[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of West Hartford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-28-1994; readopted 5-10-2005]
The compilation of the Town Charter and ordinances of the Town of West Hartford, codified and consolidated into parts, chapters and sections in the form attached hereto and made a part hereof, is hereby approved, adopted, ordained and enacted, pursuant to Section 9 of Chapter III of the Charter, as the "Code of the Town of West Hartford, Connecticut," hereinafter called the "Code." All provisions contained in the compilation provided for herein and known as the "Code of the Town of West Hartford" shall be in force and effect on and after the effective date of this ordinance.
Definitions. As used throughout the Code, and in all ordinances, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
- The Town Council of the Town of West Hartford.
- The County of Hartford, in the State of Connecticut.
- DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
- The Department of Financial Services.
- DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
- The Department of Human Services.
- DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
- The Director of the Department of Financial Services.
- DIRECTOR OF PARKS AND RECREATION
- The Director of Leisure Services.
- KEEPER or PROPRIETOR
- Includes persons, firms, associations, corporations, clubs and copartnerships, whether acting by themselves or through a servant, agent or employee.
- When applied to a building or land, includes any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, joint tenant or tenant by the entirety of the whole or of a part of such building or land.
- Shall extend and be applied to associations, communities, firms, partnerships and bodies politic and corporate as well as to individuals.
- PERSONAL PROPERTY
- Includes every species of property except real property as herein defined.
- Includes real and personal property.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Includes any park, cemetery, schoolyard or open space adjacent thereto and any lake or stream.
- REAL PROPERTY
- Includes lands, tenements and hereditaments.
- Any portion of a street between the curbline and the adjacent property line intended for the use of pedestrians, excluding parkways.
- The State of Connecticut.
- STATE LAW, GENERAL LAW, C.G.S. or GENERAL STATUTES
- The General Statutes of Connecticut, as amended.
- Embraces streets, avenues, boulevards, roads, alleys, lanes, viaducts and all other public ways in the Town, and may include private ways over which the Town exercises jurisdiction.
- TENANT or OCCUPANT
- When applied to a building or land, shall include any person holding a written or oral lease of, or who occupies, the whole or a part of such building or land, either alone or with others.
- The Town of West Hartford in the County of Hartford, State of Connecticut.
- All utilities, whether public or private, including the Metropolitan District Commission, and including but not limited to gas, water, sewer, telephone, electric, cable, communication conduits installed above or below ground
Construction of terms. In the construction of this Code of Ordinances, except as otherwise provided in this Code, words and phrases shall be construed according to the common usage of the language and 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.
Gender. A word importing the masculine gender only shall extend and be applied to females and to firms, partnerships and corporations as well as to males.
Joint authority. All words giving a joint authority to three or more persons or officers shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of such persons or officers.
Number. A word importing the singular number only may extend and be applied to several persons and things as well as to one person and thing.
Titles of officers and employees. The title of any officer or employee used herein shall be construed as if the words "of the Town" followed it and shall include his duly authorized representative.
Tense. Words used in the past or present tense include the future as well as the past and present.
The catchlines of the several sections of this Code, printed in boldface type, are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the sections and shall not be deemed or taken to be titles of such sections, nor as any part of the sections, nor, unless expressly so provided, shall they be so deemed when any of such sections, including the catchlines, are amended or reenacted.
Any and all additions or amendments to such Code, when passed in such form as to indicate the intention of the Town Council to make the same a part thereof, shall be deemed to be incorporated in such Code so that reference to the "Code of the Town of West Hartford" shall be understood and intended to include such additions and amendments.
All ordinances passed subsequent to this Code which amend, repeal or in any way affect this Code may be numbered in accordance with the numbering system of this Code and printed for inclusion herein. In the case of repealed chapters, articles, parts, sections and subsections, or any part thereof, by subsequent ordinances, such repealed portions may be excluded from the Code by omission from reprinted pages affected thereby.
All ordinances which amend or repeal any provision of this Code shall set forth in full the sections or subsections to be amended or repealed and, if to be amended, shall indicate matter to be omitted from the revised section or subsection by enclosing the same in brackets and new matter by underscoring.
If any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this Code shall be declared invalid or unconstitutional by the valid judgment or decree of any court, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect any of the remaining provisions of this Code.
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 provision of this Code or other ordinance of the Town shall be misrepresented or with intent to commit a fraud thereby.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances of the Town of West Hartford of a general and permanent nature in force on the date of the adoption of this ordinance which are inconsistent with any provisions of the Code and are not included in such Code or recognized and continued in force by reference therein are hereby repealed from and after the effective date hereof, except as hereinafter provided.
