Regulation

In all facets of life in a civilized world, there are laws to obey and rules to follow.  Businesses are no exception.  While compliance can be annoying, and perhaps irritating, generally speaking it is easier and less costly to know the rules up front and follow them than to be surprised later and face penalties and fines.

When starting a business or expanding into new products or services, it is prudent to check what state registrations, licenses, certifications or permits are required.

Contact the Secretary of State to register your business and your Trade Mark or Service Mark.

Contact the Newington Town Clerk to register your Trade Name.

Register with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services to obtain a tax ID number and to enroll in the sales tax payment system.

Licensing

Contact the Connecticut Economic Resource Center to determine what licenses you might need from the State of Connecticut.

For many specialties, a license from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is required.

Contact the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles for rules affecting Automobile Dealers, Repairers, Driving Schools and for Truck and Bus Inspections.

Contact the Connecticut Department of Banking or the Connecticut Insurance Department for businesses in the financial services industry.

If your business is a Day Care Facility, Food Service Establishment, Motel or Salon (Barber, Beauty, Nail, etc), a Health Department inspection is required. Learn more by contacting the Central Connecticut Health District.

Zoning

The essence of Zoning Law is to designate land uses and development that are compatible with each other, their surroundings and the character of the community. Newington’s Zoning Laws follow its Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) which identifies strategies for growth into the future. The Town Plan and Zoning Commission crafts the zoning regulations and considers applications for specific land uses and building projects.

The Town Planner  is the administrator of the Zoning Regulations. When planning to occupy a rental space, purchase or construct a building or facility or expand or modify an existing building or facility, the Town Planner should be consulted. It is important to ensure your plans can be accommodated given the written requirements for such details as Type of Use, Minimum Acreage, Frontage, Setbacks from Property Lines, Building Height and Density, Parking, Sidewalks, Landscaping and other technical conditions. Applications are commonly required to be approved by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission for Site Plans and Special Permits. Experts such as Professional Engineers, Architects and Attorneys are typically utilized to prepare such permit applications. The Town Planner also provides useful guidance as to how the process works.

The Zoning Enforcement Officer confirms that development complies with the Zoning Regulations. The Zoning Enforcement Officer should be contacted before erecting or changing any signs, whether they are located on a building, permanently constructed elsewhere on a property or are of a portable/temporary type. The Zoning Enforcement Officer is the best source for questions about Home Based Businesses, Food Trucks and other zoning details, as well as to obtain Certificates of Zoning Compliance. The Zoning Enforcement Officer is also the staff for the Zoning Board of Appeals which can provide relief from certain Zoning requirements when there are extenuating circumstances.

Wetlands and Flood Zones

Development of properties can be restricted, impeded or not allowed due to the presence of flood zones, wetlands or watercourses.  In Newington, the Conservation Commission is charged with approving Inland Wetlands Applications following the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations.

The Engineering Department provides staff to the Conservation Commission and should be consulted to

  1. Confirm a location is outside of a wetland, watercourse or floodplain, and
  2. If the property is within such areas, to understand the process for gaining approval to construct or modify any improvements.

The Engineering Department should also be consulted prior to undertaking any vegetation control within wetlands, watercourses and floodplain areas.

The Town Engineer is particularly interested in how stormwater will be managed any time a property is built upon or changed, including regulations for limiting the impact of development on stormwater runoff, called Low Impact Development (LID).  Using a Professional Engineer is typically helpful to understand the Town’s Low Impact Development and Stormwater Manual and to prepare applications to the Conservation Commission.

Construction

Building Permits are frequently required for new construction and renovations, particularly when they include roofing, plumbing and electrical work.  The Newington Building Department in conjunction with the Newington Fire Marshal, enforce the Connecticut State Building and Fire Safety Codes .  Building Permit Applications require a number of items to be deemed complete.  Most Building Permit Application forms can be obtained through this website and applied for online.  Architects, engineers and/or contractors prepare these applications for their clients.

And don’t forget to contact Call Before You Dig when undertaking any excavations, trenching or installing plantings, poles, fences or other disturbances of the ground.

Property Taxes

Like all Connecticut municipalities, the Town of Newington levies and collects property taxes on real property, business personal property and motor vehicles. The Assessor’s Office is responsible for valuations of real property, which are typically updated every five years.  A Declaration of Personal Property must be filed annually by each business entity, even by manufacturers who are exempted by the State from paying taxes on manufacturing equipment. An accountant can be very helpful for completing the Declaration of Personal Property.

Motor Vehicle valuations are generally set by the State of Connecticut based on NADA guides and are applied to all vehicles registered in Newington based on lists provided by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.

 Tax rates, known in Connecticut as Mill Rates, are set annually  by the Newington Town Council based on the tax revenues necessary to fund each fiscal year’s Town budget. Newington’s elected leaders have a long history of conservative, prudent budgeting, providing for a multitude of municipal services at reasonable cost while keeping borrowing (bonding) to a minimum. Accordingly, Newington’s Mill Rates are equitable, and when applied to real and personal property values, typically result in lower taxes than equivalent property in neighboring towns.