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Planning and development Frequently Asked Questions


Q:    What are the zoning area and yard requirements for my property?
A:    Lot area, width, front, side and rear yard requirements, minimum floor area, maximum building height, and maximum lot coverage can be found in the Setbacks, Floor Area Ratios and other height and bulk restrictions can be found in the Town of Vernon Zoning Regulations.
Q:    What is the zoning for my property?
A:    You can find the zoning designation of your property on the Town Zoning Map. Just select zone boundaries on the "More" drop down menu on the right hand side of the screen and enter the property address in the "Find an address" box. If you have any further questions you can contact the Town Planner.
Q:    Why or when would I need a zoning variance?
A:    When your proposed construction does not comply with zoning regulations and adherence to the regulations causes unusual hardship. Please consult Zoning staff with project specifics.
Q:    When is Site Plan approval from the Planing and Zoning Commission (PZC) required to build?
A:    A detailed Site Plan is required for approval by the PZC for all new construction, changes in or on a site, or changes of the exterior of a structure(s) in all planned residential districts, mobile home parks districts, commercial districts, industrial districts, downtown business and residential districts and for all commercial or industrial development in residential districts, unless determined to be a "Minor Modification." See section 14 of the Zoning Regulations for further information on what a site plan should include.
Q:    What is a "Minor Modification"?
A:    A Minor Modification is new construction, changes in or on a site, or changes of the exterior of a structure(s), which in the opinion of the Town Building Official, Town Engineer and Town Planner, will not adversely affect the public health or safety. Minor Modifications do not require a detailed site plan. The Town Building Official, Town Engineer and Town Planner may require plans and may set stipulations to assure the changes to the site or structure(s) are Minor Modifications and will not adversely affect public health or safety. No "Minor Modification" shall be approved if there are any outstanding zoning violations, unless such changes will eliminate the zoning violations.
Q:    How do I report suspected zoning violations?
A:    Zoning Violations should be reported to the Zoning Enforcement Officer, Andrew Marchese. The Zoning Enforcement Officer is located at 55 West Main Street, Vernon, CT and may be contacted at Tel: (860) 870-3636.
Q:    When do I need to submit an Inland Wetlands application?
A:    An application to the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) is required for redesignation of a wetlands area, a change to the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations and/or a permit to conduct a regulated activity in a wetland, watercourse, or upland review area (URA) which are defined as areas within 100 feet from the boundary of a wetland, watercourse, or intermittent watercourses and areas within 200 feet from the boundary of Gage's Brook, Hockanum River, Ogden Brook, Railroad Brook, Tankerhoosen River, Valley Falls Pond, Walker Reservoir East, and Walker Reservoir West. Any activity that the Commission determines is likely to impact or affect wetlands or watercourses may be considered a regulated activity. For further information please contact Brianan Nolan, Town Planner at Tel: (860) 870-3640 or view the Vernon Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations.
Q:    Can I subdivide my property?
A:    The Town of Vernon subdivision regulations currently defines subdivision as "The division of a tract or parcel of land into three or more parts or lots for the purpose, whether immediate or in the future, of sale or building development expressly excluding development for municipal conservation or agricultural purposes, and includes resubdivision." Applications for subdivision or resubdivision shall be made on application forms approved by the Vernon Planning and Zoning Commission and are available HERE. Subdivision applications require review at a public meeting by the Planning and Zoning Commission. View Subdivision Regulations HERE.
Q:    What flood zone is my property in?
A:    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determines flood zone boundaries. The flood zone maps produced by FEMA are the only documents that can legally determine which properties are within a designated flood zone. The FEMA Flood Zone Maps are available on the FEMA website or view our GIS page. Just select FEMA Flood Zones on the "More" drop down menu on the right hand side of the screen and enter the property address in the "Find an address" box.