Whenever in this Code or any other ordinance of the Town or rule or regulation promulgated by any officer thereof under authority vested in him by law or ordinance any act is prohibited or is declared to be unlawful or any offense or the doing of 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 of $65. Each calendar day that any such violation shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.
The imposition of any punishment hereunder shall not prevent the enforced abatement of any unlawful condition by the Town.
The repeal provided for in § 1-7 hereof shall not affect any of the following:
Any offense or act committed or done or any penalty or forfeiture incurred or any contract or right established or accruing before the effective date of such Code.
Any ordinance promising or guaranteeing the payment of money for the Town or authorizing the issuance of any bonds of the Town or any evidence of the Town's indebtedness.
Any contract or obligation assumed by the Town.
Any right or franchise granted by the Town.
Any ordinance dedicating, naming, establishing, locating, relocating, opening, paving, widening, vacating, etc., any park, playground or recreational facility.
Any ordinance relating to specific public improvements or assessments therefor.
Any ordinance establishing or prescribing grades for streets.
Any appropriation ordinance or ordinance providing for the levying of taxes or for an annual budget.
Any ordinance in effect which regulates Town elections and voting district boundaries.
Any ordinance relating to the investment of municipal funds.
Any ordinance or resolution affecting the Zoning Map or the creation or amendment of special development districts.
Any ordinance establishing subdivision regulations and amendments thereto or any ordinance dedicating or accepting any plat or subdivision in the Town.
Any traffic regulation not inconsistent with this Code.
Any ordinance establishing a branch library.
Any ordinance enacted after February 22, 1994.
Any property right, including any easements, granted or conferred to the Town.
Any rules or regulations adopted by any Town commissions, boards, committees, departments, etc.
The repeal provided for in § 1-7 hereof shall not be construed to revive any ordinance or part thereof that has been repealed by a subsequent ordinance which is repealed by this ordinance.
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.
Pursuant to C.G.S. § 7-152b and § 7-152c, as those sections may be amended or recodified from time to time, the Town Manager shall appoint one or more individuals who shall serve as hearing officers to conduct hearings into the violation of ordinances, rules or regulations of the Town of West Hartford. Said hearing officers shall be electors of the Town of West Hartford, but no member of the West Hartford Police Department, member of the Corporation Counsel's office or any employee empowered or authorized to issue citations for the violation of any ordinance of the Town of West Hartford shall be permitted to serve as a hearing officer pursuant to this subsection.
Within 12 months from the expiration of the final period for the uncontested payment of any fine, penalty, cost or fee levied as the result of a violation of any provision of the West Hartford Code of Ordinances or any regulation adopted pursuant to Chapter 34, Rules and Regulations, of the West Hartford Code of Ordinances, except for violations of § 168-13 thereof which shall be enforced in the manner set forth in § 168-17 of the West Hartford Code of Ordinances, notice shall be sent to the owner of the property which is the subject of the violation in question or such other person as may be appropriate. Such notice shall inform the owner and/or other person:
Of the allegations of the citation.
Of the right to contest liability at a hearing before a citation hearing officer by delivering, in person or by mail, written notice of such intent within 10 days of the date thereof.
That a failure to request such hearing will result in the prompt entry of an assessment and judgment against the person or persons named in the citation.
That such judgment may issue without further notice.
That failure to respond to this notice shall result in the issuance of an infraction citation to the violator.
Admission of liability; infraction citation.
If any person who is sent notice pursuant to this section wishes to admit liability for any alleged violation, that person may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees admitted to in person or by mail at the address specified in the notice.
Any person who does not respond to the notice provided in Subsection B of this section by paying the fines and penalties set forth therein or by requesting a hearing within seven days thereafter may be issued an infraction citation by a duly authorized individual based upon the original municipal ordinance violation.
Any person who requests a hearing pursuant to Subsection B of this section shall be given written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing. Such hearing shall be held not less than 15 days nor more than 30 days from the date of the mailing of the notice, provided that the hearing officer shall grant, upon good cause shown, any reasonable request by an interested party for postponement or continuance. The hearing officer may accept from any person contesting liability copies of police reports, investigatory and citation reports and other official documents by mail and may determine thereby that the appearance of such person at a hearing is unnecessary. If the person or persons cited otherwise fail to appear, the hearing officer may enter an assessment by default against them upon a finding of:
An original or certified copy of the initial notice of violation issued by the issuing official or police officer shall be filed and retained by the municipality and shall be deemed to be a business record and evidence of the facts contained therein. The presence of the issuing official or police officer shall be required at the hearing if any interested party so requests.
