Town of Bethel, CT
Fairfield County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Bethel 2-24-1976, effective 3-8-1976. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 42.
Driveways — See Ch. 50.
Excavations in highways — See Ch. 54.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 57.
Roads — See Ch. 82.
Trees — See Ch. 103.
Wetlands and watercourses — See Ch. 115.
Zoning — See Ch. 118.

§ 95-1 Purpose.

Because certain procedures in the subdivision of land may not be in conformance with the best utilization of such land and because of a desire to improve the general economy and health of the Town of Bethel, the need for uniform and intelligent subdivision control is apparent. Therefore, pursuant to the authority conferred by the Planning and Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Bethel to adopt regulations governing the subdivision of land, the Planning and Zoning Commission adopts the following regulations, effective June 15, 1971, pursuant to Sections 8-25 and 8-26 of the Connecticut General Statutes, Revision of 1958, as amended, and hereby rescinds all previous regulations covering the subdivision of land.

§ 95-2 Definitions.

As used in these regulations, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSWAY
A private way for vehicular traffic, not less than 25 feet in width, providing access from a street to a rear lot, the area of which shall be computed exclusive of the area of such accessway. Each lot owner depending on an accessway must own his accessway in fee simple. Accessways servicing any rear lot must be paved a minimum of 12 feet in width and not exceed a grade of 12%.
[Added 8-27-1985, effective 9-20-1985]
COMMISSION
The Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Bethel.
ENGINEER
A duly registered civil engineer in the State of Connecticut.
LOT
A parcel of land under one ownership, occupied or capable of being used, developed, or built upon as a single unit. Such parcels shall have been established by a subdivision or resubdivision of land duly approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, or otherwise as permitted by law.
[Added 5-28-2002]
LOT AREA
The total horizontal area of the lot lying within the lot lines, excluding any street rights-of-way. In calculating the minimum required lot area for development and in calculating the number of lots for subdivision, the area of wetlands, watercourses and steep slopes shall be excluded.
[Added 5-28-2002]
RESUBDIVISION
A change in a map of an approved or recorded subdivision or resubdivision if such change affects any street layout shown on such map, affects any area reserved thereon for public use or diminishes the size of any lot thereon and creates an additional building lot, if any of the lots shown thereon have been conveyed after the approval or recording of such a map.
STEEP SLOPES
Refers to land having slopes of 25% or greater as measured in ten-foot contour mapping and consisting of contiguous areas totaling 3,000 square feet or greater.
[Added 5-28-2002]
STREET
Thoroughfare, road, avenue, lane or any other right-of-way, whether public or private, to be used for purposes of public travel.
SUBDIVIDER
The owner of record at the time of filing of an approved subdivision plan.
SUBDIVISION
The division of a tract or parcel of land into three or more parts or lots for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale or building development, expressly excluding development for municipal, conservation or agricultural purposes, and includes resubdivision.
UTILITIES
All required installations within the road right-of-way consisting of, but not limited to, the following: water lines, sewer lines, storm drainage, electric lines, gas lines, telephone lines, cable television lines, etc.
WATERCOURSES
Rivers, streams, brooks, waterways, lakes, ponds, marches, swamps, bogs and all other bodies of water, natural or artificial, vernal or intermittent, public or private. Intermittent watercourses shall be delineated by a defined permanent channel and bank and the occurrence of two or more of the following characteristics:
[Added 5-28-2002]
A. 
Evidence of scour or deposits of recent alluvium or detritus;
B. 
The presence of standing or flowing water for a duration longer than a particular storm incident; and
C. 
The presence of hydrophytic vegetation.
WETLANDS
Land, including submerged land which consists of any of the soil types designated as poorly drained, very poorly drained, alluvial, and floodplain by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
[Added 5-28-2002]

§ 95-3 General requirements.

