Frequently Asked Questions

Not all driveway sealing products are created equal. These products often come in two basic formulations, with either asphalt or coal tar as their main ingredients. While neither product is free of toxic materials, a USGS study has shown that dust from surfaces coated with coal tar-based sealants contain hundreds to one-thousand times the concentration of a class of toxic chemicals known as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) than dust from surfaces treated with asphalt-based products. Coal tar-based sealants were also the largest source of PAH contamination in 40 lakes studied by the USGS, acounting for more than half of the measured PAH pollution.

PAHs are a known carcinogen and a common byproduct of almost any combustion. PAHs can be found at levels ranging from low levels in ordinary burning candles and charred meats to highly toxic levels in coal ash/tar. Coal tar-based sealants have purportedly left PAHs on driveways at levels that would require a hazardous materials handling suit to remove them in the event of a toxic-waste cleanup of a site.

If your driveway is cracked and in need of sealing, please choose an asphalt-based sealing product if you are doing it yourself, or choose a professional who will use asphalt-based sealants for you. If your driveway is structurally fine and you just want to freshen its appearance with a fresh black coat, think twice about adding unnecessary and potentially toxic chemicals to your property.

Motor vehicle repairs on vehicles other than incidental repairs to vehicles registered to the owner of the address must be conducted at a facility licensed by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and approved by the Town Planning and Zoning Commission. The repeated purchase, repair, and sale of motor vehicles from a residential address is also prohibited.

Recreational vehicles, boats, and their trailers may be parked or stored on a lot in any residential zone, provided that:

  • there is no more than one RV or boat/trailer on the property;
  • it is stored in the back yard and screened from view from the street;
  • it is no more than 25 feet in length;
  • it is not hooked up to utilities or used for habitation purposes; and
  • it is not parked in the driveway for more than 24 hours for the purpose of loading/unloading.

If the car is registered at the address and is in the process of being repaired, it can be parked in the driveway or in a garage.  An inoperable and unregistered vehicle can only be stored in a garage.

A family day care home with six or fewer children can be conducted in any single-family residence with a license from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH).  A group day care home with more than six but fewer than 12 children may be approved with a Special Use Permit from the Town Planning and Zoning Commission in addition to a license from the DPH.

If you live in a residential zone, you can bring home one truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 11,000 lbs or less. The GVWR is the curb weight of the vehicle and its maximum rated payload. The GVWR is typically printed on the driver’s-side doorframe. Most stock pickup trucks and vans fall within this weight class (e.g., F-150, F-250, Ram 1500, Ram 2500, C/K 1500, C/K 2500, Silverado, Tundra, Titan).

If the truck is bigger than a typical pickup truck or van (e.g., F-350, F-450, Ram 3500, C/K 3500) or has been modified to carry more weight (e.g., dual rear wheels, heavy duty suspension) then it is probably not permitted.

Diesel trucks should not be left idling during freezing weather.

Windsor’s residential zones are single-family residential zones and as such, do not typically allow two-family or multi-family homes unless they pre-existed before the Zoning Regulations prohibited them.

In limited areas of Windsor Center and Wilson, single-family homes can be converted to two-family or multi-family homes, professional offices or a combination of the above by Special Use Permit from the Town Planning and Zoning Commission, provided that certain criteria are met.  Please contact either the Building Department (285-1960) or Planning Department(285-1980) for more information.

There are a number of recipients of open space cash donations that would qualify for potential federal tax benefits including the Town of Windsor, the Windsor Land Trust, the State of Connecticut and other appropriate Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) organizations.

Yes, you can donate open space to receive a number of possible tax benefits, including reduced property taxes and possible income tax credits for outright donation or a bargain sale of open space to a qualifying open space entity such as the Town or Windsor Land Trust.  Please contact the Assessor’s Office (285-1817) for information on the property tax implications of donating open space.

Yes, custom maps can often be developed and printed to suit your needs if the required data is available.  The cost of the map depends on the size and complexity of the map.

Yes, custom maps can often be developed and printed to suit your needs using our geographic information system (GIS) if the required data is available.  The cost of the map depends on the size and complexity of the map.

Yes, but the commercial resale of the data is prohibited without written permission of the Town of Windsor.

Many of the data layers used in Windsor’s GIS are available free from various government and non-profit websites such as UConn’s MAGIC website or the Department of Environmental Protection’s GIS Data website.  You can also view many of the available GIS layers using the online Assessor’s GIS.

The Building Department maintains an electronic database of residential plot plans or surveys, showing property boundaries and existing structures on many, though not all properties.  You can look up your property and print a copy right at the Building Department counter on the second floor of Town Hall.

The Planning Department maintains site plan files on most, though not all non-residential developments in town.  These can be scanned and emailed, or printed for a nominal charge per page.

The Assessor’s Office maintains an online database of all properties in Windsor, which can be accessed through an easy to use geographic information system available here.

Depending on the type of installation, there may be available grants, rebates, tax credits, or property tax relief.

For questions about the property tax implications of installing green technology, contact the Tax Assessor’s Office by e-mail, by mail at Tax Assessor’s Office, 275 Broad Street, Windsor, CT 06095, or by phone at 285-1819.

Federal tax credits for all types of energy efficiency are explained at the following link.

State sales and use tax exemptions for solar and geothermal systems are explained at the following link.

Geothermal heat pumps rebates are available for from CL&P and solar panel rebates are available from the CT Clean Energy Fund.

Yes, you can have a small windmill on your property to offset your home or business energy needs subject to Zoning Regulations, Building Code, and other restrictions.  You should contact the Planning Department (285-1980) for further information.

Yes, it is called an in-law apartment and it would be limited to use by an elderly or disabled relative(s) and cannot be rented out to unrelated people.  A Special Use Permit from the Town Planning and Zoning Commission is required and there are a number of restrictions on the size and appearance of the accessory apartment.

Yes, you can use a geothermal heat pump to reduce your home or business energy needs subject to Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations, Building Code, Public Health Code, and other restrictions.  With a desuperheater, geothermal (ground-source) heat pumps can also provide free hot water during the summer when the heat pump is operating in air conditioning mode.  You should contact the Planning Department (285-1980) for further information.

Religious institutions are considered places of assembly and must meet specific building and life safety code requirements as well as obtain a Special Use Permit and Site Plan approval from the Town Planning and Zoning Commission.  The home must also be located on an arterial road in order to be eligible for this Special Use.

Thanks to a recent amendment to the Zoning Regulations, any residential property from 7,500 square feet to one acre in area can have up to six hens, with no roosters.  Up to six additional hens are permitted for each acre or portion thereof.  For example, a half-acre lot can have up to six hens and a one and one half-acre lot can have up to 12 hens.  The hens must be contained within a yard or pen, and must be housed to the rear of the main house.

