Regional Planning in Connecticut

A guide to finding information about Regional Planning Organizations in Connecticut

Research Tips

  • Legislative citations vary over time. Whenever possible and logical, we use the current citations. A Law Librarian may help you find original legislation and/or statutes.

  • The terms for the planning organizations varied over time. Currently RCOG (Regional Council of Governments) or RPO (Regional Planning Organization) is used to describe the organizations.

  • The geographic region is defined by the state.

  • The planning organizations within the region are created by municipalities on a voluntary basis.

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Regional Planning History

Outlined below are some significant changes in Connecticut's history of regional planning. In no way is this meant to be comprehensive.

None of the changes noted below happened in a void. There were forces (and opposing forces at times) on local, state, national and international levels that impacted regional planning in Connecticut. Such as: war; post-war transitions; housing; industrial growth; conservation and land use; civil rights; urban/rural studies; education; economics, etc. Sometimes administration of a program required regional agency involvement (ex. Federal Housing Act of 1954, Sec. 701 grants). This guide will focus on Connecticut and touch on other forces only if the impact was notable.

Please keep in mind, these are approximate time periods. Some sources may have used calendar years, some sources may have used fiscal years.

Selected Chronology of Legislation, Reports & Studies, Events

Recent Years, Fewer Regions

The first part of this decade saw work on planning and implementing a regional planning program with fewer logical planning regions and corresponding Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs). By January 1, 2015, Connecticut had brought the 15 regions down to nine, with all RPOs being Regional Councils of Governments (RCOGs or COGs). Since then, there has been legislation dealing with various aspects of regional planning (programs, funding, incentives, COG authority, etc.). A few examples have been included below - see the Connecticut General Statutes for further research.


  • PA 10-168 AN ACT CONCERNING REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Authorized the state to approve up to 8 regional economic development districts (EDD) for coordinating municipal economic development projects and seeking federal funding support through the United States Economic Development Administration (USEDA).


  • Mid-State and Connecticut River Estuary Planning Regions petitioned OPM to consolidate, and were officially re-designated as the Lower Connecticut River Valley Planning Region.
  • PA 11-06 - AN ACT CONCERNING THE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2013, AND OTHER PROVISIONS RELATING TO REVENUE - addressed some of the funding for annual state grant-in-aid (SGIA)


  • Member municipalities of the new Lower Connecticut River Valley Planning Region completed the ratification process for becoming a Regional Council of Governments (RCOG) - Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (RiverCOG).


  • PA 13-247, AN ACT IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS OF THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2015 CONCERNING GENERAL GOVERNMENT. There were many changes - refer to the text of the public act.  A few included (amongst many other topics):
    • Funding (including incentive funding), accounting, etc.
    • An analysis of the boundaries of logical planning regions designated or redesignated under section 16a-4a, on or before January 1, 2014, and at least every twenty years thereafter (spelling out what the analysis shall entail)
    • The process by which redesignation shall occur
    • Any revision to the boundaries of a planning area shall be effective on January 1, 2015
    •  On or before January 1, 2015, each regional planning agency and each regional council of elected officials  shall be restructured to form a regional council of governments as provided in section 4-124j of the general statutes
    • RPOs must submit annual reports to OPM - specifies annual report
    • The Commissioner of Transportation shall, within available appropriations, prepare a report on the redesignation of metropolitan planning organizations, as defined in 23 USC 134.
    • A zoning commission shall give written notice of its proposal of change to a zone or any regulation affecting the use of a zone any portion of which is within five hundred feet of the boundary of another municipality. The other municipality may be in a different logical planning region. Notice must be sent to all RPOs concerned
  • Northwestern Connecticut and Litchfield Hills Planning Regions petitioned OPM to consolidate, and were officially re-designated as the Northwest Hills Planning Region.


