Town of West Hartford, CT
Hartford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of West Hartford 10-27-1998; amended in its entirety 11-14-2000. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, § 1-8.
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 94.
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 101.
Housing and property maintenance — See Ch. 105.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 128.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 155.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
AIRCRAFT
Any contrivance now known or hereafter invented, used or designed for navigation or for flight in the air. The word "aircraft" shall include helicopters and lighter-than-air dirigibles and balloons.
AUTHORIZED PRIVATE RECEPTACLE
A litter storage and collection receptacle as authorized by the Director of Public Works.
BUILDING
A fixed construction with walls, foundation and roof, such as a house, factory or garage, which is either vacant or used for any type of occupancy or use.
BULK CONTAINER
Any metal garbage, rubbish and/or refuse container which is equipped with fittings for hydraulic and/or mechanical emptying, unloading and/or removal.
COMMERCIAL HANDBILL
Any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper, booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter of literature, which:
A. 
Advertises for sale any merchandise, product, commodity or thing;
B. 
Directs attention to any business, mercantile or commercial establishment or other activity for the purpose of either directly or indirectly promoting the interest thereof by sales;
C. 
Directs attention to or advertises any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind for which an admission fee is charged for the purpose of private gain or profit; but the terms of this subsection shall not apply where an admission fee is charged or a collection is taken up for the purpose of defraying the expenses incident to such meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind, when either of the same is held, given or takes place in connection with the dissemination of information which is not restricted under the ordinary rules of decency, good morals, public peace, safety and good order, provided that nothing contained in this subsection shall be deemed to authorize the holding, giving or taking place of any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind without a license where such license is or may be required by any law of this state or under any ordinance of this Town; or
D. 
While containing reading matter other than advertising matter, is predominantly and essentially an advertisement and is distributed or circulated for advertising purposes or for the private benefit and gain of any person so engaged as advertiser or distributor.
DWELLING
A house or building, or portion thereof, or any enclosed space wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and/or eating by one or more families or households, provided that temporary housing, as hereinafter defined, shall not be classified as a dwelling. Industrialized housing and modular construction which conform to nationally accepted industry standards and are used or intended for use for living, sleeping, cooking and eating purposes shall be classified as dwellings.
DWELLING UNIT
A dwelling, or portion thereof, forming a single habitable unit with facilities used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and/or eating purposes.
GARBAGE
Putrescible animal and vegetable wastes resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
GRAFFITI
Any letters, numbers, word or words, writings or inscriptions, symbols, drawings, carvings, stickers, etchings or any other marking of any nature whatsoever which defaces, obliterates, covers, alters, damages or destroys the real or personal property of another. This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit easily removable chalk markings on public sidewalks and streets used in connection with traditional children's games.
LITTER
Garbage, refuse and rubbish, as defined in this section, and all other waste material which, if thrown or deposited as herein prohibited, tends to create a danger to public health, safety and welfare. Litter shall not include clean excavated earth, unless the same may be objectionable by reason of dust or foul odors, or fill material approved by the Director of Community Services. Litter shall not include sand, salt or other appropriate chemicals upon any icy or slippery condition.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle which is propelled or drawn by any power other than muscular, suitable for the conveyance, drawing or other transportation of persons or property, whether operated on wheels, runners, a cushion of air between it and the surface or by other means, except those used exclusively upon tracks.
NEWSPAPER
Any newspaper of general circulation as defined by general law, any newspaper duly entered with the United States Postal Service in accordance with federal statute or regulation and any newspaper filed and recorded with any recording officer as provided by general law and, in addition thereto, includes any periodical or current magazine regularly published with not less than four issues per year and sold to the public.
NONCOMMERCIAL HANDBILL
Any printed or written matter, any sample, device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, paper, booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter of literature not included in the aforesaid definitions of a "commercial handbill" or "newspaper."
OCCUPANT
Any individual, over one year of age, living, sleeping, cooking or eating in or having possession of a dwelling unit or a rooming unit, except that in dwelling units a guest shall not be considered an occupant.
