[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Wilton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 7-25-1955 TM]
No person shall construct any drive or roadway or use as a drive or roadway any land intersecting with a public highway until he shall have first obtained approval in writing of the Board of Selectmen, and the Selectmen may refer any such application to the Planning and Zoning Commission for recommendation.
[Adopted by the Board of Selectmen 4-17-2006]
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 13a-149 of the Connecticut General Statutes or any other general statute or special act, the Town shall not be liable to any person for injury to person or property caused by the presence of ice or snow on a public sidewalk unless the Town is the owner or person in possession and control of land abutting such sidewalk, other than land used as a highway or street, provided that the Town shall be liable for its affirmative acts with respect to such sidewalk under its possession and control.
The owner or person in possession and control of land abutting a public sidewalk shall have the same duty of care with respect to the presence of ice or snow on such sidewalk toward the portion of the sidewalk abutting his property as the Town had prior to the effective date of this article and shall be liable to persons injured in person or property where a breach of said duty is the proximate cause of said injury.
No action to recover damages for injury to person or property caused by the presence of ice or snow on a public sidewalk against a person who owns or is in possession and control of land abutting a public sidewalk shall be brought but within two years from the date when the injury is first sustained.
Whenever the public sidewalk shall be wholly or partially covered by snow or ice, it shall be the duty of the owner or person in possession and/or control of land abutting a public sidewalk to cause such sidewalk to be made safe and convenient by removing the snow therefrom within the first six hours of daylight immediately following the accumulation of such snow thereon or, in the case of ice, by covering the same with sand or other suitable material within the first six hours of daylight following the accumulation of such ice, and then removing such treatment as often as may be necessary to keep such sidewalk safe and convenient. In case of the failure or neglect of the owner or person in possession and control of land abutting the public sidewalk to comply with this section, the Department of Public Works may, but is not obliged to, cause the same to be done, and the expense thereof shall be collectible from the person so failing or neglecting, in an action of debt brought in the name of the Town under this section. Any person who fails or neglects to comply with this section shall also be liable for a penalty or fine of $99, provided that no such expense, penalty or fine may be collected from any person whose violation of this provision is caused by snow deposited on his sidewalks by Town snow removal activities.
The provisions of this article are designated for enforcement in accordance with Sections 7-148 and 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended. The Town of Wilton may institute civil proceedings to enforce the provisions herein contained.
Pursuant to the provisions of Section 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, the Town of Wilton hereby adopts the provisions authorized by Section 7 -152c and establishes a hearing procedure as follows:
Hearing officers. The First Selectman shall appoint one or more sidewalk clearing hearing officers. No person who serves as a police officer, member of the Police Commission, employee of the Police Department or person who issues citations shall serve as a hearing officer.
Notice of citation. The municipality, acting by the First Selectman or the First Selectman's designee, shall at any time within 12 months from the expiration of the final period for uncontested payment of a fine, penalty, cost or fee for any citation issued under this article send notice to the person cited. Such notice shall contain the following information:
The allegations against the person cited, together with the amount of the fines, penalties, costs, or fees due.
The fact that the person may contest his or her liability before a hearing officer by delivery in person or by mail of a written notice within 10 days from the date of the notice.
That if a hearing is not demanded, an assessment and judgment shall be entered against the person cited.
Any such judgment may issue without further notice.
If an individual cited wishes to admit liability for any alleged violation, he may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fines, penalties, costs and fees admitted to, in person or by mail, to an official designated by the First Selectman. Such payment shall be inadmissible in any proceeding, civil or criminal, to establish the conduct of such person or other person making the payment.
Any person who does not deliver or mail written demand for a hearing within 10 days of the date of the first notice shall be deemed to have admitted liability, and the designated municipal official shall certify such person's failure to respond to the hearing officer. The hearing officer shall thereupon enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees provided for by the applicable ordinances.
Any person who requests hearing within the time specified in this article shall be given written notice of the date, time and place for the hearing. Such hearing shall be held not less than 15 nor more than 30 days from the date of the mailing of the notice, provided the hearing officer shall grant, upon good cause shown, any reasonable request by any interested party for postponement or continuance. An original or certified copy of the initial notice of violation shall be filed and retained by the municipality. The notice shall be deemed to be a business record within the scope of Section 52-180 of the Connecticut General Statutes and evidence of the facts contained therein. The presence of the issuing official or police officer shall be required at the hearing if the accused so requests. A person wishing to contest his or her liability shall appear at the hearing and may present evidence on his or her own behalf. A designated municipal official, other than the hearing officer, may present evidence on behalf of the municipality. Any person who fails to appear may be defaulted and an assessment by default entered against him or her upon a finding of proper notice and liability under applicable statutes or ordinances. The hearing officer may accept from such person copies of police reports, investigatory and citation reports, and other official documents by mail and may determine thereby that the appearance of such person is unnecessary. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with such methods of proof as he or she deems fair and appropriate. The rules regarding the admissibility of evidence shall not be strictly applied, but all testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. The hearing officer shall announce his or her decision at the end of the hearing. If the hearing officer determines that the person is not liable, he or she shall dismiss the matter and enter the determination in writing. If the citation hearing officer determines that the person is liable for the violation, he or she shall enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees against such person.
Notice of assessment. If the assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the hearing officer shall send by first class mail a notice assessment to the person found liable and shall file, not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months after such mailing, a certified copy of the notice assessment with the Clerk of the Superior Court facility designated by the Chief Court Administrator within the boundaries of the Judicial District in which the municipality is located, together with an entry fee of $8. A certified copy of the notice of assessment shall constitute a record of assessment. Within such twelve-month period assessment against the same person may be accrued and filed as one record of assessment. The Clerk of the Superior Court shall enter judgment in the amount of such record of assessment and court costs of $8 against such person in favor of the municipality. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Connecticut General Statutes, the hearing officer's assessment, when so entered as a judgment, shall have the affect of a civil money judgment, and a levy of execution on such judgment may be made without further notice to such person.
Appeal. There shall exist a right of appeal in favor of any person against whom an assessment has been entered pursuant to the provisions of this article. An appeal shall be instituted within 30 days of the mailing of notice of such assessment by filing a petition to reopen assessment, together with an entry fee in an amount equal to the entry fee for a small claims case pursuant to Section 52-259 of the Connecticut General Statutes in the Superior Court designated by the Chief Court Administrator, which shall entitle such person to a hearing in accordance with the rules of the Judges of the Superior Court.