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City of Norwalk, CT
Fairfield County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Norwalk Common Council 6-9-1992; amended in its entirety 12-22-1998. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building Code — See Ch. 26.
Conservation Commission — See Ch. 35.
Flood and Erosion Control Board — See Ch. 43.
Excavating and filling of land — See Ch. 97.
Zoning — See Ch. 118.
Land subdivision regulations — See Appendix Part I.
A. 
These regulations shall be known as the "Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations of the City of Norwalk."
B. 
The regulations have been prepared by the Norwalk Conservation Commission in accordance with the provisions of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (Sections 22a-36 to 22a-45, inclusive of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended) as authorized by the Common Council of the City of Norwalk in an ordinance adopted on February 12, 1974.
C. 
These regulations have been adopted and may be amended from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act and these regulations.
D. 
Purpose.
(1) 
The inland wetlands and watercourses are an interrelated web of nature essential to an adequate supply of surface and underground water, to hydrological stability and control of flooding and erosion, to the recharging and purification of groundwater and to the existence of many forms of animal, aquatic and plant life.
(2) 
It is, therefore, the purpose of these regulations to protect the citizens of Norwalk by making provisions for the preservation, protection, maintenance and use of the inland wetlands and watercourses.
As used in these regulations, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGENCY
The Norwalk Conservation Commission.
ALLUVIAL SOIL
Soil consisting of sand, silt or clay, deposited on land by streams.
AQUIC SOIL MOISTURE REGIME
The root zone of a soil (upper 30 inches) that is saturated, anaerobic and the capillary fringe reaches the surface for a length of time during the growing season.
BOG
A poorly drained acidic area containing an accumulation of organic material and characterized by an association of plants recognized as bog species, listed in the booklet titled "Inland Wetland Plants of Connecticut," May 1973.
BUFFER
The area between the wetland and/or watercourse and the closest area of activity or disturbance.
CLEAR CUTTING
The harvest of timber products in a fashion which removes all species of trees down to a two-inch diameter at breast height.
CONTINUAL FLOW
A flow of water which persists for an extended period of time. This flow may be interrupted during periods of drought or during the low flow period of the annual hydrological cycle, June through September, but it recurs in prolonged succession.
DEPOSIT
Includes, but shall not be limited to, fill, grade, dump, place, discharge or emit.
DESIGNATED AGENT
Individual(s) designated by the Agency to carry out its functions and purposes.
DISCHARGE
The emission of any water substances or material into watercourses or wetlands, whether or not such substance causes pollution.
DISTURBING THE NATURAL AND INDIGENOUS CHARACTER OF THE WETLAND OR WATERCOURSE
Activity that will significantly alter the inland wetlands and watercourses by reason of removal or deposition of material, clear cutting, alteration or obstruction of water flow or will result in the pollution of the wetlands or watercourses.
ESSENTIAL TO THE FARMING OPERATION
Activity proposed is necessary and indispensable to sustain farming activities on the farm.
FARMING
The use of any tract of land for growing crops, raising livestock or other agricultural purposes.
FEASIBLE
The ability to be constructed or implemented consistent with sound engineering principles.
FLOODPLAIN SOIL
Alluvial soil deposited along watercourses by floodwaters.
GARDENING
The tilling of soil and the planting, cultivating and harvesting of vegetable matter.
GRAZING
Using any tract of land to feed or supply farm animals with grass or pasture, to tend farm animals or to feed or grow silage and herbage.
HARVESTING OF CROPS
The gathering of plants or animals or plant or animal products which have been grown to be harvested.
MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
A practice, procedure, activity, structure or facility designed to prevent pollution or other environmental damage or to maintain or enhance existing environmental quality. Such management practices include, but are not limited to: erosion and sedimentation controls, restrictions on land use or development, construction setbacks from wetlands or watercourses, proper disposal of waste materials, procedures for equipment maintenance to prevent fuel spillage, construction methods to prevent flooding or disturbance of wetlands or watercourses, procedures for maintaining continuous stream flows, confining construction that must take place in watercourses to times when water flows are low and fish and wildlife will not be adversely affected.
MARSH
An area normally covered with shallow water, subject to seasonal variations, that contains an association of herbaceous, soft-stemmed plants as marsh vegetation. Typical examples of marsh species are listed in the booklet titled "Inland Wetland Plants of Connecticut," May 1973.
MATERIAL
Any substance, solid or liquid, organic or inorganic, including, but not limited to: soil, sediment, aggregate, land, gravel, clay, bog, peat, mud, debris, sand, refuse or waste.
NURSERIES
Land used for propagating trees, shrubs or other plants for transplanting, sale or for use as stock for grafting.
PERMIT
The whole or any part of any license, certificate or approval or similar form of permission which may be required of any person by the provisions of these regulations under the authority of the Inland Wetlands Agency.
PERMITTEE
The person to whom such permit has been issued.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, organization or legal entity of any kind, including municipal corporations, government agencies or subdivisions thereof.
POLLUTION
The contamination or rendering unclean or impure of, or harmful thermal effect on, any watercourses or wetlands by reason of any waste or other materials discharged or deposited therein by any public or private sewer or otherwise so as to come in contact with any waters, directly or indirectly. This includes, but is not limited to, erosion and sedimentation or turbidity resulting from any filling, land clearing or excavation activity.
POORLY DRAINED SOIL
Soils wherein water is removed so slowly that the soil is saturated periodically during the growing season or remains wet for long periods. Poor drainage results from a high water table, a slowly pervious layer within the profile, seepage, nearly continuous rainfall or a combination of these.
PRUDENT
Economical and otherwise reasonable in light of the social benefits to be derived from the proposed regulated activity, provided that cost may be considered in deciding what is prudent and further, provided, that a mere showing of expense will not necessarily mean an alternative is imprudent.
