Town of West Hartford, CT
Hartford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 10-24-2000]
A. 
For purposes of this section the term "public utility structure" shall include any structure erected by a public service company, as that term is defined by Connecticut law, unless the location of said structure is regulated by the Connecticut Siting Council or unless said structure is subject to the requirements of § 177-16.7 of this Code of Ordinances, in which case the requirements of that section shall apply in lieu hereof.
B. 
Public utility structures erected in connection with operations which service the citizens of West Hartford shall be permitted as either main or additional uses on any lot subject to the provisions of this section.
C. 
Permits required.
(1) 
In RP, RM/O, RM-MS, RO, RCO, RM-1, RM-2, RM-3R, RM-3, RM-4, R-6, R-10, R-13, R-20, R-40 and R-80 Zones, no public utility structure shall be erected above the ground unless a special use permit has been obtained therefor in accord with the provisions of § 177-42A of this Code of Ordinances and subject to the issuance of building and/or zoning permit, and subject to the issuance of a permit pursuant to § 155-26 of this Code of Ordinances, if applicable.
(2) 
In all other zones, no public utility structure shall be erected above the ground unless a site plan approval has been obtained therefor in accord with the provisions of § 177-42B of this Code of Ordinances and subject to the issuance of a building and/or zoning permit, and subject to the issuance of a permit pursuant to § 155-26 of this Code of Ordinances, if applicable.
(3) 
Public utility structures placed underground, fire hydrants and utility poles shall be permitted as of right in any zone, subject to the issuance of a building and/or zoning permit, and subject to the issuance of a permit pursuant to § 155-26 of this Code of Ordinances, if applicable.
D. 
Standards.
(1) 
The location, construction and right-of-way of any public utility structure shall be such as to prevent hazard to the public and surrounding property.
(2) 
All standards for the zone in which a public utility structure is to be located shall be met. In the event that a public utility structure is to be located on a lot which is already improved, the public utility structure shall comply with the standards applicable to accessory uses in the applicable zone and the combination of all structures on the lot, including the public utility structure, shall not be permitted to exceed the lot coverage limitations for the zone.
(3) 
There shall be suitable fencing to protect the public and landscaping to effectively screen the public utility structure from surrounding property.
A. 
No required yard or other open space provided about any building shall be included as any part of a required yard or other open space for any other building.
B. 
No yard or other open space on one lot shall be considered as a yard or other open space on any other lot.
No lot shall be so reduced in area or changed in dimensions that any required yard or other open space will be smaller than prescribed by this chapter.
[Amended 7-22-1986; 9-27-1994; 6-23-1998]
No structures or projections shall be permitted in any required yard, except as follows:
A. 
Minor projections of structures, such as window or door frames and sills, belt courses, cornices or other architectural features, may project not more than six inches into any required yard.
B. 
Major projections of structures, such as chimneys, bay windows not longer than 25% of the wall from which they project, eaves, roofs over doorways, hatchways, areaways and fire escapes, may project not more than four feet into any required yard, provided that they shall not be closer than four feet to any lot line.
C. 
Walls or fences not exceeding seven feet in height measured above the adjoining finished grade are allowed only in any required side or rear yard. Minor variations of less than one foot in elevation of the adjoining finished grade shall not affect the measurements of the height of such fence or wall, except for underground parking facilities as in § 177-32E.
D. 
No structure shall be erected between the building line and the street line, except:
[Amended 9-14-2004]
(1) 
A wall or fence not over four feet in height and not more than 1/2 solid;
(2) 
Signs as specified in § 177-33; and
(3) 
A handicapped ramp, as defined in § 177-2B, which is added to an existing structure or existing portion of a structure, provided that such ramp shall have the minimum possible intrusion into the area between the building and street line.
(4) 
A porch, veranda or portico (as defined in § 177-2B) may be allowed forward of the building line, but may not extend beyond the veranda line or 10 feet forward of the front yard building line, whichever is greater. It is the intent of this subsection that open porches, verandas and porticos should be permitted because they enhance and encourage neighborhood interaction and a sense of community as well as providing an opportunity for unique and interesting streetscapes. Porches enclosed by glass, screens or other enclosure materials do not meet the intent of this subsection. In keeping with this intent, the following requirements shall be met by all porches, verandas or porticos constructed pursuant to this section:
(a) 
A porch, veranda or portico located under the provision of Subsection D(4) above shall not be enclosed by screens, glass or other enclosing material.
(b) 
To ensure user safety, porches, verandas or porticos may be surrounded by a balustrade or other decorative half-wall up to 42 inches high. Such balustrade or half-wall shall be not more than 1/2 solid and may not be further enclosed or covered.
E. 
In any rear yard only accessory buildings not exceeding 15 feet in height shall be permitted, provided that they shall not occupy more than 25% of the required rear yard and that they shall be no closer than two feet from any lot line. Accessory buildings shall be located at least six feet from any portion of any dwelling on the property. Garages in a rear yard may be erected abutting the rear and side lot lines, provided that a plan for this is approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals. In case a garage is erected abutting a rear or side lot line, any garage erected on the abutting property next to the former garage shall either also be erected abutting said lot line, or it shall not be closer than four feet to said lot line.
[Amended 5-13-2014]
The height limitations of this chapter shall not apply to church spires, belfries and domes not used for human occupancy nor to chimneys, skylights, water tanks, bulkheads, antennas, air-conditioning equipment, ventilating equipment or elevator lift equipment, including their enclosures, parapet walls above actual roof height and similar features usually carried above the roof level, except as may be specifically modified by other provisions of this chapter or other regulations. Such features, however, shall be erected only to such height as is necessary to accomplish the purpose they are intended to serve.
[Amended 8-22-1989]
No building or zoning permit shall be issued for any structures or land use unless the lot for which the permit is sought has the required frontage on a public or private street, which street shall have been approved by the Plan and Zoning Commission, or, in the case of a rear lot, upon the private driveway which provides access to the rear lot. The minimum required frontage in all districts shall be 50 contiguous feet or more. In the case of a rear lot which is serviced by a private driveway providing access to the street, the minimum frontage requirement shall be reduced to the minimum required driveway width for that rear lot, measured at the point where the driveway crosses into the buildable portion of the rear lot, but the lot line along which frontage is measured must also continue, in an uninterrupted straight line, for such further distance as is necessary to provide a total lot line length of 40 feet.
[Amended 9-23-2008]
A. 
An accessory building attached to a main building, including attachment by means of a breezeway or a roofed passageway, shall comply with the requirements of this chapter applicable to the main building.
B. 
Any accessory building observing the same yards as required for the main building may be erected to the same height limits as the main building.
C. 
No accessory building on the same lot with a main residence building shall be used for residence purposes, except for guests or for domestic employees of the owners or tenants of the main building and who are employed on the premises, provided that such accessory building contains no kitchen facilities. One dwelling of not more than three rooms, including kitchen facilities, shall be permitted in an accessory building, provided that the lot has at least twice the area as required by the provisions of this chapter.
D. 
Accessory buildings shall be constructed of durable permanent materials, such as wood or metal framing; wood, metal or vinyl wall panels; and roofing materials, such as wood, fiberglass or asphalt roofing materials. The requirements of this subsection shall not apply to temporary accessory buildings such as tents; freestanding awnings or canopies; hoop houses or cold frames for the establishment or protection of plants; and similar structures, provided that such temporary accessory buildings shall not be erected for more than 60 days during any calendar year. The Plan and Zoning Commission is authorized to grant a special use permit pursuant to § 177-42A where unique circumstances exist which warrant either the use of materials which are not durable or permanent, or the erection of a temporary accessory building for longer than 60 days. Convenience and/or expense shall not, however, be deemed to be unique circumstances.
E. 
No temporary health care structure as defined and regulated by P.A. No. 17-155 shall be permitted.
[Added 11-14-2017]
[Amended 10-28-1969]
No obstruction, hedge, bush, tree or other growth or any fence or billboard shall be erected, maintained or planted which obstructs or interferes with a clear view of drivers of vehicles on a curve or at any street intersection and which endangers the safety of those traveling upon such streets or highways. The minimum vision clearance shall require a height not exceeding three feet above the street grade within 12 feet of the intersecting street lines bordering corner lots.
Any outdoor lighting for illumination of signs, spotlighting or floodlighting shall be so shielded that the light source cannot be seen from adjacent properties, except that signs with exposed neon tubes shall be permitted in all business and industrial districts.
The removal or destruction of topsoil of more than 1,000 square feet on any lot shall not be permitted except in connection with construction, regrading or landscaping work. After completion of such work, the topsoil shall be replaced and seeded according to accepted landscaping practices.
[Amended 6-28-1994]
No structure shall be used, erected or expanded, and no land shall be graded or hard-surfaced, unless provisions have been made and approved by the Department of Community Services for the proper disposal of drainage water, particularly from parking areas and driveways, from areas contiguous to property lines and from low areas which tend to collect drainage water.
[Added 11-15-1977; amended 6-28-1994]
No fill shall be deposited on any lot within the Town without the prior written approval of the Director of Community Services. The Director may attach reasonable conditions to said approval, including a requirement that the applicant make application for an inland wetlands and watercourses permit if the land appears to be in an inland wetlands area as delineated on the Official Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map is on file in the Planning office and the Town Clerk's office.
[Added 11-15-1977; amended 5-13-1986; 6-28-1994]
In developments not subject to Article VIII hereof, where it is determined by the Director of Community Services that construction activity may cause erosion or sedimentation, the developer shall submit for approval by the Director of Community Services a plan indicating the control measures to be used by the developer to prevent or minimize said erosion or sedimentation. Such control measures shall be in accordance with the techniques contained in the Connecticut Guidelines for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control (1985), as from time to time amended. Other methods acceptable to the Director of Community Services may be permitted. The Director of Community Services may require a performance and/or maintenance bond with surety in connection with the above.
[Added 9-23-1980]
Where a parcel of land in the name of one owner of record is located in West Hartford and in an adjacent town with different zoning classifications applicable to the portion of the property located in each town, the Town Council may permit access from a public highway across the portion of the property located in West Hartford, when such access road would not otherwise be a permitted use within the zoning classification applicable to the West Hartford property, to a commercial use located on the portion of the property in the adjacent town, provided that:
A. 
The primary use is a permitted use in the adjacent town.
B. 
The primary use for the entire parcel is located in the adjacent town.
C. 
The parcel of land shall have not less than 200 feet of frontage on the public highway to be accessed.
D. 
The access road shall meet the standards imposed for public highways under Chapter A184, Subdivision Regulations.
