is the primary if not sole function.

Mulch- A layer of wood chips, dry leaves, straw, hay, plastic, or other materials placed on the surface of the soil around plants to retain moisture, prevent weeds from growing, hold the soil in place, or aid plant growth.

Off-Site- Located outside the lot line of the lot in question that is the subject of a development application, or on a contiguous portion of a street or right-of-way.

Open Space- Any parcel or area of land, including parks and playgrounds, and bodies of water essentially unimproved and set aside, dedicated, designated, or reserved for public use and enjoyment or for the use and enjoyment of owners and occupants of land adjoining or neighboring such open spaces.

Pedestrian Walkways- a bituminous or concrete walkway in a right of way and used to link subdivisions with schools, open spaces other subdivisions or other public amenities. Need not run parallel to a public road.

Perc Test- (Percolation Test) A test designed to determine the ability of ground to absorb water, and used to determine the suitability of a soil for drainage or for the use of a septic system.

Performance Security- A security deposit, furnished to the City by the developer, to be used to complete subdivision improvements specifically required by these Regulations.

Plan of Development- The Plan of Development is a comprehensive plan for the most desirable use of land for residential, recreational and open space, commercial, industrial, and other purposes; and contains the Commission's recommendations for population density, streets and other public ways, municipal development, public utilities, public housing, and redevelopment; pursuant to Chapter 126 of the General Statutes of Connecticut, as amended.

Potable Water Supply- Water suitable for drinking or cooking purposes in accordance with all applicable Public Health Codes.

Pre-Application Conference- An initial meeting between developers and municipal representatives which affords developers the opportunity to present their proposals informally.

Public Open Space- An open space area conveyed or otherwise dedicated to a municipality, municipal agency, board of education, state or county agency, or other public body for recreational or conservational uses.

Resubdivision- A change in a map of an approved or recorded subdivision or resubdivision if such change:

  1. affects any street layout shown on such map;
  2. affects any area reserved thereon for public use;


  3. diminishes the size of any lot shown thereon and creates an additional building lot, if any of the lots shown thereon have been conveyed after the approval or recording of such map.

Retaining Wall- A structure erected between lands of different elevation to protect structures and/or to prevent the washing down or erosion of earth from the upper slope level.

Retention Basin- A pond, pool, or basin used for the permanent storage of water runoff.

Right-of-Way- A strip of land occupied or intended to be occupied by a street, crosswalk, railroad, electric transmission line, gas pipeline, water main, sanitary or storm sewer main, shade trees, or for another special use.

Screen- A structure or planting consisting of fencing, berms, and/or evergreen trees or shrubs providing a continuous view obstruction with a site or property.

Sedimentation- A deposit of soil that has been transported from its site of origin by water, ice, wind, gravity, or other natural means as a product of erosion.

Septic System- An underground system with a septic tank used for the decomposition of domestic wastes.

Sewer- Any pipe conduit and appurtenances used to collect and carry away sewage or storm water runoff from the generating source to municipal treatment plants or receiving streams.

Sidewalk (area)- A paved path provided for pedestrian use and usually located at the side of a road within the road right-of-way.

Sight Triangle- A triangular-shaped portion of land established at street intersections in which nothing is erected, placed, planted, or allowed to grown in such a manner as to limit or obstruct the sight distance of motorists entering or leaving the intersection.

Significant Tree- Trees identified with historical, cultural or physical significance because of species, size or form.

Street- Any road, highway, avenue, lane, or other public right-of-way dedicated to the movement of motor vehicles and that is shown on a subdivision plan approved by the Commission; or any existing street that is an accepted State or city road. Private right-of-ways and discontinued, unimproved, abandoned, or impassible streets are excluded.

Stub Street- A portion of a street for which an extension has been proposed and approved. May be permitted when development is phased over a period of time, but only if the street in its entirety has been approved on the subdivision plan.

Subdivisions- The division of a tract or parcel of land into three (3) or more parts or lots, made subsequent to the adoption of subdivision regulations on November 27, 1941; for the immediate or future purpose of sale or building development, and includes resubdivision; but expressly excludes the division of land for development for municipal, conservation, or agricultural purposes.

For purposes of this definition, a subdivision of a tract or parcel of land under one ownership on November 27, 1941 into three (3) or more parts or lots shall be considered a subdivision whether such division was effected simultaneously, or successively by a single owner or by several successive owners of the tract or parcel of land.

Types of Subdivisions-

  1. Minor Subdivisions- entirely along an existing accepted street using the tradition lot by lot layout.
  2. Major Subdivisions- involving one or more new streets and using the traditional lot by lot layout.
  3. Open Space Subdivisions- replacing the traditional lot by lot layout with a flexible pattern of development intended to minimize changes to the existing terrain.
  4. Industrial Subdivisions- contain lots upon which industrial or commercial buildings may be erected.

Subdivision Expiration Date- The date which is defined by the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.

Topsoil- The original upper layer of soil material to a depth of six inches which is usually darker and richer than the subsoil.

Trip- A single or one-way vehicle movement to or from a property or study area. "Trips" can be added together to calculate the total number of vehicles expected to enter and leave a specific land use or site over a designated period of time.

Use- The purpose or activity for which a piece of land or its building is designed, arranged, or intended.

Work- "Work" shall mean all physical improvements required by the approved plan, and including but not limited to the construction of roads, storm drainage facilities, and water and sewer lines; the setting aside of open space and recreation areas; the installation of telephone, electric, cable TV service; the planting of trees or other landscaping; street lighting and the installation of retaining walls or other structures.

Zoning Code- The current City of Middletown Zoning Code.

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