  • Office of Policy and Management (OPM) completed a comprehensive analysis of the boundaries of logical planning regions in Connecticut
  • This analysis resulted in the number of planning regions being reduced from the original fifteen (15) to nine (9).
    • Capitol Region
    • Greater Bridgeport (also referred to as Metropolitan or Metro)
    • Lower Connecticut River Valley
    • Naugatuck Valley
    • Northeastern Connecticut
    • Northwest Hills
    • South Central
    • Southeastern Connecticut
    • Western Connecticut
  • see Maps page for maps of current and older regions.


  • January 1, 2015 - PA 13-247 effective date:
    • implement the nine geographic planning regions
    • Restructure of regional planning agencies and regional councils of elected officials into regional councils of governments.
    • Some regional planning organizations (RPOs) chose to merge earlier.
    • Annual Reports to be submitted to Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to municipalities (clarified "a report" to "an annual report")
  • PA 15-155 - AN ACT CONCERNING THE BOUNDARIES OF REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS - Increased number of regional economic development districts permitted from 8 to 9




  • PA 18-81 - AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE STATE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2019 AND DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018 (Senate Bill No. 543)  Sec. 1 "The amounts appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, in section 1 of public act 17-2 of the June special session, as amended by section 16 of public act 17-4 of the June special session and section 1 of public act 17-1 of the January special session, regarding the GENERAL FUND are amended"

2000s - Regional Planning

This decade saw a growing interest, on national, state, and local levels, to expand planning and working with a regional focus.

"There are two major reasons: recognition that land use planning needs to occur in a more methodical and integrated manner in order to preserve the character of the state and reduce sprawl; and a realization that service sharing arrangements can achieve cost savings."[1, p.II]. Nationally there has been a growing interest in "Smart Growth", which is similar to the concept of "responsible growth" in Connecticut[3, pp.2-3]. This decade saw the first formal changes in the geographic boundaries of the logical planning regions since the 1970s.

  • Focus on regional planning
    • Responsible Growth or Smart Growth
    • Cost sharing
  • Regional Planning Commissions became optional
  • Regional Councils of Governments received statutory authorization to purchase real property
  • Focus on State Conservation and Development (C&D) Plans (which impacted regional and municipal C&D plans)
    • tied housing and transportation plans in C&D
    • revisions must consider natural hazards (such as floods, fires, etc.)


  • 2000 - "RCOG no longer required to have a Regional Planning Commission carry out its planning duties/responsibilities"[3, Figure I-1]
  • PA 00-54 AN ACT CONCERNING REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSIONS SUMMARY: This act allows a regional council of governments (COG) to carry out its planning duties and responsibilities on its own instead of through a regional planning commission. These duties include formulating a regional plan of development. The act allows, rather than requires, the bylaws of the regional COG to include provisions for organizing a regional planning commission. By law, the commissions are subdivisions of COGs and act on their behalf. The act allows a regional COG to buy real property for administrative office space. By law, regional COGs can enter into contracts to carry out their purposes. The act specifies that the COG must approve any such contract in the manner the council prescribes.
  • PA 00-85 AN ACT CONCERNING VOLUNTARY MUNICIPAL REVENUE SHARING. "To authorize two or more municipalities to enter into a voluntary agreement to share revenues received for real or personal property taxes."


  • 2001 - Union requested and was designated to the Northeastern CT Planning Region. Subsequently town ordinance passed to join the Northeaster CT Council of Governments (NECCOG). Union had been undefined until this point.
  • PA 01-117 AN ACT AUTHORIZING MUNICIPALITIES TO JOINTLY PERFORM MUNICIPAL FUNCTIONS. SUMMARY: "This act gives two or more towns blanket authority to perform jointly any function any statute, special act, charter, or home-rule ordinance allows them to perform individually. It requires each participant to approve any joint agreement in the same manner it approves ordinances or, if the participant does not approve ordinances, in the manner it approves budgets. The terms of each agreement must include (1) a process for withdrawal and (2) a requirement that the approving body review the agreement at least once every five years to assess whether it improves the functions it addresses. The act applies to towns, cities, boroughs, consolidated towns and cities, consolidated towns and boroughs, and service districts (such as fire districts, sewer districts, beach associations, and improvement associations), but not school districts.
    "Existing law allows municipalities and service districts to perform specified functions jointly through interlocal agreements. The act does not supersede this law but creates another avenue for similar agreements. By law, municipalities can also make agreements to share real and personal property tax revenue."


