Town of Durham, CT
Middlesex County
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[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
The ordinances embraced in the following chapters and sections shall constitute and be designated the "Code of Ordinances of the Town of Durham, Connecticut," and may be so cited.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
(a) 
In the construction of this Code and of all ordinances, the following rules shall be observed unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
Board of Selectmen. The term "Board of Selectmen" shall mean the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Durham, Connecticut.
Business. The word "business" includes businesses, professions, trades, occupations and every kind of calling.
County. The words "the county" or "this county" shall mean the County of Middlesex in the State of Connecticut.
Delegation of authority. Whenever, by the provisions of this Code, any officer, employee, department, board, commission or other Town agency is assigned any duty or empowered to perform any act or duty, reference to such officer, employee, department, board, commission or agency shall mean and include such officer, employee, department, board, commission or agency, or any deputy or authorized subordinate.
Engage in. The term "engage in" includes commence, engage in, carry on, conduct, maintain, manage and operate.
First Selectman. The term "First Selectman" shall mean the First Selectman of the Town of Durham.
Gender. The use of any gender shall include the other genders.
Goods. The word "goods" includes wares or merchandise.
Joint authority. All words giving joint authority to three or more persons or officers shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of such persons or officers.
Keeper or proprietor. The word "keeper" or "proprietor" shall mean and include persons, firms, associations, corporations, clubs, copartnerships and joint ventures, whether acting by themselves or through a servant, agent or employee.
License fee. The term "license fee" shall include any charge imposed for a license, whether the object is regulation or revenue or both regulation and revenue, but, when applied to any business, profession, occupation, trade or calling regulated by the state as a matter of statewide concern, the object shall be revenue only.
Number. The use of the singular shall include the plural, and the use of the plural shall include the singular.
Oath. The word "oath" includes an affirmation.
Office. The word "office" shall mean the use of the title of any officer, employee or office of the Town unless otherwise specifically designated.
Officers, employees. The title of any officer or employee used in this Code shall be construed as if the words "of the Town" followed it and shall include his duly authorized representative.
Operate. The word "operate" includes carry on, keep, conduct, maintain or manage.
Owner. The word "owner," when applied to a building or land, shall include any part owner, joint owner or owner of a community or partnership interest, any life tenant, tenant in common or joint tenant of the whole or a part of such building or land.
Person. The word "person" shall mean any natural person, joint venture, joint stock company, partnership, association, club, company, corporation, business trust, organization or the manager, lessee, agent, servant, officer or employee of any of them and shall include all political subdivisions and governmental agencies, except the United States of America and the state, and every department of such political subdivisions, together with every officer and employee thereof while working in the course of his employment.
Personal property. The term "personal property" shall include every species of property except real property.
Property. The word "property" shall include real and personal property.
Public place. The term "public place" shall include any and all streets, highways, boulevards, alleys or other publicly owned or controlled parks, squares, spaces, grounds and buildings.
Real property. The term "real property" shall include lands, tenements and hereditaments.
Sale. The word "sale" includes any sale, exchange, barter or offer for sale.
Shall, may, must. The words "shall" and "must" are mandatory; "may" is permissive.
Sidewalk. The word "sidewalk" shall mean the paved portion of a street intended for the use of pedestrians rather than vehicles.
State. The words "the state" or "this state" shall mean the State of Connecticut.
State law, general law or General Statutes. The term "state law," "general law" or "General Statutes" shall refer to the General Statutes of Connecticut, Revision of 1958, as amended.
Street. The word "street" shall mean the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular or pedestrian travel including, but not limited to, alleys, lanes, courts, greens, public squares and places and sidewalks.
Tenant, occupant. The word "tenant" or "occupant," applied to a building or land, shall include any person holding a written or oral lease or who occupies the whole or a part of such building or land, either alone or with others.
Tense. Words used in the past or present tense include the future as well as the past and the present.
Town. The word "town" shall mean the Town of Durham, in the County of Middlesex, in the State of Connecticut.
Vote, approval or consent. Except as otherwise provided in connection therewith, the phrase "vote, approval or consent" of the Board of Selectmen or other body shall mean the affirmative vote of a majority of those members present at a meeting having a quorum in attendance. Whenever such phrase refers to the members of the Board of Selectmen or other body rather than the Board of Selectmen or body as such, the vote required shall be in relation to the total membership rather than to those present at the meeting.
