[HISTORY: Adopted City of Norwalk Common Council 7-24-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Certificates of occupancy — See Ch. 30A.
Department of Code Enforcement — See Ch. 35A.
Housing Code — See Ch. 59.
Construction in wetlands areas — See Ch. 60A.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 72.
Excavation and filling of land — See Ch. 97.
Swimming polls — See Ch. 102.
Zoning — See Ch. 118.
Land Subdivision Regulations — See Appendix Part I.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 26, Building Code, adopted 7-25-1961, effective 9-1-1961, as amended.
Nothing in this ordinance or in the code hereby adopted shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding now pending in any court or any rights acquired or liability incurred nor any cause or causes of action accrued or existing, under any act or ordinance repealed hereby; nor shall any right or remedy of any character be lost, impaired or affected by this ordinance.
The invalidity of any section or provision of this ordinance shall not invalidate other sections or provisions thereof.
Nothing in this ordinance or in the code hereby adopted shall be construed so as to have any effect over the present Building Inspector and his assistants, including present temporary assistants, who are in office on the effective date of this ordinance and shall remain in their respective positions with tenure as prescribed in Subsection B below.
The Building Inspector and assistants who are in office on the effective date of this ordinance shall hold office until they resign or are removed by the Mayor with the approval of the Common Council for malfeasance or misfeasance in office, inability to perform their duties or other just cause, in a manner as described in Subsection C below.
The Building Inspector or Assistant Building Inspectors may be removed from office by the Mayor and Council for malfeasance in office, neglect of duty, incompetency or other just cause. No Building Inspector or assistant shall be removed for any reason whatever without having been given notice and opportunity to appear before the Mayor and the Council and to be heard with witnesses and counsel on the question of his removal.
Whenever in this ordinance the term "Building Inspector" or "Assistant Building Inspector" is used, it shall mean the Building Official or Assistant Building Official, respectively.
[Amended 4-22-1980, effective 5-13-1980; 11-13-1990]
The provisions of Article 9 of the BOCA National Building Code/1987 (adopted as the Connecticut Basic Building Code), as amended from time to time, are hereby incorporated by reference.
The Building Official shall be appointed by the Mayor for a term of four years; provided, however, that upon the adoption of this ordinance, the Mayor may appoint a Building Official to hold office from the date of his appointment to January 1, 1984, the term of the Building Official to expire every four years thereafter. Such appointments shall be subject to confirmation by the Common Council. There shall be additional assistants appointed as provided in the Basic Code by the Building Official with the authorization of the Mayor.
The Building Official and assistants shall devote their whole time to the duties of their office, shall exercise supervision over the construction, alteration, repair and removal of all buildings, make all necessary inspections, enforce all provisions of the State Building Code and issue all orders necessary to ensure compliance with those requirements.
They shall receive for their services such salary as may be determined by the Mayor and Council of the City and, before entering on their duties, shall take the oath provided by the City Charter for appointive officers.
The Building Official shall make a detailed report to the Mayor and Council once a month, or more often if required. Such report shall show the number of permits granted and applications refused, together with such facts as may be of importance or as may be requested by the Mayor or Council in connection with the proceedings of the Building Department.
No permit issued or approval granted by the Building Official shall relieve the owner, architect or contractor from responsibility for the safe and substantial construction of any building or structure or for its conformity with the provisions of the Building Code.
[Amended 3-14-1989; 10-22-2019]
Before receiving a building permit for construction, demolition or moving, the owner or his agent shall pay the fees provided for in § 26-8 hereof. Fees for permits are refundable in accordance with the State Building Code Section 114.5. Permit fees include the fees for permits for electrical, oil-burner installation, plumbing and gas-piping work included in the permitted construction, demolition or moving work.
Whenever any work for which a building permit is required has been commenced without first obtaining said building permit, an investigation fee may be assessed in addition to the building permit fee. When assessed, the investigation fee shall be collected whether or not a building permit is then or subsequently issued. The investigation fee shall be equal to the amount of the building permit fee required but in no case shall the investigation fee be less than $200. The Building Official, in his or her sole discretion, may waive the investigation fee clue to extenuating circumstances.