A. 
Approval required; waiver of requirements.
(1) 
No subdivision of land shall be made, nor shall any lot in a subdivision be sold or offered for sale, nor shall any plan for a subdivision be filed or recorded in the office of the Town Clerk, until a final plan for such subdivision has been approved by the Commission.
(2) 
Notwithstanding any provisions of this regulation to the contrary, the Planning and Zoning Commission, in accordance with Section 8-26 of the General Statutes of Connecticut, may, after proper public notice and public hearing, waive certain requirements of the regulations by a three-fourths vote of all members of the Commission in cases where conditions exist which affect the subject land and are not generally applicable to other land in the area, provided that no waiver shall be granted which would have a significant adverse effect on adjacent property or on public health and safety. The Commission shall state upon its records the reasons for which a waiver is granted in such case. The application fee for the processing of a waiver request shall be $50.
[Added 11-22-1988, effective 1-3-1989]
B. 
All land which is to be subdivided shall be of such character that it can be used for building purposes without danger to health, safety and the general welfare of the community. Where land is subject to flooding, proper provision shall be made for protective flood control measures. The proposed subdivision shall be appropriate to the topography and location, giving due consideration and avoiding unnecessary change to contours and natural features.
C. 
No privately owned reserved strip shall be permitted which controls access to any part of the subdivision or to adjacent land from any street or open space reserved for dedication for any public use.
D. 
In the planning of any subdivision, due regard shall be given to the preservation and potential enhancement of existing natural features, large trees, scenic points and other assets of a community nature. The Commission reserves the right of final judgment as to the disposition of such assets.
E. 
Where a subdivision, in the opinion of the Commission, would require relatively large expenditures by the Town to improve existing streets to serve the subdivision in a safe manner, the Commission may withhold approval of the subdivision until such expenditures have been approved by the Board of Finance or the legislative body of the Town of Bethel or the grading or improvement of said existing street or streets is included in the application for final approval.
F. 
No natural watercourse shall be altered or obstructed unless specifically approved by the Commission. The Commission may require culverts or other subsurface drainage installations where it deems necessary to connect with one or more natural watercourses or to a suitably sized Town structure.
G. 
The Commission may require that easements for drainage, utilities or such other purposes as it deems necessary shall be granted by means of a legally adequate written instrument which shall be prepared, executed and recorded in such a form and manner as may be required by the Commission, at the expense of the applicant.
H. 
The Commission may require larger lots than are required by the Zoning Regulations where it deems necessary because of conditions affecting drainage, sanitary sewage disposal or water supply.
I. 
Water and sewers.
(1) 
All lots in a subdivision shall be capable of supplying adequate potable water and of properly disposing of sanitary sewage. New streets shall have all improvements and utilities required by these regulations and shall make adequate provision for the disposal of surface and stormwater.
(2) 
In the case of subdivisions to which water and/or sewers are to be furnished from a public source, or in the case of a water supply from private community wells or water systems, all necessary mains, branch offsets to each lot and fire hydrants shall be installed as approved by the municipal department having jurisdiction, and without cost to the Town.
J. 
Roads.
(1) 
No building permits will be issued for parcels within the subdivision until the binder course or first wearing surface has been installed and approved, in writing, by the Town Engineer for all roads within the subdivision.
(2) 
When, in the opinion of the Commission, based on advice from the Town Engineer and/or Public Works Commission, there are conditions such as length of the road, number of roads, excessive cuts and fills, etc., the Commission may, if requested by the applicant, assign designated sections to the subdivision at the time of approval. Building permits may then be issued for the lots within these designated sections, when they are completed as required under § 95-3J(1).
K. 
Proposed streets.
(1) 
Proposed streets shall be appropriate to the topography and location, giving due consideration to contours, natural features and existing streets, and shall conform to the objectives of the plan of development. Proposed streets shall be in harmony with existing or proposed principal thoroughfares shown in the plan of development, as amended from time to time, especially in regard to safe intersections with such thoroughfares. When required by the Commission, provision shall be made for future extension of streets into the adjoining land. Construction and layout of proposed streets shall conform to the Bethel Road Ordinance,[1] including, without limitation, adequate storm-drainage disposal facilities.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 82, Roads.
(2) 
When a proposed subdivision adjoins undeveloped land capable of being subdivided, outlet streets shall be provided from the streets in the proposed subdivision to the adjoining property at locations acceptable to the Commission.
(3) 
Where it is possible for a street in a proposed subdivision to connect with a temporary dead-end street in an existing subdivision or to an unimproved street in an existing subdivision left for future improvement as an outlet street to an adjoining property, the plan profiles of the proposed subdivision shall show, and the application for final approval shall include, all work required to connect and complete the improvements and utilities between the proposed and the existing subdivisions. The paved portion of the turnaround beyond the normal pavement width shall be removed, and curbing of the required type shall be installed and the area regraded per Town of Bethel Road Ordinance.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 82, Roads.
(4) 
Dead-end streets.
(a) 
The maximum length of a dead-end street shall be eight times the minimum lot width for the zone in which it lies and shall terminate in a turnaround, the right-of-way of which shall be 60 feet in diameter, with paved level area 45 feet in diameter.
(b) 
Dead-end streets shall provide sole access and frontage for at least four lots.
[Amended 9-1-1987]
(c) 
Dead-end streets which are required to be extended to the property line as an outlet street pursuant to Subsection K(1) hereof shall be considered temporary dead-end streets. The segments of the turnaround on a temporary dead-end street outside the normal street right-of-way width shall be dedicated to the Town for highway purposes, but with the restriction that said segments shall revert to adjoining property owners when the extension of the temporary dead-end street is accepted by the Town.
(5) 
Where the Commission classifies a proposed street pursuant to the Bethel Road Ordinance as other than a local residential street, then the right-of-way of that street shall have the width required by the Road Ordinance for the particular classification made. Where a street may now or in the future carry other than neighborhood traffic, and where the location of such a street is shown on the plan of development, a right-of-way greater than 50 feet in width may be required by the Commission.
(6) 
Proposed subdivision streets shall intersect existing and other proposed streets at right angles for a distance of at least 100 feet from the intersecting street lines unless otherwise approved by the Commission. Street lines at intersections shall be connected by a curve having a minimum radius of 25 feet. Final approval will not be given where streets are shown on the final subdivision plan intersecting with each other at an angle of less than 60º.
(7) 
Where a proposed street or storm drainage system is to be integrated or connected in any manner with a Connecticut state highway, final approval will not be granted until the Connecticut State Highway Department has expressed its approval of said connection, in writing, to the Commission, and all necessary permits have been secured by the applicant.
L. 
Existing streets. No land shall be subdivided nor final approval given until or unless:
(1) 
The right-of-way of the existing street or streets which provide frontage to proposed lots or access to proposed streets is one which has been established as a public highway by any of the various methods recognized by law for the establishment of a public highway, and the right of the public to use said right-of-way as a public highway shall not have been lost by abandonment.
(2) 
The final subdivision plan shows a street right-of-way dedicated for public highway purposes, at least 25 feet in width, measured at right angles from the center line of the existing street right-of-way at all points where land in the proposed subdivision abuts said existing street or streets.
(3) 
No steps required by the Connecticut General Statutes for the discontinuance or realignment of streets or public highways shall have been taken with reference to any existing street which provides frontage to proposed lots or access to proposed streets.
(4) 
Storm drainage disposal facilities on any existing street into which storm drainage will flow from the proposed subdivision are adequate to carry said storm drainage. Where there are no storm drainage facilities on said existing street, or where said facilities are inadequate to carry the additional storm drainage to be created by the development of said subdivision, the Commission may disapprove said subdivision unless the legislative body of the Town approves the expenditures for the construction or improvement of said storm drainage disposal facilities or the construction or improvement of said facilities is included in the application for final approval.