E. 
The Town Council determines after notice and hearing that the access road will not have an adverse impact on public health or safety.
[Added 5-25-1982]
A. 
Amusement devices as an accessory use as permitted in § 177-6E shall comply with the following standards:
(1) 
Not more than seven amusement devices shall be allowed per commercial establishment.
(2) 
Not more than one amusement device per 700 square feet of gross floor area or fraction thereof.
(3) 
A minimum open area depth of four feet on any player side.
B. 
Commercial establishments which store and display amusement devices for sale or rental only are excluded from regulation under this section.
[Amended 7-1-1969; 10-28-1969; 4-12-1977; 11-15-1997; 1-13-1981; 3-24-1981; 4-21-1987; 9-22-1987; 2-14-1989; 6-25-1991; 9-8-1998; 7-13-1999; 3-14-2000; 12-13-2005]
A. 
General requirements. All structures and land uses erected, expanded or established after the adoption of this chapter shall be provided with an amount of off-street vehicular parking space and loading and unloading space adequate to meet the needs of persons making use of such structures of land, which shall not be less than the standards specified in Subsections I and J of this section.
B. 
Overnight parking. A motor vehicle permitted to be parked overnight may not be in a state of disassembly, disrepair or in the process of being stripped or dismantled unless it is in a fully enclosed structure or permitted by the Zoning Board of Appeals pursuant to a car dealer's license, a car repairer's license or a special exception.
C. 
Submission and approval of plans. Applications for building and/or zoning permits, except for one- and two-family houses, shall be accompanied by a plot plan, drawn to scale, showing the location, size and arrangement of off-street parking and loading facilities required by this chapter and the means of access to said facilities from the public street and any separate egress from such facilities. Such parking plan shall also show proposed screening, landscaping, lighting fixtures, drainage and other improvements. The parking plan shall be submitted to the Town Planner for approval as complying with this chapter, including adequate relationship of entrances and exits to the flow of traffic on the public streets, safeguarding of pedestrians on public sidewalks and in the parking facility itself and to the adequacy of access and circulation of the vehicles and pedestrians using the parking facility. The parking plan shall be approved before a building and/or zoning permit is issued.
D. 
Location. The parking and loading facilities which are required by this chapter shall be provided on the same lot or premises with the structure or land use they are to serve, except as provided under Subsection G of this section.
E. 
Specifications.
(1) 
Parking and loading facilities shall be designed to provide for safe circulation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic within the parking area and in relation to adjacent streets.
(2) 
Parking and loading facilities shall be laid out so that vehicles shall enter and leave the public street or right-of-way only at the approved entrances and exits.
(3) 
All parking spaces in parking areas of more than 25 cars and all loading spaces shall be so located that vehicles entering or leaving such spaces do not block any entrance drive to the parking facility within 20 feet of any street.
(4) 
Any area of 100 square feet or more in a parking lot which is not required for a parking space, loading space, aisle, driveway or walkway shall be landscaped. In every parking area, at least one tree shall be provided for each 10 parking spaces provided in said parking area. The trees shall be distributed over the entire parking lot. Parking structures are exempt from the requirement of this subsection.
(5) 
Provisions shall be made to prevent vehicles from overhanging any walkway and from damaging trees or other landscaping materials. If a parking lot abuts a sidewalk, a strip of landscaping at least four feet wide shall be provided to prevent encroachment on said sidewalk.
(6) 
An underground parking structure may be erected between a building line and a street line in any district where surface parking is prohibited between said lines under the following conditions:
(a) 
The height of the structure shall be not more than three feet over the land surrounding the structure.
(b) 
The top of the structure shall be landscaped.
(c) 
The structure shall not be closer than two feet to any lot line or street line.
(7) 
No parking spaces shall be located within 15 feet of windows of habitable rooms of dwelling units, measured horizontally and vertically, except where the parking space is located in a structure or completely under such habitable room. This subsection shall not, however, apply in the following zoning districts: R-80, R-40, R-20, R-13, R-10 and R-6.
(8) 
Dimensions of parking spaces and aisles shall be at least as follows:
(a) 
Width of space: nine feet or 10 feet if adjacent to a wall or column.
(b) 
Length of space: 20 feet.
(c) 
Width of aisle:
Width
(feet)
Angle of Spaces
Two-way
One-way
80° or more to the aisle
24
24
70° to 79 °to the aisle
20
19
60° to 69° to the aisle
20
18
40° to 59° to the aisle
20
13
Less than 40° to the aisle
20
12
(d) 
Reserved areas suitably marked for compact and substandard-sized cars may be substituted at the rate of one space in six spaces. The width and length of space of said compact spaces shall be eight feet and 17 feet, respectively.
(9) 
Dimensions of loading spaces shall be at ]east as follows:
(a) 
Full loading space: 12 feet by 45 feet.
(b) 
One-half loading space: 12 feet by 22.5 feet.
(10) 
A public garage used exclusively for parking of passenger motor vehicles on more than one story may be erected in any business or industrial district under the following conditions:
(a) 
The area covered by said garage shall not be counted either in determining maximum lot coverage or maximum floor area ratio. Said garage shall conform to all lot standards required area in the zoning district in which it is located, except that said garage, per se, shall not occupy more than the permitted maximum lot coverage of all buildings or exceed in height the permitted maximum height of the main building.
(b) 
All exits and entrances shall be so located as to provide the least amount of interference with the movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Each entrance and exit shall be at least 20 feet distant from any residential property or residential district and at least 75 feet distant from any street intersection and not within designated bus loading or unloading zones.
(c) 
No sign of any kind, other than those specifically designated "entrance," "exit" and conditions of use, shall be maintained on such garage. Such signs shall not exceed 15 square feet in area each and an overall height of 10 feet.
(d) 
Except as modified herein, said garage shall otherwise comply with this chapter.
(11) 
Parking storage spaces, subject to the approval of the Planning Department, may be permitted under special circumstances where direct access to aisles is not necessary on a continual basis. Such parking configurations shall be designed so that not more than one space separates a storage space from an aisle. Such spaces may be allowed for such uses as employee parking for commercial and industrial properties and for multifamily uses where tenants are assigned specific spaces. In the latter case, spaces must be allocated on a paired basis (front to back) only.
(12) 
All parking spaces shall be on bituminous concrete, crushed stone, concrete, brick paving or other permanent hard-surfaced area. Grassed lawn areas may not be utilized for motor vehicle parking.
(13) 
In one-family residence districts, circular driveways are permitted only on a lot that is 20,000 square feet in area, 150 feet wide at the building line and that is located in an R-20, R-40 or R-80 Zone, subject to the issuance of a building and/or zoning permit as an accessory use pursuant to § 177-6C. Parking on said driveways shall be in conformance with Subsection E(14). For purposes of this subsection, a "circular driveway" is defined as a loop or circular-shaped driveway on a lot which provides two points of ingress or egress at the street line. A circular driveway may be approved by the Town Planner on a lot which does not meet these requirements, provided that the lot fronts onto an arterial street, and further provided that the Town Planner, upon consulting with the Town Engineer and such other staff as may be appropriate, determines that the establishment of such a driveway is necessary in the best interests of public safety.
(14) 
Parking in a one-family residential district shall be allowed as follows: Motor vehicles parked overnight shall be parked behind the building line, except that at dwellings which have one or more parking spaces behind the building line, in conformance with Subsection E(8) and (12), up to two motor vehicles, only one of which may be a van or a pickup truck, may be parked forward of the building line, so long as they do not display any visible commercial signage, are perpendicular to the street, are on a surface which complies with Subsection E(12) and are either on the driveway or on an area which is not located in front of the living area of the dwelling.
[Amended 11-28-2006]
F. 
Areas leased for public parking. Where all or part of a private parking area serving a land or business use on the same property is leased to or accepted by the Town for use as a public parking area, the number of parking spaces possible on such land under the standards of this chapter shall continue to be credited toward meeting the zoning requirements for such use, provided that the land is leased or ownership transferred without cost to the Town.
G. 
Alternate method of meeting parking requirements. In any zoning district except for a single-family district, the off-street parking requirement as provided in Subsection I of this section may be met alternatively upon the satisfaction of the following requirements:
(1) 
The applicant for a building or zoning permit shall request permission from the Town Plan and Zoning Commission to provide the required off-street parking on property other than the premises for which the permit is being sought and shall submit to said Commission with said application proof of ownership of the proposed parking facility or an executed written lease agreement with regard to the proposed parking facility, with signatures witnessed and acknowledged in accordance with the requirements of the laws of the State of Connecticut for the proper execution of deeds.
(2) 
The Town Plan and Zoning Commission, upon receiving a written opinion from the Corporation Counsel that such ownership or lease agreement is legally sufficient for the purpose of providing off-street parking permitted under this section, may approve such request to provide said required off-street parking on property other than the premises for which the permit is being sought, provided that it shall affirmatively find that:
(a) 
The applicant has made binding and nonterminable provisions for the required amount of off-street parking for the life of the structure or the land use for which the permit is being sought.
(b) 
The off-street parking facility is so located with respect to the proposed structure or use that it is convenient for the use of employees, customers and other persons associated with that structure or use for which the permit is being sought. In determining whether the proposed off-street parking facility is convenient within the meaning of this subsection, the Town Plan and Zoning Commission shall take into consideration the character of the neighborhood, the proximity and accessibility of the parking facility to the structure or use for which the permit is being sought and the traffic and layout of streets and sidewalks between said parking facility and the structure or use for which the permit is being sought. In the Central Business District (BC) and the Central Business District - High Intensive (CBDH), said parking facility shall be located not more than 1,000 feet from the principal use or structure, measured in a straight line from the most proximate points on the property lines of the parcels involved. In all other commercial and industrial districts said parking facility shall be located not more than 500 feet from the principal use or structure, measured in a straight line from the most proximate points on the property lines of the parcels involved.
(c) 
The parking facility proposed by the applicant shall not create traffic congestion shall not impact adversely on any residential use in the vicinity and shall not have an adverse effect on the value of surrounding residential properties.
(d) 
If the parking facility proposed by the applicant constitutes some portion of a parking area required pursuant to these ordinances for the ongoing use of the property upon which those spaces are located, their shared use shall not result in parking congestion, either because the various uses operate during different peak business hours or seasons, or because it can otherwise be demonstrated that the actual parking needs for the uses in question will be met adequately.
(3) 
The applicant shall, if the applicant is the lessee of the proposed off-street parking facility, cause the lease agreement referred to in Subsection G(1) of this section to be recorded on the land records of the Town of West Hartford.
