[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Newtown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted by the Legislative Council 9-16-2009 (Ord. No. 91)]
Any land use agency officer is authorized to issue citations for violations of the Zoning Regulations (authorized under C.G.S. § 8-12a) and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations (authorized under C.G.S. § 22a-42g) of the manner provided by this article pursuant to C.G.S. § 7-152c. Any such citation may be served either by hand delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person named in such citation. If the person named in a citation sent by certified mail refuses to accept such mail, the citation may be delivered by State Marshal. The land use agency officer shall file and retain the original or certified copy of the citation.
A citation may be issued for any violation of the Zoning Regulations and Inland Wetland and Watercourses Regulations of the Town of Newtown, State of Connecticut.
The fine for each such citation shall be determined by written fee schedules established by the land use agency, not to exceed $1,000 per day for each inland wetland and watercourses violation and not to exceed $150 per day for zoning violations, payable to the Town of Newtown.
Any person receiving such a citation shall be allowed a period of 10 days from his or her fine receipt of the citation to make an uncontested payment of the fine specified in the citation to the Town.
If a person who has been issued a citation does not make uncontested payment of the fine specified in the citation to the Town within the time allowed under § 158-4 of this article, the land use agency officer shall send a notice to the person cited, informing such person:
Of the allegations against him or her and the amount of the fines;
That the person cited may contest liability before a hearing officer appointed by the First Selectman of the Town of Newtown, as provided in § 158-9 of this article, by delivering, in person or by mail, within 10 days of the date of the notice, a written demand for a hearing;
That if the person cited does not demand such a hearing, an assessment and judgment shall be entered against him or her; and
That such judgment may issue without further notice.
If the person who is sent notice pursuant to § 158-5 of this article wishes to admit liability for any alleged violation, he or she may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fine, either in person or by mail to the Town of Newtown. Such payment shall be inadmissible in any proceeding, civil or criminal, to establish the conduct of such person or other person making the payment. Any person who does not deliver a written demand for a hearing within 10 days of the date of the notice described in § 158-5 of this article shall be deemed to have admitted liability, and the land use agency officer shall certify to the hearing officer that such person has failed to respond. The hearing officer shall thereupon enter and assess the fines provided for by this article and shall follow the procedures set forth in § 158-8 of this article.
Any person who requests a hearing shall be given written notice of the date, time and place for the hearing. Such hearing shall be held not less than 15 days nor more than 30 days from the date of the mailing of notice, provided the hearing officer shall grant, upon good cause shown, any reasonable request by any interested party for postponement or continuance. The presence of the land use agency officer shall be required at the hearing if requested by the person who was issued the citation. A person wishing to contest liability shall appear at the hearing and may present evidence in his or her behalf. The land use agency officer may present evidence on behalf of the municipality. If person who received the citation fails to appear, the hearing officer may enter an assessment by default against him or her upon a finding of proper notice and liability under the applicable provisions of the Town of Newtown regulations. The hearing officer may accept written information by mail from the person who received the citation and may determine thereby that the appearance of such person is unnecessary. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with such methods of proof as he or she deems fair and appropriate. The rules regarding the admissibility of evidence shall not be strictly applied, but all testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. The hearing officer shall announce his or her decision at the end of the hearing. If the hearing officer determines that the person who received the citation is not liable, the hearing officer shall dismiss the matter and enter that determination in writing accordingly. If the hearing officer determines that the person who received the citation is liable for the violation, the hearing officer shall forthwith enter and assess the fines against such person as provided by this article.
If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the hearing officer shall send by first class mail a notice of the assessment to the person found liable and shall file, not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months after with the Clerk of the Superior Court for Geographical Three, together with an entry fee of $8. Further proceedings may then be held pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes.
The First Selectman of Newtown shall appoint one or more citation hearing officers to conduct the hearings provided by this article. The hearing officer may not be a Town of Newtown employee.