  • In October 2006, Governor M. Jodi Rell issued Executive Order No. 15
    • "To actively steer the continued growth and development of our state to prevent sprawling development patterns from forever changing the character of our communities.” The order created the Office of Responsible Growth (ORG) within the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to help the state and towns achieve that goal. "These activities and Connecticut's focus on “responsible growth” are in keeping with similar efforts occurring nationally. In recent years, there has been growing interest in a concept referred to as Smart Growth....Designate a State Responsible Growth Coordinator.   The Undersecretary of Intergovernmental Policy was appointed the coordinator by the OPM Secretary on October 20, 2006."[14]


  • 2007 - Regional Planning Organization (RPO) term came into use - collectively includes Regional Planning Agencies, Regional Councils of Elected Officials, and Regional Councils of Governments.
  • 2007 Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee (LPRIC) study and then report. "In April 2007, the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee voted to study Connecticut’s Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs). The focus of the study was on understanding the activities currently undertaken by each of the 15 RPOs, identifying additional services they might provide in the future, and suggesting ways to encourage regional collaboration among municipalities."[14]
  • 2007 - legislators examine the three different types of RPOs in place; additional roles and responsibilities; how they can economize with shared resources and services; how RPOs can be used as a vehicle for Smart Growth and Responsible Growth. Some RPOs already do this, as the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) allow.
    • Building upon Rell's Executive Order 15, established a Responsible Growth Task Force; promoted regional service sharing arrangements; established Regional Performance Incentive Program (RPIP), to be administered by OPM; funding allocated to support regional cooperation (across regions too); imposed sanctions on municipalities that failed to amend their local plans of conservation & development every 10 years, as required by law; regional plans required to indicate if consistent with State Economic Development Strategic Plan.  CGA site summary excerpt: "The act explicitly makes transportation one of the issues that regional councils of governments must address."[3]
  • 2007 - Ashford was first town to formally request re-desgination to a different planning region since the final designations in the 1970. Ashford  began attending meetings for the Northeastern Connecticut region while waiting for the formal request for a boundary change to be approved by OPM. During this period Windham Council of Governments was still responsible for activities that covered Ashford. Petition was not formally granted: with expectation of overhaul of all boundaries, Ashford advised to join  Northeastern Connecticut RPO.




    • To require the chief elected official of each municipality that is a member of a regional planning agency be a representative to such regional planning agency.


  • 2010 - Stafford (which had been undefined until this point) requested and was designated to the Capitol Planning Region. Subsequently town ordinance passed to join the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG)

1980s & 1990s -Statutory Authority & Effectiveness of the State's Regional Planning Agencies

The early 1980s focused on studying the statutory authority and effectiveness of the State's Regional Planning Agencies. One Regional Planning Organization (RPO) ceased operations, leaving 15 geographic planning regions and 14 RPOs and questions regarding the region without an RPO, including fiscal concerns.

Nationally, the economic philosophy of the "New Federalism" impacted programs on most levels of government. "The Reagan Administration's FY 82 budget eliminated the HUD '701' planning program and the funds which, for several years, had been the keystone of regional agency funding..." [6, p.22] Since the early days of regional planning in Connecticut, a key incentive to join an RPO was federal funding's requirement that applications go through a regional agency."[6, p.22] During the peak years of federal support -- the 1960s and 1970s -- Connecticut's RPAs had received 70% of their financial backing from federal program sources, primarily '701' planning assistance...". [15, p.4] The state statutes did not address how RPOs would assess the member towns; individual plans were devised by the organizations. [6]

During the 1990s  there was a focus on streamlining state government and delivery of services. The Thomas Commission (SA 89-40) was to conduct a comprehensive study of state government organization in 1990. Implementation of recommendations impacted RPOs. Several Public and Special Acts in the early 1990s addressed streamlining state government. The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) was called to study and prepare a report on forming uniform regions across Connecticut for all state agencies. The uniform regions were not implemented.[16]

Several Public Acts addressed different aspects of the State Conservation and Development (C&D) plans. The legislation had requirements for local and regional C&D plans. The Regional Economic Development Act (PA 93-382) stated it was "To provide for revitalization of the state's economy."