(4) 
Statement of intent. The purpose of this subsection is to encourage alternative means for satisfying the parking requirements of this chapter but shall not be construed in any way as support for an application to change existing zoning district classifications.
H. 
Temporary waiver of parking facility installation. The Plan and Zoning Commission is authorized to waive the immediate installation of up to 1/2 of the parking requirement for any proposed land use if, upon application and submission, in the Commission's opinion, sufficient evidence as to the reasonableness of the application was shown and the reduced parking supply will adequately serve said land use. The plot plan of the land use, however, shall show the complete layout for the full parking requirement in conformance with this chapter. The records of the Commission shall include the specific reasons for the waiver. The Commission shall require the installation of additional parking facilities, up to the full parking requirement. if, in the Commission's opinion, such installation becomes necessary. Before the approval of the waiver, the applicant shall file an agreement with the Commission stating that the applicant, the applicant's heirs and assigns will install such additional parking facilities within six months after the date of the Commission's vote to require such installation.
I. 
Schedule of off-street parking requirements. Where a property includes two or more of the following uses, the parking requirements shall be the composite of the requirements of the various uses.
(1) 
Schedule.
Use
Number of Spaces Required
One-family dwellings
2 per dwelling unit
Two-family dwellings
1 1/2 per dwelling unit
Dwellings for 3 or more families, including apartment houses
1 1/2 per dwelling unit
Rooming houses; boardinghouses
1 per guest sleeping room
Hotels; motels
1 per guest sleeping room, plus office and restaurant requirement, where applicable
Meeting and conference rooms other than dining room
1 per 3 persons of design capacity
Retail and personal service stores and banks
1 per 150 square feet of gross floor area, excluding utility areas and basement storage
Restaurants
1 per 3 seats
Offices
1 per 250 square feet of gross floor area, excluding utility areas and basement storage; except medical and dental offices or clinics, 1 per doctor and 1 per employee and 2 per examining room
Hospitals
1 per bed
Convalescent and nursing homes
1 per 3 beds
Theaters; auditoriums
1 per 3 seats
Places of worship
1 per 6 seats in the largest place of assembly
Child day-care centers and group day-care homes
Employee and parent parking requirements to be set by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, pursuant to § 177-42A, upon recommendation of the Town's Manager of Traffic and Transportation pursuant to § 177-16.1
Industrial uses, including wholesale and storage
1 per 2 employees employed or intended to be employed when the capacity of the building is in full use
Bowling alleys
8 per alley
(2) 
Additional parking requirements.
(a) 
A drive-in bank window or drive-up window dispensing only prescription drugs at retail pharmacies shall have at least five waiting positions between the street line and said window for cars approaching and at least one waiting position for cars leaving said window.
(b) 
An attendant-operated or self-service car wash shall have at least 10 waiting positions for each bay between the street line and the bay for cars approaching and at least two waiting positions for cars leaving said bay.
(c) 
A passenger automobile rental agency shall provide an affidavit from the applicant indicating the maximum number of vehicles to be parked on site and shall provide parking spaces for that number of vehicles. Said affidavit shall set forth separately:
[1] 
The number of parking spaces required elsewhere in this section based upon the use or uses of any buildings on the site.
[2] 
The number of parking spaces required to provide one parking space per two employees working off the site during the peak operational season for the business.
[3] 
The maximum number of rental vehicles to be parked on the site during the peak operational season for the business.
(d) 
A vehicle-intensive business shall provide an affidavit from the applicant indicating the maximum number of vehicles to be parked on site and shall provide parking spaces for that number of vehicles. Said affidavit shall set forth separately:
[1] 
The number of parking spaces required elsewhere in this section based upon the use or uses of any buildings on the site.
[2] 
The number of parking spaces required to provide one parking space per two employees working off the site during the peak operational season for the business.
[3] 
The maximum number of business vehicles to be parked on the site during the peak operational season for the business.
(e) 
Notwithstanding the provision of Subsections A and J and this section, changes in allowable uses may occur in the existing gross floor area of buildings in the BC District and CBDH District, without the provision of additional parking as may otherwise be required.
(f) 
A restaurant with drive-up or window-counter service shall have at least 10 waiting positions for each service window and at least two waiting positions for cars leaving said window(s). All such spaces shall be aligned in tandem and shall be located on site.
J. 
Schedule of off-street loading requirements.
Use Classification and Building Size1
(square feet)
Number of Spaces
Retail store buildings:
2,000 - 5,000
1/2
5,000 - 25,000
1
25,000 - 50,000
2
Each additional 50,000 or part thereof
1 additional
Offices, apartments, institutions, hotels, theaters, public assembly buildings:
5,000 - 25,000
1/2
25,000 - 100,000
1
Each additional 100,000 or part thereof
1 additional
Industrial and warehousing buildings:
0 - 50,000
1
50,000 - 100,000
2
Each additional 100,000, or part thereof
1 additional
NOTES:
1 All building areas used in this schedule are gross floor areas.
A. 
Measurement of sign area.
(1) 
The area of a sign shall be considered to be that of the smallest rectangle or triangle which encompasses all lettering, wording, designs or symbols, together with any background different from the designs or symbols, together with any background different from the balance of the wall on which it is located, if such background is designed as an integral part of and obviously related to the sign.
(2) 
The area of a sign which is designed to be seen from more than one side shall be considered to be that of the aggregate of the smallest rectangles or triangles which encompass all lettering, wording, designs or symbols, together with any background on all sides of the sign.
(3) 
The supports which affix a sign to the ground or to a building shall not be included in the area of the sign unless such supports are obviously designed to be part of the sign as defined by these regulations.
B. 
Sign location.
(1) 
No sign shall project more than 18 inches from the face of a structure and not more than 12 inches beyond any street line, and it shall be at least 10 feet above the level of any walkway it may overhang.
(2) 
A sign permitted in any business or industrial district which is prohibited in any residential district shall be displayed only on a side of a structure or property facing upon a street which may legally provide access to the property or upon a residence parking district or upon the property line of an abutting lot which is zoned and usable for business or industrial purposes unless such sign is located at least 200 feet from any residence district.
[Amended 11-28-1978]
C. 
Height of signs.
(1) 
Ground signs, including supports, shall not exceed a height above the surface of the ground where located of eight feet in a residential district or 25 feet in a business or industrial district.
(2) 
No sign attached to a structure shall project more than two feet over the top of the exterior wall of such structure at the location of the sign, except that in an industrial district a sign may project up to 12 feet over the top of the exterior wall of such structure, provided that the sign is not within 500 feet of the boundary of a residential district.
(3) 
Where more than one sign is permitted on a building, such signs shall be of uniform height and shape.
D. 
Illuminated and moving signs.
(1) 
A sign may be illuminated if the illumination is confined to or directed to the surface of the sign. No flashing, rotating or intermittent illumination shall be permitted, except signs indicating time and/or temperature by means of white, intermittent lighting, provided that the longest dimensions of such a sign do not exceed five feet.
(2) 
No sign or any part thereof shall be permitted to be mechanically rotated or moved, except traditional signs of barbershops, provided that the longest dimension of such signs does not exceed three feet.
(3) 
The light sources of signs shall be so designed and shielded that they cannot be seen from beyond the property lines on which said sign is located, except that signs with exposed neon tubes shall be permitted in all business and industrial districts.
E. 
Signs in one-family residence districts. The following signs shall be permitted in one-family residence districts, and all other signs are expressly prohibited:
(1) 
Signs giving the name and address of the property and/or the occupant.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: one square foot.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one per lot.
(c) 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
No permit required.
(2) 
Signs pertaining to a profession or occupation permitted as an accessory use of the lot.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: one square foot.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one per lot.
(c) 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
No permit required.
(3) 
Signs in connection with special use permits authorized by the Plan and Zoning Commission.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: 25 square feet.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one per lot.
(c) 
Location: 15 feet back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit required.
(4) 
Signs pertaining to the sale, lease or rental of property on which they are located.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: six square feet per sign.
[Amended 3-21-1989]
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: two per lot.
(c) 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
No permit required.
(5) 
Signs pertaining to and during the construction or repair of property on which they are located.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: 25 square feet aggregate for all signs.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: two per lot.
(c) 
Location: 15 feet back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit required.
(6) 
Signs on the premises offering lots and/or homes for sale within approved subdivisions. These signs shall not be displayed for more than 12 months.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: 35 square feet per sign.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: two per subdivision.
(c) 
Location: 15 feet back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit required.
(7) 
Signs of civic and nonprofit organizations on the premises for not more than 90 days within any twelve-month period.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: 25 square feet.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one per property.
(c) 
Location: 15 feet back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit required.
(8) 
Holiday decorations without commercial advertising.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: no limit.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: no limit.
(c) 
Location: Back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
No permit required.
(9) 
Directional signs or traffic signs.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: six square feet.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: no limit.
(c) 
Location: within street line. Approval by Director of Public Works is required. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit required.
(10) 
One sign near each exit ramp of expressways and at each major highway near the Town lines serving as a common directory for civic, educational and religious organizations located in West Hartford. The sign area allotted to each such organization shall not exceed six square feet. The erection of signs under this subsection shall be subject to the provisions of § 177-42A.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: 100 square feet.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one per specified location.
(c) 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit required.
(11) 
Signs in connection with access roads permitted pursuant to § 177-30.
[Added 9-23-1980]
(a) 
Maximum sign area: 35 square feet.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one per property.
(c) 
Location: back of street line, adjacent to access road. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
No permit required.
(12) 
Signs, of a design approved by the Architectural Heritage Committee, designating the premises upon which the sign is located as an historic site approved by the Architectural Heritage Committee. Each sign created pursuant to this section shall not exceed five square feet, except for one master sign, not to exceed 18 square feet, to be placed on a site to be designated by the Town Manager.
[Added 9-22-1987]
(a) 
Maximum sign area: 18 square feet.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one per property.
(c) 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
No permit required.
F. 
Signs in multifamily residence districts. The following signs shall be permitted in a multifamily residence district, and all other signs are expressly prohibited:
(1) 
Signs permitted in a single-family residence district.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: same regulations as single-family zones.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: same regulations as single-family zones.
(c) 
Location: same regulations as single-family zones. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit requirement: same as single-family zones.
(2) 
Signs giving name and address of the property.
(a) 
Maximum sign area/location. (See also related provisions in this article.)
[1] 
Twelve square feet/15 feet back of street line.