Writing. The word "writing" includes any form of recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means.
(b) 
In the construction of this Code of Ordinances, except as otherwise provided in this Code, words and phrases shall be construed according to the General Statutes. Technical words and phrases and such as have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in the law, shall be construed and understood accordingly.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
Neither the adoption of this Code nor the repeal hereby of any ordinance of this Town shall in any manner affect the prosecution for violations of ordinances, which violations were committed prior to the effective date of this Code, nor shall it be construed as a waiver of any license or penalty at such effective date due and unpaid under such ordinance, nor shall it be construed as affecting any of the provisions of such ordinance relating to the collection of any such license or penalty or the penal provisions applicable to any violation thereof, nor shall it affect the validity of any bond or cash deposit in lieu thereof required to be posted, filed or deposited pursuant to any ordinance, and all rights and obligations thereof appertaining shall continue in full force and effect.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
(a) 
The catchlines of the several sections of this Code are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the section and shall not be deemed or taken to be titles of such sections nor as any part of the section, nor, unless expressly so provided, shall they be so deemed when any of such sections, including the catchlines, are amended or reenacted.
(b) 
The history notes appearing after each section and the references and notes scattered throughout the Code are for the benefit of the user of the Code and shall have no legal effect.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
(a) 
The repeal of an ordinance shall not revive any ordinances in force before or at the time the ordinance repealed took effect.
(b) 
The repeal of an ordinance shall not affect any punishment or penalty incurred before the repeal took effect nor any suit, prosecution or proceeding pending at the time of the repeal for an offense committed under the ordinance repealed.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
It is hereby declared to be the intention of the Board of Selectmen that the sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses and phrases of this Code are severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this Code shall be declared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by the valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs and sections of this Code, since they would have been enacted by the Board of Selectmen without the incorporation in this Code of any such unconstitutional or invalid phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section unless there is a nonseverability clause.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
(a) 
All ordinances passed subsequent to this Code which amend, repeal or in any way affect any section or subsection of this Code shall be numbered consecutively but shall refer specifically to the section or subsection affected and printed for inclusion in the Code. When subsequent ordinances repeal any chapter, section or subsection or any portion thereof, such repealed portions shall be excluded from this Code by omission from reprinted pages. The subsequent ordinances, as numbered and printed or omitted in the case of repeal, shall be prima facie evidence of such subsequent ordinances until such time as this Code and subsequent ordinances numbered or omitted are readopted as a new Code by the Board of Selectmen.
(b) 
Amendments of any of the provisions of this Code shall be made by amending such provisions by specific reference to the section number of this Code in the following manner: "That section _____ of the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Durham, Connecticut is hereby amended to read as follows: . . . ." The new provisions shall then be set out in full.
(c) 
If a new section not heretofore existing in the Code is to be added, the following language shall be used: "That the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Durham, Connecticut is hereby amended by adding a new section to be numbered section _____, which shall read as follows: . . . ." The new section shall then be set out in full.
(d) 
All sections, articles, chapters or provisions desired to be repealed shall be specifically repealed by section, article or chapter number in the following language: "That section, chapter or article _____ of the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Durham, Connecticut is hereby repealed."
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
(a) 
By contract or by Town personnel, supplements to this Code shall be prepared and printed whenever authorized or directed by the Board of Selectmen. A supplement to the Code shall include all substantive permanent and general parts of ordinances passed by the Board of Selectmen and all changes made thereby in the Code. The pages of a supplement shall be so numbered that they will fit properly into the Code and will, where necessary, replace pages that have become obsolete or partially obsolete so that, when the new pages have been inserted, the Code will be current through the date of the adoption of the latest ordinances included in the supplement.
(b) 
In preparing a supplement to this Code, all portions of the Code that have been repealed shall be excluded from the Code by the omission thereof from reprinted pages.
