Statutes & Standards

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Public Interest in the River

Chapter 477a of the Connecticut General Statutes designates the Lower Connecticut River Conservation Zone and authorizes the Connecticut River Gateway Commission.

In 1973, the General Assembly passed a new state law that said the river possesses “unique scenic, ecological, scientific and historic value contributing to public enjoyment, inspiration and scientific study.”

The public act added that “it is in the public interest … to preserve such values and to prevent deterioration of the natural and traditional riverway scene for the enjoyment of present and future generation of Connecticut citizens.”

Sections 25-102a through 25-102s outline the Zone in geographic detail and define the Gateway Commission’s mission and responsibility.

A unique section of the law requires that any revision of “zoning, subdivision and planning regulations” or change in the local zoning map proposed for land in the Zone must be approved by the Commission before it becomes effective.

Links to state law and Commission standards created to meet its legal responsibility may be found at right.

CT River Gateway Commission
sunny sky over the bridge

How long did you say?

In the 1970s, a bridge was proposed that would extend from Old Saybrook to Long Island. That would be roughly ten times as long as the Golden Gate Bridge. Residents and officials in eight river-front towns decided that the Connecticut River Gateway Commission and the Zone were needed as protection against unbridled development.