It is a popular misconception that a rooster is necessary for hens to lay eggs.  This is not true.  Hens will begin to lay eggs at six months of age and will happily lay eggs for many years afterwards, with or without a rooster.  They will slow down or even stop during the short days of winter, when moulting, or during times of illness or stress.  You can encourage them to lay during the winter by putting a light on a timer to simulate a longer day but be forewarned, hens are born with every egg that they will ever lay and if you force them to lay all winter, they will live long after they stop laying eggs and will simply be one more mouth to feed.  Some advice:  skip the light bulb, let nature take its course, and you won’t resent the hens being a burden later in life, or if you think of them as pets, having to make a hard choice.  Remember, you only get six hens per acre, whether they are laying or not.

Try stockpiling some eggs before winter sets in.  Unwashed eggs can last for up to six months in the refrigerator if you do not scrub the protective coating (bloom) off of them, provided you wash them before using them.  Another popular option is to scramble and freeze them.

Yes.  There are no regulations prohibiting the interior renovation of an historic home using modern methods or materials, but if you are eligible for and wish to receive federal tax credits for rehabilitating the property, you must observe the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  Make sure to check with the Building Department (285-1960) to see if a Building Permit will be required.

Yes, there are no regulations prohibiting the interior renovation of an historic home using modern methods or materials, but if you are eligible for and wish to receive federal tax credits for rehabilitating the property, you must observe the federal Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  Check with the Building Department (285-1960) to see if your proposed renovations require a Building Permit.

Unless marked as a “no parking zone”, you can parallel park your vehicles at the curb or edge of pavement between April 16th and November 14th.  Windsor’s Winter Parking Ban is in effect from November 15th through April 15th between the hours of 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and no parking is permitted on any street during a snow or ice storm that has been in progress for an hour or more.

If a tree limb is dead, endangering overhead wires, or is otherwise a threat to the safe use of your property, you can have the limb(s) removed in some circumstances.  You should speak to your neighbor first before having any limbs cut.  You should not attempt to cut limbs yourself near overhead wires, you cannot prune a limb beyond your property line without your neighbors permission, and you should not aggressively prune a tree so as to severely disfigure or kill the tree.  The Town will not intervene in nuisance tree issues unless the tree is within a Town right-of-way or open space.

Yes, you can have photovoltaic panels or solar heating panels on your property to offset your home or business energy needs subject to Zoning Regulations, Building Code, height limits, and other restrictions.  You may even be eligible for federal tax credits and local rebates for photovoltaic systems.  You should contact the Planning Department (285-1980) for further information.

Most non-residential uses are entitled to some form of signage and signs are even permitted in limited instances in the residential zones. Political signs are considered protected speech and are not regulated by the town. Due to the complexity of the sign regulations, you should consult Section 3 of the Zoning Regulations and speak with the Planning Department(860 285-1980) staff before purchasing or installing a sign. Site Plan approval and a Building Permit are required to install new signs. In some cases, sign faces can be changed without a permit.

In order to keep any domesticated farm animals, other than hens, on your residential property, you need to have a minimum of three acres. The number of animals is limited by their size and the total acreage of your property (one-half acre for each sheep, goat, alpaca, llama, or similar small animal; three acres for each cow, donkey, horse, mule, or similar large animal).

You can have up to six hens per acre or fraction therof (e.g. a 1.7 acre lot can have up to 12 hens). Roosters are prohibited, so make sure that you buy only hens. Most hatcheries will refund or replace roosters that are accidentally missed in the sorting process (it not always easy to tell them apart as chicks). Hatching from eggs will almost certainly result in unwanted roosters. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a rooster in order for hens to lay eggs and they may actually be grateful that you do not have one.

No animals can be housed and no manure can be stored within 20 feet of any property line or 150 feet from your front property line (not the curb or edge of street). You also need to keep manure piles away from inland wetlands and watercourses.

Motor vehicle repairs on vehicles other than incidental repairs to vehicles registered to the owner of the address must be conducted at a facility licensed by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and approved by the Town Planning and Zoning Commission.  The frequent purchase, repair, and/or sale of motor vehicles from a residential address is also prohibited.

There is no simple answer to this question.  The Zoning Regulations allow home occupations with the following conditions:

  • the business must be operated by the owner or resident of the home with no outside employees;
  • any equipment used should be typically found in the home (e.g., a computer or sewing machine) and incidental to residential occupancy;
  • products or signs cannot be visible from the street; and
  • the business cannot alter the residential character of the neighborhood (i.e. generate car or truck traffic other than typical mail and parcel delivery services), noise, odors or other impacts not typical of a residential neighborhood.

More intensive home occupations than those described above may be allowed by Special Use Permit from the Town Planning and Zoning Commission.  In addition to the applicable conditions stated above, they must also comply with the following conditions:

  • the hours of operation shall be Monday through Saturday between 8am and 6pm;
  • a site plan shall be provided with the initial application;
  • no more than four parking spaces are permitted;
  • no dumpsters are permitted;
  • any special equipment or construction associated with the home occupation must be removed if the business ceases operation;
  • a maximum of three square feet of total sign area is permitted; and
  • the Commission must conclude that the operation will not generate noise, odor, glare, and/or other nuisances that are incompatible with a residential neighborhood.

Typical home businesses include professional offices, small contractor’s offices, word processing services, dressmaking, music lessons, candy and soap making, and artisans.  Examples of inappropriate home businesses are retail stores, florists, art galleries, machine shops, and contractor’s offices that use the property as a base of operations for many employees.

Please consult with the Planning Department (285-1980) prior to investing in a home-based business.

If an application has been filed with the Building or Planning Departments, all materials contained in the files are available for public inspection during normal business hours Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Staff will be happy to assist you and can help explain the contents of the file and how you can participate in the planning process.

Yes, but the dirty wash water cannot flow into nearby catchbasins or wetlands because it contains trace amounts of oils, grease, asbestos and other pollutants that can concentrate to become what is called a non-point source of pollution.

The Town of Windsor has developed a car wash brochure to explain your options for holding an environmentally responsible charity car wash (note – print and tri-fold the brochure for best readability).

For liability and other reasons, staff cannot recommend one licensed professional over another. In some instances, we may have brochures or lists of certified or licensed professionals provided by their respective trade organizations that we could offer you for your convenience. As the quality and timeliness of work can vary significantly from one professional to another, it is highly recommended that you seek references from other sources.