[2] 
Twenty-five square feet/30 feet back of street line.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one for each street frontage.
(c) 
Permit required.
(3) 
Signs identifying the rental agency of the property on which they are located.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: two square feet.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one for each street frontage.
(c) 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
No permit required.
(4) 
Signs pertaining to and during the construction or repair of property on which they are located.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: 100 square feet.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: no limit, but aggregate shall not exceed 100 square feet.
(c) 
Location: 15 feet back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit required.
(5) 
Signs pertaining to the sale, lease or rental of property on which they are located.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: 100 square feet for a period of 12 months; thereafter, 25 square feet.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one per property.
(c) 
Location: 15 feet back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit required.
G. 
Signs in business and industrial districts. The following signs are permitted in any business and industrial district, and all other signs are expressly prohibited:
[Amended 10-28-1969]
(1) 
Signs permitted in a residential district.
(2) 
Signs advertising the use of the land and building upon which displayed and the sale of goods or services on the premises and the name and location of the proprietor, as follows:
(a) 
Attached and freestanding signs.
[1] 
Maximum area of sign. The total permitted sign area for attached and freestanding signs shall be computed as follows:
[a] 
For each first-floor unit of occupancy wherein public access to or egress from is limited to front door entrances and/or exits, the total permitted sign area shall not exceed two square feet for each linear front foot of exterior building wall for the unit of occupancy.
[b] 
For each first-floor unit of occupancy wherein public access to or egress from is permitted through a side or rear door entrance and/or exit as well as through a front door entrance and/or exit, the total permitted sign area shall not exceed three square feet for each linear front foot of exterior building wall for the unit of occupancy. The total sign area for all signs displayed at the rear of the unit of occupancy shall not exceed 1 1/2 square feet for each linear rear foot of exterior building wall for the unit of occupancy, and the total sign area for all signs displayed at the front of the unit of occupancy shall not exceed two square feet for each linear front foot of exterior building wall for the unit of occupancy.
[c] 
For each first-floor unit of occupancy wherein public access to or egress from is limited to an entrance and/or exit which does not front on a public street, the total permitted sign area shall not exceed 1 1/2 square feet for each linear foot of exterior building wall of the unit of occupancy in which a main public entrance to the unit of occupancy is located.
[d] 
There may not be more than one freestanding sign on a property. The total sign area of such freestanding sign shall not exceed 18 square feet of area on a single-faced sign or 36 square feet of area on a double-faced sign for the first 100 feet of the address street frontage. For address frontages in excess of 100 linear feet, such freestanding sign area may be increased at a ratio of 0.18 square foot per frontage foot for a single-faced sign and 0.36 square foot per frontage foot for a double-faced sign, up to a maximum total of 50 square feet and 100 square feet, respectively. The square footage of freestanding signs erected under this provision shall be considered as part of the total allowable sign area as computed for each unit of occupancy by the exterior building wall.
[e] 
Any sign erected under the provisions of this Subsection G shall be subject to any other requirements pertaining to signs contained in this chapter.
[2] 
Definitions. As used in this Subsection G, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
LINEAR FRONT FOOT
That linear portion of the exterior wall of a unit of occupancy which directly faces the public street to which the unit of occupancy is addressed.
LINEAR REAR FOOT
That linear portion of the exterior wall of a unit of occupancy which lies generally opposite the front exterior wall and does not directly face the public street to which the unit of occupancy is addressed.
[Amended 11-15-1977; 11-28-1978]
[3] 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
[4] 
Permit required.
(b) 
Common signs.
[1] 
Maximum area of sign. Within 10 feet of each entrance of a building, one common sign may be provided allowing not more than one square foot of sign area for each unit of occupancy which is served by said entrance. The total area of each common sign shall not exceed 24 square feet.
[2] 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
[3] 
Permit required.
(c) 
Window signs.
[1] 
Maximum area of sign. Each unit of occupancy above the first floor may only display a sign on the inside of each window serving said unit of occupancy, provided that the combined area of such signs shall not exceed six square feet.
[2] 
Location: no restriction. (See also related provisions in this article.)
[3] 
No permit required.
(d) 
Portable signs.
[1] 
Maximum area of sign. There may not be more than one portable sign for each unit of occupancy on each street on which such unit of occupancy has frontage. The sign area of each movable sign shall not exceed six square feet.
[2] 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
[3] 
No permit required.
(e) 
Temporary signs.
[1] 
Maximum area of sign. Signs temporarily attached or temporarily painted on a window, door or wall, announcing sales or special features, are permitted in addition to the restrictions of Subsection G(2)(a) above, provided that they do not exceed 25% of the area of said window, door or wall. Temporary signs shall be removed immediately after the termination of such sale or special feature and in no case shall be permitted for a period longer than 30 days.
[2] 
Location: no restriction. (See also related provisions in this article.)
[3] 
No permit required.
(f) 
Outdoor advertising devices.
[1] 
Maximum area of sign. Outdoor advertising devices, including but not limited to plaques, banners, pennants and streamers, are permitted for a period of not more than two weeks after the opening of a new business.
[2] 
Location: back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
[3] 
No permit required.
H. 
Signs in an Office District or Office-Laboratory District. The following signs are permitted in an Office or Office-Laboratory District, and all other signs are expressly prohibited:
(1) 
Signs permitted in a single-family residence district.
(a) 
Maximum sign area: same regulations as in single-family districts.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: same regulations as in single-family districts.
(c) 
Location: same regulations as in single-family districts. (See also related provisions in this article.)
(d) 
Permit regulations: same as in single-family districts.
(2) 
Signs giving the name and insignia of one or more occupants of a permitted office or laboratory.
(a) 
Not attached to a building.
[1] 
Maximum sign area: 25 square feet.
[2] 
Maximum number of signs: one for each street frontage.
[3] 
Location: 15 feet back of street line. (See also related provisions in this article.)
[4] 
Permit required.
(b) 
Attached to a building.
[1] 
Maximum sign area: 50 square feet.
[2] 
Maximum number of signs: one per lot.
[3] 
Location: attached to building. (See also related provisions in this article.)
[4] 
Permit required.
I. 
Removal of tenancy signs. In all districts, signs pertaining to a tenancy of the property shall be removed within 30 days of the termination of such tenancy.
[Added 11-15-1977]
J. 
Signs in Residential Multifamily-Office Districts and Residential Character-Office Districts. The following signs shall be permitted in Residential Multifamily-Office Districts, and Residential Character-Office Districts and all other signs are expressly prohibited:
[Added 11-14-1989; amended 6-27-2000]
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection J(2), signs permitted in a single-family residence district shall be as follows:
(a) 
Maximum sign area: same regulations as single-family zones.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: same regulations as single-family zones.
(c) 
Location: same regulations as single-family zones.
(2) 
Signs for professional offices permitted pursuant to § 177-16.3 of this chapter shall be limited as follows:
(a) 
Maximum sign area: six square feet per side and shall be muted in tone.
(b) 
Maximum number of signs: one per lot. (Several shingle-style signs at one location on the site, no larger in total than 12 square feet on both sides, shall be treated as one sign.)
(c) 
Location: back of street line.
(d) 
Lighting: signs may be illuminated by exterior fixtures only, shall not interfere with abutting property and shall be properly shielded in accordance with the requirements of § 177-33D. Sign illumination levels shall be regulated by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission pursuant to § 177-44A.
A. 
Statement of purpose. The following standards are intended to enhance the appearance and natural beauty of the Town and to protect and increase property values through preservation of existing vegetation and planting of new screening and landscaping material. Specifically, these standards are intended to reduce excessive heat, glare and accumulation of dust, to provide privacy from noise and visual intrusion and to prevent the erosion of the soil, excessive runoff of drainage water and the consequent depletion of the groundwater table and the pollution of water bodies.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMPLETE VISUAL SCREENING
A type of screening which affords a year-round effect and through which the screened object is obscured.
EFFECT
The visual impression desired from screening and landscaping.
FLOWERING TREES
Trees such as dogwood, redbud or crabapple.
GROUND COVER
A medium used in a confined area to check or prohibit the growth of undesirable plant materials. Ground cover may consist of plants such as pachysandra and myrtle or of materials, such as white gravel, brick or stone paving, in combination with live planting materials.
HEDGE
A hedge shall provide complete visual screening and consist of evergreens at least four feet in height at the time of planting, and it shall be maintained at a height of at least six feet.
LANDSCAPED or LANDSCAPING
That an area be at least covered with grass or ground cover. Any additional planting is either specifically required by this chapter or left to the discretion of the property owner.
LARGE TREES
Deciduous shade trees, such as sugar maple, red oak or London plane, and conifers, such as white pine, Austrian pine or Canadian hemlock. Three-fourths of the required large trees shall be at least 21/2 to three inches in caliper at the time of planting, and 1/4 shall be at least four to 41/2 inches in caliper at the time of planting.
PARTIAL VISUAL SCREENING
A type of screening through which the screened object is partially visible.
SCREENING FENCE or SCREENING WALL
Devices for complete visual screening. They shall be at least six feet in height and 3/4 solid.
C. 
General screening standards.
[Amended 10-28-1969]
(1) 
Landscaping, trees and screening plants required by this chapter shall be planted and in a growing condition according to accepted horticultural practices, and they shall be maintained in a healthy growing condition. Any landscaping, trees and screening plants which are in a condition that does not fulfill the intent of this chapter shall be replaced by the property owner during the next planting season for the particular plant material.
(2) 
A screening fence or wall required by this chapter shall be maintained by the property owner in good condition throughout the period of the use of the lot. Finished surfaces shall face out.
[Amended 11-15-1977]
(3) 
All landscaping, trees and screening material adjacent to parking areas, loading areas or driveways shall be properly protected, by barriers, curbs or other means, from damage by vehicles.
(4) 
To the extent that existing healthy trees, if properly located, are preserved, they shall be fully credited against the requirements of this chapter. The Planner may determine which trees shall be preserved as part of the site plan.
D. 
Screening specifications. The following specifications are considered as prototypes. In order to comply with the stated desired effect, the number and spacing of required trees and the width of the screening strip may be varied.
(1) 
Type A screening. The desired effect is partial visual screening. The width of the screening strip may be varied; however, it shall be at least five feet. Plant material shall consist of large trees spaced about 50 feet on centers or flowering trees spaced about 25 feet on centers, or a mixture of both. Where a continuous landscaped screening strip is impractical, the trees may be located in islands at least 20 square feet in area.