Permit fees for plumbing, electrical, oil-burner installation and gaspiping work done independently and not part of work under a building permit described below in subsections dealing with these trades shall be established pursuant to § 26-8 hereof. Permits for which fees are based upon the valuation of work shall include the entire cost of construction, alteration and repair and shall include the value of all material and labor used, whether or not donated or furnished by the owner. If, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, the valuation of work as stated by the applicant is substantially low as compared with an estimated cost arrived at by cube or area methods, the Building Inspector may require an affidavit by the owner, agent or contractor as to the actual cost of all work covered by the permit before a certificate of occupancy is issued. If the actual cost verified by such affidavit exceeds the stated valuation, the applicant shall pay the additional building permit fee for such differential before receiving the certificate of occupancy.
For plumbing work there is no building permit; a fee shall be charged for each fixture or receptacle intended to receive and discharge water, liquid or water-carried wastes into a drainage system with which they are connected.
When reinspections are made necessary due to faulty workmanship or use of materials not in conformity with the Building Code and a request has been made to the Building Inspector for an inspection or reinspection, as required by the Building Code, such inspections shall be made only following the filing by the owner, or his agent, of an application with the Building Inspector for such reinspection and the payment of a fee.
Sewer connections. All connections to the City sewer system, including repairs to any existing private line now connected to said-City sewer, shall require a permit and payment of a fee therefor from the Building Inspector. No such connections or repairs shall be backfilled or concealed until approved by the Building Inspector or his assistants.
A fee shall be charged and paid for each permit or certificate of approval for an electrical installation up to and including two circuits, and for every additional two circuits or fraction thereof an additional fee shall be paid. A fee shall be charged for all outside underground installations and wiring.
Service installation, repairs or replacements. A fee shall be charged and paid for each permit or certificate of approval for all new service installations, repairs or replacements.
When reinspections are made necessary due to faulty workmanship or use of materials not in conformity with the Building Code and a request has been made to the Building Inspector for an inspection, as required by the Building Code, such reinspection shall be made only following the filing by the owner, or his agent, of an application with the Building Inspector for such reinspection and the payment of a fee.
A fee shall be charged for each permit for the installation of an oil burner.
When reinspections are made necessary due to faulty workmanship or use of materials not in conformity with the Building Code and a request has been made to the Building Inspector for an inspection or reinspection, as required by the Building Code, such reinspection shall be made only following the filing by the owner, or his agent, of an application with the Building Inspector for such reinspection and the payment of a fee.
A fee shall be charged for each permit for the installation of gas piping.
When reinspections are made necessary due to faulty workmanship or materials not in conformity with the Building Code and a request has been made to the Building Inspector for an inspection or reinspection, as required by the Building Code, such reinspection shall be made only following the filing by the owner, or his agent, of an application with the Building Inspector for such reinspection and the payment of a fee.
There is hereby established a Board of Building Fee Review, which shall consist of the members of the Board of Building Appeals established pursuant to Section 124 of the State of Connecticut Basic Building Code. The Building Inspector shall, with the concurrence of the Board of Building Fee Review and the Common Council and after a public hearing held by said Board, establish, alter or eliminate fees with respect to the operation of the Division of Building Inspector, consistent with the provisions of the State Basic Building Code and any amendment thereto. Said public hearing shall be held upon no less than seven nor more than 14 days' notice of the time and place of such hearing, and said notice shall be published in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the City of Norwalk.
Within 90 days of receipt by the City Clerk of notice of the action taken by the Board, subsequent to such public hearing, the Common Council shall act upon the fee schedule. If the Council takes no action within such 90 days, the rates and fees shall be deemed approved, and the City Clerk shall issue a notice so stating, which notice shall be maintained with the records of the Common Council. If the Council votes to disapprove all or a portion of the fee schedule, it may itself establish any such rates and fees or ask the Board to submit a revised fee schedule to the Common Council.
The Building Inspector may, with the concurrence of the Board, establish such regulations as are appropriate for the administration of the provisions of this section.
Before any permit is issued for any construction within the line of a public street, below the grade of the street, the applicant therefor shall obtain a statement from the Highway Department showing that the owners of the land where the construction is to be done have filed an agreement approved by the City Council, waiving all claims of damages in case such construction has to be taken up in the future because of interference with the easement of the public in the street.