No, you do not need a rooster in order for your chickens to lay eggs. A happy, healthy hen will begin laying eggs at about six months old and continue laying until all of the eggs that they are born with have been laid. Your hens may actually prefer not to be constantly “bothered” by a rooster. Most breeds slow down egg laying in winter unless you simulate longer days with an artificial light on a timer, however, they may outlive their egg laying ability in the long run, resulting in a mouth to feed with no eggs in return.

The Engineering Department has maps depicting the location of water, sewer, and gas lines throughout town that are available for public inspection.  Windsor is served by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) for water and sewer service and both Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG) and Yankee Gas for natural gas service (depending on your location).  Cable television and internet service are provided by both Comcast and AT&T (U-verse) (depending on your location).  For service availability at a particular location, please contact these utilities directly using the links above.

Honey Bees, Bumble Bees, Monarch Butterflies, and other pollenators are under attack on many fronts. Herbicides, pesticides, parasites, and loss of habitat are all contributing factors to their decline.

All of these factors are within your control: at least for the property that you own or rent. While many of us love a lush, weed-free lawn, the fertilizers, herbicides and insectacides needed to keep them that way are part of the problem. If you can settle for a less than perfect lawn, or perhaps only a perfect front lawn, you can create a safe retreat for beneficial insects in your yard by letting the dandelions and clover flower to feed these insects.

By setting up your lawn mower to mulch the grass clippings and setting the blade as high as it will go, your mower will pass over the clover, allowing it to flower; the taller grass will develop stronger, deeper roots to provide enough water and nutrients to the laerger blades of grass; and the mulched clippings wil break down and feed the lawn instead of ferltilizer.

A hand tool called a dandelion rooter can be used to pry up dandelions by the root, effectively killing them before they go to seed. Spend a few minutes a day prying them up as their yellow flowers become visible and very soon you will have a dandelion free lawn without pesticides, making your lawn safer for your family as well as benficial insects.

Grubs are another common pest that can destroy your lawn. They are actually Japanese Beetle larvae that feed on the roots of your lawn. Grub killer may take care of them but may also kill everything else in your lawn, from bees and ladybugs to earthworms; and it has to be reapplied annually. Japanese Beetle traps will certainly cut down on the number of beetles layiing eggs in your lawn but an even better solution is called White Milky Spores, which specifically target Japanese Beetle grubs and nothing else. These natural spores are eaten by the grubs and mulitply by the billions in the gut of a grub until they burst, leaving billions more spores to be eaten by other grubs. While White Milky Spores may be more expensive than grub killer and does not produce as immediate a result, it only has to be applied once and will actually multiply and spread throughout the lawn as grubs eat it and die, becoming more effective over time.

Herbicides such as Roundup and brush killer can do more than destroy the target weeds. They get washed into surrounding areas, killing Milkweed, wildflowers, and beneficial weeds that feed and house pollinators and other benficial insects such as Lady Bugs and Praying Mantis. For major infestations of Poison Ivy, you may have no choice other than a brush killer, but for isolaed plants that occaisionally pop up in unwanted locations, putting on a pair of dispoasable rubber gloves, carefully pulling them out by the roots without letting them touch your skin, and stuffing them in a grocery bag for disposal, will easly keep them in check. Make sure to dispose of the gloves without touching the outside or wash reusable gloves thoroughly with soapy water before removing them.

You can even plant wildflowers, flowering trees, and other plants that are sought by bees and other pollinators along the fringes of your property or even create a small meadow and/or orchard in your back yard.

After a year or two of no herbicides and pesticides, the spread of wildflowers, and the recovery of beneficial weeds adjacent to your property, you will start to notice more Lady Bugs, butterflies, Bumble Bees, and depending on the wildflowers, even hummingbirds. Your vegetable garden will give you more produce from better pollination and your lawn will be lush and free of white grubs.

The most important thing that you can do is to avoid systemic pesticides containing neonicotinoids that indiscriminately confuse or kill all insects, whether they are eating the plant or simply trying to pollinate them.  Avoid excessive use of weed killers that can wash away and indiscriminately kill pollinator food and habitat plants.

Leave portions of your yard wild and/or enhance those areas with wildflowers, herbs, mustards and other pollinator favorites.  Monarch Butterflies exclusively eat Milkweed, so if you see ripe Milkweed pods by the side of the road, grab some and spread some seeds at the edge of your woods or amongst your wildflowers.

If you are lucky, you will attract Hummingbirds as well.

CL&P runs a program called Home Energy Solutions that for a small fee will conduct a home energy audit and provide energy saving devices such as low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Contact with Town Planning and Zoning commissioners, Inland Wetlands and Watercourses commissioners or Zoning Board of Appeals members outside of a commission meeting to discuss matters pending before their board or commission is generally prohibited.  The Town Planning and Zoning Commission, Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals regularly hold meetings and public hearings to hear from both applicants and the public.  With everybody present, people on both sides of an issue will have an opportunity to express themselves and respond to opposing statements if necessary.

Letters to the Town Planning and Zoning Commission or Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission should be e-mailedor mailed to commissioners care of the Planning Department, 275 Broad Street, Windsor, CT 06095.  Similarly, letters to the Zoning Board of Appeals should be e-mailed or mailed to board members care of the Building Department, 275 Broad Street, Windsor, CT 06095.  All letters will be copied and distributed to the respective board or commission members and become part of the public record.

Letters or e-mails sent directly to board or commission members could be construed as an attempt to privately influence their decision so members will be instructed to forward letters sent directly to them to the Building or Planning Department or to bring them to the next meeting to be read aloud into the public record.

Our Citizens Guide to the Town Planning and Zoning Commission explains how you can participate in the public hearing process.

Contact the Zoning Enforcement Officer at 285-1960.  A complaint can also be mailed to the Building Department, 275 Broad Street, Windsor, CT 06095.

Copies can be made for letter-sized documents up to 3′ x 4′ plans during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  If a large number of documents, such as the entire contents of a file are requested, you may be asked to pay in advance and/or return later to allow staff to make the copies at their convenience.

There is a charge of $0.50 per page for letter through ledger size copies and $4.00 per page for 2′ x 3′ plans and larger.

Start by coming to Town Hall to look at our maps.  We may already have information about your property.  If we do not have any information, the information is questionable, or it is more than 10 years old, a state registered soil scientist is required to test the soil and make a report and drawing.  The information from the soil scientist is transferred to a survey of your property by a CT licensed land surveyor.  The regulated distance is then measured and the desired activity placed on the drawing.  If a regulated activity is proposed within a regulated area or will otherwise impact a regulated area, an Inland Wetlands Permit is required.