  • PA 81-436 - charged the Joint Standing Committee on Planning & Development, in consultation with OPM, representatives from RPAs and CEOs, with a seven-month study on the statutory authority and effectiveness of the regional planning organizations, to be reported by February 3, 1982.[6, p.1]


  • In a 1982 Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Development report to the General Assembly on the future of regional planning agencies, it was found that Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs) had become "uniquely utilitarian means of fulfilling essential functions of municipalities large and small.". [15, p.i] The study was extended by Public Act 82-411.
  • As part of New Federalism, the Federal Government, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), lifts requirement for towns to submit federal grant applications through a local RPO for comment before it went to DC.


  • By January 1983, the report of Phase II of the study on the future of regional planning agencies stated: "Now, with the federal government's withdrawal of financial support for regional planning, the agencies are threatened with extinction or, at best, a serious curtailment of the services which historically have been expected of them."[15, p.i-ii] The Study Subcommittee saw the regional planning organizations could "play increasingly important roles in accomplishing certain goals more effectively and economically than any other existing means. The vast fund of knowledge each agency has acquired of its region over the years has become an enormously useful tool for industries, businesses, individuals and civic, social and governmental groups. The problem is not in recognizing their present and future potential, but in determining how they can best be utilized and how to spread the costs of maintaining them as viable institutions."[15, p.ii] One Study Subcommittee recommendation was to keep membership voluntary, but change from voluntary financial contributions to statutory financial requirements for RPO member municipalities.
  • Findings: "At no time in the course of its two-year examination of the agencies did the Subcommittee propose or hear suggestions to eliminate RPAs from the fabric of Connecticut's government. The Subcommittee found that while RPAs have their critics, and while some more than others may be limited by their member towns in their latitude of performance, there is no question that they have become uniquely utilitarian means of fulfilling essential functions for municipalities large and small; for acting as necessary planning and program links between and among federal, state and local governments; and, in the absence of county governments which bind localities in other states, they are the widely-accepted mechanism through which towns voluntarily join together in solving common problems."[15, p.22]


    • To require the secretary of the office of policy and management to prepare a report on a strategy to uniform service regions for state agencies.


  • "In 1996, SWRPA [South Western Regional Planning Agency] created the South Western Region Purchasing Cooperative, a voluntary program open to all SWRPA member towns."[14]

1960s & 1970s - Formation and Finalization

"Regional planning in Connecticut received its greatest impetus during the 1960s and 1970s under federal requirements that designated agencies be 'in place' as conduits for funds and programs dealing with issues such as environmental protection, air quality, transportation, water quality, etc."[15, p.i] Regional planning organizations grew during this time as they addressed national trends such as: "environmental protection, air quality, mass transportation, energy consumption and others..." and the federal government recognized regional planning organizations as the means to address the issues and through which to pass federal monies.[1, p.4]

During the 1970s The Federal Government, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), required towns to submit federal grant applications through a local Regional Planning Organization (RPO) for comment before it went to Washington, DC. This lasted until 1982.


  • 1959 PA 152 AN ACT ABOLISHING COUNTY GOVERNMENT went into effect October 1, 1960.
  • Connecticut Interregional Planning Program initiated.
    • 1960-1963 - numerous studies conducted, including for outdoor recreation planning.