REGULATED ACTIVITY
Any operation within or use of a wetland or watercourse involving removal or deposition of material or any obstruction, construction, alteration or pollution of such wetland or watercourse, but shall not include the activities specified in § 60A-4 of these regulations. Regulated activity shall also include activity(ies) in nonwetland areas, such as (but not limited to) clear cutting, land clearing, soil disturbance, regrading of land or construction of buildings, which may have the effect of increasing or decreasing drainage or increasing sedimentation or erosion or causing discharge, deposition within or pollution to the wetland or watercourse.
REGULATED AREA
Any inland wetlands or watercourses as defined in these regulations.
REMOVE
Includes, but shall not be limited to, drain, excavate, mine, dig, dredge, suck, grub, clear cut, bulldoze, dragline or blast.
RENDERING UNCLEAN OR IMPURE
Any undesirable alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of any watercourses or wetlands, including, but not limited to, change in color, odor, turbidity or taste.
SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY, IMPACT OR MAJOR EFFECT
Including but not limited to:
A. 
Any activity involving a deposition of material which will or may have a substantial adverse affect on the regulated area or on another part of the inland wetland or watercourse system.
B. 
Any activity involving a removal of material which will or may have a substantial adverse effect on the regulated area or on another part of the inland wetland or watercourse system.
C. 
Any activity which substantially changes the natural channel or may inhibit the natural dynamics of a watercourse system.
D. 
Any activity which substantially diminishes the natural capacity of an inland wetland or watercourse to support desirable plant or animal life, prevent flooding, supply water, assimilate waste, facilitate drainage and/or provide recreation and open space.
E. 
Any activity which causes a substantial diminution of flow of a natural watercourse or groundwater levels of the regulated area.
F. 
Any activity which creates hydrological conditions which may adversely affect the health, welfare and safety of any individual or the community.
G. 
Any activity which destroys unique wetland or watercourse areas having demonstrable scientific or educational value.
H. 
Any activity which causes or has the potential to cause pollution of a wetland or watercourse.
SOIL SCIENTIST
An individual duly qualified in accordance with standards set by the Federal Office of Personnel Management.
SUBMERGED LANDS
Those lands which are inundated by water on a seasonal or more frequent basis.
SWAMP
An area with a water table at or near the surface of the ground throughout most of the year and containing vegetation dominated by an association of trees and/or shrubs recognized as swamp species. Typical examples of swamp species are listed in the booklet titled "Inland Wetland Plants of Connecticut," May 1973.
VERY POORLY DRAINED SOIL
Soils wherein water is removed from the soil so slowly that free water remains at or on the surface during most of the growing season. Very poorly drained soils are commonly level or depressed and are frequently ponded. Where rainfall is high and nearly continuous, very poorly drained soils can have moderate or high slope gradients.
WASTE
Sewage or any liquid, gaseous, solid or radioactive substance which may pollute any of the watercourses or wetlands.
WATERCOURSE
Rivers, streams, brooks, waterways, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, bogs and all other bodies of water, natural or artificial, vernal or intermittent, public or private, which are contained within, flow through or border upon the City of Norwalk or any portion thereof, not regulated pursuant to Sections 22a-28 through 22a-35 of the Connecticut General Statutes (the Tidal Wetlands Act), as amended. An intermittent watercourse shall be delineated by a defined permanent channel and bank and the occurrence of two or more of the following characteristics:
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, not regulated pursuant to Sections 22a-28 through 22a-35, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes (the Tidal Wetlands Act), as amended, which consists of any of the soil types designated as poorly drained, very poorly drained, alluvial and floodplain by the National Cooperative Soils Survey, as it may be amended from time to time, of the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Such areas may include filled, graded or excavated sites which possess an aquic (saturated) soil moisture regime as defined by the USDA Cooperative Soil Survey.
A. 
The map of regulated areas, entitled "Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map, Norwalk, Connecticut," delineates the general location and boundaries of inland wetlands and the general location of watercourses. Copies of this Map are available for inspection in the office of the Town Clerk or the Agency. In all cases, the precise location of regulated areas shall be determined by the actual character of the land, the distribution of wetland soil types and location of watercourses. The Agency may use aerial photography, remote sensing imagery, resource mapping, soils maps, site inspection observations or other information in determining the location of the boundaries of wetlands and watercourses. The Map shall be considered advisory only.
B. 
Any property owner who disputes the designation of any part of his or her land as a regulated area on the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map may petition the Agency to change the designation in accordance with § 60A-12 of these regulations. All petitions for a map change shall be submitted in writing and under oath and shall include all relevant facts and circumstances which support the change. The petitioner shall provide proof that the designation is inapplicable. Documentation in accordance with § 60A-12 of these regulations may be required of the property owner when the Agency requires an accurate delineation of regulated areas.
C. 
The Agency or its designated agent(s) shall monitor and maintain general surveillance of all regulated areas and shall maintain current records of all such areas.
A. 
The following operations and uses shall be permitted in inland wetlands and watercourses as a matter of right:
(1) 
Grazing, farming, nurseries, gardening and harvesting of crops and farm ponds of three acres or less essential to the farming operation and activities conducted by or under the authority of the Department of Environmental Protection for the purposes of wetland or watercourse restoration or enhancement or mosquito control. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to include road construction or the erection of buildings unless they are directly related to the farming operation, relocation of watercourses with continual flow, filling or reclamation of wetlands or watercourses with continual flow, clear cutting of timber except for the expansion of agricultural crop land or mining of materials from wetlands or watercourses for the purpose of sale.
(2) 
A residential home for which a building permit has been issued or on a subdivision lot, provided that the permit has been issued or the subdivision has been approved prior to February 12, 1974, and provided that the building permit was obtained on or before July 1, 1987. The individual claiming use of wetlands permitted as a right under this subsection shall document the validity of said right by providing a certified copy of the building permit and a site plan showing proposed and existing topographic contours, house and well locations, septic system, driveway, approval dates or other necessary information to document his entitlement.
