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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 as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Naming of City buildings and facilities — See Ch. 27, Art. I.
Numbering of buildings and trailers — See Ch. 72.
Parking violations and citations — See Ch. 73B.
Street vendors — See Ch. 77.
Department of Public Works — See Ch. 90
Excavation and encroachments on public streets and grounds — See Ch. 96.
Excavation and filling of land — See Ch. 97.
Vehicle and traffic — See Ch. 98.
Snow emergencies — See Ch. 99.
Scenic roads — See Ch. 101.
Zoning — See Ch. 118.
Land subdivision regulations — See App. Part I.
[Adopted 5-10-1988; amended in its entirety 3-24-2015]
The purpose of this article is to protect, preserve and ensure the proper maintenance of public grounds, streets, highways, sidewalks, and thoroughfares in the City of Norwalk. The intent of this article is to provide clear direction to the Director of Public Works to implement, within the resources provided, the City's goals for the maintenance of its public grounds, streets, highways, sidewalks and thoroughfares. Sidewalks and footpaths may be initially established by the City of Norwalk, and the adjoining property owner is responsible as described herein.
[Amended 10-22-2019]
In addition to the terms defined in Chapter 91 and unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meanings of terms used in this article shall be as follows:
DIRECTOR
The Chief of Operations and Public Works of Norwalk, or his/her designee.
ENCROACH
To obstruct, impede, intrude or use for purposes other than traveling, including but not limited to the placing of any ladder, staging, scaffolding, building or construction materials or equipment or other like obstacle; the depositing of any merchandise, materials or any personal property; the erection, placement, maintenance or display of any sign; the pumping of water from private property, the depositing of snow or ice or the draining of water from private property in any manner which in any way may obstruct, impede or endanger public use or travel or which does or may cause any icy condition which in any way does or may obstruct, impede or endanger public use or travel.
EXCAVATE
Dig up, open, break, cut into, trench, tunnel or undermine in any manner. Such term includes the establishment, construction, resurfacing, repaving or reconstruction of any driveway or the placing of any substructure.
FOOTPATH
As differentiated from sidewalk, an asphalt pathway, usually three to four feet wide, constructed to provide safe pedestrian travel generally near/along roadways without sidewalks cross-country between destinations.
PUBLIC UTILITY
Any public service company incorporated under the provisions of the General Statutes or by special act for the purpose of transmitting or distributing gas, water, electricity, video or for telephone purposes.
SIDEWALK
A walkway built to provide safe pedestrian travel along public thoroughfares that are constructed in accordance with the City's Roadway Standards and Standard Specifications, as amended and supplemented.
STREET
Any portion of the entire width between the boundary lines of any public way maintained by the City of Norwalk, including but not limited to any street, highway, sidewalk, curb, gutter, shoulder, alley, avenue or other public way or any public ground leased by, maintained by or in possession or control of the City of Norwalk.
TRAVELED WAY
The portion of a street or highway ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder.
A. 
It shall be the duty of the Director to execute, cause to be executed and supervise the execution of all orders of the Common Council for the construction, maintenance and repair of all public works not ordered to be supervised by other officers or persons.
B. 
The Director is hereby authorized to superintend and take such action as he deems necessary to secure the timely completion of all repairs upon streets, highways, sidewalks and their appurtenances and all public improvements within the limits of the streets, highways, sidewalks, thoroughfares and public grounds of the City.
A. 
The Director is hereby authorized to take such action as he deems necessary to ensure that all public grounds, streets, highways, sidewalks, and other thoroughfares in the City are, to the extent reasonably possible, clear of obstructions and nuisances and free from danger to persons or property.
B. 
The Director is hereby authorized to take such action as he deems necessary to ensure that all filth, encroachments, encumbrances and obstructions upon the streets, sidewalks, highways, public grounds and thoroughfares are, to the extent reasonably possible, removed in a timely manner. The Director is also authorized to take such action as is deemed necessary to ensure that all persons act in strict conformance with and obedience to the provisions of this Code and other rules and regulations relative to the use of the streets, thoroughfares, highways, sidewalks and public grounds in the City.
C. 