§ 95-4 Application procedure.

A. 
Application for approval of a plan of subdivision shall be made by the owner of record or by his authorized agent by submitting Form BPZ-1, accompanied by the maps and plans as required below.
B. 
Applications may be submitted to the Commission at any regularly scheduled meeting. At this time, the application shall be checked for completeness by the Commission.
C. 
Fees.
[Amended 4-20-2004]
(1) 
All applications and permits filed for pursuant to this Chapter 95 shall be subject to a State of Connecticut land use fee for each such application and/or permit, payable to the Town of Bethel.
(2) 
All applications for a subdivision, resubdivision or conservation subdivision, except those made by a Town agency, shall be accompanied by a fee of $500 and the sum of $225 per lot.
(3) 
In the event of a resubmission of an application for a subdivision, resubdivision or conservation subdivision within six months of withdrawal, the resubmission fee shall be 30% of the original application fee plus any state, public hearing and/or legal notice fees.
(4) 
All applications for a change in subdivision, resubdivision or conservation subdivision regulations and/or amendments, except those made by a Town agency, shall be accompanied by an application fee of $500, payable to the Town of Bethel.
(5) 
Except for a Town agency, each application filed under this Chapter 95 requiring a public hearing shall, in addition to other fees hereinbefore set forth, be accompanied by a $100 public hearing fee, payable to the Town of Bethel. The applicant shall pay any cost in excess of such fees for publication of the notice of a public hearing within 10 days of notice thereof.
(6) 
Except for a Town agency, the applicant within 10 days of notice thereof shall pay the sum of $25, payable to the Town of Bethel, for each published notice of decision.
D. 
The failure of the subdivision application to conform to the requirements of these regulations shall be grounds for the Commission to reject said application.
E. 
An application for approval of a plan of subdivision, in addition to the above, shall contain the following:
(1) 
A written report prepared by an engineer, containing this engineer's approval of the land relative to its ability to support subsurface sewage disposal units. Sufficient test pits shall be dug under the direction of this engineer, and his report shall indicate the nature of the soil, depth of the ledge rock and depth of groundwater. Sufficient percolation tests shall be performed by an engineer so that he may properly evaluate the intended subsurface sewage disposal system, and the results of these tests shall be included in the engineer's report. No percolation test results required under this section will be accepted if performed during the months of July and August. Additional tests must be performed if so directed by the Department of Health.
(2) 
A separate contour plan showing the contours at two-foot intervals, the location of all wetlands, watercourses and steep slopes as defined in § 95-2 of these regulations, drainage areas, existing drainage structures on adjacent streets and all existing buildings on or within 100 feet of the parcel. It shall also show the proposed lot and road layout, and a road profile shall be submitted. Wetlands shall be flagged by a qualified soil scientist with current certification in the State of Connecticut, and field located by a licensed Connecticut surveyor.
[Amended 5-28-2002]
(3) 
A drainage plan prepared by an engineer, showing the proposed means of drainage for the entire subdivision.
(4) 
The plan of subdivision, drawn in ink, on high-grade tracing linen or high-grade Mylar in one of three sizes, 36 inches by 24 inches, 24 inches by 18 inches or 18 inches by 12 inches, and to a scale of not more than one inch to 100 feet, together with seven copies reproduced by black-and-white print or similar process. Said plan shall contain but not be limited to the following information:
[Amended 10-12-1993]
(a) 
Name of record owner of land.
(b) 
Name of subdivision, if applicable.
(c) 
Name of subdivider.
(d) 
Certificate and original signature of a Connecticut licensed land surveyor.
(e) 
Zone in which the parcel lies.
(f) 
North point.
(g) 
Scale of the map.
(h) 
Date the map was prepared, with revision dates when applicable.
(i) 
Boundary lines of the subdivision, with accurate distances and bearings.
(j) 
Total area of the subdivision.
(k) 
Names of abutting property owners.
(l) 
Layout of lots, showing accurate dimensions and bearings of all lot lines.
(m) 
Areas of the lots in acres and square feet.
(n) 
A vicinity sketch.
(o) 
Reference to other maps.
(p) 
Layout of existing streets and proposed new streets, with accurate dimensions, bearings, angles and curve data.
(q) 
Easements and rights-of-way, including those of utilities, sewers and drainage, either on or off the site.
(r) 
Open spaces reserved for parks, playgrounds or other common or public uses.
(s) 
Names of proposed streets, which names shall not duplicate the names of existing streets.
(t) 
Monuments to be installed at street intersections, points of curvature and tangency or curved streets.
(u) 
Building setback lines and minimum square of the appropriate size for the zone in which the subdivision lies.
(v) 
Delineated wetlands, as also required in § 95-4E(2).
[Added 5-28-2002]
(w) 
Areas of special flood hazard as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the Town of Bethel dated February 15, 1984 or later, produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Subdivision proposals which contain these flood hazard areas shall be designed according to the requirements of the Flood Damage Prevention Regulations for the Town of Bethel, under Chapter 57 of the Town Code.
[Added 5-28-2002]
(x) 
Subdivision proposals which do not contain land areas of special flood hazard as defined in Subsection E(4)(v) above shall bear the following notation: "This subdivision tract does not contain land areas of Special Flood Hazard as defined on Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the Town of Bethel, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”
[Added 5-28-2002]
(5) 
A separate plan showing the size and location of all utilities, whether existing or proposed, including:
(a) 
Drainage facilities.
(b) 
Water supply, if other than individual wells.
(c) 
Sewage systems, if other than individual septic systems.
(d) 
Location of public utility lines.
(6) 
A separate plan drawn on polyester film (Mylar) corresponding to the Tax Assessor's maps for the area of the proposed subdivision and lot layout as finally approved. No dimensions or areas are required to be shown on this plan. Upon final approval by the Planning Commission, this plan shall be delivered by Commission to the Tax Assessor.
(7) 
A separate map drawn on polyester film (Mylar), one inch to 800 feet, showing lot boundaries and streets.
(8) 
At the time of the submission of an application, the subdivider shall cause the center line of the proposed roads to be staked out in such a manner that Commission members may properly identify the location of the proposed roads in the field.