(2) 
Type B screening. The desired effect is partial visual screening between zoning districts of different classifications. The screening strip shall be at least 15 feet wide. Plant material shall be the same as specified for Type A screening, except that at least 1/2 of the trees shall be evergreens.
(3) 
Type C screening. The desired effect is complete visual screening of parking and loading areas. The screening material shall consist of a hedge, screening fence or screening wall, or a combination thereof. The screening strip shall be at least five feet wide for said fence or wall and at least 10 feet for a hedge, unless a greater width is specifically required elsewhere in this chapter.
(4) 
Type D screening. The desired effect is partial visual screening and spatial separation. Plant material shall be the same as specified for Type B screening. The screening strip shall be at least 50 feet wide.
(5) 
Type E screening. The desired effect is complete visual screening of parking and loading areas and spatial separation. Plant material shall be the same as specified for Type B screening, plus a hedge, screening fence or screening wall. The screening strip shall be at least 50 feet on centers.
(6) 
Type F screening. The desired effect is primarily spatial separation. The screening strip shall be at least 100 feet wide. Plant material shall consist of a mixture of large trees, flowering trees and evergreens spaced about 50 feet on centers.
(7) 
For landscaping within parking areas, see § 177-32E(4) and (5).
E. 
Modifications in standards. The Plan and Zoning Commission is authorized to consider and approve such modifications in the above standards in a specific case where the Plan and Zoning Commission makes a finding that equivalent or superior screening will be provided in such specific cases.
A. 
No dwelling shall remain designated by the Zoning Enforcement Officer as unoccupied for more than two years after having been given notice by the Zoning Enforcement Officer in the manner provided for in § 105-7 of the Code of the Town of West Hartford without a permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
B. 
Any owner of said dwelling or any affected person may appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals the designation of said dwelling as being unoccupied at any time within a one-year period after being so designated as provided in § 177-49 et seq.
C. 
If the owner of said dwelling or any affected person does not appeal as provided in § 177-49 et seq. or waives the appeal right set forth in Subsection B herein in writing or after an unsuccessful appeal pursuant to Subsection B herein, then such owner or affected party may apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a permit for the continued existence of the dwelling which is unoccupied, and if the owner or affected party shows that he or she has a reasonable plan to sell, renovate or demolish said dwelling or has some reasonable plan for the use of said dwelling or that there is severe economic hardship which would justify the continued existence of said dwelling or that the continued unoccupancy of the dwelling is not detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare or to the property values of the neighborhood in which said dwelling is located, then the Zoning Board of Appeals shall grant a permit or series of permits on any of the foregoing grounds, but no single permit shall be for a period in excess of two years from the decision date of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Said permit may be revoked by the Zoning Board of Appeals after giving notice in the manner provided for in Subsection C(1) and hearing upon application of the Director of Health or the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
[Amended 7-22-1986]
(1) 
Such notice shall:
(a) 
Be in writing.
(b) 
Include a statement of the reason why it is being issued.
(c) 
Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires.
(d) 
Be served upon the owner or the owner's agent or the occupant, as the case may require, provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent, or upon such occupant, if a copy thereof is served upon him or her personally or if a copy thereof is sent by certified mail to the last known address or if a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by this notice or if he or she is served with such notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this state.
(e) 
Contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect permanent compliance with the provisions of this § 177-35 and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
D. 
The Zoning Board of Appeals in granting the application for any permit may attach thereto any reasonable conditions governing the maintenance and appearance of said property for the duration of any permit. Any violation or failure to adhere to said conditions shall be grounds for revocation of said permit.
E. 
If the owner or any affected party of said dwelling does not apply for such a permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals or begin demolition of such dwelling within 30 days after said dwelling has been unoccupied for two years since its designation as unoccupied or begin demolition of such dwelling within 30 days after the denial by the Zoning Board of Appeals of an application pursuant to Subsection C herein, then the Zoning Enforcement Officer may order the demolition of said dwelling. If the owner fails to demolish said structure within 30 days after the issuance of the order from the Zoning Enforcement Officer, then the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall cause to be demolished said dwelling and shall clear, fill and grade the land on which said dwelling was located. The cost of such work shall be charged to the owner, and the Town shall have a lien on the land on which said building is located for the cost of such demolition.
F. 
Any person who fails to comply with any provision of this section or any order issued hereunder shall be deemed in violation of this chapter of the Code of the Town of West Hartford and subject to the penalties provided for in the Charter of the Town of West Hartford.
G. 
The Town of West Hartford will not consider any zone change application while any such property is designated as unoccupied.
[Added 10-28-1975]
[Added 1-10-1978; amended 4-22-1980; 4-30-1985; 6-28-1994; 9-9-2003; 6-10-2014; 3-24-2015; 9-8-2015]
A. 
The portion of any structure in which the sale of alcoholic liquor is proposed under a package store permit or a package store beer permit shall be at least 1,500 feet distant from the portion of any other structure in which alcoholic liquor is sold under either of said permits. Said distance requirement shall be measured as follows: beginning at the center of the main entrance of the portion of the structure in which said sale is proposed, thence to the center of the address street by the shortest distance without intersecting a structure, thence along the center line of said street or streets to a point in the address street of the nearest portion of any other structure in which alcoholic liquor is sold under either of said permits, thence by the shortest distance without intersecting a structure to the center of the main entrance of the portion of the structure in which alcoholic liquor is sold under either of said permits. In no case shall the portion of any two structures in which alcoholic liquor is sold or proposed to be sold under a package store permit or a package store beer permit be located within a radius of 700 feet as measured from the centers of the main entrances of said portions of said structures.
B. 
The sale of alcoholic liquor under any class of permit listed in Chapter 545 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as the same may be amended or recodified from time to time, with the exception of the university permit, shall not be permitted within 200 feet of a public or private school, a public park, place of worship, charitable institution, a hospital or library. Said distance requirement shall be measured as follows: beginning at the center of the main entrance to the portion of the building where said alcoholic liquor is proposed to be sold, thence to the center of the address street by the shortest distance without intersecting a structure, thence along the center line of said street or streets to the address street of any of the above cited uses, and thence to a point opposite the nearest portion of a lot used for any of the above-cited uses on the address street thereof, thence to the nearest portion of the lot.
C. 
The sale of alcoholic liquor under a wholesaler permit or a wholesaler permit for beer only is permitted as a main use in those districts specified under § 177-6B, Item 35 of the Schedule, and is subject to the restrictions set forth under Subsection B above.
D. 
The sale of alcoholic liquor under a manufacturer permit, including each of the subclasses of manufacturing permittees listed in C.G.S. § 30-16, is permitted as a main use in those districts specified under § 177-6B, Item 58 of the Schedule, and is subject to the following:
(1) 
All such uses shall be subject to the restrictions set forth under Subsection B above.
(2) 
Where any portion of the unit of occupancy is used for the retail sale or consumption of alcoholic liquor for consumption on or off of the premises, including outdoor patron areas, parking spaces shall be provided for said retail area at the rate required in this chapter for retail and personal service establishments.
(3) 
Outdoor patron areas:
(a) 
Outdoor patron areas shall be identified by a barrier, such as fencing or planters, in order to define their boundaries. Barriers that preserve an open appearance should be used whenever possible. The use of permanent structural walls or any vertical screening device of more than four feet in height is discouraged but may be approved where necessary to attenuate noise reaching residential neighborhoods or in other unique circumstances. Notwithstanding the foregoing, when an outdoor patron area is located on property adjoining a residential district, it shall be subject to a minimum setback of 200 feet from that district and, at a minimum, to Type C screening and/or a screening fence which separates it from that district.
(b) 
Where outdoor patron areas directly abut the public street, no permanent structure shall be erected between the building that houses the manufacturer and the abutting street except a retractable awning located at least seven feet above the ground. In all other locations, permanent structures may be used to provide shade or shelter from inclement weather. In such cases, structures that preserve an open appearance shall be used but temporary screening walls may be lowered during times of ongoing precipitation.
(c) 
Fire hydrants and fire hose couplings and/or connections on buildings shall not be obstructed. Underground utility facilities such as cabinets or vaults shall be identified on all plans, and arrangements shall be made to ensure continued access to utility providers for maintenance of any such facilities.
(d) 
The outdoor patron area must also meet the requirements (if any) of any state agency having jurisdiction over the service of alcoholic beverages.
(e) 
When an outdoor patron area is located adjacent to a public pedestrian walkway, access to the patron area shall be maintained flush with said walkway. In all cases, the outdoor patron area shall be capable of accommodating disabled patrons.
(f) 
Any applicant seeking approval of an outdoor patron area shall provide the Town Planner with written assurance from the Bloomfield-West Hartford Health District that:
[1] 
The kitchen facilities (if any) are adequate to service the entire unit of occupancy, including the outdoor patron area.
[2] 
Any outdoor service areas, including storage areas for both clean and dirty plates and utensils, condiments, drinking water and similar supplies, are appropriately protected.
[3] 
Refuse receptacles appropriate to the use shall be provided for patrons and/or staff.
(g) 
If an applicant proposes to provide any source of heat for the benefit of patrons using an outdoor patron area, it shall provide the Town Planner with a plan, approved by the Fire Marshal, for the placement and operation of said heaters as well as for the storage of fuel used by said heaters.
(h) 
Public address systems or other systems intended to convey verbal messages through the use of amplified sound shall be prohibited. If an applicant seeks to provide any form of music for the benefit of patrons, it shall so state in its application and shall provide the Town Planner with specific details regarding the manner in which music is to be provided.
(i) 
Management shall ensure that the patrons do not disturb persons beyond the premises through loud, boisterous or unreasonable noise, offensive words or disruptive behavior.
(j) 
Lighting shall be limited to that level which is necessary to illuminate the outdoor patron area for patrons and staff. Flashing/blinking lights shall be prohibited.
(k) 
During the season when the outdoor patron area is in operation, it shall be kept clear of litter, food scraps or soiled dishes and utensils at all times. The entire floor/sidewalk surface in and around the outdoor patron area shall be swept as necessary, but not less frequently than daily, and cleaned to remove greases, oils and stains by steam cleaning or a similar process on a monthly basis. Spilled materials shall be cleaned promptly. Sweeping debris or spilled materials into the gutters of public streets shall be prohibited. This requirement shall also apply to any areas beyond the outdoor patron area which are traversed by restaurant staff and/or patrons.
(l) 
Trash receptacles shall be emptied whenever full and shall be emptied at the end of each business day.
(m) 
Umbrellas may be used to shade tables, provided that the drip edge thereof is located at least seven feet above the ground and further provided that if they advertise the manufacturer or any product or service, the full surface area of each such umbrella shall be treated as signage.