(3) 
Boat anchorage or mooring, but does not include dredging or dock construction.
(4) 
Construction and operation by water companies, as defined by Section 16-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes, or by municipal water supply systems, as provided for in Chapter 102 of the Connecticut General Statutes, of dams, reservoirs and other facilities necessary to the impounding, storage and withdrawal of water in connection with public water supplies, except as provided in Sections 22a-401 through 22a-410 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
(5) 
Uses incidental to the enjoyment or maintenance of residential property, such property defined as equal to or smaller than one acre and containing a residence. Such incidental uses shall include maintenance of existing structures, but shall not include removal or deposition of substantial amounts of materials from or into a wetland or watercourse or diversion or alteration of a watercourse.
(6) 
Maintenance relating to any drainage pipe which existed before February 12, 1974, provided that such pipe is on property which is zoned as residential but which does not contain hydrophytic vegetation. For purposes of this subsection, "maintenance" means the removal of accumulated leaves, soil and other debris, whether by hand or machine, while the pipe remains in place.
B. 
The following operations and uses shall be permitted as nonregulated uses in wetlands and watercourses, provided that they do not disturb the natural and indigenous character of the wetland or watercourse:
(1) 
Conservation of soil, vegetation, water, fish, shellfish and wildlife.
(2) 
Outdoor recreation, including play and sporting areas, golf courses, field trails, nature study, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, skin and scuba diving, camping, boating, water skiing, trapping, hunting, fishing, shellfishing and cross-country skiing where otherwise legally permitted and regulated.
C. 
Any person proposing to carry out a permitted or nonregulated operation or use of a wetland or watercourse, prior to commencement of such operation or use, must notify the Agency on a form provided by it and provide the Agency with sufficient information to enable it to properly determine that the proposed operation and use is a permitted or nonregulated use of the wetland or watercourse. The Agency or its designated agent(s) shall rule that the proposed operation or use is a permitted or a nonregulated use or operation or that a permit is required. The designated agent(s) for the Agency may make such ruling on behalf of the Agency at any time. (Also, see § 60A-13.)
A. 
No person shall conduct or maintain a regulated activity without first obtaining a permit for such activity from the Agency.
B. 
Any person found to be conducting or maintaining a regulated activity without the prior authorization of the Agency or violating any other provision of these regulations shall be subject to the enforcement proceedings and penalties prescribed in § 60A-10 of these regulations and any other remedies as provided by law.
A. 
Any person wishing to undertake a regulated activity shall apply for a permit on a form provided by the Agency. An application shall include an application form and such information as prescribed by Subsection H and, in the case of significant activity, by Subsection I of this section.
B. 
If an application to the City of Norwalk Planning, Zoning or Planning and Zoning Commission for subdivision or resubdivision of land involves land containing a wetland or watercourse, the applicant shall, in accordance with Section 8-3(g), 8-3c or 8-26, as applicable, of the Connecticut General Statutes, submit an application for a permit to the Agency in accordance with this section no later than the day the application is filed with such Planning, Zoning or Planning and Zoning Commission.
C. 
No application shall be deemed complete unless it shall be in such form and contain such information as the Agency deems necessary for a fair and informed determination of the issues, as per Subsection H of this section. Incomplete applications may be withdrawn by the applicant or denied by the Agency.
D. 
A prospective applicant may request the Agency to determine whether or not a proposed activity involves a significant activity.
E. 
The date of receipt of an application, petition, request or appeal shall be the day of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Agency, immediately following the day of submission to the Agency or its agent of such application, petition, request or appeal, or 35 days after such submission, whichever is sooner.
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
F. 
The information required by the Agency shall be furnished in sufficient copies to permit the Commission to carry out its duties under these regulations. In no case will fewer than 11 copies be accepted for a final review of an application proposal.
G. 
All information submitted in the application shall be considered binding on the applicant. A knowing failure of the applicant or any of his agents to provide correct information shall be sufficient grounds for the revocation of any permit and/or other action and/or penalties as set forth in § 60A-10 of these regulations.
H. 
All applications shall include at least the following information, in writing or on maps or drawings:
(1) 
The applicant's name, home and business mailing addresses and telephone numbers.
(2) 
The owner's name, mailing address and telephone number and written consent of the land owner if the applicant is not the owner of the land upon which the subject activity is proposed.
(3) 
The applicant's interest in the land.
(4) 
The geographical location of the land which is to be affected by the proposed activity, including a description of the land in sufficient detail to allow identification of the inland wetlands and watercourses, the areas, in acres or square feet, of wetlands or watercourses to be disturbed, soil types and wetland vegetation. Such description shall include neighboring properties if such are affected by the proposed activity.
(5) 
A certified soil scientist report and the soil scientist's field sketch; watercourses, wetlands and wetland flag numbers must be depicted on a site plan or drawing.
(6) 
The purpose and a description of the proposed activity and proposed erosion and sedimentation controls and other management practices and mitigation measures which may be considered as a condition of issuing a permit for the proposed regulated activity, including, but not limited to, measures to:
(a) 
Prevent pollution or other environmental damage;
(b) 
Maintain or enhance existing environmental quality; or
(c) 
In the following order of priority: restore, enhance and create productive wetland or watercourse resources.
(7) 
Names and addresses of adjacent land owners.
(8) 
The closest point of activity or disturbance to the wetland or watercourse area.
(9) 
Alternatives considered and subsequently rejected by the applicant and why the alternative as set forth in the application was chosen. All such alternatives shall be depicted on a site plan or drawing.
(10) 
A site plan showing existing and proposed conditions in relation to wetland and watercourses and identifying any further activities associated with or reasonably related to the proposed regulated activity which are made inevitable by the proposed regulated activity and which may have an impact on wetlands or watercourses.
