[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Norwalk Common Council 4-24-1984, amended in its entirety 10-27-2015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
No person shall demolish any building, structure or part thereof without first obtaining a permit for the particular demolition undertaking from the Chief Building Official. Such permit shall be issued except as otherwise provided in this chapter and pursuant to Section 29-406 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
When the building, structure or exterior part thereof to be demolished is at least 50 years old (hereinafter referred to as the "building or structure"), then no permit shall be issued except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter in addition to Section 29-406 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
Any application to the Chief Building Official for a permit to demolish any structure, pursuant to the provisions of § 55-2, shall be subject to the following procedure:
The application for a demolition permit shall include the following information: address of building or structure to be demolished; name and address of owner(s) of the structure to be demolished; age of the building or structure; square footage to be demolished; current photograph of building or structure and the names and addresses of the owners of all properties adjoining the property on which the building or structure to be demolished is located, according to an attached copy of a pertinent portion of the current assessor's map.
Within 10 days of the initial submission of an application for a permit to demolish a building or structure, the applicant shall:
Publish in a local newspaper having general circulation in the City of Norwalk a notice of intent to demolish (hereinafter referred to as the "notice").
Mail copies of such notice to the owners of all properties adjoining the property on which the structure to be demolished is situated.
Mail copies of the notice to the Norwalk Historical Commission, Executive Director of Planning and Zoning and any individual, firm, corporation, organization or other entity which has requested, in writing, from the Chief Building Official, copies of any such notices filed pursuant to this chapter.
Post in a conspicuous location on the property on which the building or structure is situated a sign at least 24 inches by 36 inches in size visible from the nearest street or other accessway adjoining the property. Such sign shall include copy of the notice and shall contain the word "demolition" in capital letters no less than two inches in height. The sign required hereunder shall remain posted on the property if the permit is issued until the completion of all demolition activities authorized by the permit.
Within 14 days after the initial submission of the application, the applicant shall file with the Chief Building Official a statement verified under oath on a form approved by the Chief Building Official certifying that all of the notice requirements of this chapter have been complied with and attaching thereto a copy of the notice and evidence of publication. Upon filing the certification statement, the application is deemed filed. If any notice requirement is not complied with, the Chief Building Official shall reject the application as incomplete.
In the event that a written, acknowledged objection, stating the reasons for opposing demolition is filed with the Chief Building Official within 21 days after filing the certification statement as required by § 55-3, above, the Chief Building Official shall not issue the permit until 120 days after the application is deemed filed. If no such written objection is filed, the Chief Building Official may issue the demolition permit, provided that all other requirements have been complied with.
In no event shall the issuance of a demolition permit be delayed, if its application has not been withdrawn, for more than 120 days from the date the application is deemed filed.
This chapter shall not apply to any structure determined to be unsafe by the Chief Building Official according to Section 12.0 of the State of Connecticut Basic Building Code or as defined as a hazardous building under § 26-11 of the Norwalk Code. This chapter shall also not apply to any structure that is less than 400 square feet in size.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the City of Norwalk, to establish a procedure whereby owners of buildings with significant historic characteristics will be informed of the economic, tax, aesthetic and other benefits of historic preservation and to further the preservation, rehabilitation and reuse of architecturally significant buildings and structures by providing adequate time for all parties to consider and put forth appropriate development alternatives to demolition, including attempts to find a purchaser who will retain or remove such historic or architecturally significant building or structure or who will present some other reasonable alternative to the last resort of demolition.
The Norwalk Historical Commission may hold a public hearing on any application to which an objection has been filed and may issue recommendations on alternatives to demolition to the Chief Building Official.
In addition to other penalties and remedies provided by law, each violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100, with each day of such violation constituting a separate violation.
If demolition is not commenced within six months after issuance of a permit, the Chief Building Official shall declare the permit null and void.
The Chief Building Official shall issue an annual report to the Mayor, the Common Council, and the Historical Commission concerning the number of demolition applications filed, the number of applications subject to Chapter 55, the number of applications that were objected to and whether these buildings and structures were actually demolished.