No owner or occupant of land shall drain or pump any water from such land onto any public highway or sidewalk, or into the gutter thereof, unless there has previously been an emergency declared by the City which remains in effect, which may cause damage to the highway or sidewalk, or create an unsafe condition, specifically, but not limited to, an icing condition, as determined by the Director.
D. 
Any owner or occupant found in violation of this section shall be ordered to cease and desist such action by the Director or be subject to a fine in an amount established in accordance with § 90-4, Approval of rates and fees.
E. 
If the owner/occupant fails to acknowledge or respond to the Director's notification, the violation continues beyond the time designated for correction, or the property owner/occupant so requests the Director may order work done to terminate the violation and request the Corporation Counsel to place a lien on the property for the amount incurred to correct the violation, plus fines.
F. 
Any property owner whose property has been liened pursuant to § 95-3E may elect to pay the assessment of the costs relative to the City's sidewalk work, in full, within 60 days of the lien filing; the property owner may alternatively request that the assessment of costs relative to the sidewalk work be paid over a ten-year period. All such charges will be treated as a property assessment and shall be billed in the name of the record owner of the property. If the property owner elects to pay over a ten-year period, such assessment shall be subject to interest as calculated in § 103-21.
It shall be the duty of all owners, occupants and persons in charge of buildings and the duty of all owners and persons in charge of vacant lots to keep the sidewalks adjacent to such premises clean and free of paper, dirt, debris, filth or other foreign matter. It shall be unlawful for any person to sweep or otherwise transfer such paper, dirt, debris, filth or foreign matter into the gutter, street or highway.
[Amended 10-22-2019]
A. 
No person shall throw, cast, place or discard any paper, dirt, debris, filth or other foreign matter on the sidewalks, gutters, streets, highways or public places of the City. Violation of this section shall be subject to a fine established in accordance with the provisions of § 90-4, Approval of rates and fees. The Chief of Economic and Community Development, the Chief Building Official, or their respective designee shall enforce § 95-5.
B. 
In case of the failure or neglect of the person to correct the actions identified in Subsection A following a fine pursuant to § 90-4, Approval of rates and fees, the Chief of Economic and Community Development, the Chief Building Official, or their respective designee may cause the same to be done, and the expenses thereof shall be collectible from the person.
No person shall use any vehicle for hauling paper, dirt, debris, filth, rock, refuse or other matter unless such vehicle is so constructed or covered so as to prevent the falling or scattering of any part of such load while passing over the streets, highways and public places of the City.
[Amended 10-22-2019]
A. 
Whenever a sidewalk has been constructed or shall hereafter be constructed within the limits of the City, it shall be the duty of the owner of any land or building fronting upon such sidewalk to keep the grass or weeds properly cut or removed from the margin of such sidewalks in front of the premises owned by him/her, including any and all portions lying within the public right-of-way. The Chief of Economic and Community Development, the Chief Building Official, or their respective designee shall enforce § 95-7.
B. 
In case of the failure or neglect of the owner to correct the actions identified in Subsection A foIIowing a fine pursuant to § 90-4, Approval of rates and fees, the Chief of Economic and Community Development, the Chief Building Official, or their respective designee may cause the same to be done, and the expenses thereof shall be collectible f om the owner.
The Director is authorized to inspect all sidewalks and footpaths within the limits of the City on a periodic basis and make reports to the Common Council at the end of each fiscal year, and is further authorized to initiate appropriate compliance and/or maintenance and repair activities on those sidewalks or footpaths which the Director finds not to be in good order and repair that are under the City of Norwalk's jurisdiction.
A. 
If any person, after having been notified in writing by the Director to repair properly any portion of a sidewalk, adjoining his property which shall have become irregular and uneven, shall refuse or neglect to do so to the satisfaction of the Director within the time limit contained in such notice, such person shall be deemed guilty of a violation and shall be fined an amount established in accordance with the provisions of § 90-4, Approval of rates and fees. Each twenty-four-hour period after the expiration of the time limit contained in such notice shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. All such repairs shall be in conformance with the City of Norwalk Department of Public Works Roadway Standards and Standard Specifications, as it may be amended and supplemented.
B. 