(11) 
A statement by the applicant that the applicant is familiar with all the information provided in the application and is aware of the penalties for obtaining a permit through deception or through inaccurate or misleading information.
(12) 
Authorization for the Commissioners and agents of the Agency to inspect the property, at reasonable times, both before and after a permit has been granted.
(13) 
A completed DEP reporting form; the Agency shall revise or correct the information provided by the applicant and submit the form to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection in accordance with Section 22a-39-14 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
(14) 
Any other information the applicant deems necessary to the understanding of what the applicant is proposing.
(15) 
Submission of the appropriate filing fee based on the fee schedule on file in the Agency's office.
I. 
If the proposed activity involves a significant activity, impact or major effect, as defined in § 60A-2 of these regulations or as determined by the Agency, additional information, including, but not limited to, the following is required:
(1) 
Names and addresses of adjacent property owners. A tax map showing positions of such properties in relation to the proposed activity.
(2) 
Site plans for the proposed use or operation of the property which will be affected, which show existing and proposed conditions and structures, including drainage and waste treatment structures, wetland and watercourse boundaries, existing and proposed land contours and elevations, boundaries of land ownership, proposed alterations and uses of wetlands and watercourses, significant vegetation, including all trees over six inches diameter at breast height that are nearest the wetland or watercourse, and other pertinent features of the development, drawn by a licensed surveyor, professional land surveyor, engineer, architect or landscape architect registered in the State of Connecticut or in an adjoining state or by such other person acceptable to the Agency are required. In the event that hydrologic changes are proposed, such site plan shall be certified by a professional hydrologist.
(3) 
Engineering reports and analyses and additional drawings to fully describe the proposed project and any filling, excavation, drainage or hydraulic modifications to wetland or watercourse areas, and the proposed erosion and sedimentation control plan are required.
(4) 
Mapping of soil types consistent with the categories established by the National Cooperative Soil Survey of the United States Natural Resources Conservation Service are required. The wetlands shall be delineated in the field by a certified soil scientist and the field delineation, including wetland flag numbers, shall be depicted on the site plans; the soil scientist's field sketch shall also be submitted.
(5) 
A description of the ecological communities and functions of the wetlands or watercourses involved with the application and the effects of the proposed regulated activities on these communities and wetland functions.
(6) 
A description of how the applicant will change, diminish or enhance the ecological communities and functions of the wetlands or watercourses involved in the application and each alternative and a description of why each alternative considered was deemed neither feasible nor prudent.
(7) 
Analysis of chemical or physical characteristics of any fill material.
(8) 
Measures which would mitigate the impact of the proposed activity are required. Such measures include, but are not limited to, plans or actions which avoid destruction or diminution of wetland or watercourse functions, recreational uses and natural habitats or which prevent flooding, degradation of water quality, erosion and sedimentation and obstruction of drainage, or which otherwise safeguard water resources.
J. 
Wetlands or watercourses adjacent to another municipality.
(1) 
All applicants shall certify whether:
(a) 
Any portion of the wetland or watercourse on which the regulated activity is proposed is located within 500 feet of the boundary of an adjoining municipality;
(b) 
Traffic attributable to the completed project on the site will use streets within the adjoining municipality to enter or exit the site;
(c) 
Sewer or water drainage from the project site will flow through and impact the sewage or drainage system within the adjoining municipality; or
(d) 
Water runoff from the improved site will impact streets or other municipal or private property within the adjoining municipality.
(2) 
If the wetland or watercourse is so located, the applicant shall give written notice of the application by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the adjacent municipal wetland agency and the Town Clerk on the same day of filing its application. Documentation of such notice shall be provided to the Agency in accordance with Section 22a-42b and 42c of the Connecticut General Statutes.
K. 
When an application is filed to conduct or cause to be conducted a regulated activity upon an inland wetland or watercourse any portion of which is within the watershed of a water company, as defined in Section 16-1(10) of the Connecticut General Statutes, the applicant shall provide written notice of the application to the water company, provided that such water company has filed a map showing the boundaries of the watershed on the City of Norwalk land records, and with the Agency. Such notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall be mailed within seven days of the date of the application. The water company, through a representative, may appear and be heard at any hearing on the application. Documentation of such notice shall be provided to the Agency.
L. 
Any application to extend or amend the expiration date of a previously issued permit shall be filed with the Agency at least 65 days prior to the expiration date for the permit. Any application to extend or amend an existing permit shall be filed with the Agency prior to the commencement of any action not already permitted. Any application for extension or amendment shall contain the information required under this section, provided that:
(1) 
The application may incorporate the documentation and record of the original application; however, the Agency may require a new application if it deems it necessary for an equitable determination of the application.
(2) 
The application shall describe the extent of work completed at the time of filing and the schedule for completing the activities authorized in the permit.
(3) 
The application shall state the reason why the authorized activities were not initiated or completed within the time specified in the permit.
(4) 
The application shall describe any changes in facts or circumstances involved with or affecting wetlands or watercourses or use of the land for which the permit was issued.
(5) 
The Agency may, prior to the expiration of a permit, accept an untimely application to extend the expiration date of a permit, if the authorized activity is ongoing, and allow the continuation of work beyond the expiration date if, in its judgment, the permit is likely to be extended and the public interest or environment will be best served by not interrupting the activity.
M. 
At any time during the review period, the Agency may require the applicant to provide additional information about the proposal as required for a complete consideration of the proposal.
N. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection N, regarding time frame for filing documentary evidence prior to public hearing on applications for permits, was repealed 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004.
O. 
All applications shall be open for public inspection.
A. 
The Agency or its duly authorized agent, acting pursuant to Subsection C in this section of these regulations, may grant the application as filed or grant it upon other terms, conditions, limitations or modifications of the regulated activity which are designed to carry out the purposes of these regulations or deny the application. Such terms may include any reasonable measures which would mitigate the impacts of the regulated activity and which would:
(1) 
Prevent pollution or other environmental damage;
(2) 
Maintain or enhance existing environmental quality; or
(3) 
In the following order of priority: restore, enhance and create productive wetland or watercourse resources.
