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 5-15-1997; amended in its entirety 6-17-2010. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 109-1 Single-family dwellings.

On and after the effective date hereof, where private subsurface septic disposal systems are required, no single-family dwelling shall be constructed in the Town of Bethlehem on any piece or parcel of land unless either:
A. 
The parcel contains no less than 1 1/2 acres, exclusive of wetlands and watercourses, as defined in C.G.S. § 22a-38, as amended, and of which at least one acre shall contain no slope in excess of 25% original grade; or
B. 
A special septic system permit is issued by the Bethlehem Planning Commission in accordance with §§ 109-4 through 109-6 of this chapter; or
C. 
The dwelling is exempt pursuant to § 109-7 of this chapter.

§ 109-2 Multifamily dwellings.

A. 
On and after the effective date hereof, where private subsurface septic disposal systems are required, no multifamily dwellings shall be constructed in the Town of Bethlehem unless:
(1) 
The density of the development will be no greater than one dwelling unit per 1 1/2 acres, exclusive of wetlands and watercourses, as defined in C.G.S. § 22a-38, as amended, and of which at least one acre per dwelling unit shall contain no slope in excess of 25% original grade; or
(2) 
A special septic system permit is issued by the Bethlehem Planning Commission in accordance with §§ 109-4 through 109-6 of this chapter.
B. 
For the purposes of this chapter, the term "dwelling unit" shall mean one or more rooms in a residential building that are collectively arranged, designed, or intended for use by one family and that include lawful cooking space and lawful sanitary facilities reserved for the occupants thereof.

§ 109-3 Commercial, industrial, institutional or other structures.

On and after the effective date hereof, where private subsurface septic disposal systems are required, no commercial, industrial, institutional or any other structure or land use that is not a single-family or multifamily dwelling shall be constructed in the Town of Bethlehem on any piece or parcel of land unless and until a special septic system permit has been issued in accordance with this chapter.

§ 109-4 Application for special septic system permit. [1]

Any person, as defined in C.G.S. § 1-1(k), as amended, owning an interest in any land in the Town of Bethlehem may, with the written consent of the owner of record title to said land, file an application with the Bethlehem Planning Commission for a special septic system permit.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 109-5 Application review procedures; grant or denial of permit.

A. 
The Bethlehem Planning Commission shall review and decide upon any application for a special septic system permit in accordance with standards set forth in, and a renovation analysis completed in accordance with, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's "Guidance for Design of Large Scale On Site Wastewater Renovation Systems," dated 2006, as it may have been subsequently revised. In determining whether the proposed septic system complies with those standards, the Commission shall seek input from a professional engineer of its choosing. Particular attention shall be paid to phosphate sorption, nitrogen dilution, bacteria die-off, virus inactivation, and potential groundwater impacts at any property boundary. Prior to conducting any testing or data collection required for the renovation analysis, the applicant must provide adequate notice to the Commission's chosen engineer to allow that engineer to observe all pertinent data collection efforts, including but not necessarily limited to deep test pits, borings, standpipes, piezometers, topographic measurements and permeability measurements. The renovation analysis must be certified by a professional engineer hired by the applicant.
B. 
If the application satisfies the standards contained in said analysis, the Commission's engineer shall so advise the Bethlehem Planning Commission. If the application fails to meet the standards contained in said analysis, the Commission's engineer shall notify the First Selectman, the Building Official and the Bethlehem Planning Commission. The Commission shall act upon the application within 65 days after the date of receipt of the engineer's report. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "date of receipt" shall have the meaning set forth in Section 8-7d(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes. The Commission may grant, grant with conditions, or deny the application for a special septic system permit depending upon the extent to which it finds the application consistent or inconsistent with the provisions of this § 109-5. The Commission may place conditions on the approval of any application if it finds that such conditions are reasonably necessary or appropriate to protect groundwater quality and to assure compliance with the standards set forth in Subsection A above.
C. 
The Building Official shall not issue a building permit until compliance with said standards is obtained.

§ 109-6 Applicability of Subdivision Regulations.

For the purposes contained herein, said Bethlehem Planning Commission and the applicant for a special septic system permit hereunder shall follow the procedures set forth in Section 2 of the Subdivision Regulations of the Town of Bethlehem,[1] as may be amended from time to time, except that, as used in the context of this chapter, "subdivision" in said regulations shall mean "special septic system permit"; "Planning Commission" and "Commission" in said regulations shall mean "Bethlehem Planning Commission"; "Town of Bethlehem" and "Town" in said regulations at Section 2.3.2 shall mean "Bethlehem Planning Commission"; and "by resolution" in said regulations shall mean "in its determination." Further, as used in the context of this chapter, Subsections 2.3.4, 2.4.2.C.iii, 2.4.2.C.iv and 2.4.2.C.v of said Subdivision Regulations shall not apply.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Subdivision Regulations are on file in the office of the Town Clerk.

§ 109-7 Exemptions.

Construction of a single-family dwelling on a subdivision lot containing less than 1 1/2 acres, as aforesaid, which subdivision lot was approved by the Bethlehem Planning Commission between the effective date of the Subdivision Regulations for the Town of Bethlehem and the original effective date of this chapter (May 15, 1997), shall be exempt from the operations of this chapter.

§ 109-8 Enforcement.

The Board of Selectmen is authorized to enforce the terms of this chapter by notice, cease and desist order, court order or such other lawful means as the said Board of Selectmen may possess.

§ 109-9 Fee for application.

Application for a special septic system permit requires payment of a fee of $1,000 to the Town of Bethlehem.