§ 95-5 Reports.

Reports from other Town commissions and departments may be required when the Commission deems it necessary, prior to final action on the subdivision.

§ 95-6 Public hearing.

A. 
The Commission may hold a public hearing regarding any subdivision proposal if, in its judgment, the specific circumstances require such action. No plan of resubdivision shall be acted upon by the Commission without a public hearing. Notice of the public hearing shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality at least twice, at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than 15 days nor less than 10 days and the last not less than two days prior to the date of such hearing, and by sending a copy thereof by registered or certified mall to the applicant. The cost of advertising shall be borne by the applicant.
B. 
A copy of such plan of subdivision or resubdivision shall be available at the office of the Bethel Planning Commission not less than seven days before the hearing.
C. 
The applicant must comply with the notification requirements as listed below for any application requiring a public hearing and for an earth removal permit in all cases. The notice provisions of this section shall not apply to a zone change requested by the Commission or to a change in regulations proposed by the Commission or a member of the general public.
[Added 9-1-1987]
(1) 
Based on the most recent Assessor's records on file in the Bethel Assessor's office, the applicant shall compile and submit along with his application a list of the names and mailing addresses of abutting property owners within 100 feet of the subject property, including those owning property on the opposite side of the street.
(2) 
The applicant shall certify to the Planning and Zoning Commission 15 days prior to the public hearing that the notification and description of his application and the date, time, location and purpose of the public hearing were mailed to all abutting property owners and to those within 100 feet of the subject property, including those owning property on the opposite side of the street.

§ 95-7 Action on plans.

The Commission shall approve, modify and approve, or disapprove any subdivision or resubdivision application or maps and plans submitted therewith, including existing subdivisions or resubdivisions made in violation of this section, within the time prescribed by the Connecticut General Statutes, as revised, after the public hearing thereon, or, if no public hearing is held, within the time prescribed by the Connecticut General Statutes, as revised, after the submission thereof. Notice of the decision of the Commission shall be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality and addressed by certified mail to any person applying to the Commission under this section, by its Secretary or Clerk, under his signature in any written, printed, typewritten or stamped form, within 15 days after such decision has been rendered. Such notice shall be a simple statement that such application was approved, modified and approved, or disapproved, together with the date of such action. The failure of the Commission to act thereon shall be considered as an approval, and a certificate to that effect shall be issued by the Commission on demand, provided that an extension of time not to exceed a further period of time prescribed by the Connecticut General Statutes, as revised, may be had with the consent of the applicant. The grounds for its action shall be stated in the records of the Commission.

§ 95-8 Presentation of tentative plans.

Prior to the submission of the subdivision plan as provided by § 95-4 of these regulations, the applicants may elect to submit a tentative plan which shall be accompanied by Application Form BPZ-1. The submission of such a tentative plan shall not be considered as a submission of a subdivision application map or plan as set forth in Section 8-26 of the Connecticut General Statutes, Revision of 1958, as amended. The tentative plan, if submitted, may be drawn in pencil, containing all the information required by a subdivision plan, except that bearings, angles and curve data may be omitted, dimensions may be approximate and layout of road construction plans may be tentative. Contours, location of waterways and drainage data shall be sufficiently accurate to make the proposed plan clear. All existing roads adjacent to the subdivision shall be located and named.

