[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Norwalk Common Council 11-9-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 95.
Editor's Note: Former Ch. 101, Streets and Sidewalks, adopted as follows: Art. I, 5-14-1957; Art. II, 5-14-1957; Art. III, 2-22-1983; Art. IV, 1-23-1979; Art. V, 5-14-1957; Art. VI, 5-14-1957; Art. VII, 10-20-1959; Art. VIII, 8-28-1984, as amended, was repealed 5-10-1988. See now Ch. 95, Streets and Sidewalks.
Scenic roads are irreplaceable resources, the destruction of which will have an adverse impact on the city's historic and scenic heritage. The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards and procedures for designating city highways or portions thereof as scenic roads and for regulating and preserving the city's scenic roads for the benefit of present and future generations. As used in this chapter, "highway" shall mean any public highway, street, road or other way approved by the Common Council permanently dedicated to the movement of vehicles and pedestrians and providing the principal means of access to abutting property.
The Planning Commission, together with the Common Council and Mayor, are hereby authorized to designate city highways or portions thereof as scenic roads in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth in this chapter. The authority granted by this ordinance is limited to the city's highways; therefore, nothing in this ordinance shall be deemed to alter the property rights of persons owning and occupying real property outside of the public right-of-way, paved or unpaved.
No state highway or portion thereof may be designated as a scenic road under the provisions of this ordinance. No city-maintained highway designated as an arterial in accordance with the City of Norwalk Roadway Standards, as amended, may be designated as a scenic road under these provisions.
To be designated as a scenic road, a highway or portion thereof must be free of intensive commercial development and intensive vehicular traffic. A portion of a highway must be at least 1/2 mile in length to be designated as a scenic road.
In addition to the requirements of Subsection A above, to be designated as a scenic road, a highway or portion thereof must meet at least one of the following criteria:
No highway or portion thereof may be designated as a scenic road unless the owners of a majority of lot frontage abutting the highway or portion thereof agree to the designation by filing a written statement of approval with the City Clerk.
The Planning Commission may on its own initiative consider a highway or portion thereof for scenic road designation. Further, the Planning Commission shall consider a highway or portion thereof for scenic road designation upon application as set forth in Subsection B below by any owner or owners of lot frontage abutting a highway or portion thereof.
Applications for scenic road designation shall be on a form prescribed by the Planning Commission and shall contain the following:
The name of the highway or portion thereof to be designated as a scenic road and, if designation of a portion thereof is sought, a description of the portion, including its approximate total length.
A description and photographic documentation of those characteristic(s) of the highway or portion thereof that qualify it for scenic road status.
The names and addresses of all owners of lot frontage abutting the highway or portion thereof and the lengths of their respective lot frontages.
A copy of a written statement of approval signed by the owners of a majority of lot frontage abutting the highway or portion thereof stating that they approve of the proposed scenic road designation and giving their names, addresses and the lengths of their respective lot frontages.
Proof that the original statement of approval has been filed with the City Clerk.
Evidence in the form of a measurement of average traffic supporting the position that the highway or portion thereof is free of intensive vehicular traffic.
To designate a highway or portion thereof as a scenic road, the Planning Commission must first hold a public hearing. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be published in a newspaper having a substantial 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 of the hearing. A copy of the notice, together with a list of all owners of lot frontage abutting the proposed scenic road, shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each owner of lot frontage abutting the proposed scenic road, and a copy of the notice and of the list shall be given to the members of the Common Council, the Mayor, the Director of Public Works, the Superintendent of the Public Service Division and the Tree Warden. The recommendation of the Planning Commission shall be forwarded to the Department of Public Works Committee of the Common Council for approval. Any roadway approved for designation shall be authorized by the Common Council and the Mayor.
Scenic road designation may be rescinded by the Planning Commission using the procedures set forth in § 101-4 above. No scenic road designation may be rescinded unless the owners of a majority of lot frontage abutting the designated scenic road agree to the rescission by filing a written statement of approval with the City Clerk.
Any person aggrieved by the designation of a proposed scenic road under this ordinance may appeal such designation as set forth in Connecticut General Statutes Section 7-149a(d).
Preservation objective. The city shall maintain its scenic roads in good and sufficient repair and passible condition. Routine maintenance and the regulation of future alterations and improvements of designated scenic roads shall be carried out so as to preserve to the highest degree possible their scenic characteristics, particularly those characteristics that are indicated in the records of the Planning Commission as the basis for the designation. In the case of a natural occurrence or disaster or other like unforeseen event in which a scenic road becomes impassible or unsafe for public travel, emergency repairs may be made only to the extent needed to restore the scenic road to its preemergency condition.
Definition of alterations and improvements. As used in this ordinance, alterations or improvements to a scenic road include but are not limited to reconstruction of a scenic road within the right-of-way, widening of the right-of-way or of the traveled portion of the scenic road, paving, changes of grade, straightening, removal of stone walls and/or mature trees, but exclude routine maintenance. If in the process of maintenance or repair a tree is destroyed, the Planning Commission shall decide the type and quantity of trees that are to be planted as replacement.
Procedures for making alterations or improvements.
Any proposal for alteration or improvement of a scenic road, whether by public or private applicant, shall be submitted initially to the Planning Commission, along with a map showing in detail the proposed alteration or improvement. The Planning Commission may require the applicant to submit engineering or other technical reports documenting the need for the alteration or improvement and outlining potential alternative solutions. The Planning Commission must hold a duly noticed public hearing on the application using the procedure set forth in § 101-4C herein. The Planning Commission shall submit findings of fact, the minutes of any hearing and a recommendation to the Director of Public Works.
The Director of Public Works shall give due consideration to the findings of fact and recommendations of the Planning Commission and shall hold a duly noticed public hearing regarding the proposed alteration or improvement using the procedure set forth in § 101-4C herein. The Director's decision with regard to a proposed alteration or improvement to a scenic road shall be in writing and shall state the reason therefor.
Standards governing alterations and improvements. No scenic road shall be altered or improved unless the Director of Public Works, after due consideration of the findings of fact and approval of the Planning Commission, the Department of Public Works Committee of the Common Council, the Common Council and the Mayor, and after a duly noticed public hearing, determines that the alteration or improvement is necessary to maintain the scenic road in a safe condition. Any alteration or improvement shall be made so as to minimize any adverse impact on the scenic character of the road. The Planning Commission shall have the authority to adopt guidelines regulating future alterations and improvements to scenic roads.