[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Norwalk Common Council 6-9-2015, effective 1-1-2016. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building Code — See Ch. 26.
Department of Code Enforcement — See Ch. 35A.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 42A.
Housing Code — See Ch. 59.
Landlord identification — See Ch. 62A.
Zoning — See Ch. 118.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 58A, Housing Blight, adopted 8-13-2013, effective 1-1-2014.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any building or structure, part of a building or parcel of land in which at least one of the following conditions exists:
- A. Any condition which poses a serious or immediate danger to the health or safety of any citizen of the community;
- B. Lacking adequate maintenance, including but not limited to, missing or boarded windows or doors; rotting or missing portions of walls, roof or floor; missing portions of siding or other exterior covering; fire damage to structure; unauthorized outdoor storage or accumulation of junk on the property, has been vandalized, including graffiti;
- C. More than one inoperative or unregistered vehicle;
- D. Structures left unsecured against unauthorized entry;
- E. Property has been cited for more than two code violations in the past which have not been corrected and are not the subject of a pending appeal.
- BLIGHT PREVENTION OFFICER
- The Chief Building Official of the City of Norwalk. He/she shall investigate complaints of blight, issue warning letters and citations when appropriate, and explain his/her findings and actions to the citation hearing officers when necessary.
- CODE VIOLATION
- A violation of any Zoning Regulations, building codes, public health codes and fire codes.
- DISABLED INDIVIDUAL
- In the case of an owner-occupied residence, an individual who has a mental or physical disability as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and does not have other household members capable of providing the maintenance necessary to abate blight.
- ELDERLY INDIVIDUAL
- An individual over the age of 65, who does not have a household member capable of providing the maintenance necessary to abate blight.
- LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUAL
- An individual or a family unit that has an income below the highest level of income established by the State of Connecticut's Elderly Tax Relief Program. This level is in the upper limit of Step 5 as set forth in the Connecticut General Statutes Section 12-170aa(c). It is immaterial that a person is or is not elderly for purposes of this definition.
No owner of real property within the City of Norwalk shall cause or allow such property or any buildings thereon to become blighted, nor shall an owner allow the continued existence of a blighted property.
The Blight Prevention Officer shall issue a written warning notifying the property owner of a violation of this chapter. Said warning shall detail each finding of blight and the corrective action necessary, and shall provide a reasonable amount of time for the property owner to correct the blight.
If the property owner does not cure the blight within the time period stated in the written warning, the Blight Prevention Officer shall issue a citation to the property owner. Said citation shall be issued not sooner than 15 days after the deadline to cure blight conditions stated in the written warning. The citation shall assess a fine of $100 per day for every day the violation continues. Any unpaid fine pursuant to this chapter shall constitute a lien upon the real estate against which the fine was imposed in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes Section 7-148aa. Such lien shall be continued, recorded, enforced and released in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes Section 7-148aa.
The Mayor shall appoint one or more citation hearing officers other than police officers, City employees, or the Blight Officer, to conduct citation appeal hearings. The citation hearing officer shall be a member, in good standing, of the Connecticut Bar Association. Issuance and service of citations, payment of fines, hearings and appeals to the Connecticut Superior Court shall be governed by Section 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes, as may be amended for time to time.
Fines collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into a separate fund to be used for expenses related to the enforcement and abatement of blight within the City of Norwalk.
When a property owner is issued a citation pursuant to this chapter, and does not cure the blight within 30 days of the service of the citation, the City of Norwalk may cure the blight conditions. The costs incurred by the City to cure the blight shall constitute a lien against the real property in addition to any fines assessed pursuant to this chapter.
Special consideration may be given to property owners who are elderly, disabled or have a low income when the blight warning or citation concerns an owner-occupied residential dwelling. In such cases, the Blight Prevention Officer shall give such individuals adequate time to correct the blight conditions not to exceed 90 days. The Blight Prevention Officer shall provide information on possible opportunities for assistance with each warning letter and citation.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit or limit in any manner any enforcement action with respect to any zoning, building, public health, fire, inland wetlands or other statutes, code, regulation or laws relating to the use of real property.
This chapter shall take effect on January 1, 2016.