§ 95-9 Contour changes.

Where, in the opinion of the Commission, extensive contour changes will be necessary, a site plan shall be required, showing existing contours at a two-foot interval and proposed contours, also at a two-foot interval. The Commission will consider as cause for denial any changes which, in the opinion of the Commission, would cause a substantial adverse impact upon the surrounding neighborhood.

§ 95-10 Open spaces.

[Amended 8-27-1985, effective 9-20-1985; 4-14-1998, effective 5-2-1998]
A. 
The Commission may require that land be reserved for parks, recreation or conservation in locations designated in the Plan of Development or otherwise where such reservation would be appropriate. Each reservation shall be of suitable size, dimension, topography and general character for the particular purpose envisioned by the Commission. A maximum of 10% of the total tract proposed for subdivision may be required as open space in order to help serve the recreation needs of the prospective residents of the new subdivision. The set-aside land shall be usable for passive recreation and shall not be solely land unfit for construction. At the discretion of the Commission, open space areas shall be owned and managed in one or more of the following ways:
(1) 
Deeded to the Bethel Land Trust or other nonprofit land conservation trust as found acceptable by the Commission.
(2) 
Deeded to the lot owners of the subdivision such that each lot owner possesses an undivided interest in the designated open space area and is jointly and severally responsible for the payment of taxes and maintenance of the designated open space area and subject to a conservation easement in favor of the Town of Bethel or an acceptable nonprofit land conservation trust as required.
(3) 
Held in ownership by individual lot owners as part of their lot and subject to a conservation easement in favor of the Town of Bethel or an acceptable nonprofit land conservation trust as required.
(4) 
Deeded to the Town of Bethel as open space.
B. 
In lieu of providing such open space land as may be required by these regulations, the Commission may request the applicant to provide a cash payment or combination of cash payment and land reserved for open space. Lands offered for open space may be located off the subject property. All cash payments shall be submitted to the Town of Bethel, while land reserved for open space shall be deeded or held in ownership at the discretion of the Commission in one or more of the ways specified above. Such cash payment or combination of payment and the fair market value of land offered (as calculated prior to the approval of the subdivision) shall be equal to 10% of the fair market value of the land to be subdivided prior to the approval of the subdivision. The fair market value shall be determined by an appraiser jointly selected by the Commission and the applicant. In lieu of an appraiser, the parties may agree to use the Tax Assessor's evaluation of the value of the land at 100%. The appraisal shall be completed prior to subdivision approval by the Commission. The cost of such appraisal shall be equally shared between the applicant and the Town of Bethel. The Town's share of the appraisal cost shall be subtracted from the cash payment paid by the applicant.
C. 
The method of payment of any fees under this section shall be one of the following two options:
(1) 
The applicant may submit the entire fee in one lump sum prior to the filing of the subdivision map with the Town Clerk; or
(2) 
The applicant may submit a fraction of such payment, the numerator of which is one and the denominator of which is the number of approved lots in the subdivision, at the time of the sale of each approved lot in the subdivision. The payment obligation shall be secured by a lien against each lot in the subdivision, and the lien shall be filed at the time that the final subdivision plans are filed in the office of the Town Clerk. The lien shall be in a form approved by the Commission and shall be unencumbered by any mortgage or encumbrance having priority over said lien, as evidenced by a certificate of title.
D. 
Fees collected under this section shall be deposited in a municipal fund which shall be used for the purpose of preserving open space or acquiring land for open space or for capital funding of passive recreational or agricultural purposes. The disbursement of such fees must be approved by the Commission and must be consistent with the Plan of Development.
E. 
The open space requirements of this section shall not apply where all land in a subdivision containing less than five parcels is transferred to a parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle or first cousin for no consideration; or if the subdivision is to contain affordable housing, as defined in Section 8-39a of the Connecticut General Statutes, equal to 20% or more of the total housing units to be constructed in such subdivision.

§ 95-11 Trees.

A. 
Within the street right-of-way, trees shall be provided in accordance with the Town Tree Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 103, Trees.
B. 
Within the lot area, no tree exceeding 18 inches in diameter can be removed without the approval of the Tree Warden, unless such tree falls within the building or driveway site.
C. 
Each lot shall contain deciduous trees at least 1 1/2 inches to two inches in diameter in a quantity no less than two trees per each 10,000 square feet. New plantings shall be of the following types:
(1) 
Medium-size trees: Norway maple, thornless honeylocust, tupelo or black gum, Chinese scholartree, little leaf linden.
(2) 
Small trees: flowering dogwood, Pauls scarlet hawthorn, Washington hawthorn, saucer magnolia, Japanese flowering crabapple, hop hornbeam, sorrel tree.
(3) 
Tailored trees: columnar Norway maple, columnar sugar maple, pyramidal American linden.
(4) 
Large trees: Red maple, Sugar maple, thornless honeylocust, sweet gum, London plane tree, white oak, scarlet oak, pin oak, American elm.
D. 
No willow or poplar trees shall be planted or retained within 100 feet of the septic system or drainage system.
E. 
If contours are to be raised 12 inches or more, trees must be removed or an aerating system installed.
[Amended 5-25-1982]
F. 
The larger trees, with expected growth of 50 feet or more, should be planted no less than 50 feet apart.
G. 
Any slopes in excess of 3 to 1 should have suitable ground cover.

