[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Old Saybrook 9-19-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 185.
Pursuant to the provisions of Section 7.149a of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Planning Commission may designate a Town street or highway or a portion of a Town street or highway as a scenic road.
The Planning Commission will consider designating as a scenic road only those Town streets or highways or portions of Town streets or highways that are free of intensive commercial development and intensive vehicular traffic and meet at least one of the following criteria:
It is unpaved;
It is bordered by mature trees and stone walls;
The traveled portion is no more than 20 feet in width;
It offers scenic views of areas or features of distinctive character, landscape or historic value;
It blends naturally into the surrounding terrain; or
It parallels or crosses over brooks, streams, rivers and coves, lakes or ponds.
Either the Planning Commission or any owner of property having frontage abutting such Town street or highway may initiate consideration of a Town streets or highways or portions of Town streets or highways for designation as a scenic road. Applicants under this chapter will file petitions with the Town Clerk and thereafter with the Planning Commission. The official date of submission of any petition filed under this chapter is the first regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission following the date upon which the applicant files the petition with the Town Clerk.
At the date of submission, the applicant will prepare and file with the petition a list of adjacent property owners, being defined as a list of each record owner of property having frontage on the portion of the Town street or highway being sought for scenic road designation, including the linear feet of frontage of each property and the mailing address of each owner. Additionally, the list will include the name and address of the executive board of any encompassed entity, such as a beach, homeowner or unit owner association, enabled under the Common Interest Ownership Act or any applicable Special Act of the Connecticut General Assembly owning property or having jurisdiction over land abutting the portion of the Town street or highway being sought for designation as a scenic road. The applicant or the Planning Commission, as the case may be, will notify the adjacent property owners of the petition and date, time, and place of the public hearing via certified mail (return receipt requested to the Land Use Department), and submit evidence of certified mailing at the public hearing.
Within 65 days of the date of submission, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on any petition for a Town street or highway considered for designation as a scenic road. The Planning Commission will publish notice of the date, time and place of such hearing and a description of the proposal in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town of Old Saybrook 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 such hearing. The Planning Commission will enter upon the record of the petition evidence of the mailing and its receipt by the adjacent property owners.
At least 35 days prior to the hearing, the Planning Commission will also notify the Board of Selectmen, Police Commission, Zoning Commission, Architectural Review Board, Conservation Commission, Town Historian, and any other municipal agency or for review and recommendations concerning the petition. Each agency will report to the Planning Commission before or at the hearing. The report of each agency is purely advisory; the Planning Commission will presume that an agency has no objection to the proposal if an agency fails to report.
At least 15 days before the hearing, the Planning Commission will notify at least one owner of any land, as listed in the records of the Old Saybrook Assessor's Office as of October 1 each year, that abuts or is within 100 feet of that portion of the Town street or highway that is the subject of the petition of the hearing by postmarked certified mail (return receipt requested to the office of the Old Saybrook Planning Commission).
Within 65 days after the close of the public hearing, the Planning Commission will approve, approve with modifications, or deny the proposed designation, with due consideration of the plan of conservation and development. The Planning Commission may not designate a Town street or highway or portion of a Town street or highway as a scenic road unless the owners of a majority of the lot frontage abutting the Town street or highway or portion of the Town street or highway agree to the designation by filing a written statement of approval with the Town Clerk of the Town of Old Saybrook. As used in this chapter, a "majority of the lot frontage" means more than half of the total linear distance of both sides of the Town street or highway combined.
Upon receipt of written approval from owners of majority of lot frontage, the Town Clerk will notify the Planning Commission. Following such notification from the Town Clerk, the Planning Commission will establish a date upon which the designation will become effective.
Any person aggrieved by a designation of a Town street or highway or portion of a Town street or highway as a scenic road pursuant to this chapter may appeal such designation in the manner and utilizing the same standards of review provided for appeals from the decisions of land use agencies under Section 8-8 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
The Planning Commission may rescind the scenic road designation using the same procedure and having the written concurrence of the owners of a majority of the lot frontage abutting the Town street or highway.
No person, including the Town of Old Saybrook, will alter or improve any scenic road, except for good cause as determined by the Planning Commission, including but not limited to widening or narrowing of the traveled portion or the right-of-way; initial paving; changing grade; straightening; removing stone walls or mature trees; installing street lights, traffic signs, or guard rails; painting lines; and constructing curbs, catch basins or sidewalks.
The Planning Commission may hold a public hearing on any proposed alteration or improvement. The Planning Commission will approve, approve with modifications, or deny any proposed alteration or improvement, stating the reasons for such decision in its minutes.
Notwithstanding the language of Subsection A above, the Town routinely will maintain all scenic roads in good and sufficient repair and passable condition and in a manner to allow school buses and emergency vehicles to pass safely; to improve sight lines; to maintain utility lines; and to enhance and protect scenic views, stone walls, mature trees and other qualitative characteristics of the scenic road. Routine road maintenance will include but not be limited to trimming of dead, seriously diseased, or damaged tree branches; removal of brush and boulders or other obstacles that encroach on the traveled portion of the road; correction of drainage problems; soil erosion and sediment control; and retreatment and repair of existing Town street or highway surfaces.
The Tree Committee of the Board of Selectmen will deem the species of trees planted as a part of any alteration, improvement, or removal due to routine maintenance.
Nothing in this section will be deemed to prohibit a person owning or occupying land abutting a scenic road from maintaining and repairing the land that abuts the scenic road if the maintenance or repair occurs on land not within the right-of-way, paved or unpaved, of the scenic road.