When building a new home, consider orienting the house to face as close to due south as possible to maximize solar access.  If you want to have the option of installing solar panels for electricity (photoelectric cells) or hot water in the future, make sure that trees will not block the sun from reaching the southern roof of the house.

For a passive solar house, you should plant or preserve large deciduous trees (that drop their leaves) near the house to block the summer sun and provide for passive solar heating in the winter.  Long eaves on the south side of the house can also block the high summer sun from heating the inside of the house while allowing the low-angle winter sun to enter the house to warm slab floors that will radiate heat long after the sun goes down.

By signing up with an alternative energy provider at ctenergyinfo.com, you can purchase 20%, 50% or 100% of your energy from renewable resources such as hydro, solar and wind, but do your homework and beware of “teaser rates” that are too good to be true.  The beauty of electricity choice in CT is that you will still get only one bill from CL&P for transmission and delivery charges, with your new electricity generator itemized on the same bill.

The Town of Windsor participates in a green energy program sponsored by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.  For every 100 households that sign up to purchase renewable energy through the program (not directly from an alternative supplier), Windsor will receive free solar energy components worth $10,000, which can be used as separate systems or combined to create a single expandable system.  It only costs a few dollars extra a month for the average home.  Signing up is simple:  just follow this link.  The money you save from signing up with a cheaper energy supplier can more than offset the cost of participating in this program.  Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too!

To volunteer for a board or commission, click on the following link to find out which boards and commissions have vacancies.  Many boards and commissions are political appointments and membership is apportioned according to the political makeup of the Town Council.  In these cases, vacancies are filled according to party affiliation and candidates are vetted by their respective party’s town committee.  Click on the following link to access an online application form.

You can hold up to a maximum of four sales per year, per address, not to exceed three days in duration each.  Items cannot be displayed within the street right-of-way (generally within 10 to 12 feet of the curb) and any signs advertising garage or tag sales must be legally placed and removed within 24 hours after the sale.

The Subdivision Regulations require that 15% of the entire parcel being developed be set aside as open space.  The open space must be representative of the overall parcel in terms of the amount of steep slopes, wetlands, and other limiting factors on development.

When there is not appropriate or desireable open space located within the development, the Town Planning and Zoning Commission can accept an equivalent amount of appropriate off-site open space or even a fee in-lieu of open space equal to ten percent of the fair market value of the land prior to subdivision (or a flat fee of $3,000 per lot).

When the subdivision is five lots or less and the lots are given to or divided among family members at no cost, there is no requirement for open space, provided that the family members do not in-turn give or sell the properties back to the original owner or otherwise sell the lots.

Chickens need two to four square feet of space each within their coop, with separate nesting areas and perches to roost on. They also need outdoor space, which can be a screened run, a pen, or fenced yard.

They will need protection from predators both day and night. Unless supervised, they will need overhead protection from hawks and other predatory birds, which can be as simple as bird netting that will delay or confuse the predcator long enough for the chickens to reach the safety of their coop. Neighborhood dogs and coyotes are a threat both day and night. Permanent enclosures shoud have burried fence to prevent digging underneath and both coops and small runs can have metal hardware cloth floors to prevent access from below. At night, they will need to be secured from coyote, racoons, weasels, owls and other predators. Double latches on all doors and hatches will confuse clever racoons.

Whether you build or buy a coop, or modify an existing shed, make sure that you have full and easy access to the inside of the coop to clean it periodically. Since your chickens will be outdoors all winter, they will need fresh water brought to them several times a day unless a heated waterer is used to keep it from freezing.

Swimming pool and hot tub water can contain chlorine, bromine or other cleaning compounds that can be toxic to aquatic life, even at low levels.  Whether you or a hired contractor drain, backwash or clean the pool or tub, certain criteria must be met before releasing water into the environment.

Businesses that clean, drain, or maintain private or public pools must register with the CT-DEP for a General Permit for the Discharge of Swimming Pool Wastewater.  Owners of private residential pools do not have to register, but must comply with all conditions in the general permit.

Swimming pool wastewaters may be discharged toward a stream or wetland, or into a storm drain, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The pH of the discharge shall be between 6.5 and 8.0 standard units.
  • The total residual chlorine or bromine shall be non-detectable (less than 0.1 mg/l).
  • The discharge shall not cause foaming or discoloration of any stream or wetland.
  • No algae or sanitation control chemicals are used (other than bromine or chlorine based). Chemicals to adjust pH may also be used.
  • The discharge shall not cause scouring of any stream or wetland.

Acid cleaning, pressure wash, or swimming pool filtration backwash wastewaters may not be discharged toward any stream, wetland, storm drain or catch basin.

Pool owners who live in the Farmington River Watershed and the Phelps Brook Watershed should be extra cautious.

When in doubt, seek the advice of the CT-DEP, Bureau of Water Management, Permitting, Enforcement & Remediation Division at (860) 424-3018.

There are approximately 1,000 in-ground pools in Windsor and an unknown number of above ground pools and hot tubs. That’s a lot of chemically treated water that could make its way into streams and wetlands if not properly discharged. Enjoy the pleasures of a pool, but please be environmentally responsible.

Generally, a residential driveway can be 18 feet wide, except where the driveway flares outward at the street.  There are provisions for the driveway to be wider directly in front of a garage entrance, depending on the size and orientation of the garage.

Unless the driveway is shared between two adjacent properties, it cannot be located within six feet of a side property line without approval by Town staff or the Town Planning and Zoning Commission, depending on how close the driveway is.  Due to the complexity of these regulations, you should consult with the Building Department (285-1960) or Planning Department (285-1980) prior to constructing or modifying a driveway.

Prior to a formal application, various Town staff may meet with potential applicants and be asked to maintain confidentiality until they make a formal application.  This may be due to trade secrets, local competition, or to prevent land speculation in advance of their development.  We will make every attempt to abide by their wishes when appropriate.  If confidentiality is not requested, we may reveal whatever we know.

No, most medications are not destroyed by the sewage treatment process and end up concentrating in the rivers and streams that the treated water is discharged into.  These drugs can affect aquatic life and can even end up in drinking water supplies further downstream.  To dispose of medications properly:

  • follow any specific disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information that accompanies the medication. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so.
  • if no instructions are given, throw the drugs in the household trash, but first: remove the drugs from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter:  the medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who intentionally may go through your trash.
  • put the drugs (or the mixture of drugs with an undesirable substance) in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
  • take advantage of community drug take-back programs (such as the one run periodically by the Windsor Police Department) that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal.

