CT tops list of states with tough zoning laws in study

Land use and zoning regulations generally control the development of private land. These regulations are set by local communities by placing limitations on the use and design of parcels of land as well as by putting historic preservation requirements in place.

Although present throughout the country, the volume of regulations has increased — most notably in the northeast.

How did researchers rank Connecticut?

A study out of the Cato Institute reports Connecticut is one of the top states in the country when it comes to tough zoning and land-use regulations. Researchers with the study found Connecticut to have the second most restrictive zoning and land use regulation policies in the country, second only to Ohio. The study listed Delaware, Maine and Vermont in the top five states, while ranking Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Georgia and South Carolina as the least restrictive.

What does this mean for those looking to develop in Connecticut communities?

An increase in zoning regulations is not all bad. According to the researchers with the study, a rise in land use restrictions was directly correlated with increased property values. This can translate to a better return on investment.

However, it is important to note there is a limit. Too many restrictions can impede growth and sideline development efforts. One reason: the regulations can slow things down. These regulations are often enforced at the local level by government officials with a lengthy approval process. There are ways to mitigate these slowdowns. Those looking to develop in an area with formidable zoning and land use regulations can better ensure compliance and approval of the development by seeking legal counsel experienced with the processes in the area.