Any member of the Common Council or any City board or agency may call the Director's attention to a particular area of sidewalk needing attention.
C. 
If the owner/occupant fails to acknowledge or respond to the Director's notification, the violation continues beyond the time designated for correction, or the property owner so requests, the Director may order work done to terminate the violation and request the Corporation Counsel to place a lien on the property for the amount incurred to correct the violation, plus fines.
D. 
Any property owner whose property has been liened pursuant to § 95-9C may elect to pay the assessment of the costs relative to the City's sidewalk repair, in full, within 60 days of the lien filing; the property owner may alternatively request that the assessment of costs relative to the sidewalk repair be paid over a ten-year period. All such charges will be treated as a property assessment and shall be billed in the name of the record owner of the property. If the property owner elects to pay over a ten-year period, such assessment shall be subject to interest as calculated in § 103-21.
E. 
The Mayor, Common Council and Board of Estimate and Taxation will allocate funds in the capital budget for the repair and additional construction of sidewalks to allow conformity with this article. In conjunction with any street repaving or reconstruction, the Director will first elect to replace curbs/sidewalks as appropriate and necessary to ensure adequate drainage from the roadway. When a street is being reconstructed and at least 51% of the curb/sidewalk must be replaced to assure adequate roadway drainage, all of the curb/sidewalk may be replaced to ensure neighborhood consistency unless doing so will cause the project budget to be exceeded.
[Amended 2-27-2018; 10-22-2019]
A. 
The provisions of Section 7-l63a of the Connecticut General Statutes are hereby adopted and are set forth in Subsections B, C and D hereof.
B. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 13a-149 of the Connecticut General Statutes or any other general or special act, the City shall not be liable to any person for injury to person or property due to the presence of ice or snow on a public sidewalk unless the City is the owner or person in possession and control of land abutting such sidewalk, other than land used as a highway or street, provided that the City shall be liable for its affirmative acts with respect to any such sidewalk under its possession and control.
C. 
The owner or person in possession and control of land abutting a public sidewalk shall have the same duty of care with respect to the presence of ice or snow on such sidewalk toward the portion of the sidewalk abutting his property as the City had prior to the effective date of this article and shall be liable to persons injured in person or property where a breach of said duty is the proximate cause of said injury,
D. 
No action to recover damages for injury to person or property caused by the presence of ice or snow on a public sidewalk against a person who owns or is in possession and control of land abutting a public sidewalk shall be brought but within two years from the date when the injury is first sustained.
E. 
It shall be the duty of each owner and/or occupant in possession and control, jointly, of every parcel of real estate abutting a public sidewalk, whether the parcel of real estate is occupied by a structure or not, to keep such sidewalks fee from snow and ice for the full paved width of such sidewalks or, in the case of ice, by covering the same with sand, salt, chemical ice melt or other suitable material, and then renewing such treatment as often as may be necessary to keep such sidewalk safe and convenient.
F. 
In case of the failure or neglect of the owner or occupant in possession and control of land abutting the public sidewalk to comply with this section, as identified in Subsection E, the Chief of Economic and Community Development, the Chief Building Official, or their respective designee may cause the same to be done, and the expense thereof shall be collectible from the person so failing or neglecting, in an action of debt brought in the name of the City under this section. It will be presumed that the owner and/or occupant, as identified in Subsection E, has not complied with its obligations under this section if the owner and/or occupant fails to remove snow and/or ice within a reasonable period of time after such accumulation. Any person who fails or neglects to comply with this subsection shall also be liable for a penalty or fine in an amount established in accordance with § 90-4 of the Norwalk City Code, Approval of rates and fees.
G. 
No person, firm or private corporation shall deposit, throw, place or strew, nor shall any person, firm, or private corporation cause to be deposited, thrown, placed or strewn, any snow or ice upon any streets, avenues, roadways, highways or sidewalks within the City. Any person, firm or private corporation who violates this subsection shall also be liable for a penalty or fine in an amount established in accordance with § 90-4 of the Norwalk City Code, Approval of rates and fees.