§ 95-12 Utilities.

All public utility lines or conduits, including those for power or communications to be placed on proposed new streets, shall be installed underground.

§ 95-13 Sidewalks and curbing.

[Amended 11-13-1979]
A. 
High-density areas, i.e., R-10, RR-10, C, CI, I, IP and RM-O Zones, will require sidewalks of cement concrete or another material deemed suitable by the Commission, at least 42 inches in width and at least four inches in depth, and a suitable base as specified by the Town Engineer.
[Amended 8-27-1985, effective 9-20-1985]
B. 
Low-density areas, i.e., R-20, R-30, R-40 and R-80 Zones, will require a ten-foot graded grass shoulder in all zones, constructed at a grade of 1/8 foot to one foot and graded away from the street or, at the discretion of the Commission, swale.
C. 
Sidewalks shall be set back at least three feet from curbing. Granite or precast cement concrete curbing will be required in all areas which require sidewalks. Asphalt curbing will be required in all other areas when deemed necessary by the Commission.

§ 95-14 Monuments.

A. 
Before the release of bond, all lots shown on a plan of subdivision shall be bounded by monuments which shall be located so as to correctly reference lot lines.
B. 
Monuments shall be installed at all intersections of all lot boundary lines. Where required by the Commission, the location of a major change in direction of a given lot line shall be indicated by a monument. Stone walls, ledge rock, trees or other topographical features shall not substitute for monuments. If such features prevent installation of such a monument, drill holes or brass plugs will be deemed suitable.
C. 
Monuments shall be of stone or good reinforced concrete, not less than four inches square and three feet long, with centers clearly marked. Stone or concrete monuments must be installed at locations outlined in § 95-4E(4)(t). At other locations, monuments may be iron pins or pipe, not less than one inch in diameter and three feet long.
D. 
Each monument shall be installed with at least 95% of its length below the proposed finished grade.

§ 95-15 Roads, driveways and improvement bonds.

A. 
Plans for proposed roads and driveways shall be submitted in accordance with the Road Ordinance and the Driveway Ordinance of the Town of Bethel, which ordinances are incorporated herein and made a part hereof.[1] Said roads and driveways shall be constructed in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth in said ordinances.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 82, Roads, and Ch. 50, Driveways, respectively.
B. 
Accessways servicing a rear lot shall have a monument posted at the entrance. Monuments must be three feet in height, six inches square concrete showing the distance from the road to the house. House number letters and numbers should be clearly visible with a height of three inches minimum.
[Added 8-27-1985,[2] effective 9-20-1985; amended 9-1-1987]
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former Subsections B through E as Subsections C through F.
C. 
The layout of the roadway(s) in question shall have been approved by the Commission, and the linen on which approval is indicated shall be on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
D. 
A performance bond acceptable by the Commission in the form of irrevocable letter of credit, cash or certified check shall have been deposited with the Treasurer to guarantee the satisfactory performance of the work as shown on the plan. The size of this bond shall be determined by the Commission, upon the advice and consent of the Town Engineer, and shall represent its estimate of the cost of the proposed improvements. The acceptability of any such bond or letter of credit shall be within the sole discretion of the Commission.
[Amended 5-25-1982; 9-1-1987[3]]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, Document in lieu of bond, as amended 5-25-1982, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 9-1-1987.
E. 
Release of bond.
(1) 
New roads.
[Amended 11-13-1979, effective 11-26-1979]
(a) 
When all work has been completed, including all required utilities, and so approved by the Public Works Commission, the Commission shall release the percentage of the original bond as specified in the following subsections:
[1] 
Upon completion of excavation, installation of sanitary sewers and/or water lines (where applicable), storm drainage, electric lines, gas lines, telephone lines, cable television lines, etc., and the placement of the foundation course, the Commission shall release 50% of the bond.
[2] 
Upon completion of the binder course and curbing (where required) and the submission of the as-built drawing, the Commission shall release an additional 20% of the bond. Total reduction through Subsection E(1)(a)[1] and [2] shall not exceed 70% of the original bond.
[3] 
The binder course must be in place through one winter season unless exempted in writing from this requirement by the Public Works Commission. Upon completion of the final wearing surface, driveway aprons and sidewalks (where required) and grading and seeding of the shoulders, the Commission shall release an additional 15% of the bond. Total reduction through Subsection E(1)(a)[1], [2] and [3] shall not exceed 85% of the original bond.
[4] 
The Commission shall release the total bond when Subsection E(1)(b) has been complied with.
(b) 
The remaining 15% of the original bond shall be released when the following have been complied with:
[1] 
At least one course of the required paving has been in place through a winter season.
[2] 
A satisfactory instrument of conveyance has been delivered to and approved by the Town Counsel.
[3] 
The as-built drawing has been delivered to and approved by the Public Works Commission.
[4] 
When the roadway has been officially accepted by the Town of Bethel as a public roadway.
(2) 
Other bonds.
(a) 
Where extensive storm drainage or excavation is required, the Public Works Commission may add an additional predetermined amount to the bond to cover this extra cost. The predetermined amount will be released in its entirety in conjunction with the normal bond release under Subsection E(1)(a)[1] if the work has been completed and approved by the Public Works Commission.
(b) 
When, in the opinion of the Commission, other subdivision improvements not connected with roads and utilities are required on the approved subdivision map, the Commission may require a subdivision improvement bond. This bond will be released when the work has been completed to the satisfaction of the Commission.
(3) 
Special circumstances.
(a) 
If construction is not commenced within one year from the date of subdivision approval, the Commission, on the advice of the Public Works Commission, retains the right to withhold up to 10% of the normal reduction under Subsection E(1)(a) to compensate for any increase of construction prices.
(b) 
When, in the opinion of the Commission, based on advice of the Town Engineer and/or Public Works Commission, there are conditions such as length of road, number of roads, excessive cuts and fill, etc., the Commission may, if requested by the applicant, assign designated sections to the subdivision road(s) for the purpose of bond reduction under Subsection E(1)(a) and (b).