Many issues factor into whether a lot is buildable and there is no simple answer. The availability of public water and sewer; the ability to drill a well and/or construct a septic system; and the presence of floodplain, inland wetlands, watercourses, and topography all factor into whether a lot is buildable. Subdivision approval from the Town Planning and Zoning Commission with valid permits from the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission and/or the Windsor Health Department (where required) are a good indication of a buildable lot. To determine how many dwelling units can be built on a lot or whether a lot can be built upon at all, you may need to consult with professionals such as a Certified Professional Soil Scientist, a Connecticut Licensed Land Surveyor, and/or a Connecticut Licensed Professional (Civil) Engineer.

The Engineering Department has printed as well as digital FEMA floodplain maps that you can review to determine whether your property is in a flood zone.  Where it is unclear from the FEMA floodplain maps whether your property is or is not in the floodplain, you can use our geographic information system (GIS) to look up your property and select the layer entitled “Floodplain Mapping Effective 9-26-2008” on the right-hand side of the page to overlay the floodplain onto your property.  The blue hatched areas represent areas that have a one-percent chance of flooding in any given year, which are the areas used to determine whether flood insurance is required.

Cutting trees, construction, fertilizing a lawn, applying pesticides, or not maintaining a septic system can all affect wetlands.  Non-native and invasive plants can also have a negative affect by outcompeting and displacing beneficial native species.

The application deadlines for the Town Planning and Zoning Commission (TPZC) are as follows:

  • Site Plan Applications, Site Plan Modification Applications, and other applications that do not require a public hearing must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the TPZC meeting at which they are to be reviewed by the Commission;
  • all other applications requiring a public hearing must be submitted by Noon on the first Thursday of the month (except August) in order to be received by the Commission at their next regularly scheduled meeting and scheduled for a public hearing at a later meeting.
  • Applications submitted between the first Thursday in July and the second Tuesday in September must be submitted to the Planning Department at least five weeks prior to the second Tuesday in September in order to be heard at the September regular meeting.

The application deadline for variances and for filing appeals with the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is the last Thursday of the month (except July).  There is no ZBA meeting in August.

The application deadline for the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission (IWWC) is Noon on the Wednesday prior to the next meeting (except August).  There is no IWWC meeting in August.  Applications received by the Commission that the Commission determines require a public hearing will be scheduled for a public hearing at a subsequent regular or special meeting.

The grates cover what are known as catch basins, which are designed to collect stormwater as part of the storm sewer system.  The storm sewer system is separate from the sanitary sewer system connected to your household plumbing and the stormwater is not treated prior to being discharged into a nearby wetland, stream, Farmington River, or Connecticut River.  Therefore, it is important not to dump chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, used motor oil, trash, grass clippings, or leaves into catch basin grates.

One gallon of used motor oil poured down a storm drain can create a four acre oil slick; contaminate up to one million gallons of water; and spread as far as 100 miles downstream from where the storm drain discharges into the nearest river or stream.  This oil coats vegetation and wildlife, causing illness and death.

Detached accessory buildings must observe all zoning requirements for setbacks from property lines and coverage of the site.  In addition, the total floor area of all detached accessory structures on a residential property is limited to 580 square feet and their height is limited to one-story or 15 feet.

There are several exceptions to the rules for setbacks and total area, which are too complicated to explain in this FAQ.  Please contact either the Planning Department (285-1980) or Building Department (285-1960) for more information.

There are a number of rules and guidelines governing the installation of a new fence.  No fence, wall, or hedge over four feet high may be located within five feet of any property line within the required front yard, which is typically the first 40 feet from the front property line.  Your front property line is not the curb or edge of the street:  it is typically 12 feet from the curb or edge of pavement, but can vary from street to street (follow this link to view a diagram explaining fences).

No fencing is allowed within the street right-of-way, which is generally the first 12 feet from the curb or edge of the street, and no fence, wall, or hedge that obscures the vision of motorists or pedestrians can be located within ten feet of the intersection of any driveway edge and the front property line (not the curb or edge of the street).

Fences, walls, or hedges up to six feet high may be located within the required front yard if they are set back five feet from the property line for each additional foot of height above four feet.  No fence, wall, or hedge exceeding six feet in height may be located within any required side or rear yard.

Many stockade fences have a distinct front and back side, with the front being the more attractive of the two sides.  There is no requirement as to which side faces the street or your neighbors, but common courtesy dictates that the front of the fence faces outwards.

Fences can be placed up to the property line but you must know where the property boundaries are (property survey, boundary markers – pins or monuments).  We recommend that you verify the property line with your neighbor before you begin the work to avoid any disputes.

No permit is required for a fence but it must be in installed accordance with Sections 3.1.2B and 14.1.8 of the Windsor Zoning Regulations.

3.1.2B  Fences, Walls and Hedges

  1. Residential Fences, Walls, and Hedges
    1. No fence, wall, or hedge in excess of four feet in height may be located within five feet of any property line within the required front yard.  Higher fences, walls, or hedges up to a maximum height of six feet may be erected within the required front yard if they are set back five feet from the property line for each additional foot of height.
    2. No fence, wall, or hedge exceeding six feet in height may be located within any required side or rear yard.
    3. No fence, wall, or hedge that obscures the vision of motorists or pedestrians shall be located within a ten-foot radius of the intersection of any driveway edge and a street property line (see Appendix 1, page 6).
  2. Non-Residential Fences, Walls, and Hedges

Fences that do not obscure the vision of motorists or pedestrians may be built to a height of eight feet.  Other types of fences, walls, or hedges shall be no greater than six feet in height.

14.1.8  Visibility at Intersections

To maintain a clear line of sight for motorists at intersections, no wall, fence, structure, planting, or other visual obstruction exceeding a height of two feet above the street grade (except for trees with a clearance of at least six feet below the canopy) shall be located within the triangular area formed by two lines measuring 35 feet along each intersecting street line from the point of their intersection and a straight line or hypotenuse connecting those lines (see diagram).

If the Zoning Enforcement Officer determines that a property is in violation of this Section, he/she shall order the property owner to bring the property into compliance within 15 days.

The following code minimums shall be considered part of the approved plan, may be superseded by more stringent submitted specifications, and shall not be considered all inclusive of code requirements.

All pools, even temporary use or storable pools require a Building Permit. An Electrical Permit is required for the electrical work associated with pool installations. Storable-type pools may be plugged into a GFI protected outlet that must be at least 10′ from the pool. This is a Connecticut State Statute.

 

Remember that Pool Safety is the responsibility of the pool’s owner.

A man-made body of water is considered a pool if it meets any of the following conditions.

