A zoning permit is a document that is issued by a local authority or a local (municipal) government, which allows a parcel of land to be used for a prescribed use. In more general terms, zoning has to do with the legislative processes of separating land into zones for different purposes, and zoning laws regulate the land and take control over the permission behind what structures are and are not allowed to be built on the land.

To understand what makes a zoning permit different permit think of it this way: the zoning code concerns how a specific land projects fits within a certain community overall, whereas the building permit has more to do with making sure that structures are constructed to fit the necessary standards of safety and use.

We interpret the possible affect of frequently changing governing codes and ordinances for our client’s project and building design.  In addition to managing the entire permit and approval process, we have extensive experience working with Coastal Commission’s guidelines & directives, and making a determination of any potential need for specialized construction techniques.  Our decades of experience working with town building officials, knowledge of FEMADEEPConnecticut River Gateway Commission, zoning, permitting, variances and the appeal process enable our projects to be built with unprecedented success.

Click here to Learn More about the approval process



FEMA’s Region I serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

FEMA Region I works closely with state, local and tribal emergency management partners in New England to prepare for, protect against, respond to and recover from all hazards.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineer

Flood risk management, emergency preparedness and response to natural disasters and national emergencies, environmental remediation and restoration, natural resource management, stream bank and shoreline protection, navigation maintenance and improvement, support to military facilities and installations, and engineering and construction support to other government agencies.



The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is charged with conserving, improving and protecting the natural resources and the environment of the state of Connecticut as well as making cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy available for the people and businesses of the state.  The agency is also committed to playing a positive role in rebuilding Connecticut’s economy and creating jobs – and to fostering a sustainable and prosperous economic future for the state.

Coastal Management

The Connecticut Coastal Management Act [CCMA, Connecticut General Statutes (CGS)
sections 22a-90 through 22a-112, inclusive] requires “coastal site plan reviews” for certain site
plans, plans and applications for activities or projects located fully or partially within the coastal
boundary. Coastal site plan reviews must be conducted for the following applications if the
proposed activity or use is located landward of the mean high water mark:
1). site plans submitted to a zoning commission in accordance with CGS section 22a109.
2). plans submitted to a planning commission for subdivision or resub division;
3). applications for special exceptions or special permits submitted to a planning
commission, zoning commission or zoning board of appeals;
4). applications for variances submitted to a zoning board of appeals; and
5). referrals of proposed municipal projects to a planning commission pursuant to CGS

Part of DEEP, Coastal Management comes in to guide activities taking place where the land meets the sea. In the case of Connecticut, their emphasis is on balancing protection of the fragile coastal resources of the Long Island Sound ecosystem with sustainable economic uses of the shoreline.


Connecticut River Gateway Commission

Nautilus Architects has successfully guided many shoreline homeowners through the FEMA and town zoning approval process. Read More about our successful process here

The Commission focuses on eight member towns Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook lying within view of the river. The Gateway Commission strives to preserve the natural and traditional river way scene and the manages the visual impact of development – primarily residential – along the hillsides of the lower river.


Land use decisions in Connecticut are primarily made at the local level by boards and commissions that are made up of local residents who are either elected or appointed.


In addition to the various agencies that regulate construction activity along the coastline, there are building codes that prescribe special practices to address flooding, wave surges, and high wind pressure.  Another of these is “wind-borne debris.”  Learn More


More About Nautilus Architects.
See our all Current Projects
Nautilus Architects Awarded Best of Houzz 2013
Long Island Roots
Hamburg Cove Medieval Modern