(n) 
Tables, chairs and umbrellas shall be of durable commercial-grade materials, sufficiently weighted to avoid displacement by wind.
(o) 
Where the outdoor patron area abuts the public street, all furniture, fencing, shrubbery and other fixtures shall be removed and stored indoors during months when the outdoor patron area is not in use. No permanent structures shall be permitted to remain between the building that houses the manufacturer and the abutting street except retractable awnings located at least seven feet above the ground. In all other locations, a storage plan for all furniture, fencing, shrubbery and other fixtures associated with the outdoor dining area shall be submitted for review and approval by the Town Planner.
E. 
The sale of alcoholic liquor under a grocery store beer permit, a druggist permit or a druggist permit for beer only is permitted as part of a permitted main use under § 177-6B, Item 22 of the Schedule, and is subject to the restrictions set forth under Subsection B above.
F. 
The sale of alcoholic liquor is permitted under a hotel permit, a hotel permit for beer, a restaurant permit, a restaurant permit for beer only or a restaurant permit for wine and beer only as part of a main use under § 177-6B, Items 8, 24 or 25 of the Schedule as applicable, or as part of an accessory use under § 177-6C, and subject to the following:
(1) 
The location of such use is subject to the restrictions set forth under Subsection B above; and
(2) 
The sale or serving of alcoholic liquor is permitted only in a restaurant as defined in C.G.S. § 30-22, as that section may be amended or recodified from time to time. For purposes of this section, the premises of a restaurant located on a golf course shall include any location on said golf course where food and/or beverages are served.
G. 
A university shall be allowed to engage in the retail sale of beer at one facility per campus under a university permit, as defined in C.G.S. § 30-20(a), as amended or recodified from time to time. The sale of beer under a university permit shall not be subject to the restriction set forth under Subsection B above. For the purposes of this section, the term "university" shall mean an institution offering a program of higher learning, as defined by C.G.S. § 10a-34, as that section may be amended or recodified from time to time, which has been accredited by the Board of Higher Education and which has a campus in West Hartford which is not less than 50 acres and which provides residential housing for its matriculated students.
H. 
For purposes of this section, the terms "package store permit," "package store beer permit," "wholesaler permit," "wholesaler permit for beer only," "hotel permit," "hotel permit for beer," "grocery store permit," "druggist permit," "druggist permit for beer only," "restaurant permit," "restaurant permit for beer only," "restaurant permit for wine and beer only," "university permit," "manufacturer permit" and "alcoholic liquor" shall be deemed to have the same meanings as those terms have under Chapter 545 of the Connecticut General Statutes as that chapter may be amended or recodified from time to time.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Sec. 17.3.80 of the 1972 Code, Regulations concerning sale of alcoholic beverages, was repealed 11-15-1977.
A. 
Existing uses. The lawfully permitted use of land or structures existing at the time of the adoption of this chapter or any amendment thereto may be continued subject to Subsection G of this section although such use does not conform to the standards of the district in which such land or structure is located. Said uses shall be deemed nonconforming uses.
B. 
Nonconforming use of land. Where no structure is involved, the nonconforming use of land may be continued; provided, however, that:
(1) 
No such nonconforming use shall be enlarged or increased, nor shall it be extended to occupy a greater area of land than that occupied by such use at the time of the adoption of this chapter, unless specifically allowed by other provisions in this chapter.
(2) 
No such nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any other portion of the lot or parcel of land occupied by such nonconforming use at the time of the adoption of this chapter.
(3) 
If such nonconforming use of land, or any portion thereof, ceases for any reason for any continuous period of more than 30 days or is changed to a conforming use, any future use of the land shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Nonconforming use of structures.
(1) 
A structure, the use of which does not conform to the use regulations for the district in which it is situated, shall not be enlarged or extended unless the use therein is changed to a conforming use. (Also see Subsection D of this section.)
(2) 
Such nonconforming structure shall not be structurally altered or reconstructed unless such alterations are required by law; provided, however, that such maintenance and repair work as is required to keep a nonconforming structure in sound condition shall be permitted.
(3) 
A nonconforming use may be extended throughout any parts of the structure which were manifestly arranged or designed for such use at the time of the adoption of this chapter, provided that this extension was made within one year after the date of such adoption.
(4) 
A nonconforming use of a structure may be changed to a conforming use.
(5) 
If any nonconforming use of a structure ceases for any reason for a continuous period of more than one year or is changed to a conforming use or if the structure in which such use is conducted or maintained is moved for any distance whatsoever, for any reason, then any future use of such structure shall be in conformity with the standards specified by this chapter for the district in which such structure is located.
(6) 
If any structure in which any nonconforming uses are conducted or maintained is removed, the subsequent use of the land on which such structure was located, and the subsequent use of any structure thereon, shall be in conformity with the standards specified by this chapter for the district in which such land or structure is located.
D. 
Structures conforming in use but nonconforming in other respects. A structure which is conforming in use but which does not conform to any of the other requirements of this chapter for the district in which said structure is located shall not be considered to be nonconforming within the meaning of Subsections C, E, F and G. However, no permit shall be issued and no changes shall be made on the structure or the land on which such structure is located that will result in the increase of any such nonconformity.
E. 
Restoration of damaged structures.
(1) 
If any structure legally nonconforming in use is damaged or destroyed by fire, explosion, act of God or the public enemy to an extent greater than 50% of its fair market value, as determined by the Director of Assessments, then any future use of the structure and land on which such structure is located shall be in conformity with the regulations of the district in which such structure is located. Such a structure damaged to an extent of less than 50% of said fair market value may be rebuilt and the use continued, but not to any greater extent than in the previously existing structure, but where, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, such rebuilding can feasibly be done in greater conformity with this chapter, the Building Inspector shall so require in any building permit.
(2) 
Any structure legal in use but nonconforming in other respects, which is damaged or destroyed by fire, explosion, act of God or the public enemy to an extent greater than 50% of its fair market value as determined by the Director of Assessments shall, in its parts reconstructed, conform to the requirements of this chapter.
F. 
Registration of nonconforming uses. Any nonconforming use of land or structure may be registered in the office of the Building Inspector within one year after the adoption of this chapter. Such registration shall include the identification of the premises, a description of the nature and extent of the nonconforming use and, if necessary, to describe, a plot plan, drawn to scale, showing property lines, all structures and any other pertinent information, and an affidavit by the owner as to the date since which such nonconforming use has existed. Failure to so register shall place the burden of proof on the property owner that any alleged nonconforming use of land or structures legally existed at the time this chapter or any amendment thereto became effective.
G. 
Reduction of adverse external effects. The Plan and Zoning Commission is authorized to recommend to the Town Council a plan for reducing the adverse external effects of any nonconforming use. In the plan, the Commission shall set a date not less than six months nor more than two years from the date of the Council's approval of said plan for compliance with the corrections and changes proposed by the Plan and Zoning Commission. In acting on said plan, the Town Council shall proceed according to the provisions of the Town Charter regarding amendments to this chapter. If approved, the plan shall become part of the zoning regulations for the particular property in question. Action under this section is not intended to prohibit the use of a property for a legally nonconforming purpose.
[Added 12-10-2002]
A. 
The following classes and categories of uses listed in § 177-6B shall not be permitted to be open to the public between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless a special use permit has been granted to authorize operations between those hours:
(1) 
Banks, including drive-in facilities (except automatic teller machines).
(2) 
Retail businesses dealing with the consumer on the premises, including retail firearms stores.
(3) 
Establishments performing personal services.
(4) 
Restaurants with or without alcoholic drink and other establishments serving food and nonalcoholic drink.
(5) 
Outdoor recreation areas operated for profit.
(6) 
Theaters.
[Amended 11-14-2017]
(7) 
Motor vehicle sales, service and repair facilities (except towing services).
(8) 
Adult-oriented establishments.
B. 
In determining whether to grant a special use permit authorizing the above-listed categories of uses between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., the Plan and Zoning Commission shall, in addition to those criteria set forth in § 177-42A, evaluate the safety of both the use and of the site during late-night hours and may impose such conditions as it deems to be necessary to ensure public safety during those hours.
C. 
The following classes and categories of uses listed in § 177-6B shall not be permitted to be open to the public between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m.:
[Added 11-14-2017[1]
(1) 
Indoor recreation or amusement facilities, excluding nightclubs, dance halls or dance clubs.
[1]
Editor's Note: The ordinance adopted on this date also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection C as Subsection D.
D. 
Exception. The preceding subsections shall not amply to retail businesses dealing with the consumer on the premises, including retail firearms stores, on the Friday following Thanksgiving and/or during the seven days preceding Christmas Day.
[Added 12-13-2011]
[Added 3-28-2006; amended 5-13-2008; 4-11-2011; 3-24-2015]
Outdoor dining areas that are accessory to restaurants can help to establish a vibrant, unique and friendly streetscape which benefit the entire surrounding area. Outdoor dining is an asset to the Town to the extent that it adds life and color to the streetscape and encourages pedestrian activity. Central to this benefit is the open-air nature of the dining areas, which must be both visible from, and physically proximate to, public pedestrian areas. That same proximity and visibility, however, dictates that the design of the outdoor dining area, including its furniture, should complement the design of the restaurant with which it is associated and contribute to the attractiveness of the streetscape. Diversity in the design of the furniture and outdoor dining areas is encouraged, therefore, provided that they complement the overall streetscape. Finally, while the operation of outdoor dining areas should contribute to the liveliness of the streetscape, they must not be allowed to create a nuisance, either by loud music, unruly customers, or disorderly premises. Where outdoor dining areas will further these goals without unduly impacting upon adjoining businesses or residential neighborhoods, they may be permitted as an accessory use on the premises of an existing restaurant, which premises shall be construed to include the street right-of-way adjacent to the property upon which such a restaurant is located, subject to the following requirements:
A. 
Space definition/location.
(1) 
Outdoor dining areas shall be identified by a barrier, such as fencing or planters, in order to define their boundaries. Barriers that preserve the open appearance of outdoor dining areas should be used whenever possible. The use of permanent structural walls or any vertical screening device of more than four feet in height to define the boundaries of outdoor dining areas is discouraged but may be approved where necessary to attenuate noise reaching residential neighborhoods or in other unique circumstances. Notwithstanding the foregoing, when an outdoor dining area is located on property adjoining a residential district, it shall be subject to a minimum setback of 15 feet from that district and, at a minimum, to Type B screening and/or a screening fence which separates it from that district.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also § 177-34, Screening and landscaping.