B. 
The Agency shall state upon the record the reasons and basis for its decision, and, in the case of any public hearing, such decision shall be based fully on the record of such hearing and shall be in writing and shall incorporate a statement relative to the consideration of feasible and prudent alternatives.
C. 
Declaratory ruling.
(1) 
The Agency may delegate to its duly authorized agent the authority to approve or extend an activity that is not located in a wetland or watercourse when such agent finds that the conduct of such activity would result in no greater than a minimal impact on any wetlands or watercourses, provided that such agent has completed the comprehensive training program developed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection pursuant to Section 22a-39 of the Connecticut General Statutes. Requests for such approval shall be made on a form provided by the Agency and shall contain the information listed under § 60A-6H of these regulations and any other information the Agency may reasonably require. Notwithstanding the provisions for receipt and processing applications prescribed in these regulations, such agent may approve or extend such activity at any time.
(2) 
Any person receiving such approval from such agent shall, within 10 days of the date of such approval, publish, at the applicant's expense, notice of the approval in a newspaper having a general circulation in the town wherein the activity is located or will have an effect. Any person may appeal such decision of such agent to the Agency within 15 days after the publication date of the notice, and the Agency shall consider such appeal at its next regularly scheduled meeting provided that such meeting is no earlier than three business days after receipt by such Agency or its agent of such appeal. Any person may appear and be heard at the meeting held by the Agency to consider the subject appeal. The Agency shall, at its discretion, sustain, alter or reject the decision of its agent or require an application for a permit in accordance with § 60A-6 of these regulations.
D. 
Summary ruling. The Agency shall not hold a public hearing on such application unless the Agency determines that the proposed activity may have a significant impact on wetlands or watercourses, a petition signed by at least 25 persons who are 18 years of age or older, and who reside in the municipality in which the regulated activity is proposed, requesting a hearing is filed with the Agency not later than 14 days after the receipt of such application or the Agency finds that a public hearing regarding such application would be in the public interest. The Agency may issue a permit without a public hearing, provided that no petition provided for in this subsection is filed with the Agency on or before the 14th day after the date of receipt of the application. Such hearing shall be held no later than 65 days after the receipt of such application.
[Amended 6-13-2000; 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
E. 
Procedures in regard to public hearings.
(1) 
The Commission shall conform to the following procedures in regard to public hearings:
(a) 
All applications, maps and documents relating to a proposal which is the subject of a public hearing shall be open for public inspection.
(b) 
Any person or persons may appear and be heard and may be represented by agent or by attorney at any public hearing.
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
(c) 
Notice of the public hearing shall be published at least twice at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than 15 days and not fewer than 10 days and the last not less than two days before the date set for the hearing, in a newspaper having a general circulation in the City.
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
(d) 
Notice of the public hearing shall be mailed to the owner(s) of record of abutting land no fewer than 15 days prior to the date of the hearing. Such notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested. Documentation of such notice shall be provided to the Agency. The applicant is responsible for fulfilling this requirement.
(e) 
In the case of an application which is subject to the notification provisions of § 60A-6J of the regulations, a public hearing shall not be conducted if the inland wetland agency and the Town Clerk of the adjoining municipality(ies) have not received notice of the pendency of the application. Proof of such notification shall be entered into the hearing record.
(f) 
The public hearing shall be held no later than 65 days after receipt of an application. The hearing shall be completed within 35 days of its commencement, and action shall be taken on such applications within 35 days after completion of the public hearing.
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
(g) 
In the absence of a public hearing, action shall be taken on applications within 65 days from the date of receipt of the application.
(2) 
The applicant may consent to one or more extensions of any periods specified in Subsection E(1)(f) and (g) above, provided that the total extension of all such periods shall not be for longer than 65 days, or may withdraw such application.
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
(3) 
The failure of the Agency to act within any time period specified in Subsection E(1)(f) and (g) above or any extension thereof shall not be deemed to constitute approval of the application. An application deemed incomplete by the Agency must either be withdrawn by the applicant or denied by the Agency.
F. 
The Agency shall notify the applicant and any named parties to the proceeding of its decision within 15 days of the date of the decision by certified mail, return receipt requested, and the Agency shall cause notice of its order in the issuance or denial of the permit to be published in a newspaper having general circulation in Norwalk. A copy of all Agency decisions shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection in such form as prescribed by the Commissioner.
G. 
If an activity authorized by the inland wetland permit also involves an activity or project which requires zoning or subdivision approval, a special zoning permit, variance or special exception, a copy of the decision and report on the application shall be filed with the City of Norwalk Planning and Zoning Commission within 15 days of the date of the decision.
H. 
If the Agency denies the permit without prejudice or if it grants a permit with terms, conditions, limitations or modifications, the applicant may attempt to modify the proposal to the Agency's satisfaction. The Agency shall determine whether the proposed modification requires the filing of a new application. The rejection of a modified or corrected application by the Agency shall be equivalent to the denial of an application for the purposes of appeal.
I. 
If the Agency denies a permit with prejudice, the application shall not be resubmitted unless the proposal substantially changes the impacts which resulted in the denial. Such submittal shall take the form of a new application.
J. 
Any permit issued under this section for the development of property for which an approval is required under Section 8-3, 8-25 or 8-26 of the Connecticut General Statutes shall be valid for five years, provided that the Agency may establish a specific time period within which any regulated activity shall be conducted. Any permit issued under this section for any other activity shall be valid for not less than two years and not more than five years.
K. 
Any application to renew a permit shall be granted upon request of the permit holder, unless the Agency finds that there has been a substantial change in circumstances which requires a new permit application or an enforcement action has been undertaken with regard to the regulated activity for which the permit was issued, provided that no permit may be valid for more than 10 years.