(c) 
When preparing a supplement to this Code, the codifier, meaning the person, agency or organization authorized to prepare the supplement, may make formal, nonsubstantive changes in ordinances and parts of ordinances included in the supplement insofar as it is necessary to do so to embody them into the unified Code. For example the codifier may:
(1) 
Organize the ordinance material into appropriate subdivisions;
(2) 
Provide appropriate headings and titles for sections and other subdivisions of the Code printed in the supplement, and make changes in such headings and titles;
(3) 
Assign appropriate numbers to sections and other subdivisions to be inserted in the Code and, where necessary to accommodate new material, change existing or other subdivision numbers;
(4) 
Change the words "this ordinance" or words of the same meaning to "this chapter," "this article," "this division," etc., as the case may be, or to "sections _____ through _____" (inserting section numbers to indicate the sections of the Code which embody the substantive sections of the ordinance incorporated into the Code); and
(5) 
Make other nonsubstantive changes necessary to preserve the original meaning of ordinance sections inserted into the Code, but in no case shall the codifier make any change in the meaning or effect of ordinance material included in the supplement or already in the Code.
(d) 
The Town Clerk shall cause copies of each and every such reprint to be distributed to each distributee and to every purchaser of the Code who has ordered and paid for maintenance service.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
It shall be unlawful for any person to change or amend, by additions or deletions, any part of this Code of Ordinances or any ordinance of the Town or to insert or delete pages or portions thereof or to alter or tamper with such Code in any manner whatsoever with intent that any portion of this Code or other ordinance of the Town shall be misrepresented or with intent to commit a fraud.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
(a) 
Whenever in this Code or in any other ordinance of the Town or in any rule or regulation promulgated by any officer of the Town, under authority vested in him by law or ordinance, any act is prohibited or is declared to be unlawful or an offense or the doing of any act is required or the failure to do any act is declared to be unlawful, where no specific penalty is provided, the violation of such ordinance, rule or regulation shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100. Each day any such violation shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.
(b) 
The imposition of any punishment in this section shall not prevent the enforced abatement of any lawful condition by the Town.
(c) 
Any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this Code or any ordinance shall be deemed a new and separate offense, and each day that such condition continues shall be regarded as such.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2)]
Nothing in this Code or the ordinance adopting this Code shall be construed to repeal or otherwise affect the validity of any of the following:
(1) 
Any ordinance promising or guaranteeing the payment of money for the Town or any evidence of the Town's indebtedness;
(2) 
Any appropriation ordinance providing for the levy of taxes or for an annual budget;
(3) 
Any ordinance annexing territory to the Town or excluding territory from the Town;
(4) 
Any ordinance granting any franchise, permit or other right;
(5) 
Any zoning ordinance;
(6) 
Any subdivision ordinance;
(7) 
Any ordinance creating a special services district;
(8) 
Any ordinance approving, authorizing or otherwise relating to any contract, agreement, lease, deed or other instrument;
(9) 
Any ordinance adopting a preliminary or development plan;
(10) 
Any temporary or special ordinance;
and all such ordinances are hereby recognized as continuing in full force and effect to the same extent as if set out at length in this Code.
[Ord. of 11-29-88(2); amended 3-28-2016]
(a) 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish a procedure for the issuance of citations in accordance with C.G.S. §§ 7-148(c)(10)(A) and 7-152c to be followed in all instances when citations are issued by the Town of Durham municipal officials.
(b) 
Citation officers. A person who is expressly appointed as a citation officer by the First Selectman or who in his or her official duties has the authority to enforce the applicable municipal regulation or ordinance that is subject to this citation section are citation officers and shall have the authority to issue citations in accordance with this section.
(c) 
Initial citation notice. Any person receiving a citation issued under any regulation or ordinance of the Town shall be allowed a thirty-day uncontested period from his/her receipt of the citation to make an uncontested payment of the fine, penalty, cost or fee specified in the citation to the Town. If the citation is mailed by regular or certified mail, the day of receipt of the citation shall be deemed to be three business days after the day of mailing of the citation. Such uncontested payment shall be inadmissible in any proceeding, civil or criminal, to establish the conduct of such person or other person making the payment.
(d) 
Second citation notice and notice of right of hearing. If a person who has been issued a citation does not make uncontested payment of the fine, penalty, cost or fee specified in the citation to the Town within the time allowed under Subsection (c) above, the Town shall send notice to the alleged violator no later than 12 months after the expiration of the final period for the uncontested payment of the fine, penalty, cost or fee for any citation issued under any regulation or ordinance of the Town for an alleged violation, informing the violator and any other persons cited of the following:
(1) 
The allegations against the violator and other persons cited and the amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees due;
(2) 
That the alleged violator or other person cited may contest his/her liability by delivering in person or by mail written notice within 10 days of the date of the notice sent pursuant to this Subsection (d) to said violator that he/she desires to contest his/her liability before a citation hearing officer;
(3) 
That if the alleged violator does not demand such a hearing, an assessment and judgment shall be entered against him/her; and
(4) 
That such judgment may issue without further notice.
