Zoning Signs in Your Neighborhood

I went out for my run this morning and zipped past this sign down the street from my house. It wasn’t there a few days ago. The homeowner of the house is making a request to the Zoning Board of Appeals in Hartford, as they must want to modify the use of the home in some way. My guess is that they are petitioning to turn the 2-family home into a 3-family home.

So when you see these signs when you’re out and about, how can you find out more about what the owner is proposing? It’s important to know, particularly if you live near the proposed change, as the requested change may directly affect your property value and the property values around you.

Each town has different zoning laws and regulations. Check with your town hall for specifics. In most cases, when the homeowner makes a request for a zoning change, a hearing date will be scheduled and a sign will be posted in the yard of the petitioning property.

Zoning change requests are typically published in your local town paper and sometimes on the town’s website. In most cases, the information (notification in the paper and zoning sign on the property site) is posted at least 2 weeks before the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

You are welcome to attend your town’s Zoning Board of Appeals meetings. The agenda is posted in advance at your town hall and sometimes the town’s website. Attendees are given a chance to provide support for the zone change or voice reasons for disapproval of the proposed change. From there, the Board will request more information or make a decision on the zoning request.

After some digging on Hartford’s city website, I was able to confirm that this owner is proposing changing the legal 2-family house to a legal 3-family house. I am not sure if this will be supported by my neighbors. In the West End, we have an active civic group that has several committees. One committee is the Zoning committee and it is that group’s responsibility to poll the neighborhood to get the sentiment of what the majority of neighbors feel related to the proposed change. There is then typically a representative sent from the group to the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting where they voice the group’s opinion. Dissenting neighbors are also welcome to voice their opinions as well.

Does your neighborhood have a similar type of organization? We seem to think it works fairly well because everyone is kept in the loop on things that might affect our neighborhood.


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