OWNER
Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have:
A. 
Legal title to any premises, dwelling or dwelling unit, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or
B. 
Charge, care or control of any premises, dwelling or dwelling unit, as owner or agent of the owner, or an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner. Any such person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter and of rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto to the same extent as if he or she were the owner.
PARK
A park, reservation, playground, beach, recreation center or any other public area in the Town owned or used by the Town and devoted to active or passive recreation.
PREMISES
A platted lot or part thereof or unplatted lot or parcel of land or plot of land, either occupied or unoccupied by any dwelling or nondwelling structure, and includes any such building, accessory structure or other structure thereon, or any part thereof. The term "premises," where the context requires, shall be deemed to include any and all buildings, dwellings, parcels of land or structures contained within the scope of this chapter.
PRIVATE PREMISES
Any dwelling, house, building or other structure, designed or used, either wholly or in part, for private residential purposes, whether inhabited or temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant, and shall include any yard, grounds, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such dwelling, house, building or other structure.
PUBLIC PLACE
Any and all streets, highways and boulevards, alleys or other publicly owned or controlled ways and any and all publicly owned or controlled parks, squares, spaces, grounds and buildings.
REFUSE
All putrescible and nonputrescible solid wastes (except body wastes), including garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned automobiles and shopping carts and solid market and industrial wastes.
REFUSE CONTAINER
Any container that is constructed of metal or other durable material impervious to rodents and that is capable of being serviced without hydraulic and/or mechanical emptying, unloading and/or removal, or such other containers as have been approved by the appropriate authority.
RODENT HARBORAGE
Any conditions or place where rodents can lie, nest or seek shelter.
RUBBISH
Nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding, crockery and similar materials, but shall not include properly maintained compost.
STRUCTURE
That which has been or is built or constructed and which is or should be fastened, anchored or attached to or which rests on a building, foundation or on the ground, including any buildings, fences, fire escapes, railings, towers, sidewalks or stairways.
VEHICLE
Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, including devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
In addition to any other prohibitions of various forms of littering contained in this chapter, no person shall throw or deposit litter on any exterior portion of property occupied by a business or in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public place within the Town, except in public receptacles for collection or in official Town dumps.
Persons placing litter in public receptacles or in authorized private receptacles shall do so in such a manner as to prevent it from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon private property.
No person shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street or other public place within the Town the accumulation of litter from any building, place of business, lot or from any public or private sidewalk or driveway.
Persons owning or occupying property or places of business within the Town shall keep the sidewalk in front of their property or business premises free of litter.
No person while a driver or passenger in a vehicle shall throw or deposit litter upon any street or other public place within the Town or upon private property.
No person shall drive or move any truck or other vehicle within the Town unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded so as to prevent any load, contents or litter from being blown or deposited upon any street, alley or other public place, nor shall any person drive or move any vehicle or truck within the Town, the wheels or tires of which carry onto or deposit in any street, alley or other public place mud, dirt, sticky substances, litter or foreign matter of any kind; provided, however, that this restriction shall not apply to the owner or operator of any vehicle or truck who has received prior written approval from the Director of Public Works as to methods and frequency of cleanup.
No person shall throw or deposit litter in any park within the Town except in public receptacles and in such manner that the litter will be prevented from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any part of the park or upon any street or other public place. Where public receptacles are not provided, all such litter shall be carried away from the park by the person responsible for its presence and shall be properly disposed of elsewhere as provided herein.
No person shall throw or deposit litter in any fountain, pond, lake, stream or any other body of water in a park or elsewhere within the Town.
No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street or other public place within the Town, nor shall any person hand out or distribute or sell any commercial handbill in any public place; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful on any sidewalk, street or other public place within the Town for any person to hand out or distribute, without charge to the receiver thereof, any noncommercial handbill to any person willing to accept it.