  • 1961 Capitol Planning Region redefined to include Hebron, Tolland, Vernon


  • 1962 Capitol Planning Region redefined to include Canton


  • Oct. 16 Capitol Region redefined to include Enfield, Somers and Suffield
  • Central Naugatuck Valley Regional Planning Agency (CNVRPA) "received national recognition for the development of the first 'comprehensive' regional plan in the country."[17, p.18]
  • South Western Regional Planning Agency becomes operational
  • 1963 PA 649 authorized state grant-in-aid for open space acquisition by municipalities.


  • 1964 Capitol Planning Region redefined to add Enfield, Somers and Suffield.


  • PA 511 authorized Councils of Elected Officials (CEO) as a type of RPO.
    • "Two or more towns within any planning region defined by CDC may establish Regional Council of Elected Officials (RCEO), which is to consider matters of public nature common to two or more members as well as promote cooperative arrangements and coordinate action among members; elected chief executive represents member town on council"[3, Figure I-1]
  • Rockville consolidated with Vernon, changing the number of municipalities in the Capitol Planning Region.
  • Ansonia Derby regional planning organization formed, soon name changed to Valley Regional Planning Agency (VRPA)
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (Federal Public Law - PL 88-578; 78 Stat. 897) - provided grant-in-aid assistance.


  • 1967 - Midstate region redefined to include East Haddam, which joined the RPO that year.




  • 1971 PA 821 Authorized Regional Councils of Governments (RCOG or COG)
  • "Regional Council of Elected Officials in region without a Regional Planning Agency is authorized to exercise all the powers of such an agency"[3, Figure I-1]
  • "60%+ of towns within any planning region defined by CDC may establish Regional Council of Governments (RCOG), which is entitled to exercise all rights/authority and is subject to all responsibilities/duties of Regional Planning Agencies and Regional Councils of Elected Officials; RCOG must establish Regional Planning Commission (RPC) as subdivision responsible for all planning duties/responsibilities, including regional plan of development; chief elected official represents member town on council, while representative to RPC must be elector of town who serves on that town’s planning commission [Per 1973 Special Act, Hartford has three additional seats on council and on commission]"[3, Figure I-1]


  • 1972 - final geographic regions defined; all but two towns assigned to a region


  • Federal Highway Act of 1973 - required funding for projects within states to go through regional agencies.
  • 1973 "In June 1973, with encouragement from HUD, both agencies [CRPA and CRCEO] merged to form the Capitol Regional Council of Governments."[17, p.11]
  • The mid-1970s saw legislation regarding C&D plans


  • 1976 - "Two or more RPAs may establish interagency committees to recommend policies on matters of interregional nature and may share staff"[3, Figure I-1]


  • 1977 Executive Reorganization Act (PA 77-614) moved the power of defining planning regions from the Office of State Planning to the Office of Policy and Management (OPM). "OPM given responsibility for defining/redefining planning regions as well as other functions related to regional planning organizations."[3, Figure I-1]


  • 1978 - "Formula for distributing State Grant-in-Aid payments to regional planning organizations codified"[3, Figure I-1]

1940s & 1950s - Formation of Regional Planning

1940s and 1950s saw rapid growth in Connecticut - in population, housing, motor vehicles, jobs, and such.[3, p.8]

"The planning law of Connecticut dates from 1918 and the zoning law from 1925, but the regional planning law aimed at bringing together representatives of neighboring communities to work out larger area problems starts with 1947."[11]

By 1946, many states were authorizing state and local planning and/or zoning agencies according to a survey conducted by the Connecticut Development Commission (CDC). The CDC was calling for both zoning and planning legislation to be re-written, as well as calling for regional planning studies to become the first step in any zoning and/or planning on the local level in such a small state. In the interim report to Gov. Baldwin, the economic savings for technical advice was already being highlighted.[18] "By 1947, state law began requiring towns with planning commissions to adopt municipal plans of development."[3, p.7]