A person wishing to contest liability shall appear at the hearing, unless excused from so doing by the hearing officer, and may present evidence. The Corporation Counsel or his designee shall present evidence on behalf of the Town. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with such methods of proof as that officer 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 the decision at the end of the hearing. If the hearing officer determines that the person is not liable, the matter shall be dismissed and the determination entered in writing accordingly. If the hearing officer determines that the person is liable for the violation, the appropriate fines, penalties, costs or fees shall promptly be entered and assessed against such person as provided by the applicable ordinances. The hearing officer shall have the authority to modify the violation or reduce the penalty and/or fee assessable against any person if, in the hearing officer's discretion, such modification is warranted based upon the facts elicited during the hearing process.
If any hearing officer has entered an assessment by default against any person with respect to any matter, no hearing officer shall reconsider that matter until the person against whom such assessment has been imposed has submitted a written request to open said assessment by default explaining the basis for the person's failure to appear at the scheduled hearing and paid a nonrefundable fee for said request in the amount of $10 to the Town of West Hartford; and said request has been considered on its merits and granted by a hearing officer. The decision to grant or deny such a request shall rest in the sole discretion of the hearing officer.
If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the hearing officer shall send by first class mail, postage prepaid, 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 against such person in favor of the municipality with the Clerk of the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford/New Britain, together with such entry fee as may be required by the Superior Court. Notwithstanding any other provisions, 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 on such judgment may issue without further notice to such person.
A 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 such entry fee as may be required by the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford/New Britain, which shall entitle such person to a hearing in accordance with the rules of the Judges of the Superior Court.
A copy of such Code shall be kept on file in the office of the Town Clerk, preserved in loose-leaf form or in such other form as the Town Clerk may consider most expedient. It shall be the express duty of the Town Clerk or someone authorized by the Town Clerk to insert in their proper places all amendments or ordinances which indicate the intention of the Town Council to make the same a part of such Code when the same have been printed or reprinted in page form and to extract from such Code all provisions which may be from time to time repealed by the Town Council. This copy of such Code shall be available for all persons desiring to examine the same and shall be considered the official Code of the Town of West Hartford, and any copy of such Code certified by the Town Clerk shall be the official Code of the Town of West Hartford at the date of such certification.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation in the Town to change or amend, by additions or deletions, any part or portion of such Code or to insert or delete pages, or portions thereof, or to alter or tamper with such Code in any manner whatsoever which will cause the law of the Town of West Hartford to be misrepresented thereby. Any person, firm or corporation violating this section shall be punished as provided in § 1-8 of this ordinance.
In compiling and preparing the Charter and ordinances for publication as the Code of the Town of West Hartford, no changes in the meaning or intent of such Charter or ordinances have been made. Certain grammatical changes and other minor nonsubstantive changes were made in one or more of said ordinances, as authorized by the Town Council. It is the intention of the Town Council that all such changes be adopted as part of the Code as if the ordinances had been previously formally amended to read as such.
The following changes, amendments or revisions are made throughout the Code, to become effective upon the effective date of this ordinance:
Gender neutral language has been used. References to "he" or "she" have been revised to refer back to the noun or have been eliminated altogether. Such gender-neutral terms as Chair and Councilor have been used to replace Chairman or Councilman.
Consistent reference to Plan and Zoning Commission has been used.
References to the General Statutes are standardized using the following form: C.G.S. § ____. References to the 1958 Revision of the statutes have been similarly revised.
The following changes have been made in the ordinances included in the Code. Pursuant to § 1-4C, matter to be omitted from the revised section or subsection is indicated by enclosing the same in brackets and new matter by underscoring.
Editor's Note: The sections amended by this ordinance pursuant to § 1-13C are set forth in the complete copy of the 2005 Code Adoption Ordinance, adopted 5-10-2005, on file in the office of the Town Clerk. Sections and subsections amended throughout the Code are indicated by the following history: “[Added/Amended/Deleted 5-10-2005]”.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are, to the extent of such conflict, hereby repealed, as of the operative date of this ordinance, but shall remain in full force and effect until such date.
This ordinance shall become effective July 1, 2005.
The Town Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this ordinance and shall, within 15 days after the passage and adoption thereof, cause notice of the same to be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of West Hartford.