No permit required by the provisions of this ordinance for any structure for the erection or use of which any other permit is necessary shall be granted until such other permit is filed with or shown to the Building Official.
[Added 3-14-1989; amended 11-25-2003]
Any person who shall violate a provision of this chapter or the State Basic Building Code or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements of either this chapter or the State Basic Building Code or who shall erect, construct, alter or repair a building or structure in violation of any approved plan or directive of the Building Official or of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this chapter or the State Basic Building Code shall be punished by a fine of $500 or the maximum allowed pursuant to the State Basic Building Code. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
In addition to all remedies provided in the State Basic Building Code, the provisions of this section may be enforced pursuant to Section 7-148(c)(10)(A) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
As used in this ordinance, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- HAZARDOUS BUILDING
- Any building or structure which, by reason of fire, storm, flood or lack of maintenance has caused the walls, floors, ceilings, roofs or foundations to be so weakened or deteriorated as to endanger the safety of persons therein or nearby; also, any portion of building or structure left exposed as a result of the above conditions, thus rendering the building or structure susceptible to fire from within or from the out-side.
- Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:
- A. Shall have legal title to any building.
- B. Shall have charge, care or control of any building as owner, agent of the owner, fiduciary or any other legal representative of the owner or his estate. Any such person thus representing the actual "owner" shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter and of rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto to the same extent as if he were the "owner."
- To rehabilitate, repair and/or alter a building or structure in such a manner as to remove hazardous conditions as defined above. Where a building is not to be occupied after the hazardous conditions are removed, all window openings shall be blocked up with the same material as the walls adjacent to the openings; where glass occurs in doors, the glass shall be removed and the openings filled with material approved by the Chief Building Official.
There is hereby created a Board of Condemnation, which shall consist of the Chief Building Official, Fire Marshal and Director of Public Health. Such Board shall be responsible for the designation of a hazardous building. The findings of the Board shall be determined by an inspection of the building involved and by a hearing of all parties concerned. Any member of the Board may designate an official of his department to represent them at meetings of the Board.
After the inspection of a building has been made by the Board and it is determined that the building is a hazardous building, a hearing shall be called by the Board. Notice of the hearing shall be given by the Board in writing and shall be served upon the owner personally or sent by certified mail to his last known address. Notice of said hearing shall also be mailed to the Historic Commission for its information. If, after due diligence, the owner cannot be found, such notice shall be posted for 10 days in a conspicuous place on the building. The Board may meet and hear the evidence without the owner being present.
At the hearing the Board shall determine what repairs or alterations are necessary or whether total demolition of such building is necessary in order that such building shall not constitute a hazard to public safety. The Board shall also determine and limit the length of time within which such repairs, alterations or demolition of any such building shall be completed. The time so limited shall begin from the date upon which service of such findings shall be made on the owner of the building, and the Board may, for good cause, extend such time for a further period not exceeding 30 days. The findings of the Board shall be in writing and shall be served upon the owner personally or sent by certified mail to his last known address. If, after due diligence, the owner cannot be found, such findings shall be posted for 10 days in a conspicuous place on the building.
Upon refusal or neglect of the person served with a notice of the findings by the Board pursuant to § 26-13B above to comply with the requirements of the order to abate the hazardous condition, the Board shall have the power to proceed as follows: cause to be done all work required to comply with the order and, if necessary, to demolish any building or structure covered by such order. The notice shall contain a quotation of this ordinance and shall recite the date, not less than 30 days after service, after which the Board proposes to proceed, in the absence of compliance with the order or legal action under this ordinance or other law to prevent the Board from proceeding. The City shall have a lien on said building and land for the cost of said work or demolition, which lien shall take precedence over any other encumbrance originating after the commencement of such work or demolition, provided that notice thereof is recorded in the land records within 60 days after the completion of said work or demolition. The City may recover the cost of said work or demolition from the owner by a civil action, which shall not exceed the amount of its cost plus court costs or consider the disregard of notice as a violation of this ordinance, and the owner shall be subject to fine of not more than $500. Each day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
Any decision of said Board may be appealed to the Superior Court within 20 days of said decision.