The following publications are useful to those desiring an understanding of the Gateway Commission and its over 40 year mission of protection:
Summary of Gateway Program
This two page summary serves to provide an historic context to the formation of the Gateway Conservation Zone and the Gateway Commission, and describes Gateway’s “two-prong” approach to preservation of the “Natural and traditional riverway scene” in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.
Gateway Mission Booklet
The Gateway Mission Booklet was published in 2011 to highlight the many aspects of Gateway mission of protection.
Gateway’s brochure was produced in 2015 and provides a shorter more succinct version of the Mission Booklet, including a diagram which demonstrates Gateway’s philosophy of “limbing up” tree limbs for view purposes rather than eliminating the trees altogether.
Schematic Map of the Conservation Zone
This map is intended to generally show the extend of the Conservation Zone. For questions about whether or not an individual property is within the Conservation Zone, contact J. H. Torrance Downes at (860) 581-8554 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Structure Height Diagram
Since 2004, height measurement in the Conservation Zone is measured from “existing natural grade” rather than an average grade or a grade manufactured through fill. This change was necessary because structures were being built on the river hillsides that, although measuring 35 feet from “grade” to the peak, appeared to be three and even four story structures when viewed from the river.
Like local land use commissions, the authority of the Gateway Commission is vested in them through the Connecticut State Statutes. The statutory language in Sections 25-102a – t CGS outline the Gateway’s legislative mission, the extent of the Conservation Zone, Commission membership and Town compact membership and the powers and authorities of Gateway over local zoning. Appeals powers are outlined in the statutes as well. In a more recent addition, the authority for the establishment of a four-town harbor management commission empowered to oversee private dock construction is outlined.
One of Gateway’s tools for protecting the “natural and traditional riverway scene” in the Conservation Zone is zoning standards designed to minimize the visual impact of any one structure. Those standards are adopted by Gateway and, as required in statute, promptly adopted into each member town’s zoning regulations. The existing standards were adopted in February of 2004. An updated set of standards, designed to offer more latitude to member towns in how they apply the Gateway mission to local applications and petitions, will go into effect in early 2017.
This table includes information on the numerous properties that Gateway, with and without partners, has acquired since the early 1980s. The land protected totals over 1100 acres and represents over $1,100,000 in Gateway funds expended. Once acquired, Gateway transfers ownership of the land or easements to conservation organizations such as the State of Connecticut and local land trusts for stewardship. Gateway holds no property.