  • The pool is capable of a water level greater than 24″ deep
  • If it has a permanent water recirculating system

 

Pools and spas or hot tubs require permits to ensure the work is done properly and is approved for the proposed location. The requirements for barriers, fences, gates, latches and the means of direct entry into a pool are designed to provide protection against accidental drowning, particularly for small children. However, nothing can replace direct supervision by an adult.

Residential pools/spas are considered as accessory use structures and must meet zoning and environmental protection requirements.

 

Barrier

  • Barrier (fence, pool wall, etc.) shall be not less than 48″ in height and start 2″ max. above grade
  • Openings shall not allow passage of a 4″ sphere
  • No indentations / protrusions in solid barriers which would create a climbing hazard.
  • Horiz. rails less than 45″ apart must be on inside of barrier w/ 1 ¾” spacing
  • Horiz. rails spaced 45″ or more vertical / picket spacing max 4″ on center.

Access Gates

  • Maximum chain link fence openings 2 ¼” square
  • Maximum diagonal openings (lattice w/ slats etc.) 1 ¾”

 

Doors providing Direct Access to the pool

  • Safety glazing (on poolside) is required in walls & fences enclosing pools that are both within 3′ horiz. and 5′ vert. of a walking surface
  • Barriers on top of pool rim require less than 4″ from bottom of barrier to top of pool rim.
  • Gate material shall comply with # 1-8 above
  • All gates shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device
  • Pedestrian access gates shall open outward, away from pool
  • Pedestrian access gates shall be self-closing and self-latching
  • Other access gates shall have a self-latching device
  • All gate latches less than 54″ above the ground shall be inside the gate and the gate material shall have openings ½” maximum within 18″ radius of the latch. The latch shall not be less than 3″ below the top of the gate.

 

  • Option 1 – Be equipped with an audible alarm when the door and its screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall:
    • Commence less than 7 seconds after the door / screen are opened and shall sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds
    • Have a minimum sound rating of 85 decibels at 10′ and shall be distinctive from other household sounds
    • Automatically reset under all conditions
    • Be equipped with manual means (touch pads, switches) located at least 54″ above the door threshold to deactivate the alarm for not more than 15 seconds when opening the door / screen from either direction
  • Option 2 – Be equipped with a power safety cover in compliance with ASTM F 1346-91
  • Option 3 – Be equipped with a self-closing and self-latching device with the release mechanism located a minimum 54″ above the floor. Swinging doors must open away from the pool area

 

 

Other

  • Pool alarm required
  • Temporary enclosure shall be installed prior to the commencement of the installation of any in-ground swimming pool
  • All pool and spa suction outlets shall be provided with a cover that conforms with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8M, or a 12″ x 12″ drain grate or larger, or an approved channel drain system.
For more detailed CT State Building Pool Requirements click here.

All water bodies (brooks, lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, swamps, etc.) intermittent water bodies (water bodies that periodically hold or carry water, such as vernal pools, intermittent streams, etc.), wetland soils, and upland areas within 150 feet of a wetland soil or water body.

Any activity that discharges storm water or diminishes the flow of water into wetlands and watercourses is also regulated.

Honey Bees, Bumble Bees, Monarch Butterflies, and other pollenators are under attack on many fronts. Herbicides, pesticides, parasites, and loss of habitat are all contributing factors to their decline.

All of these factors are within your control: at least for the property that you own or rent. While many of us love a lush, weed-free lawn, the fertilizers, herbicides and insectacides needed to keep them that way are part of the problem. If you can settle for a less than perfect lawn, or perhaps only a perfect front lawn, you can create a safe retreat for beneficial insects in your yard by letting the dandelions and clover flower to feed these insects.

By setting up your lawn mower to mulch the grass clippings and setting the blade as high as it will go, your mower will pass over the clover, allowing it to flower; the taller grass will develop stronger, deeper roots to provide enough water and nutrients to the laerger blades of grass; and the mulched clippings wil break down and feed the lawn instead of ferltilizer.

A hand tool called a dandelion rooter can be used to pry up dandelions by the root, effectively killing them before they go to seed. Spend a few minutes a day prying them up as their yellow flowers become visible and very soon you will have a dandelion free lawn without pesticides, making your lawn safer for your family as well as benficial insects.

Grubs are another common pest that can destroy your lawn. They are actually Japanese Beetle larvae that feed on the roots of your lawn. Grub killer may take care of them but may also kill everything else in your lawn, from bees and ladybugs to earthworms; and it has to be reapplied annually. Japanese Beetle traps will certainly cut down on the number of beetles layiing eggs in your lawn but an even better solution is called White Milky Spores, which specifically target Japanese Beetle grubs and nothing else. These natural spores are eaten by the grubs and mulitply by the billions in the gut of a grub until they burst, leaving billions more spores to be eaten by other grubs. While White Milky Spores may be more expensive than grub killer and does not produce as immediate a result, it only has to be applied once and will actually multiply and spread throughout the lawn as grubs eat it and die, becoming more effective over time.

Herbicides such as Roundup and brush killer can do more than destroy the target weeds. They get washed into surrounding areas, killing Milkweed, wildflowers, and beneficial weeds that feed and house pollinators and other benficial insects such as Lady Bugs and Praying Mantis. For major infestations of Poison Ivy, you may have no choice other than a brush killer, but for isolaed plants that occaisionally pop up in unwanted locations, putting on a pair of dispoasable rubber gloves, carefully pulling them out by the roots without letting them touch your skin, and stuffing them in a grocery bag for disposal, will easly keep them in check. Make sure to dispose of the gloves without touching the outside or wash reusable gloves thoroughly with soapy water before removing them.

You can even plant wildflowers, flowering trees, and other plants that are sought by bees and other pollinators along the fringes of your property or even create a small meadow and/or orchard in your back yard.

After a year or two of no herbicides and pesticides, the spread of wildflowers, and the recovery of beneficial weeds adjacent to your property, you will start to notice more Lady Bugs, butterflies, Bumble Bees, and depending on the wildflowers, even hummingbirds. Your vegetable garden will give you more produce from better pollination and your lawn will be lush and free of white grubs.

Wash your car at the car wash or on the lawn, not in your driveway.

Recyle your used motor oil.

Dispose of pet waste properly.

Reduce outdoor chemical applications of all kinds.

Switch to plant-based dish and laundry detergents.

Mulch or bag grass clippings and leaves for removal or define a compost pile area outside the regulated area.

