Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation

Policy and Legislation

The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation keeps members informed about how to advocate for preservation at the federal, state and local level. Government policy greatly affects preservation. Zoning laws, tax regulations and funding decisions can encourage preservation, protect historic buildings and revitalize downtowns. They can also do the opposite - encourage sprawl, destroy established neighborhoods and lead to the destruction of our state's significant architectural heritage. Preservation of Connecticut's distinct architectural heritage resources contributes greatly to the economy of the State and the quality of life for its residents and visitors. It is important to stay informed and support the state's invaluable architectural, historic and cultural heritage. The Trust works diligently to support and shape public policy to protect our state's historic resources in both public and private forums at the federal, state and local levels.

National Trust for Historic Preservation On the federal level the Trust works closely with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to protect legislation that promotes and enhances historic preservation issues and ideas. The National Trust has developed a grassroots network of preservation advocates who work with elected officials to support proven preservation policies. The NTHP Legislative Action Center lists current legislative issues and allows constituents to voice their support of preservation approaches to elected officials. Preservation Advocate News, published by the NTHP is a quarterly publication that provides an in-depth look at preservation issues in Congress, state legislatures and local city halls.

Preservation Action Another national organization is Preservation Action which advocates federal legislation to further the impact of historic preservation at the local, state and national level. This Washington, D.C. based not-for-profit coordinates a network of community activists, preservation professionals, historians, commercial investors and civic leaders which work together to advocate for our architectural heritage. PA monitors federal legislation and keeps members informed of its consequences for preservation through updates, committee conference calls, quarterly national meetings and in-depth policy reports. Their website features "Preservation Action Legislative Watch" and an "Advocacy Toolkit" which includes a step-by-step guide to lobbying on Capitol Hill and at home. They also provide Legislative Issue papers and Legislation Resources.

Connecticut Preservation Action (CPA)  is the statewide lobbying organization for historic preservation.  It was founded in 1981 to mobilize the grassroots to protect and enhance preservation policies and programs. Issues of concern are protecting the historic tax credits and state funding for preservation and heritage granting programs.  Funds for these granting programs come from the Community Investment Act and directed state revenues to the Connecticut Humanities Council and the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. 

Local Organizations Locally, the CTHP is available to work with local preservation organizations to develop strategies for successfully protecting our preservation programs and help local groups enact legislation to protect their communities from sprawl, preserve small town character and revitalize neighborhoods. Our circuit riders are available to meet with individuals and organizations to discuss the best way for you to protect the architectural and historic character of your town. If we don't support and advocate for historic preservation, Connecticut will loose significant architectural and cultural resources, historic sites will close, community life will be undermined and preservation programs wil disappear. For more information about Policy and Legislation or any of the organizations please select from one of the links provided below.

The Community Investment Act (CIA) was passed by the General Assembly in 2005 to address the social and environmental impacts of suburban sprawl on the Connecticut landscape. The legislation, which commanded broad bipartisan support at the Capitol, sought to secure state commitment to the cause of protecting and preserving the quality, character, and desirability of life in Connecticut by increasing funds for the following: the protection of farmland and open space; the preservation of historic sites; the creation of affordable housing programs; and municipal capital improvement projects. These funds come from a fee levied by town and city clerks for the recording of most municipal land use documents. The Community Investment Act represents the work of a broad and unprecendented grassroots coalition of farmers, environmentalists, historic preservationists, and housing advocates. 

For the first two quarters of Fiscal Year 2010-2011 all fees collected will be diverted to the general fund to help cover the budget shortfall. A coalition of advocates from historic preservation, farmland preservation, open space protection and affordable housing fought to no avail against this taking of funds from their legislatively mandated purpose.  Planning is underway summer 2010 to safeguard the CIA in the 2011-2012 budget.  After 7/1/10 please visit for more information.