L. 
No permit shall be assigned, transferred, sublet or sold without the written permission of the Agency.
M. 
If a bond or insurance is required in accordance with § 60A-9 of these regulations, no activity pursuant to a permit shall proceed until such bond or insurance is provided. No work commenced shall be allowed to continue unless such bond shall remain in effect.
N. 
General provisions in the issuance of all permits:
(1) 
If the Agency relied in whole or in part on information provided by the applicant and if such information subsequently proves to be false, deceptive, incomplete or inaccurate, the permit may be modified, suspended or revoked.
(2) 
All permits issued by the Agency are subject to and do not derogate any present or future rights or powers of the Commission or the City of Norwalk and convey no rights in real estate or material, nor any exclusive privileges, and are further subject to any and all public and private rights and to any federal, state and municipal laws or regulations pertinent to the property or activity.
(3) 
If the activity authorized by the inland wetland permit also involves an activity or a project which requires zoning or subdivision approval, special permit, variance or special exception, no work pursuant to the wetland permit may begin until such approval is obtained.
(4) 
The permittee shall take all necessary steps, consistent with the terms and conditions of the permit, to control stormwater discharges and to prevent erosion and sedimentation and to otherwise prevent pollution of wetlands and watercourses.
A. 
The Agency shall consider the following in making its decision on an application or otherwise acting pursuant to its authority:
(1) 
The application and its supporting documentation, including any requested additional information.
(2) 
Public comments, evidence and testimony from a public hearing.
(3) 
Observations of the site by Agency members and reports or comments from Agency staff and consultants and from other municipal, regional, state and/or federal agencies or organizations.
(4) 
All relevant facts and circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) 
The environmental impact of the proposed regulated activity on wetlands or watercourses, including the effects on the capacity for the inland wetland and/or watercourse to support fish and wildlife, to prevent flooding, to supply and protect surface and ground water, to control sediment, to facilitate drainage, to control pollution, to support recreational activities and to promote public health and safety.
(b) 
The applicant's purpose for and any feasible and prudent alternatives to the proposed regulated activity, which alternatives would cause less or no environmental impact to wetlands or watercourses.
(c) 
The relationship between the short-term and long-term impacts of the proposed regulated activity on wetlands or watercourses and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity of such wetlands or watercourses.
(d) 
Irreversible and irretrievable loss of wetland or watercourse resources which would be caused by the proposed regulated activity, including the extent to which such activity would foreclose a future ability to protect, enhance or restore such resources and any mitigation measures which may be considered as a condition of issuing a permit for such activity, including, but not limited to, measures to:
[1] 
Prevent pollution or other environmental damage;
[2] 
Maintain or enhance existing environmental quality; or
[3] 
In the following order of priority: restore, enhance and create productive wetland or watercourse resources.
(e) 
The character and degree of injury to or interference with safety, health or the reasonable use of property, including abutting, downstream or other property in the vicinity which would be caused or threatened by the proposed regulated activity.
(f) 
Impacts of the proposed regulated activity on wetlands or watercourses outside the area for which the activity is proposed and future activities associated with or reasonably related to the proposed regulated activity which are made inevitable by the proposed regulated activity and which may have an impact on wetlands or watercourses. This requires a balancing of the need for the economic growth of the state and the use of its land, with the need to protect its environment and ecology for the people of the state and benefit of generations yet unborn.
(g) 
The extent to which the public benefit derived from such use may or may not outweigh or justify the possible degradation of the inland wetland or watercourse and the impairment or endangerment of public health, safety or welfare.
B. 
In the case of any application which received a public hearing, pursuant to a finding by the Agency that the proposed activity may have a significant impact on wetlands or watercourses, a permit shall not be issued unless the Agency finds on the basis of the record that a feasible and prudent alternative does not exist. In making this finding, the Agency shall consider the facts and circumstances set forth in this section. The finding and the reasons therefor shall be stated on the record in writing.
C. 
In the case of an application which is denied on the basis of a finding that there may be feasible and prudent alternatives to the proposed regulated activity which have less adverse impact on wetlands or watercourses, the Agency shall propose on the record, in writing, the types of alternatives which the applicant may investigate, provided that this subsection shall not be construed to shift the burden from the applicant to prove that he is entitled to the permit or to present alternatives to the proposed regulated activity.
D. 
In reaching its decision on any application after a public hearing, the Agency shall base its decision on the record of that hearing. Documentary evidence or other material not in the hearing record shall not be considered by the Agency in its decision. A conclusion that a feasible and prudent alternative does not exist does not create a presumption that a permit should be issued. The applicant has the burden of demonstrating that his application is consistent with the purposes and policies of these regulations and Sections 22a-36 to 22a-45, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes.
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
A. 
Upon the issuance of a permit and prior to the initiation of any on-site permit-related activity, the applicant may, at the discretion of the Agency, be required to file a bond with such surety and in such an amount and form approved by the Agency. The amount of the bond shall be based on an estimate of the costs of proposed mitigation and/or improvements within the regulated area, or the applicant may be required to provide an itemized estimate of the costs of proposed mitigation and/or improvements within the regulated area to enable the Agency to determine the amount of the bond. The Agency reserves the right to seek additional expert opinion regarding the estimated costs of improvements.
B. 
The release or reduction of the bond shall be conditioned on compliance with all provisions of these regulations and the terms, conditions and limitations established in the permit.
C. 
Release or reduction of any bond monies will require, at a minimum, a letter to the Agency affirming completion of the approved project. The bond shall remain in full force and effect until such time as the Agency makes a formal finding that the work to be accomplished as required by the permit has been satisfactorily completed.
D. 