The best thing to do with your grass clippings is not to make them in the first place.  If your lawn mower can be configured to mulch the grass as it cuts, the mulch remains in your lawn and naturally fertilizes as it decays.  You can also apply the grass clippings as a mulch around plants in your vegetable garden to keep the weeds down and fertilize your vegetables as well.  You can create a mulch pile by mixing grass, leaves, food scraps (no meat or grease), and garden waste, turning the mixture periodically with a shovel or pitchfork.  The Windsor Landfill will not accept grass clippings (or branches).

Leaves are collected in the fall by Windsor Sanitation on your regular trash collection day if they are placed in 30-40 gallon paper bags at the curb or in a collection bin with a special sticker attached.  Here is more information on Windsor’s Leaf Collection Program.

The HDC regulates the exterior appearance of all development within the Windsor Historic District that is visible from the nearest street.  This includes all buildings, fences, outdoor light fixtures and other improvements visible from the street.  The HDC cannot dictate the color of your house, although you should try to retain the historic color of the house or at least use appropriate period colors.  The HDC also cannot dictate the materials of doors, windows, roofing, and siding as long as the outward appearance of the property is preserved (i.e. the width of clapboard, style of roof shingle, style of window and number of divided lights, style of door, etc.).  Click on the follwing link to view the Windsor Historic District Commission Handbook.

Activity in the regulated area that requires a permit, but has not received a permit, such as:  clearing, grubbing, filling, grading, paving, excavating, constructing, depositing or removing material, and clear-cutting.

AICP stands for the American Institute of Certified Planners.  The AICP designation is a mark of competence and integrity among planners, requiring a broad knowlege of planning principles and practices; continuing education in the latest tools, trends, laws and ethics; a commitment to enriching the profession through education and innovation; and adherence to a strict code of ethics.

GIS stands for Geographic Information System, which is a digital mapping system that links to numerous databases and allows the graphic display of information that has spatial coordinate data attached to it.  For example, the GIS can link to the Assessor’s property database and display the location of all two-family homes, or it can overlay FEMA flood zones onto your property to tell you whether you need flood insurance.

green roof is a vegetated roof that provides a number of environmental and financial benefits.

The soil and vegetation used provides insulation that lowers heating and cooling bills by as much as 25%, protects sensitive roofing materials from UV and weather damage, and reduces the heat-island effects of development.

The green roof absorbs and retains stormwater that would otherwise have to be collected and discharged into wetlands and watercourses, potentially adding to flood conditions.

The vegetation provides rooftop habitat for birds that is safe from predators.

Where accessible, green roofs can be used to provide gardens for flowers and vegetables.

Inland wetlands are water bodies and other areas that are regularly or periodically covered by water due to poorly draining soils.  Inland wetlands can be defined by both vegetation and soil type, though for local regulatory purposes, the State of Connecticut defines wetlands by soil type, with ‘poorly drained’ or ‘very poorly drained’ soils considered wetlands.

Gleaning is the practice of scavenging produce left in the fields after the farmer has taken all that he/she can or wants. Oftentimes, farmers reach a point of diminishing return and picking too much produce only reduces prices because supply exceeds demand. Perfectly edible, though slightly blemished produce is left in the field since retailers can’t sell it. Other times, migrant workers are only available for a limited time before moving on to pick another crop and when their time is up, whatever is left in the field, stays in the field.

Gleaners arrange with both the farmer to pick the leftover produce and a local food bank or other food-based charity to accept the produce. A recent effort in Windsor resulted in over three tons of butternut squash picked and shipped to Foodshare in less than three hours. For more information, click on the following links.

   Society of St. Andrews    Foodshare

Smart growth is a development philosophy that is the exact opposite of single-use suburban sprawl, which has been the predominant development pattern over the last half century. Smart Growth seeks to create compact development patterns that promote walking and mass transit, and reduce environmental impacts by redirecting growth from environmentally sensitive rural areas.

The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission regulates any activity within the regulated area, which is within 150 feet of an inland wetland or watercourse.  This simply means that an Inland Wetlands Permit is required, not necessarily that activity is prohibited.  Within the regulated area, the Commission discourages any activity within the first 50 feet from an inland wetland or watercourse, referred to as the “no disturb zone”.

With Commission approval, you can conduct activity in thw 50-foot buffer, as well as within the inland wetlands themselves, but the Commission’s agent is prohibited from approving even the simplest of activities in these areas.

Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) also known as Neo-Traditional Development is a development philosophy that combines the benefits of historic village development patterns with the reality of modern auto-oriented lifestyles. TND results in mixed-use developments that are compact, walkable, and often transit-oriented; allowing residents and workers to live, work, shop, and play in close proximity; reducing or eliminating the need for second or third cars for most households. TND can be an effective tool for reducing traffic congestion and demand for parking, providing desirable workforce housing, and attracting future economic development.

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is medium- to high-density development within a quarter- to half-mile radius of mass transit services such as bus, light-rail, and heavy-rail, creating a mutually beneficial relationship between residents and/or businesses and the transit services. The availability of transit services allows for more dense development without the land intensive demand for parking, while the proximity of large numbers of residents and/or workers supports existing investments or justifies new investments in mass transit and reduces the need for subsidies.

Any development activity other than a new single-family home requires a Site Plan Application.  The conversion of a single-family home into two or more dwelling units, professional offices, or a combination of the two also requires a Site Plan Application.  Any building expansion or exterior site improvement on a site previously approved by site plan application requires a Site Plan Modification Application.

Any parcel of land in existence prior to July 16, 1955 that has not been split, subdivided, or reduced in size can be split into two lots, provided that both lots conform to all applicable zoning requirements in effect at the time of the split (e.g. minimum lot width, minimum lot area, etc.).  If the lot has been previously split into two lots, a Subdivision Application is required before any additional lots can be created.  If a lot has been previously subdivided, a Resubdivision Application is required.

The State Traffic Commission (STC) requires a Certificate of Operation for all developments of over 100,000 square feet or 200 parking spaces, which in turn requires a traffic study of the proposal. The Town Planning and Zoning Commission may also require a traffic study independently of the STC process when processing a zoning map amendment or other application that is likely to generate significant traffic above current conditions.

Copies are available at the Planning Department at Windsor Town Hall,  275 Broad Street, Windsor, CT or can be viewed online here.

The agendas, action notices, and minutes of all boards and commissions are posted in the Town Clerk’s Office and online here.

A good place to start is with the U.S. EPA, which has web pages devoted to alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

All agendas, minutes, and action notices are published on the Town web site at the following link.

The Engineering Department (285-1861) has printed as well as digital FEMA floodplain maps that you can review to determine whether your property is in a flood zone.

