Town of Bethlehem, CT
Litchfield County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Bethlehem 8-24-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Parking — See Ch. 128, Art. I.

§ 79-1 Duties of Fire Marshal.

Pursuant to, without limitation, the provisions of C.G.S. § 7-148 and for the public's health, safety, welfare and convenience and to protect the Town from fire, it is hereby made the duty of the Fire Marshal and his agents to inquire into and investigate the parking of motor vehicles of all kinds ("vehicles") in driveways, alleys, parking areas and other open spaces adjacent to or leading to dwellings occupied by three or more families and buildings open to the public, where the blocking of such driveways, alleys, parking areas and other open spaces by the parking of vehicles endangers the safety of persons occupying or using said dwellings and/or buildings so as to constitute a fire hazard, in the opinion of the Fire Marshal; to designate parking in said areas as a fire hazard; and to have said areas posted as a fire zone. This section shall not apply to driveways serving one dwelling occupied by less than three families.

§ 79-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FIRE ZONE
A designated unobstructed passageway sufficient in size to permit free passage of fire and other emergency equipment from a public highway to all necessary areas or portions of any private or public property.

§ 79-3 Establishment of fire zones; notice to owners.

The Fire Marshal shall establish a fire zone by written order specifying the limits thereof, shall file a copy of said order with the Board of Selectmen and Town Clerk and shall send a copy by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner(s) or agent(s) thereof of any private land on which such fire zone is established. If any such certified mail copy is returned, a copy of such order shall be published at least once in a newspaper having general circulation within the Town, and a copy of the order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on each dwelling or building affected thereby.

§ 79-4 Appeal by property owner; hearing; decision.

A. 
Any private property owner aggrieved by the designation of a fire zone on his property may file with the Town Clerk, within 30 days after receipt of the Fire Marshal's order by mail or within 30 days of the last publication or posting of such order, whichever is later, written notice of appeal, setting forth therein reasons of aggrievement.
B. 
The Board of Selectmen shall hold a hearing on such appeal within 60 days after it has been filed. Reasonable notice of the time, date and place of the hearing shall be given to the property owner and the Fire Marshal. At such hearing, the Board shall consider the reasons of aggrievement, the reasons for the establishment of the fire zone and shall determine whether said order was reasonably necessary in order to protect the safety of persons occupying or using the dwellings and/or buildings involved.
C. 
The Board may affirm, modify or rescind the order and shall notify the property owner and the Fire Marshal in writing of its decision within 15 days of the date of the hearing.

§ 79-5 Signs and markings.

Within 10 days of the establishment or modification of a fire zone, the Board of Selectmen shall cause to be erected or installed adequate signs, markings or other devices to delineate said fire zone and to warn that no parking is permitted therein.

§ 79-6 Parking in fire zones prohibited; exception.

No person shall park, or permit to stand, a vehicle in a fire zone, except when actually picking up or discharging passengers.

§ 79-7 Towing of vehicles in violation; fees and charges.

Town of Bethlehem municipal police officers, or other authority designated by the Board of Selectmen or First Selectman, are authorized to remove or have removed by a commercial towing service any vehicle parked in violation of § 79-6 to the nearest garage or place of safety or to a garage designated or maintained by the Board of Selectmen within the Town of Bethlehem. Such removal shall be at the risk and expense of the owner of the vehicle. Cars so removed shall be stored in a safe place and shall be restored to the owner or operator upon payment of a fee of $20 within 24 hours after the time the car was removed, plus $10 for each additional 24 hours or fraction thereof, plus reasonable costs of towing and storage.

§ 79-8 Issuance of notice to pay fine in lieu of towing.

It is hereby provided, however, that the Board of Selectmen or its designee may, in lieu of towing said vehicle to a garage, serve upon the owner, operator or other person in charge of the vehicle, or attach to the vehicle, a notice directing the owner or operator or other person in charge thereof to appear in person and pay $30 or to mail a check or money order for said sum to the Board of Selectmen, Town of Bethlehem, within 48 hours subsequent to issuance of said notice. A receipt shall be issued for all money so received.