(2) 
Where outdoor dining areas abut the public street, no permanent structure shall be erected between the building that houses the restaurant and the abutting street except a retractable awning located at least seven feet above the ground. In all other locations, permanent structures may be used to provide shade or shelter from inclement weather. In such cases, structures that preserve an open appearance should be used to the extent possible.
(3) 
Fire hydrants and fire hose couplings and/or connections on buildings shall not be obstructed. Underground utility facilities such as cabinets or vaults shall be identified on all plans, and arrangements shall be made to ensure continued access to utility providers for maintenance of any such facilities.
(4) 
If alcoholic beverages are to be served at the outdoor dining area, the enclosure of the outdoor dining area must also meet the requirements (if any) of any agency having jurisdiction over the service of such beverages.
(5) 
When an outdoor dining area is located adjacent to a public pedestrian walkway, it shall be maintained flush with said walkway.
B. 
Operations.
(1) 
Outdoor dining areas shall be capable of accommodating disabled patrons.
(2) 
Pass-through or take-out windows are prohibited except that walk-up take-out windows may be permitted at seasonal snack-bar-type restaurants which are provided as an accessory use within recreational facilities such as public parks, school sports stadiums or golf courses, provided that such take-out windows shall be located and operated in a manner which ensures that they are an amenity to patrons of the facility and not a destination in their own right. Any door used to deliver food from the restaurant to an accessory outdoor dining area shall be self-closing, unless an alternative mechanism is approved by the Bloomfield-West Hartford Health District.
(3) 
Any applicant seeking approval of an outdoor dining area shall provide the Plan and Zoning Commission with written assurance from the Bloomfield-West Hartford Health District that:
(a) 
The kitchen facilities in the restaurant are adequate to service the entire restaurant, including the outdoor dining area. Cooking shall not be permitted outside the restaurant.
(b) 
Any outdoor service areas, including storage areas for both clean and dirty plates and utensils, condiments, drinking water and similar supplies, are appropriately protected.
(c) 
Refuse receptacles appropriate to the use shall be provided for patrons and/or wait staff.
(4) 
No heaters may be installed or used without the prior approval of the Plan and Zoning Commission. If an applicant seeking approval of an outdoor dining area proposes to provide any source of heat for the benefit of patrons, it shall so state in its application and shall provide the Plan and Zoning Commission with a plan, approved by the Fire Marshal, for the placement and operation of said heaters as well as for the storage of fuel used by said heaters.
(5) 
Public address systems or other systems intended to convey verbal messages through the use of amplified sound shall be prohibited. If an applicant seeking approval of an outdoor dining area proposes to provide any form of music for the benefit of patrons, it shall so state in its application and shall provide the Plan and Zoning Commission with specific details regarding the manner in which music is to be provided. The Plan and Zoning Commission may impose any restrictions upon the playing of music which it deems to be appropriate given the location of the proposed outdoor dining area or any other circumstances that the Commission deems to be relevant.
(6) 
Restaurant management shall ensure that the patrons of the outdoor dining area do not disturb persons beyond the premises of the restaurant through loud, boisterous or unreasonable noise, offensive words or disruptive behavior. Patrons must be seated at tables. Bar service, whether patrons are standing or seated at stools, is not permitted. The service of alcoholic beverages must be adjunct to the service of food.
(7) 
Outdoor dining activities shall be prohibited between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
(8) 
Animals shall not be permitted within outdoor dining areas, except for service animals.
(9) 
Lighting shall be limited to that level which is necessary to illuminate the outdoor dining area for patrons and staff. Flashing/blinking lights shall be prohibited.
C. 
Maintenance.
(1) 
During the season when the outdoor dining area is in operation, it shall be kept clear of litter, food scraps or soiled dishes and utensils at all times. The entire floor/sidewalk surface in and around the outdoor dining area shall be swept as necessary, but not less frequently than daily, and cleaned to remove greases, oils and stains by steam cleaning or a similar process on a monthly basis. Spilled materials shall be cleaned promptly. Sweeping debris or spilled materials into the gutters of public streets shall be prohibited. This requirement shall also apply to any areas beyond the outdoor dining area which are traversed by restaurant staff and/or patrons.
(2) 
Trash receptacles shall be emptied whenever full and shall be emptied at the end of each business day.
(3) 
Umbrellas may be used to shade tables, provided that the drip edge thereof is located at least seven feet above the ground and further provided that they shall not be used to advertise the restaurant or any other product or service.
(4) 
Tables, chairs and umbrellas shall be of durable commercial-grade materials, sufficiently weighted to avoid displacement by wind.
(5) 
Where outdoor dining areas abut the public street, all furniture, fencing, shrubbery and other fixtures associated with outdoor dining areas shall be removed and stored indoors during months when the outdoor dining area is not in use. No permanent structures shall be permitted to remain between the building that houses the restaurant and the abutting street except retractable awnings located at least seven feet above the ground. In all other locations, a storage plan for all furniture, fencing, shrubbery and other fixtures associated with the outdoor dining area shall be submitted for review and approval by the Plan and Zoning Commission.
[Added 7-27-2010; amended 10-28-2014]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING-INTEGRATED SYSTEM
A type of solar energy system which is constructed as an integral part of a principal or accessory building, rather than a separate mechanical device. Building-integrated systems replace or substitute for an architectural or structural component of the building. Building-integrated systems include, but are not limited to, photovoltaic or hot-water solar systems contained within roofing materials, windows, skylights, and awnings.
CLOSED LOOP GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM
A mechanism for using ground source heat pumps for heating and/or cooling a building which consists of a length of closed underground piping (which may be installed horizontally or vertically) containing heat transfer fluid; a heat exchange mechanism; and an air distribution system. This definition is expressly intended to exclude any form of open loop geothermal system.
FUEL CELL
A device in which a non-combustion reaction between a continuous fuel stream and a continuous oxidant stream is converted directly and continuously into electrical energy while producing minimal emissions and negligible pollutants.
GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A freestanding solar energy system which is directly attached to the ground rather than being installed on another structure such as the roof of a home, shed or garage. Pole-mounted solar energy systems are a subcategory of ground-mounted solar energy systems in which the solar panel array is mounted atop a monopole structure, typically in connection with mechanical equipment designed to allow the solar panel array to track the movements of the sun.
[Added 11-9-2016]
OUTDOOR WOOD-BURNING FURNACE
An accessory structure or appliance designed to be located outside living space ordinarily used for human habitation and designed to transfer or provide heat, via liquid or other means, through the burning of wood or solid waste, for heating spaces other than where such structure or appliance is located, any other structure or appliance on the premises, or for heating domestic, swimming pool, hot tub or jacuzzi water. "Outdoor wood-burning furnace" does not include a fire pit, wood-fired barbecue or chiminea.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A device or combination of devices or elements which rely upon direct sunlight as an energy source to produce heat and/or electricity. Off-grid photo-voltaic solar panels which serve only a single electrical fixture or appliance, such as low-voltage landscape lighting or similar, are exempt from the provisions of this section.
WIND GENERATOR
A system of blades, slats or vanes and associated mechanical and electrical conversion components whose purpose is to convert kinetic energy of the wind into rotational energy used to generate electricity, whether mounted on a tower, post or any other structure.
B. 
Prohibited equipment.
(1) 
Outdoor wood-burning furnaces are prohibited in all zones.
(2) 
Wind generators are prohibited in all zones.
(3) 
Open loop geothermal systems are prohibited in all zones.
(4) 
Thermal-electric power generation equipment which utilizes parabolic dish, parabolic trough, linear fresnell, or power technology to concentrate solar energy as its mechanism for generating heat is prohibited in all zones.
C. 
Permitted accessory uses.
(1) 
General requirements. Closed loop geothermal systems and solar energy systems are permitted as accessory uses in all zones and fuel cells are permitted accessory uses in the zones designated in § 177-6C subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
Where designed to generate electricity, the system must be designed to produce energy primarily for consumption by buildings or other structures located on the same lot as the system, except that:
[1] 
When the lot receives electrical power supplied by a public utility company, excess energy generated may be supplied to the utility company or through the distribution system of the utility company to offset other usage of other electric accounts, in accord with applicable laws such as those permitting net or virtual net metering; and
[2] 
Multiple property owners may share ownership of, and/or the energy generated by the system provided, however, that the system shall meet all other requirements of this section with respect to each lot upon which it is located.
(b) 
Solar energy systems, fuel cells and the aboveground portion of closed loop geothermal systems shall be treated as accessory buildings which must comply with the requirements of § 177-20E except as further specified in Subsection C(3)(b)[2] of this section.
[Amended 11-9-2016]
(c) 
All transmission lines from solar energy systems, fuel cells and closed loop geothermal systems to any other building or structure shall be located underground to the extent feasible. This requirement shall not apply to transmission lines owned or managed by any public utility company.
(d) 
All solar energy systems, fuel cells and closed loop geothermal systems shall be installed according to manufacturer specifications, the requirements of any applicable utility company interconnect agreements and any applicable codes including, without limitation, the Connecticut Building Code.
(e) 
Where the system is designed to generate electricity, clearly visible warning signs concerning voltage shall be placed at the base of all pad-mounted transformers and substations or fence.
(2) 
In addition to the requirements of Subsection C(1), closed loop geothermal systems shall be subject to the following additional requirements:
(a) 
The design and installation of geothermal systems and related boreholes for geothermal heat pump systems shall conform to applicable industry standards, including those of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), or other similar certifying organizations, and shall comply with the Connecticut Building Code and all other applicable requirements of law such as, but not limited to those pertaining to the installation of wells. The manufacturer specifications shall be submitted as part of the application.
(b) 
Only nontoxic, biodegradable circulating fluids such as food grade propylene glycol shall be permitted.
(c) 
Horizontal closed loop systems shall be no more than 20 feet deep.
(d) 
Wellheads located above ground level shall be labeled clearly to identify that they are part of a closed loop geothermal system and not a source of potable water.
(3) 
In addition to the requirements of Subsection C(1), solar energy systems shall be subject to the following additional requirements:
(a) 
The system must be designed to avoid glare or reflection onto adjacent properties and adjacent roadways and shall not interfere with traffic or create a safety hazard.
