[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Orange 3-26-1974. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Inland wetlands and water courses regulations — See Ch. 381.
The State of Connecticut has legislatively determined that the inland wetlands and water courses of the State of Connecticut are an indispensable and irreplaceable but fragile natural resource with which the citizens of the State of Connecticut have been endowed. The wetlands are an interrelated web of nature essential to an adequate supply of surface and underground water, to hydrological stability and control of flooding and erosion; to the recharging and purification of ground water; and to the existence of many forms of animal, aquatic and plant life.
Many inland wetlands and water courses have been destroyed or are in danger of destruction because of unregulated use by reason of the disposition, filling, or removal of material, the diversion or obstruction of water flow, the erection of structures and other uses, all of which have despoiled, polluted and eliminated wetlands and water courses. Such unregulated activity has had, and will continue to have, a significant, adverse impact on the environment and ecology of the State of Connecticut, and has or will continue to imperil the quality of the environment thus adversely affecting the ecological scenic, historic and recreational values and benefits of the state for its citizens now and forever more. The preservation and protection of the wetlands and water courses from random, unnecessary, undesirable and unregulated uses, disturbance or destruction is in the public interest and is essential to the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of the state.
It is, therefore, the purpose of this chapter to implement the State of Connecticut's legislative findings as they are applicable to the Town of Orange, by making provisions for the protection, preservation, maintenance and use of the inland wetlands and water courses, by minimizing their disturbance and pollution; maintaining and improving water quality in accordance with the highest standards set by federal, state or local authority; preventing damage from erosion, turbidity, or siltation; preventing loss of fish and other beneficial aquatic organisms, wildlife and vegetation and the destruction of the natural habitats thereof; deterring and inhibiting the danger of flood and pollution; protecting the quality of wetlands and water courses for their conservation, economic, aesthetic, recreational and other public and private uses and values; and protecting Orange's potable fresh water supplies from the dangers of drought, overdraft, pollution, misuse and mismanagement by providing an orderly process to balance the need for the economic growth of Orange and the use of its land with the need to protect its environment and ecology in order to guarantee forever for the people of Orange the safety of such natural resources for their benefit and enjoyment and for the benefit and enjoyment of generations yet unborn.
In order to effectuate the foregoing objectives, an Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Commission shall be established, consisting of seven members appointed by the First Selectman. Minority representation on the Commission shall be in conformity with the provisions of Section 9-167a of the Connecticut General Statutes (Rev. 1958). The terms of the seven members of the Commission shall be divided into two classes. The First Selectman shall appoint three members to serve for a period to end 30 days following the biennial Town election in 2009 and four members to serve for a period to end 30 days following the biennial Town election of 2011. At the expiration of the initial term of office of each Commission member, his or her successor shall be appointed to serve a period of four years.
Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled by the First Selectman.
Any removal of members from the Commission shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Orange Town Charter or applicable law.
The Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Commission is authorized to promulgate such regulations, in conformity with regulations promulgated by the State of Connecticut Commissioner of Environmental Protection, as are necessary to protect the wetlands and water courses within the territorial limits of the Town of Orange. Such regulations shall be adopted and promulgated in accordance with the procedures set forth in said Public Act No. 155, as amended.
On or after the effective date of the regulations promulgated pursuant to § 81-3 of this chapter, no regulated activity shall be conducted upon a defined inland wetlands area or water course without a permit from the Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Commission. Procedures for permit application, issuance and appeal from any such action, shall be in accordance with the procedures set forth in said Public Act No. 155, as amended.
In exercising the authority granted herein, the Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Commission shall:
Develop comprehensive programs in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter.
Advise, consult and cooperate with other agencies of the municipality, the region, and the state and federal governments, and with other states, persons or municipalities, as is necessary to further the purposes of this chapter; to this end, all applications for building permits, subdivision plans or other permits which involve or may involve regulated activities in an inland wetlands area or water course, made to any other board, commission, or official of the Town of Orange, shall be subject to review by the Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Commission. If it is determined by the Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Commission that said application does in fact involve regulated activities within an inland wetlands area or water course, the Commission shall either grant or withhold approval of the application in accordance with its regulatory powers set forth herein.
Encourage, participate in or conduct studies, investigations, research and demonstrations, and collect and disseminate information relating to the purposes of the chapter.
Retain and employ consultants and assistants on a contract or other basis as needed, in accordance with the normal budgetary procedures followed by the Town of Orange, for the purpose of rendering legal, financial, technical and other assistance and advice to further any of its purposes, specifically including but not limited to soil scientists of the United States Soil Conservation Service for the purpose of making on-site interpretations, evaluations and findings as to soil types, and the utilization of services of such other town officials and employees as the Commission may deem appropriate.
Inventory or index the inland wetlands and water courses in such form, including pictorial representations, and list of plant species, as the Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Commission deems best suited to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
Exercise all incidental powers necessary to enforce its regulations and to carry out the purposes of the chapter including, if it is deemed necessary, and if approved under the normal budgetary procedures followed by the Town of Orange, the designation of a compliance officer or administrator.
To implement the purposes set forth in this chapter, the town, in accordance with the normal budgetary procedures followed by it, may appropriate funds to the Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Commission.
Any person violating this chapter or the regulations promulgated thereunder, shall be subject to the remedies and penalties provided by said Public Act No 155, as amended.