§ 95-16 Filing of plan.

A. 
Any plan for subdivision shall, upon approval or when taken as approved by reason of the failure of the Commission to act, be filed or recorded by the applicant in the office of the Town Clerk within 90 days of the date such plan is approved by the Commission.
[Amended 5-25-1982]
B. 
Any plan not so filed or recorded within the prescribed time shall become null and void, except that the Commission may extend the time for such filing for two additional periods of 90 days, and the plan shall remain valid until the expiration of such extended time. All such plans shall be delivered to the applicant for filing or recording promptly after the time for taking an appeal from the action of the Commission has elapsed and, in the event of an appeal, promptly upon the termination of such appeal by dismissal, withdrawal or judgment in favor of the applicant. No such plan shall be recorded or filed by the Town Clerk or District Clerk or other officer authorized to record or file plans until its approval has been endorsed thereon by the Chairman or Secretary of the Commission, and the filing or recording of a subdivision plan without such approval shall be null and void.

§ 95-17 Conservation subdivisions.

[Added 3-27-1979; amended 9-1-1987]
A. 
Purposes. It is the objective of this section to encourage the conservation of existing undeveloped land in the Town within the current zoning density framework through the utilization of more flexible standards and requirements which permit a more creative, attractive and efficient use of land in such a way as to achieve the following purposes:
(1) 
The maximum preservation of natural open space within new residential developments so as to establish a more desirable living environment and to help assure the maintenance and/or enhancement of the appearance, character and natural beauty of an area.
(2) 
The protection of the local ecology and the underground water table, the minimization of flood hazards in downstream areas and the prevention of soil erosion by preserving water bodies, wetlands, watercourses, major stands of trees, steep slopes, ridge lines, significant geological features and other areas of environmental value.
(3) 
And one or more of the following additional purposes:
(a) 
The preservation of the character of existing residential development.
(b) 
The preservation of land for scenic, park, recreational and educational purposes.
B. 
Eligibility. The provisions of this section are applicable to properties located within the Residence R-40 or R-80 Zones, consisting of at least 15 acres in the R-40 Zone and at least 25 in the R-80 Zone and only if a conservation subdivision plan for such a development is approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission after a determination that the purposes set forth in Subsection A will be achieved.
C. 
Permitted uses. The permitted uses within a conservation subdivision shall be the same as those otherwise permitted in the zoning district in which it is located and shall be subject to the same procedures and restrictions as would otherwise be applicable thereto.
D. 
Development standards and controls. Except as specified in this section, all development standards and controls applicable to other residential subdivisions shall be applicable to conservation subdivisions. The following standards are to be considered minimum standards which may be increased in specific instances where determined necessary or appropriate by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
(1) 
Density. The conservation procedure shall in no case permit a greater number of living units on a site than could reasonably be provided under all governing regulations of the Town. The maximum number of units shall be determined by subtracting a percentage of the area of the total tract and dividing the remaining area by the square footage required in the zone where the property is located.
(a) 
The percentage to be deducted from the total tract shall be:
[1] 
Class 1 land: 10%.
[2] 
Class 2 land: 20%.
[3] 
Class 3 land: 40%.
(b) 
The deduction to be made will be based on the different classes of land as determined by a qualified soil scientist whose study shall be submitted by the applicant to the Commission along with the application form.
(2) 
Minimum required lot area. The minimum required lot area for one-family dwellings in a conservation subdivision shall be 20,000 square feet in an R-40 Zone and 25,000 square feet in an R-80 Zone except that larger minimums may be required in specific instances where determined necessary or appropriate by the Planning and Zoning Commission or by the Health Director of the Town of Bethel.
(3) 
Minimum required lot width. The minimum required lot width for a one-family building lot in a conservation subdivision shall be 100 feet in an R-80 Zone.
(4) 
Minimum required yards. The minimum required yards for a one-family building lot in a conservation subdivision shall be 15 feet from all boundary lines, except that where such building lots adjoin private property not included within the conservation subdivision, the minimum yard requirements for the zoning district in which the property is located shall apply.
(5) 
Access to rear lots. The right-of-way servicing any rear lot must be paved a minimum of 12 feet in width and not exceed a grade of 12%. Rear lots, as defined in § 118-2, shall be allowed when deemed proper by the Commission, provided that the means of access conforms to the following:
(a) 
It must be owned in fee simple and be a minimum of 25 feet in width and a minimum of 100 feet in length. The area to be encompassed by the accessway shall not be included in the total lot area as set forth in § 95-17D(2).
(b) 
It must be paved a minimum of 12 feet in width, and the grade shall not exceed 12%.
(c) 
No more than two accessways will be allowed between two conforming lots.
(d) 
An accessway servicing a rear lot shall have a monument installed at the entrance. Monuments must be three feet in height above the ground. The monuments shall be made of concrete and be six inches square and shall contain, on top, lettering not less than three inches in height showing the distance from the road to the house and the street number of the house.