No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any vehicle; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful in any public place for a person to hand out or distribute, without charge to the receiver thereof, a noncommercial handbill to any occupant of a vehicle who is willing to accept it.
No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private premises which are temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant.
No person shall throw, deposit or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill upon any private premises if requested by anyone thereon not to do so or if there is placed on said premises in a conspicuous position near the entrance thereof a sign bearing the words "No Trespassing," "No Peddlers or Agents," "No Advertisement" or any similar notice, indicating in any manner that the occupants of said premises do not desire to be molested or have their right of privacy disturbed or to have any such handbills left upon such premises.
A. 
No person shall throw, deposit or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon private premises which are inhabited, except by handing or transmitting any such handbill directly to the owner, occupant or other person then present in or upon such private premises; provided, however, that, in the case of inhabited private premises which are not posted, as provided in § 115-13, such person, unless requested by anyone upon such premises not to do so, may place or deposit any such handbill in or upon such inhabited private premises if such handbill is so placed or deposited as to secure or prevent such handbill from being blown or drifted about such premises or sidewalks, streets or other public places, and except that mailboxes may not be so used when so prohibited by federal postal law or regulations.
B. 
The provisions of Subsection A shall not apply to the distribution of mail by the United States nor to newspapers as defined in this chapter, except that newspapers shall be placed on private property in such a manner as to prevent their being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon private property.
No person in any aircraft shall throw out, drop or deposit within the Town any litter, handbill or any other object.
No person shall post or affix any notice, poster or other paper or device calculated to attract the attention of the public to any lamppost, public utility pole or shade tree or upon any public structure or building except as may be authorized or required by law.
No person shall throw or deposit litter on any occupied private property within the Town, whether owned by such person or not, except that the owner or person in control of private property may maintain authorized private receptacles for collection in such a manner that litter will be prevented from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon any private property.
The owner or person in control of any property shall, at all times, maintain the premises free of litter; provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit the storage of litter in authorized private receptacles for collection.
No person shall throw or deposit litter on any open or vacant private property within the Town, whether owned by such person or not.
[Amended 2-28-2006]
A. 
Bulk storage containers which are used for the storage of garbage, refuse, rubbish, litter and/or other waste material shall:
(1) 
Be placed on paved surfaces which have proper drainage, and such surfaces are to be maintained free of garbage, refuse, rubbish and litter.
(2) 
Be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner.
(3) 
Be watertight, rodentproof, insectproof and structurally strong and sound and not allow leakage of their contents.
(4) 
Be equipped with tight-fitting lids which shall be kept closed at all times.
(5) 
Have a capacity sufficient to meet the needs of the occupants of each premises served thereby.
B. 
All refuse containers used for the storage of garbage, refuse, rubbish, litter and/or other waste material shall be:
(1) 
Rodentproof, insectproof, watertight, rust-free and structurally strong and sound and shall not allow leakage of their contents.
(2) 
Provided with tight-fitting covers which shall be kept closed at all times.
(3) 
Maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
C. 
Each dwelling unit shall be provided with a minimum of two twenty-gallon refuse containers or refuse containers of such additional capacity as necessary to store the refuse accumulated by the occupants of each dwelling unit between regular collections.
D. 
Plastic bags may be used as refuse container liners but shall not be used for unprotected storage of garbage, refuse or rubbish out-of-doors without being placed in a refuse or bulk container as defined by this Code. Plastic bags not placed in a refuse or bulk container as defined by this Code and containing garbage, refuse or rubbish, not including leaves, grass clippings and hedge trimmings, which are outside of any structure more than 24 hours before or after the collection day shall be considered in violation of this section.
E. 
All bulk containers, refuse containers and bulk refuse or rubbish not in containers shall be located and maintained so as to:
(1) 
Be placed in a location in back of the building line except during the seventy-two-hour period commencing with the day before and ending with the day after the regularly scheduled refuse collection day for the dwelling in question.
(2) 
Be placed in a location which shall be as far away as practicable from any adjacent dwelling unit.