The Director is hereby authorized to control the size, location and geometry of all driveways within the right-of-way in order to provide, to the extent reasonably possible, safe and efficient access to property. All driveways shall be designed and constructed in accordance with this article and the City of Norwalk Department of Public Works Roadway Standards, as amended and supplemented.
A. 
No person shall construct, reconstruct or relocate a driveway in the City without a permit issued by the Director. A permit to construct a driveway shall be obtained in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 96, Excavations and Encroachments in Public Streets and Grounds.
B. 
Application for a permit shall be made on a form furnished by the Director. A permit and inspection fee as established in accordance with the provisions of § 90-4, Approval of rates and fees, shall be paid to the Director at the time the application is filed.
C. 
Before issuing a permit, the Director shall review the permit application to assess whether the proposed work complies with the requirements set forth within the City of Norwalk Department of Public Works Roadway Standards, as amended and supplemented.
D. 
Any driveway, access road, approach road or improvement constructed under permit, located in whole or in part within the public right-of-way, shall be subject to inspection at any time by the City. The right is reserved by the Director to require changes, additions and relocations thereto as, in his opinion, may be necessary from time to time for the relocation, reconstruction, widening or maintenance of the roadway or to provide protection to life and property on or adjacent to the roadway.
The widening, repair, maintenance or relocation of any City street or roadway by the City shall not be construed as causing any driveway be in violation of this article.
Nothing in this article shall require the City to repair or improve any private driveway nor render the City liable upon failure to make said repair or improvement, except where such repair or improvement is made necessary as a result of the widening, repairing, maintenance or relocation of a City street.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to driveways in existence, substantially complete or being constructed under a previously issued permit at the time of adoption of this article.
Every person who proposes to use any portion of a sidewalk or footpath for or as part of any private driveway shall reconstruct such portion of the sidewalk or footpath in accordance with the City of Norwalk Department of Public Works Roadway Standards, as amended and supplemented, and such requirement shall be a condition of any driveway permit issued under the provisions of this article.
A permit to construct a driveway shall be valid for a period of one year from its date of issue. If driveway construction, reconstruction or relocation is not substantially complete within that time, the permit shall be deemed void, unless application is made to the Director for an extension. A single extension for six months may be granted under this section. Application for a new permit shall be made if the extension has expired and the work is not substantially complete.
A. 
Any person who, after having been notified in writing by the Director to comply with any provisions of this article, except during the pendency of an appeal, shall refuse or neglect to do so within the time limit contained in such notice shall be deemed to be in violation of this article and shall be liable to a fine established in accordance with the provisions of § 90-4, Approval of rates and fees, for each offense. Each day during which any provision of this article is violated after the expiration of such time limit for compliance, which shall be no less than 15 days with respect to the construction, reconstruction or relocation of a driveway, shall constitute a separate offense. Notice shall be served by means of certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall be deemed to have been delivered one day after the date of mailing.
B. 
Any driveway constructed in violation of this article shall be closed immediately upon receipt of written instructions from the Director, who shall have the right to erect barriers to prohibit use of any such driveway, without providing advance written notice of such action if necessary for the preservation of public health and safety.
C. 
Any person who has failed to comply with the provisions of this article requiring a permit prior to the commencement of excavations and encroachments in public streets and grounds and who thereafter applies for a permit shall be charged the corrective action permit application fee rather than the standard permit application fee.
D. 
Any person who receives a determination or order from the Director under this article may appeal said determination or order. The notice of appeal must be received within 30 days of the determination or order. Hearing on the appeal before the Public Works Committee shall take place within 35 days from the date of receipt of the notice of appeal.
All matters pertaining to the naming of public streets and the numbering of lots thereon shall be referred to the Public Works Committee of the Common Council. In connection with such matters, the Public Works Committee shall hear such persons and make such investigation as it may deem necessary and, after obtaining the approval of the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission, shall report the result of such investigation, together with its recommendations as to names of public streets and numbers of lots, to the Common Council.
Upon acceptance by the Common Council of the report and recommendations of the Public Works Committee, the names of streets and the numbers of lots as contained in such report shall thereafter be the legal names of such streets and the legal numbers of such lots, and all persons shall thereafter be deemed to have notice of the same.