E. 
Open space land areas. All land within a conservation subdivision, which is not included with a one-family building lot or designated to serve as roads or for other public purposes, shall be designated open space land areas on the final subdivision plan. The open space land areas shall be in such locations and of such size and shape and shall have such access as may be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission as being appropriate to satisfy the purposes set forth in this section.
(1) 
Ownership of open space land areas. The ownership of open space land areas shall be divided equally among all owners of one-family building lots within the conservation subdivision, except where all or an appropriate portion of the open space land areas are:
(a) 
Deeded to a recognized organization dedicated to the preservation of open space, and such dedication is acceptable to the conservation organization and to the Town Planning and Zoning Commission, or
(b) 
Offered for dedication to the Town of Bethel, and the Board of Selectmen have voted to accept such offer.
(2) 
Except in those cases where the ownership of the open space land areas is to be vested in the Town of Bethel or an approved conservation organization, the subdividers shall execute and file with the Planning and Zoning Commission such documents as, in the opinion of the Town Attorney, will be sufficient to create a property owners' association responsible for the continued ownership, use and maintenance of all open space land areas in accordance with the following requirements:
(a) 
Membership in the association must be mandatory for each property owner within the subdivision and for any successive lot owners.
(b) 
All restrictions on the ownership, use and maintenance of open space land areas must be permanent.
(c) 
The association must be responsible for liability insurance, local taxes and the maintenance of the open space land areas, including any active recreation areas and related facilities.
(d) 
Each lot owner within the subdivision shall be made responsible for paying his proportionate share of the association costs, and the assessment levied by the association shall become a lien on the property if not paid.
(e) 
The association shall have the power to adjust assessments to meet changing needs.
(f) 
In the event that the maintenance, preservation and/or use of the open space land areas ceases to be in compliance with any of the above requirements or any other requirements specified by the Planning and Zoning Commission when approving the subdivision plan, the Town shall be granted the right to take all necessary action to assure such compliance and to assess against the association and/or each individual property owner within the subdivision all costs incurred by the Town for such purposes.
(g) 
The establishment of such an association shall be required prior to the sale of any lots within the subdivision.
(3) 
Permitted uses in open space land areas. Except where otherwise approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, open space land areas shall be preserved in their natural state, and the use of such areas shall be limited to appropriate conservation, open space and recreation purposes as determined by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Suitable legal agreements, including conservation easements, in form and content approved by the Town Attorney, may be required by the Planning and Zoning Commission to assure such continued preservation and use of open space land areas. A portion of the open space land areas may be designated an active recreation area on the subdivision plan, in a location approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, provided that such designated area remains in the ownership of a homeowners' association. Within such area, structures and facilities for active recreational purposes, including playground equipment, swimming pools, tennis courts and so forth may be constructed and operated for the use of the property owners in the conservation subdivision and their guests.
F. 
Roads. Roads in a conservation subdivision shall either be privately maintained or dedicated to public use. In the event that they are to be privately maintained, the subdivider shall execute the documents required by Subsection E for the preservation and maintenance of open space. In the event that the roads are dedicated to public use, they shall conform in all respects to the Subdivision Regulations and the Town Road Ordinance.[1] All roads in a conservation subdivision, whether privately owned or dedicated to public use, shall adhere to the construction specifications of the Town Road Ordinance.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 82, Roads.
G. 
Application procedures. Subject to compliance with any special standards, requirements and procedures as set forth in this section, the Planning and Zoning Commission may approve conservation subdivisions in accordance with the approval procedures applicable to conventional subdivisions containing three or more lots. The application procedures set forth in § 95-4 of the subdivision regulations shall apply, and a public hearing must be held on all conservation subdivisions.

§ 95-18 Erosion and sedimentation control plans.

[Added 12-11-1979, effective 1-1-1980; amended 11-26-1985, effective 12-15-1985]
A plan for erosion and sedimentation control, covering all proposed excavation, filling and grade work for improvements, shall be required, unless waived by the Commission, for review and approval prior to the start of any work. Said plan shall be prepared and sealed by a professional engineer registered in the State of Connecticut. The plan shall include the information required in § 95-4E(4)(a) through (t) and be drawn to a scale of one inch to 20 feet. Said plan shall conform, where applicable, to the requirements of § 118-47 of the Bethel Zoning Regulations.