(b) 
Height limitations:
[1] 
The highest point of a roof-mounted solar energy system shall not exceed the maximum height limitation for the building upon which it is mounted or two feet above the roof of the building to which it is attached, whichever height is lower, except:
[a] 
On buildings with flat roofs which are located in multifamily residential, commercial or industrial zones, a roof-mounted solar energy system may extend up to 10 feet above the roof of the building upon which it is installed, provided that the solar energy system shall be set back from the perimeter of the roof by a distance equal to one foot for each one foot in height less the height of any parapet wall at the perimeter of the roof; or
[b] 
Where a main use is subject to special use permit approval pursuant to § 177-42A, an applicant may seek such approval for installation of a roof-mounted solar energy system extending up to 10 feet above the roof of the building upon which it is installed.
[2] 
Where permitted, ground-mounted solar energy systems shall not exceed 10 feet in height. In residential zones, ground-mounted solar energy systems shall not cover more than 10% of the area of the required rear yard in which the system is to be located, except that where a main use is subject to special use permit approval pursuant to § 177-42A, an applicant may seek such approval for installation of a ground- or pole-mounted solar energy system extending up to the maximum height permitted for main buildings in the zone. Height shall be measured at the highest point on the system. Where components of the solar energy system track the sun's movement across the sky, the height shall be measured relative to the system's most vertical position. Ground-mounted solar energy systems shall also be subject to the following limitations:
[Amended 11-9-2016]
Zone
Ground-Mounted
Pole-Mounted
All multifamily zones, R-6, R-10, R-13
Prohibited
Prohibited
R-20
Permitted in rear yard only
Prohibited
R-40, R-80
Permitted in rear yard only
Permitted in rear yard only
All commercial and industrial zones
Permitted
Permitted
(c) 
Building-integrated systems are deemed to be a component of the structure into which they are integrated and are subject to the requirements of this chapter which otherwise apply to the structure itself.
(d) 
The surface area of ground and pole-mounted solar energy systems, regardless of mounted angle, shall be calculated as part of the maximum lot coverage of all buildings.
(e) 
Solar energy systems shall be maintained in good working order at all times. If a solar energy system ceases to perform its originally intended function for more than six consecutive months, the property owner shall promptly remove the collector, mount and associated equipment except where it is in the process of being repaired or is out of service pending the completion of other ongoing work at the property.
(f) 
The owner of a property on which a solar energy system is installed and/or the owner(s) of the solar energy system itself assume(s) all risk associated with diminished performance of said system caused by any present or future use of nearby property that may interfere with the system's ability to produce power at its rated capacity, regardless of when that adjacent structure or landscaping is constructed or installed.
(4) 
In addition to the requirements of Subsection C(1), fuel cells are permitted accessory uses in the zones designated in § 177-6C subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
When located within an accessory structure, the fuel cell and all related equipment shall be completely enclosed by a minimum six-foot-high fence with a self-locking gate.
D. 
Permitted main uses.
(1) 
General requirements. Solar energy systems and fuel cells are permitted main uses in the zones designated in § 177-6B subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
Unless the energy generated by the system is to be used exclusively to meet the needs of nearby properties through private transmission facilities, the applicant shall demonstrate that:
[1] 
Existing electrical distribution or transmission facilities are adequate to connect the solar energy system or fuel cell to the utility grid; and
[2] 
That the intended use of any electrical distribution or transmission facilities is permitted under existing law.
(b) 
Solar energy systems and fuel cells shall meet the minimum yard requirements for main buildings in the zones where they are located.
(c) 
The solar energy system or fuel cell shall be completely enclosed by a minimum six-foot-high fence with a self-locking gate.
(d) 
A clearly visible warning sign concerning voltage shall be placed at the base of all pad-mounted transformers and substations or fence.
(e) 
All on-site transmission lines shall be located underground to the extent feasible. This requirement shall not apply to transmission lines owned or managed by any public utility company.
(f) 
The applicant shall demonstrate that sufficient on-site parking exists to meet the needs of the facility.
(g) 
All solar energy systems or fuel cells shall be installed according to manufacturer specifications, the requirements of any applicable utility company interconnect agreements and any applicable codes including, without limitation, the Connecticut Building Code.
(2) 
In addition to the requirements of Subsection D(1), solar energy systems shall be subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
The system must be designed to avoid glare or reflection onto adjacent properties and adjacent roadways and shall not interfere with traffic or create a safety hazard.
(b) 
Solar energy systems installed as main uses shall not exceed 20 feet in height except that an applicant may seek special use permit approval pursuant to § 177-42A for installation of a solar energy system extending up to the maximum height permitted for main buildings in the zone where there is good cause to increase heights to more than 20 feet. In the case where components of the solar energy system track the sun's movement across the sky, the height shall be measured relative to the system's most vertical position.
(c) 
The surface area of ground or pole-mounted solar energy systems, regardless of mounted angle, shall be calculated as part of the maximum lot coverage of all buildings.
(d) 
Solar energy systems which are obsolete or otherwise no longer in use shall be removed completely. For purposes of this subsection, a solar energy system shall be deemed to be no longer in use if it has not been used to generate electricity for a continuous period of six months except where it is in the process of being repaired or is out of service pending the completion of other ongoing work at the property.
(e) 
The owner of a property onto which a solar energy system is installed and/or the owner(s) of the solar energy system itself assume(s) all risk associated with diminished performance of said system caused by any present or future use of nearby property that may interfere with the system's ability to produce power at its rated capacity, regardless of when that adjacent structure or landscaping is constructed or installed.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection E, regarding a moratorium on the installation of ground-mounted or pole-mounted solar energy systems, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 11-9-2016.
[Added 3-28-2017]
Food truck parks can provide a unique setting for the service of food in areas that have historically not been serviced by a concentration of traditional restaurants. Food truck parks can serve as vibrant public spaces where a variety of activities take place, but where the primary function is the sale and consumption of food from a diverse array of vendors. While the operation of food truck parks should contribute to the liveliness and vibrancy of the community, they must not be allowed to create a nuisance, either by loud music, unruly customers, or disorderly premises. Where food truck parks will further these goals without unduly impacting upon adjoining businesses or residential neighborhoods, they may be permitted as a main use subject to the following requirements:
A. 
Space definition and location.
(1) 
The area of the food truck park must be clearly defined and separated from the patron parking area through the installation of a fence or other enclosure which maintains an open appearance and is a maximum of five feet in height.
(2) 
The parking area for the food trucks must be either a paved or gravel surface.
(3) 
Food truck park operators are encouraged to provide for an aesthetically pleasing environment which includes shade and seating elements in addition to pervious groundcover.
(4) 
Food truck parks may have a pavilion or other permanent structure in order to provide shelter for patrons and operators, provided said structure meets the setback requirements for the underlying zone. All temporary structures, such as tents, shall be prohibited.
B. 
Operations.
(1) 
All food truck parks must be handicap accessible.
(2) 
All food trucks planned to be on site on any given day shall be parked and fully set up prior to the park opening to the public. At the close of business, all such vehicles shall be removed from the park. If a commissary is provided on site and the food truck is approved to use the site's commissary, then the food truck will not have to be removed from the site each day.
(3) 
The hours of operation for a food truck park shall be limited to 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Food trucks may arrive at the park one hour prior to opening to the public and must vacate the park no later than one hour after closing to the public unless the vehicle is permitted to stay as noted above.
(4) 
There must be a designated manager of the site who is responsible for the orderly setup of food trucks, the cleanliness of the site, and the site's compliance with all rules and regulations during business hours. Contact information for the designated manager shall be made available to Town staff upon approval of the park by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission and as needed thereafter if personnel changes.
(5) 
At least two permanent restrooms within 200 feet of each food truck must be made accessible to food truck park patrons while the food truck park is open.
(6) 
Patron parking must be provided at a rate of one space for every three seats in any seating area provided. The patron parking area must be a paved or gravel surface.
[Amended 6-25-2019]
(7) 
The food truck park must comply with all local noise regulations pursuant to West Hartford Code of Ordinances Chapter 123.
(8) 
At least one electrical outlet shall be required at each designated food truck parking space.
(9) 
Public address systems or other systems intended to convey verbal messages through the use of amplified sound shall be prohibited. If an applicant seeking approval of a food truck park proposes to provide any form of music for the benefit of patrons, it shall so state in its application and shall provide the Plan and Zoning Commission with specific details regarding the manner in which music is to be provided. The Plan and Zoning Commission may impose any restrictions upon the playing of music which it deems to be appropriate given the location of the food truck park or any other circumstances that the Commission deems to be relevant.
(10) 
No heaters may be installed or used without the prior approval of the Plan and Zoning Commission. If an applicant seeking approval of a food truck park proposes to provide any source of heat for the benefit of patrons, it shall so state in its application and shall provide the Plan and Zoning Commission with a plan, approved by the Fire Marshal, for the placement and operation of said heaters as well as for the storage of fuel used by said heaters.
(11) 
Lighting shall be limited to that level which is necessary to illuminate the food truck park for patrons and staff. Flashing/blinking lights shall be prohibited. In all cases, lighting must comply with section § 177-25 of the West Harford Code of Ordinances.
(12) 
Signs: One on-premises sign is permitted at the entrance(s) identifying the food truck park, subject to the sign regulations for the applicable zoning district. Each food truck may have attached signage.
(13) 
Maintenance: The food truck park shall be kept clear of litter, food scraps or other debris at all times. Sweeping debris or spilled materials into the gutters of public streets shall be prohibited.
(14) 
At least one waste receptacle shall be provided for each mobile food vending vehicle and shall be emptied whenever full and at park closing. The food truck park shall also be equipped with a large commercial dumpster into which bags from individual waste receptacles can be deposited. The commercial dumpster shall be located outside of the designated patron area and shall be appropriately screened.
(15) 
Tables, chairs and umbrellas shall be of durable commercial-grade materials, sufficiently weighted to avoid displacement by wind.
(16) 
Umbrellas may be used to shade tables, provided that the drip edge thereof is located at least seven feet above the ground, and further provided that they shall not be used to advertise any business, product or service.
C. 
Distance and screening requirements.
(1) 
Any food truck park shall be located at least 1,500 feet from any other food truck park measured as a radius from any point around the property line.
(2) 
Food truck parks shall be at least 200 feet from any residentially zoned property. If the food truck park is located between 200 and 500 feet from a residentially zoned property. Type C screening shall be required along the property line(s) closest to said property. Where a food truck park is adjacent to commercially zoned property that also has a permitted residential use, Type C screening shall be required along the property line(s) immediately adjacent to said property.
(3) 
Food truck parks shall be located at least 500 feet away from any restaurant, measured along the street line, unless said building is located on the same property as the food truck park and where the restaurant proprietors are complicit in the operation of the food truck park.