It shall be the duty of the Director to establish a procedure for the construction and acceptance of new streets to minimize confusion as to the responsibility of those who construct new streets and as to the procedure with respect to new streets which are offered for acceptance as City streets and, as a consequence, for maintenance by the City.
Any street which serves or is likely to serve more than two building lots of the size permitted in the zone wherein the street is located shall be constructed in conformity with City specifications and standards in effect at the time the work thereon is commenced.
A. 
No newly constructed highway, road or street, together with any curbs and sidewalks adjacent thereto and the drainage systems, guardrails and street signs installed in conjunction therewith, shall be laid out, altered, enlarged, changed or constructed, except in conformance with the standards set forth in the City of Norwalk Department of Public Works Roadway Standards, and Standard Specifications, as amended and supplemented, and Drainage Manual, as amended and supplemented.
B. 
Any street, highway or road or any curb or sidewalk adjacent thereto or any drainage system, guardrail or street sign installed in conjunction therewith that shall be in whole or in any part or manner laid out, altered, changed or constructed, other than in accordance with the standards set forth in this section, in the determination of the Director, shall not be accepted as a public street of the City.
C. 
Any street, or section of street, determined to be in the urban (concrete) zone, as proposed by the Director in coordination with the Director of Planning and Zoning and adopted by appropriate legislative bodies, shall have its sidewalks and curbs constructed of an appropriate grade of concrete when they are either initially constructed or subsequently repaired.
The owner of any street constructed in conformity with City specifications and standards in effect at the time of the filing of the petition for acceptance of such street or in effect at the time the work thereon was commenced, if work was commenced not more than two years prior to the filing of the application, may file an application for acceptance of such street as a City street. Such application shall be filed with the City Clerk, who shall send copies thereof to the Director, the Director of Planning and Zoning and each of the members of the Public Works Committee of the Common Council.
A. 
Before any new street is accepted, the Director shall review such petition and certify to the Common Council that such new street has been inspected by his Department and has been constructed in conformity with applicable City specifications and standards, as set forth above, and remains in satisfactory condition at the time of such certification.
B. 
The Directors of the Planning Commission and the Zoning Commission shall certify to the Common Council that the subdivision wherein the street is located or which is served by such street is in compliance with all regulations of the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission and of this Code applicable thereto.
No street, the construction of which has been completed after the last day of October in any year, shall be accepted prior to the first day of April of the succeeding year.
A. 
Before any subdivision of land receives final approval, the subdivider or developer shall notify the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission, in writing, whether or not the new streets to be constructed within the subdivision are to be offered for acceptance as City streets.
B. 
If any street is not to be offered for acceptance and is to be retained as a private street, then, before final approval of the subdivision, the owner of the property shall deliver to the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission for filing in the land records at the owner's expense a signed stipulation approved by the Corporation Counsel wherein the owner agrees that the owner will incorporate in any deed conveying an interest in property abutting on any street to be retained as a private street a statement that such street is a private street and that the owner does not intend to offer it for acceptance as a City street, although the owner may reserve the right to do so.
C. 
Such stipulation having been delivered to the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission and the streets having been constructed in accordance with the City specifications and standards above mentioned to the satisfaction of the Director and of the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission, any bond given to the City for faithful performance of the construction of such private street may be released by the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission.
Any bond given to the City for faithful performance and compliance with the aforementioned Standard Specifications and Roadway Standards shall be released only:
A. 
Upon faithful compliance with the provisions of § 95-27, Streets within subdivisions; or
B. 
Upon receipt of notice from the City Clerk that the street which is the subject of the bond has been duly accepted by the Common Council.
Any street constructed in conformity with the applicable City specifications and standards as set forth in § 95-23, Construction standards, shall be deemed to have been accepted as a City street if final action on the petition for acceptance has not been taken by the Common Council within 75 days after the filing thereof with the City Clerk, but in computing such period of 75 days, any day falling between October 31 of any year and April 1 of the succeeding year shall be excluded.
No certificate of occupancy shall be granted by the Building Inspector for any dwelling built upon any street, highway or road governed by the standards set forth in § 95-23, Construction standards, until such street, highway, road or the curb or sidewalk adjacent thereto or drainage system, guardrail or street sign installed in conjunction therewith shall be in satisfactory and operable condition, as approved by the Director.