Where it is unclear from the FEMA floodplain maps whether your property is, or is not in the floodplain, you can use our geographic information system (GIS) to look up your property and select the layer entitled “Floodplain Mapping Effective 9-26-2008” on the right-hand side of the page to overlay the floodplain onto your property.  The blue hatched areas represent areas that have a one-percent chance of flooding in any given year (formerly known as the 100-year floodplain), which are the areas used to determine whether flood insurance is required.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation maintains an online Statewide Bicycle Map or you can visit Connecticut Bike Routes to find suitable roads and trails that meet your abilities or needs.

Zoning maps are available for $10 in the Planning Department (285-1980) or can be viewed or printed free online by following this link.

The Official Inland Wetlands Map is in map book form and is available for viewing at the Planning Department (285-1980) service counter.  A digital form of the map is in development and may become available in early 2011.

Free street maps provided by Mail-a-Map and updated by the Town are available at the Town Clerk’s Office and other locations throughout Town Hall or can be viewed online on Mail-a-Map’s website.

Online search engines such as BingGoogleMapquest, and Yahoo all have mapping utilities, and often include added features such as birds-eye aerial photography, satellite imagery, driving directions, landmarks, street views, and more.

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Valley Laboratory Research Farm at 153 Cook Hill Road in Windsor will test your garden or lawn soil for free and tell you what you need to add to your soil to meet your needs. Call 860-683-4981 for more information.

In addition to typical household waste and recyclables that are ordinarily picked up at the curb, the Windsor Landfill at 50 Huckleberry Road accepts motor oil, empty propane cylinders, batteries, electronics, and appliances (items containing Freon are accepted at no charge to residents).  Latex-based paints that have been left open and/or mixed with cat litter and allowed to dry can be deposited in your regular trash.

The Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) runs a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program that collects many household waste items that are not allowed at the landfill such as oil-based paints, stains, polyurethanes, paint strippers, pesticides, household cleaners, etc.   If you cannot make the drop-off date Windsor, you can drop your items off on any of the other participating dates and locations.

There are a number of recipients of open space that would qualify for potential federal income tax benefits including the Town of Windsor, the Windsor Land Trust, the State of Connecticut  and other appropriate Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) organizations.

Not every organization is appropriate for all open space donations.  If the public is invited to use the land for active recreation, the Town of Windsor or State of Connecticut are the most appropriate recipients.  If recreation is limited to passive activities such as hiking or fishing, the Windsor Land Trust might also be a good recipient.  The Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited, and similar Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) organizations are probably not appropriate recipients of open space unless there is no public access and the property will not require supervision over time, since these organizations do not always have local representation that can provide good stewardship of the land.

The Windsor Police Department (688-4545) is ultimately responsible for enforcing the Junk Car Ordinance but oftentimes works with other staff such as the Zoning Enforcement Officer (285-1960) or Property Maintenance Enforcement Officer(285-1825).  To report a junk car, call the police non-emergency number at 688-4545 or email them at police@townofwindsorct.com.

There are limits to what can or cannot be enforced in terms of blighted properties.  Depending on the condition of the property, various codes including the Property Maintenance Ordinance, Building Code, Housing Code, Public Health Code, or Zoning Regulations may be applicable.  The Property Maintenance Enforcement Officer (860-285-1825) is typically the best place to start and he/she will bring the problem to the attention of the appropriate officials to resolve the problem if the Town has jurisdiction.

You can also go to SeeClickFix online or on a smartphone with the SeeClickFix app, to report an issue.

Inland wetlands in Connecticut are regulated by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which delegates their authority to local Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commissions, who act as their agents.  Windsor’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission regulates inland wetlands in Windsor with the assistance of the Town’s Inland Wetlands Agent, Cyd Groff (285-1987).

James Burke, our Economic Development Director, can help you with finding an appropriate location, and tell you whether your business is eligible for local tax incentives.

The Planning Department is also a good place to start and can set up an informal meeting with our Staff Development Team to help guide you through the process of developing your property or opening your business.

Among their many functions, inland wetlands provide habitat for a diversity of aquatic and wetland flora and fauna; filter sediments and pollutants from storm water runoff; provide storm water storage to help reduce flooding; and recharge groundwater.

Inland wetlands are typically a fragile ecosystem that can be easily damaged by the impacts of nearby development, causing the loss of many of their physical and biological functions and ultimately the species that inhabit them.

By regulating inland wetlands, development and other impacts on them can be mitigated or eliminated to ensure their continued functions.

The victory gardens of WWI and WWII increased local food production, helped supplement rationed food supplies, freed up railroad cars and other resources for shipping war materials, and reduced the cost of feeding our troops overseas.  Today the Victory Garden movement is being revived to help reduce global warming and hunger.  A typical food item today travels 1,500 miles from farm to table.  Much of it is produced on huge corporate farms by heavy machinery, shipped using refrigerated trucks and railroad cars, and heavily fertilized and sprayed with pesticides made from oil and natural gas.  It doesn’t have to be this way.

If everybody grew a little something according to his or her own abilities and tastes, we could significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  For the cost of a few store-bought tomatoes, you could grow a basket of tomatoes and they will taste a whole lot better than ones that are bred to be extra firm for shipping, picked green, and gassed with chemicals to turn them red at the store.  Lettuce, greens, radishes, and peas are some of the easiest things to grow and will literally sprout where they land if seeds are spilled on open fertile ground.  If you live in an apartment or condominium, plant a container garden of herbs, tomatoes, and peppers on the balcony or deck.  You don’t even have to buy pots if you use empty milk jugs.  If you live on a small lot, plant a small garden or a couple of your favorite dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit trees (smaller, more manageable trees, not smaller fruit).  If you live on a larger lot, it doesn’t take much more investment or effort to plant a bigger garden.  Plant only what you like, and if you grow more than you can eat, can or freeze it, or share it with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

Try not to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides in your garden if you can avoid it.  By composting your leaves and grass clippings, you can create a natural alternative to fertilizer.  The Windsor Landfill composts all of the leaves and brush collected during the year and the compost is available for free (bring your own shovel).  Various varieties of compost are available in volume from commercial recyclers and from garden and home centers in more manageable bags.

To save storage space and reduce download times, all documents have been converted to Adobe Acrobat portable document format (PDF).  If you have not already done so, you need to install the free Adobe Acrobat reader before you can view these documents.

Economic development creates local jobs and generates significant tax revenue for Windsor.  More than 40 cents of every tax dollar collected by Windsor is paid by Windsor businesses.  Adding to this tax benefit is the fact that businesses do not directly use many town services (e.g., almost 70% of the town budget supports the Board of Education).  The tax revenue paid by new businesses has helped to offset rising municipal costs, keeping taxes low, but thus far has not exceeded annual expenditure increases due to rising costs.