(e) 
Payment without hearing. If the alleged violator or other person to whom notice has been sent pursuant to Subsection (d) above wishes to admit liability for any alleged violation, he/she may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees in person or by mail to the official designated by the Town.
(f) 
Assessment by default. A person who either (i) has been issued a section citation notice in accordance with Subsection (d) above and who does not deliver or mail a written demand for a hearing within 10 days of the date of that second notice, or (ii) requests a hearing but fails to appear at a duly noticed hearing as required by Subsection (g)(1) below, shall be deemed to have admitted liability. The designated municipal official shall enter a default assessment of the fines, penalties, costs or fees provided for by law by default after making such findings that the applicable notice was duly issued. The hearing officer shall then file a certified copy of the assessment with the superior court in accordance with the procedures set forth in Subsection (g)(2) below.
(g) 
Hearing procedure.
(1) 
Any person who requests a hearing in writing shall be given written notice of the date, time and place for the hearing. Such hearing shall be held not less than 15 days nor more than 30 days from the date of the mailing of such notice, provided that the hearing officer shall grant, upon good cause shown, any reasonable request by an interested party for postponement or continuance. An original or certified copy of the initial notice of violation issued by the issuing officer shall be filed and retained by the Town, shall be deemed to be a business record within the scope of C.G.S. § 52-180 and evidence of the facts contained therein. The presence of the issuing officer shall be required at the hearing if such person so requests. The alleged violator or other person wishing to contest liability shall appear at the hearing and may present evidence in his/her behalf. A designated Town official, other than the hearing officer, may present evidence on behalf of the Town. The hearing officer may accept from such alleged violator copies of documents by mail and may determine thereby that the appearance of such person is unnecessary. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with such methods of proof as he/she deems fair and appropriate. The rules regarding the admissibility of evidence shall not be strictly applied, but all testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. The hearing officer shall announce his/her decision at the end of the hearing. If he/she determines that the alleged violator is not liable, he/she shall dismiss the matter and enter his/her determination in writing accordingly. If he/she determines that the person is liable for the violation, he/she shall forthwith enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees against such person as provided by the ordinance.
(2) 
If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the hearing officer shall send by first-class mail a notice of the assessment to the person found liable and shall file, not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months after such mailing, a certified copy of the notice of assessment with the clerk of the superior court for the geographical area in which the Town is located, together with an entry fee. The certified copy of the notice of assessment shall constitute a record of the assessment. Within such 12-month period, assessments against the same person may be accrued and filed as one record of assessment. The clerk of the court shall enter judgment in the amount of such record of assessment and court costs against such person in favor of the Town. Notwithstanding any other provision of the General Statutes, the hearing officer's assessment, when so entered as a judgment, shall have the effect of a civil money judgment and a levy of execution of such judgment may issue without further notice to such person.
(3) 
The person against whom an assessment has been entered pursuant to this section is entitled to judicial review by way of appeal. An appeal shall be instituted within 30 days of the mailing of notice of such assessment by filing a petition to reopen assessment, together with an entry fee in an amount equal to the entry fee for a small claims case pursuant to C.G.S. § 52-259, in the superior court for the geographical area in which the Town is located, which shall entitle such person to a hearing in accordance with the rules of the judges of the superior court.
(h) 
Hearing officer appointment. The Board of Selectmen shall appoint one or more citation hearing officers, who shall be other than police officers or employees of the Town or persons who issue citations pursuant to this section, to conduct the hearings authorized by this section. All such officers shall serve for a term of two years.
(i) 
Amount of penalties for violations. The fine, penalty, cost or fee imposed under this section for any single violation shall not exceed the amount of $100 per day, unless otherwise specifically provided by the particular ordinance being entered or the General Statutes.
(j) 
Disposition of money received. All moneys received pursuant to the procedure set forth above shall be remitted to the office of the Town Tax Collector.