1950s - Events during this decade provided the impetus needed to start to move Connecticut's regional planning forward. The Federal Housing Act of 1954 required grant applications to go through regional planning agencies within states. "Connecticut's response, in 1955, was to authorize the Connecticut Development Commission to divide the state into such logical regions."[6, p.3] The process of defining the regions took into account many different factors (a few being: population; news and media usage; development trends; commuting patterns; phone service; parcel delivery, and more). "The process of definition [took] many years, with some final determinations being made as late as the 1970's.".[1]

Connecticut experienced severe flooding in 1955 and 1956. In response, regional studies of major watersheds and flood valleys were conducted[19]. "These studies became in essence comprehensive regional plans for the areas and further pointed the way to organized regional planning in Connecticut."[17, p.2] The previous regional planning enabling legislation was amended by the Connecticut General Assembly (CGA). Along with the Connecticut Development Commission's duty to define "logical regions", many in-depth studies came out of this legislation. Over time, the defining boundaries experienced some minor adjustments.[17]


  • 1947 PA 460 AN ACT CONCERNING REGIONAL PLANNING - enabling legislation.
    • Codified in Chapter 46 of the 1949 Revision of the Connecticut General Statutes. Geographic boundaries were not defined by the state. "The jurisdiction of each RPA would match the boundaries of the towns that actually joined the RPA."[3, p.9]
    • "Contiguous towns may form Regional Planning Authority (RPA), which must prepare plan of development for region within its jurisdiction; representation based on population, with appointments made by planning commission of each member town"[3, Figure I-1]
    • Allowed two or more contiguous towns with planning commissions to form a regional planning authority.
    • "...[I]nitiated by the City of New Haven and its Planning Department...Based on this legislation, the first regional planning organization in Connecticut, the Regional Planning Authority of South Central Connecticut, was formed."[19, p.3]
    • Rather than just towns "[t]he new law gives ALL of the municipalities the opportunity to set up a planning commission and to obtain a plan of development. It repeals the old planning act, Chapter 26 of the General Statutes, Revision of 1930."[9]
    • Development Plan - prepare, adopt, amend a plan of development for municipality.


  • Regional Planning Authority of South Central Connecticut formed. While other towns were joining together to work on regional planning, this was the first RPO (at that time they were called RPAs - Regional Planning Authorities)


  • Federal Housing Act of 1954 ( Pub.L. 83–560, 68 Stat. 590) authorized Sec. 701 grants to official regional planning agencies. Amending the National Housing Act of 1934, the Federal Housing Act of 1954 focused on urban redevelopment policies.
    • " 1954, federal grants became available that would pay for up to half the cost of planning work in metropolitan and regional areas. However, the only eligible recipients were official regional planning agencies."[3, p.9]
    • First major source of funding for regional planning and encouraged regional planning organization to be formed.


  • The Connecticut Development Commission (CDC) was authorized to divide the state into "logical planning regions"; assist in the formation of RPOs; and offer technical assistance to towns and RPOs.
    • " 1955, during the regular legislative session and a special November session, changes were made in the procedures for establishing a Regional Planning Authority. Instead of contiguous towns that could potentially stretch irregularly in several directions, member towns now had to be located within the same 'logical economic and planning regions of the state.'"[3, p.9]
  • "Towns forming RPA no longer need be contiguous, but all must be within same planning region, as defined by Connecticut Development Commission (CDC)"[3, Figure I-1]
  • Chapter 161, Sec. N178, November, 1955, Supplement (Special Session, November 1955)

1955 & 1956

  • 1955 and 1956 Connecticut experienced severe flooding that led to regional studies of major watersheds and flood valleys.
    • With federal funds from the Federal Housing Act of 1954, a planning program began.Regional studies of the major watersheds were conducted. "Among the results of these studies most significant to regional planning, was the recommendation for permanent land use development cooperation through a regional planning effort."[19, p.4]