(3) 
Take all practicable measures, including, without limitation, cleaning the containers in the surrounding areas and eliminating odors, to minimize the noise and odor affecting the surrounding premises and to prevent interference with the health and safety of the occupants of the premises or of adjacent premises.
A. 
It shall be the responsibility of each occupant residing in a one-, two- or three-family dwelling to provide bulk or refuse containers for the sanitary and safe storage and disposal of rubbish, garbage and litter.
B. 
It shall be the responsibility of each owner of any building, structure or dwelling arranged for four or more families to provide bulk or refuse containers for the sanitary and safe storage of rubbish, garbage and litter and to provide for the removal and legal disposal of such rubbish, garbage and litter.
C. 
Every occupant of a premises shall maintain, store and dispose of all rubbish, garbage and litter in a clean, sanitary and safe manner that shall prevent the spread of disease, the infestation of the structure and premises and rodent and rat harborage and shall dispose of such rubbish, garbage and litter by placing it in the bulk containers or refuse containers required by this Code.
D. 
The owner and every occupant of a premises shall be responsible for closing and keeping closed all covers of bulk or refuse containers required by this code.
E. 
No owner or occupant of a premises shall store, place or allow to accumulate any refuse, garbage, rubbish, litter or any other material which may serve as food for rats, rodents or other pests or provide harborage in or about any premises.
[Amended 2-5-2002]
A. 
The growth and maintenance of all landscaping on any premises, including, but not limited to, shrubs, hedges, grass and plants, shall:
(1) 
Not unreasonably hinder the use of adjacent properties.
(2) 
Not block or interfere with the use of any public sidewalk and/or public or private street or right-of-way or obstruct the sighting of any road sign.
(3) 
Not obstruct utility lines or other cables to and around the premises.
(4) 
Be maintained so as not to extend or infringe beyond the boundaries of the property.
(5) 
Comply with standards stated in § 177-24 of Chapter 177, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of West Hartford.
B. 
No owner or occupant of any premises shall permit grass, weeds or similar growths to reach a height greater than one foot on any premises with a building or dwelling located thereon, whether said building or dwelling is occupied or not. Nor shall the owner of any undeveloped premises allow any grass, weeds or similar growths thereon greater than one foot in height to remain thereon within 25 feet of a street line or any adjoining property line of any premises with a building or dwelling located thereon, whether said building or dwelling is occupied or not.
C. 
Permitting grass or weeds or similar growths to grow to a greater height than six inches in any portion of that land lying between a fence or property line and the curbline or otherwise permitting weeds or similar growths to grow to a greater height than one foot or permitting grass to grow to a greater height than one foot, unless such grass is to be harvested, or permitting any wood or other plant which, in the opinion of the Director of Health, may cause or aggravate hay fever or similar conditions to grow or remain on any land fronting on a macadamized or paved street within the limits of the Town or on any interior lot bounded on three or more sides by land fronting on any such street or permitting dirt or other materials to remain on any sidewalk is prohibited.
Permitting any poison ivy, poison sumac or other poisonous vegetation to grow or remain on any property within 25 feet of a street line or any adjoining property line is prohibited.
The owner, agent of the owner or occupant of premises bordering on any street or public place within the Town where there is an established sidewalk shall cause to be removed therefrom any and all snow and ice within 12 hours after the same shall have fallen or formed or within 12 hours after sunrise when the same shall have fallen or formed in the night season. When it is impracticable to remove ice, the sidewalk shall be made safe and convenient for travel by covering with sand or some other suitable substance.
A. 
The provisions of C.G.S. § 7-163a are hereby adopted and are set forth in Subsections B and C of this section.
B. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of C.G.S. § 13a-149 or any other general statute or special act, the Town of West Hartford shall not be liable to any person injured in person or property caused by the presence of ice or snow on a public sidewalk unless the Town of West Hartford is the owner or person in possession and control of land abutting such sidewalk, other than land used as a highway or street, provided that the Town of West Hartford shall be liable for its affirmative acts with respect to such sidewalk.