The standards set forth in § 95-23, Construction standards, of this article shall be followed in all new construction or major reconstruction of streets, roads and highways undertaken by the Department of Public Works or by private contractors engaged by the City for work on streets, roads and highways.
The Planning Commission and Zoning Commission of the City are hereby directed to amend their regulations regarding Road and Drainage Standards — Secondary so that they conform to the standards set forth in this article, as they may be amended and supplemented.
It shall be the policy of the City to abandon a street when, in the judgment of the Common Council, it is in the best interests of the City. In making this judgment, the Common Council shall consider the ownership of said street, the amount of traffic currently using said street, the economic benefits to the City of maintaining or closing said street and any other factors it deems advisable.
Applications for the abandonment of all or a portion of any City street shall be made to the Public Works Committee of the Common Council by means of an application form submitted to the Director. The application shall include the title search indicating the current fee owners of the street and adjacent land, identifying any easements, a map of said street, an appraisal of any interest the City has in said street and any fee required by said Committee for the cost of said application. The fee required shall be at a rate as approved in accordance with the provisions of § 90-4, Approval of rates and fees.
A. 
Within 60 days of the receipt of said application, the Public Works Committee shall hold a public hearing of necessity concerning said application and shall refer the proposed abandonment to the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission for review as required by Section 8-24 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
B. 
Notice of said public hearing shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the City and by first class mail to owners of record of all real property bounding on the street or portion thereof proposed for abandonment. All such notices shall be given at least seven days before the date of the hearing. Within 30 days of said hearing, the Public Works Committee and the Common Council shall make a determination as to whether it is in the best interests of the City to proceed to abandon said street.
C. 
In the event that the Common Council makes said determination, the Council shall appoint a committee of freeholders, in accordance with the provisions of § 1-439 of the Charter, which shall assess all benefits and damages associated with said abandonment, and may appoint an appraiser to determine the fair market value of the City's interest in the land.
Within 30 days of the receipt of the reports of the freeholders, the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission and of any appraiser, the Public Works Committee shall approve or disapprove said application, determine any conditions that should attach to said abandonment, authorize the Mayor to execute a quit-claim deed, if necessary, and determine the appropriate consideration for said abandonment. Said conditions may include public easements for utilities or other purposes which may be incorporated in the deed. Such approval or disapproval shall be referred to the Common Council for its approval or disapproval, which shall act upon such referral within 30 days.
[Adopted 10-28-2014]
The purpose of this article is to establish guidelines and formalize procedures when considering the honorary or historic naming or renaming of a City-owned or controlled street or roadway, administered under the responsibility charged to the Public Works Committee of the Common Council.
If a City street or roadway is to be named in honor of an individual, it is generally required that such individual has made a significant contribution to the community through public service and deeds, and is respected for his or her accomplishments and good conduct. Consideration shall be given to individuals who have made recent accomplishments and contributions as well as individuals with historic ties to the City. An individual shall be deceased at least one year prior to the naming unless the Common Council determines by a two-thirds-majority plus one (11 votes) that a living individual deserves the honor. Groups should not be in a position to influence the process by funding of past or future operations of the street or roadway, and it is ultimately important for the City to avoid any perception of improper manipulation, special favor, vested interest, or endorsement of businesses, products or services.
Naming of City streets or roadways shall proceed as follows:
A. 
The proposed naming of a City street or roadway shall be placed on a Public Works regular meeting agenda for discussion and review. In the event that the street or roadway to be named is located within a City park, the proposed naming shall be placed on the Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs agenda for discussion and review.
B. 
A public hearing is required prior to forwarding the naming request to the full Common Council for approval. The hearing shall be held at a regular meeting of the Public Works Committee, and the scheduling of said hearing shall have been approved at a previous regular meeting by a majority vote of the Committee.
C. 
A two-thirds-majority (10 votes) of the Common Council is required for the approval of all honorary or historic street names, except in the case where a living individual is the honoree in which case a two-thirds-majority plus one (11 votes) is required.