  • 1957 PA 13 Sections 43 and 44 and 1957 PA 635 covered the formation, authority, duties, and withdrawal from Regional Planning Authorities (RPAs - the term "Agency" soon replaced "Authority", leaving the acronym the same).
  • 1957 PA 635 - Requirements for number of municipalities needed to establish regional planning organization (RPO) (at the time called regional planning authority) and jurisdictions of RPOs.
  • Summer - CDC began developing the logical and economic planning regions, in consultation with municipalities.
    • CDC compiled and analyzed a wide variety of demographics and other information to determine the logical planning regions.
    • "However, it did not make the boundaries public until it was contacted by local groups in a geographic area that were interested in establishing a regional planning authority. At that point, CDC staff set up meetings with municipal officials to discuss the proposed boundaries. After reviewing the feedback, advice, and information from those in the region, the Connecticut Development Commission determined the final definition of the region and announced it publicly."[3, p.12]
    • "Since 1957, the jurisdiction of a RPA has been the same as the state-defined planning region for its area. (Prior to that, jurisdiction was coterminous with the boundaries of the member towns.)"[3, p.15]


  • June - Capitol Planning Region was the first finalized geographic regional planning area (it would be redefined in the future).


  • May - CDC published report on the status of efforts to establish RPOs
    • "which was as follows: one existing authority predating the state study (South Central), which by law was allowed to continue operating; one region with a finalized definition (Capitol); seven regions that had been tentatively defined as of that date (Bridgeport, Central Naugatuck, New Britain/Bristol, Middletown, New London/Groton, Stamford/Norwalk, and Danbury); three regions that had requested a definition (Norwich, Ansonia/Derby, and Meriden); five regions where no action had been taken but there was evidence of homogeneity (Torrington/Winchester, Windham, Putnam/Killingly, Northern Housatonic Valley, and Lower Middlesex); and 13 towns (Andover, Canton, Colchester, Coventry, Enfield, Granby, Hartland, Hebron, Marlborough, Stafford, Somers, Suffield, and Union) that had not been assigned to any region because the studies conducted by CDC failed 'to establish a clearly dominant urban center orientation.' "[3, pp.12-13]
    • "...Technical assistance to local and regional commissions shall be based on respective needs rather than formula spelled out in previous law. Development Commission may also redefine regions, if necessary."[12]
    • "Present regional planning enabling law revamped extensively. The term 'authority' is changed to 'agency'. Municipality without a planning or zoning commission may now join the regional planning agency. Representation on agency recomputed in the case of a noncoterminous city or borough to prevent duplication. Provision made for redefining regions and inclusion of new municipalities at later date. Clarification made of operating procedures of the agency."[12]
    • CDC could define, and redefine, the geographic boundaries for logical planning areas.
    • The need to amend boundaries was recognized.
    • Mandated annual report as well as notifications on the status of the Regional Plan of Development.
    • Enacting legislation for Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs) - spelling out their organization, authority, functions and duties
  • "RPA now means Regional Planning Agency; CDC given authority to define and redefine planning regions"[3, Figure I-1]
    • "Prescribes maximum number of members of board or commission of state or any political subdivision, whether elective or appointive, who may be members of the same political party."[12]
  • Capitol Region redefined to include Marlborough

Prior to Formalized Regional Planning

1900s to 1930s

The Connecticut State Development Commission was established. Economic development was the chief emphasis, but over time planning received increased attention.

  • 1907 "Hartford established the first Planning Commission in the United States" to propose a plan of development for the city. "Comprehensive in that it embraces all urban functions and covers the entire community." {In 9.2: G 74 p.3-1 to 3-2}
  • 1917 "In 1917, towns were given authority to create town planning commissions…" [3, p7]
  • "In 1925, towns were authorized to establish zoning authorities…" [3, p7]  1925 CHAPTER 242 AN ACT CONCERNING ZONING.
  • 1939 Connecticut Development Commission (CDC) established. CHAPTER 199. AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE CONNECTICUT DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION.

Prior to 1900

Connecticut has a long, and strong, tradition of local control. This had a foundation in England, before they settled in what was to become the United States.


  • 1666 - counties established in Connecticut.

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