In requiring a bond, the Agency reserves the right to use all or portions of the posted bond to respond to emergencies associated with the protection of regulated areas or implement conditions of the permit as specified in the permit resolution. If the Agency makes a finding that the work has not been accomplished as required by the permit, the bond shall be forfeited in its entirety and the funds shall be paid over to the City of Norwalk. In such situations, other than emergencies, the Agency shall notify the applicant of its intent to use the bond 10 days prior.
E. 
The Agency may require the applicant to certify that it has public insurance against liability which might result from the proposed operation or use of the wetlands or watercourses covering any and all damage which might occur within two years of completion of such operations, in an amount commensurate with the regulated activity.
A. 
The Agency may appoint an agent or agents to act on its behalf with the authority to inspect property, except a private residence, and issue notices of violation or cease-and-desist orders and carry out other actions or investigations necessary for the enforcement of these regulations.
B. 
The Agency or its agent may make regular inspections of all regulated activities for which permits have been issued under these regulations, pursuant to the consent provided in the application.
C. 
The Agency shall be authorized to seek such necessary court orders as will permit it to inspect land whereon the Agency has probable cause to believe that a regulated activity is in progress and for which no application has been filed.
D. 
If the Agency or its designated agent finds that any person is conducting or maintaining any activity, facility or condition which is in violation of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act or these regulations or of any permit issued pursuant to these regulations, the Agency or its duly authorized agent may:
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
(1) 
Issue a notice of violation to such person conducting such activity or maintaining such facility or condition, stating the nature of the violation, the jurisdiction of the Agency, and prescribing the necessary action and steps to correct the violation including, without limitation, halting work in wetlands or watercourses. The Agency may request that the individual appear at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Agency to discuss the unauthorized activity and/or provide a written reply to the notice and/or file a proper application for the necessary permit. Failure to carry out the action(s) directed in a notice of violation may result in issuance of the order provided in § 60A-10D(2) or other enforcement proceedings as provided by law.
(2) 
Issue a written order by certified mail, return receipt requested, to such person conducting such activity or maintaining such facility or condition to immediately cease such activity or to correct such facility or condition. Within 10 calendar days of the issuance of such order the Agency shall hold a hearing to provide the person(s) an opportunity to be heard and show cause why the order should not remain in effect. The Agency shall consider the facts presented at the hearing and, within 10 days of the completion of the hearing, notify the person by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the original order remains in effect, that a revised order is in effect or that the order has been withdrawn. The Agency shall publish notice of its decision in a newspaper having general circulation in the City. The original order shall be effective upon issuance and shall remain in effect until the Agency affirms, revises or withdraws the order. The issuance of an order pursuant to this section shall not delay or bar an action pursuant to Section 22a-44(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
(3) 
Suspension or revocation of permit.
(a) 
Suspend or revoke a permit if the Agency finds that:
[1] 
The permittee has not complied with the terms, conditions or limitations set forth in the permit or has exceeded the scope of the work as set forth in the application, including application plans;
[2] 
The activity for which it has granted a permit has had a more severe impact or effect on the inland wetland or watercourses than was projected by the applicant or does not, in fact, involve a permitted use; or
[3] 
The applicant or its agents have knowingly failed to provide correct information in an application for an activity for which a permit has been issued.
(b) 
Prior to revoking any permit, the Agency shall issue notice to the permittee, personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, setting forth the facts or conduct which warrant the intended action. The Agency shall hold a hearing to provide the permittee an opportunity to show that it is in compliance with its permit and any and all requirements for retention of the permit.
(c) 
The permittee shall be notified of the Agency's decision to suspend, revoke or maintain a permit by certified mail, return receipt requested, within 15 days of the date of its decision.
(d) 
The Agency shall publish notice of the suspension or revocation in a newspaper having general circulation in the City.
(4) 
Record a certificate or notice of an order on Norwalk land records at the Town Clerk's office of the City of Norwalk. The certificate shall be released upon compliance with the order.
E. 
Failure to follow the written directives of the Commission shall constitute a violation of these regulations.
[Added 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsections E through I were repealed 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004.
Nothing in these regulations shall obviate the requirements for the applicant to obtain any other assents, permits or licenses required by law or regulation of the City of Norwalk, State of Connecticut or government of the United States or any political subdivision thereof, including any approval required by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Obtaining such assents, permits or licenses is solely the responsibility of the applicant.
A. 
These regulations and the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map for the City of Norwalk may be amended, from time to time, by the Agency in accordance with changes in the Connecticut General Statutes or regulations of the State Department of Environmental Protection or as new information regarding soil and inland wetlands and watercourses become available.
B. 
An application filed with the Agency which is in conformance with the applicable inland wetlands regulations as of the date of the receipt of such application shall not be required thereafter to comply with any change in inland wetlands regulations (or boundaries), including changes to setbacks and buffers, taking effect on or after the date of such receipt, and any appeal from the decision of such Agency with respect to such application shall not be dismissed by the Superior Court on the grounds that such a change has taken effect on or after the date of such receipt. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to apply to the establishment, amendment or change of boundaries of inland wetlands or watercourses or to any change in regulations necessary to make such regulations consistent with the provisions of the Act as of the date of such receipt.
C. 
These regulations and the City of Norwalk Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map shall be amended in the manner specified in Section 22a-42a of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended. The Agency shall provide the Commissioner of Environmental Protection with a copy of any proposed regulations and notice of the public hearing to consider any proposed regulations or amendments thereto, except map amendments, at least 35 days before the public hearing on their adoption.
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
D. 
Petitions requesting changes or amendments to the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map, Norwalk, Connecticut, shall contain at least the following information:
(1) 
The petitioner's name, address and telephone number.
(2) 
The address of the land affected by the petition.
(3) 
The petitioner's interest in the land affected by the petition.
(4) 
Map(s) showing the geographic location of the land affected by the petition and the existing and the proposed wetland(s) and watercourses boundaries on such land in accurate detail, together with the documentation supporting such proposed boundary locations.
(5) 
The reasons for the requested action.