C. 
Responsibility of owners and abutters.
(1) 
The owner or person in possession and control of land abutting a public sidewalk shall have the same duty of care with respect to the presence of ice or snow on such sidewalk toward the portion of the sidewalk abutting the owner's property as the municipality had prior to the effective date of this chapter and shall be liable to persons injured in person or property where a breach of said duty is the proximate cause of said injury.
(2) 
No action to recover damages for injury to the person or to property caused by the presence of ice or snow on a public sidewalk against a person who owns or is in possession and control of land abutting a public sidewalk shall be brought but within two years from the date when the injury is first sustained.
A. 
If any dog shall defecate upon any property or area, as hereinafter defined, then the owner, keeper and person then walking or otherwise in charge of said dog shall immediately remove or cause to be removed from said property or area all feces so deposited by said dog. Unless said feces are removed the owner, keeper and the person then walking or otherwise in charge of said dog (or if said owner, keeper or person shall be a minor, then the parent or guardian) shall each be deemed to have committed a punishable offense.
B. 
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PROPERTY or AREA
Any public property or the common areas of any privately owned property or any private property owned or occupied by any person or persons who are not members of the family of the owner or keeper of or the person then walking or otherwise in charge of the dog.
C. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to a guide dog accompanying any blind person.
All fences shall:
A. 
Be maintained in good condition.
B. 
Not create a harborage for rodents.
C. 
If constructed of wood other than decay-resistant woods, be protected against decay by use of paint which is not lead-based paint or by other preservative material.
A. 
Notice to remove. The Town Manager or authorized representative is hereby authorized and empowered to notify the owner of any open or vacant private property within the Town, or the agent of such owner, to properly dispose of litter located on such owner's property which is dangerous to public health, safety or welfare. Such notice shall be by registered mail, addressed to said owner at his or her last known address.
B. 
Action upon noncompliance. Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner or agent so notified to properly dispose of litter dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare within five days after receipt of the written notice provided for in Subsection A above or within five days after the date of such notice in the event that the same is returned to the post office because of its inability to make delivery thereof, provided that the same was properly addressed to the last known address of such owner or agent, the Town Manager or authorized representative is hereby authorized and empowered to pay for the disposing of such litter or to order its disposal by the Town.
C. 
Recorded statement constitutes lien. Upon completion of such work, the Town Manager or authorized representative shall determine the reasonable cost thereof and bill the owner or agent therefor. Upon failure of the owner or agent to remit to the Town the amount of such charge within 30 days from the date of such notice, the Town Manager or authorized representative, within 90 days from the date of such notice, shall cause to be recorded in the land records of the Town a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred for the work, the date the work was done and the location of the property on which said work was done. The recordation of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien and privilege on the property and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and legal interest, plus costs of court, if any, for collection, until final payment has been made. Sworn statements recorded in accordance with the provisions hereof shall be prima facie evidence that all work has been done properly and satisfactorily and shall be full notice to every person concerned that the amount of the statement, plus interest, constitutes a charge against the property designated or described in the statement and that the same is due and collectible as provided by law. Said lien shall be of the same effect and may be foreclosed in the same manner as a tax lien. An appeal from any final action taken pursuant to this section may be taken in accordance with Chapter IX, Section 4, of the Town Charter.
No person shall permit graffiti to remain on any commercial or industrial property for a period of more than 72 hours after notification by the Town Manager or his or her designee.
It shall be the duty of the Town Manager or designee to enforce the provisions of this chapter and any rules or regulations promulgated under this chapter.
Violation of any provision of this chapter or failure to obey any order by any proper officer made under this chapter shall be punished by a fine pursuant to § 1-8 of this Code of Ordinances or as specifically stated in this chapter. Each day that any such violation shall continue shall constitute a separate offense. The imposition of any fine hereunder shall not prevent the enforced abatement of any unlawful condition by the Town. Any citation issued pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to the appeal provisions contained in § 1-10 of this Code of Ordinances.