E. 
Any person who submits a petition to amend the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map, Norwalk, Connecticut, shall bear the burden of proof for all requested map amendments. Such proof may include, but is not limited to, professional interpretation of aerial photography and remote sensing imagery, resource mapping, soils mapping or other information acceptable to the Agency. If such person is the owner, developer or contract purchaser of the land which is the subject of the petition or if such person is representing the interests of such an owner, developer or purchaser, in addition to the information required in Subsection D, the petition shall include:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the owner(s) of such land and the owner's or owners' agent or other representative.
(2) 
The names and addresses of the owners of abutting land.
(3) 
Documentation by a soil scientist of the distribution of wetland soils on said land. Such documentation shall, at a minimum, include the report of the soil scientist documenting the location of wetland soils on the land and a map of said land indicating the flag locations set by the soil scientist and defining the boundaries of wetland soil types.
(4) 
Map(s) showing any proposed development of the land in relation to existing and proposed wetland and watercourse boundaries.
F. 
Watercourses shall be delineated by a competent soil scientist, geologist, ecologist or other individual satisfactory to the Agency.
G. 
A public hearing shall be held on petitions to amend the regulations and the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map. Notice of the hearing shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the City 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 before the date set for the hearing. A copy of such proposed boundary change shall be filed in the office of the Clerk for public inspection at least 10 days before such hearing.
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
H. 
The date of receipt of such a petition shall be the day of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Agency immediately following the day of submission to such Agency or its agent of such petition or 35 days after such submission, whichever is sooner. Within 65 days after receipt of such petition, the Agency shall hold a public hearing to consider the petition. The hearing shall be completed within 35 days after commencement. The Agency shall act upon the changes requested in such petition within 65 days after completion of such hearing. At such hearing, any person or persons may appear and be heard and may be represented by agent or attorney. The petitioner may consent to one or more extensions of any periods specified in this subsection provided the total extension of all such periods shall not be for longer than 65 days or may withdraw such petition. The failure of the Agency to act within any time period specified in this subsection, or any extension thereof, shall not be deemed to constitute approval of the petition.
[Amended 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004]
I. 
The Agency shall make its decision and state, in writing, the reasons why the change in the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map was made.
A. 
Prior to the submission of any application hereunder, the Agency may permit any person to submit a tentative plan to the Agency for discussion purposes only.
B. 
Such tentative plan shall not constitute the filing of an application hereunder, and no filing fee therefor shall be charged. The Agency may provide advice and guidance with respect to the applicability of these regulations to the tentative proposal.
A. 
Appeal of actions of the Agency shall be made in accordance with the provisions of Section 22a-43 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.
B. 
Notice of such appeal shall be served upon the Agency and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.
A. 
Method of payment. All fees required by these regulations shall be submitted to the Agency by cash, check or money order, payable to the City of Norwalk, at the time the application is filed with the Agency.
B. 
No application shall be granted or approved by the Agency unless the correct application fee is paid in full or unless a waiver has been granted by the Agency pursuant to Subsection F of this section.
C. 
The application fee is not refundable.
D. 
Definitions. As used in this section, "corrective action" means a permit application required to authorize activities necessary to rectify a violation of the Inland Wetland and Watercourses Regulations of the City.
[Added 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: With the addition of Subsections D and E, former Subsections D through F were renumbered as Subsections F through H, respectively.
E. 
Fee schedule. Application fees shall be based on the following schedule:
[Added 4-27-2004, effective 5-1-2004[2]]
(1) 
Permit application base fees. Upon approval of permit, applicant must pay for the legal public notice of the approval.
Type
Base Fee*
Declaratory permit application
$120
Summary permit application
$270
Plenary permit application
$670
Corrective action declaratory permit
$220
Corrective action summary permit
$520
Corrective action plenary permit
$1,320
NOTE:
*
Includes $20 state land use fee.
(2) 
In addition to the base fee, the following activity fees are applicable:
Type
Activity Fee
New single-family or duplex residence
$300
New multifamily residence building(s)
$300 plus $100 per unit (units 3-10) and $10 per unit (units 11 and over)
New nonresidential building or addition
$100 per 2,000 square feet of building area
Subdivisions
$200 per lot
Conservation developments
$150 per unit
(3) 
Permit modifications, transfers or extensions.
Type
Fee
Declaratory permits
$25
All other permits
$100
(4) 
Documents.
Type
Fee
Wetland and watercourses regulations
$6.50
Designated wetland map set
$35
One panel of map set
$5
Photocopies
$0.50
[2]
Editor's Note: With the addition of Subsections D and E, former Subsections D through F were renumbered as Subsections F through H, respectively.
F. 
The schedule of fees is available in the Agency's office or the office of the Town Clerk.
G. 
Exemption. Boards, commissions, councils and departments of the City of Norwalk are exempt from all fee requirements.
H. 
Waiver.
(1) 
The applicant may petition the Agency to waive, reduce or allow delayed payment of the fee. Such petitions shall be in writing and shall state fully the facts and circumstances the Agency should consider in its determination under this subsection. The Agency may waive all or part of the application fee if the Agency determines that:
(a) 
The activity applied for would clearly result in a substantial public benefit to the environment or to the public health and safety and the applicant would reasonably be deterred from initiating the activity solely or primarily as a result of the amount of the application fee; or
(b) 
The amount of the application fee is clearly excessive in relation to the cost to the City for reviewing and processing the application.
(2) 
The Agency shall state upon its record the basis for all actions under this subsection.
A. 
If there is a conflict between the provisions of these regulations and those of any other applicable statute, ordinance or regulation, the provisions of the statute, ordinance or regulation which imposes the greatest restriction on the use of the wetland or watercourse shall govern.
B. 
The invalidity of any word, clause, sentence, section, part or provision of these regulations shall not affect the validity of any other part which can be given effect without such invalid part or parts.