Town of Old Lyme, CT
New London County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Old Lyme 3-29-1966. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 25.
A. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BASEMENT
A portion of a building located partly underground but having less than half of its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
CELLAR
A portion of a building located partly or wholly underground and having half or more than half of its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
DIRECTOR OF HEALTH
The legally designated health authority of the Town of Old Lyme, or his authorized representative.
DWELLING
Any building, structure, trailer, or mobile home or part thereof used for human habitation.
DWELLING, MULTIPLE
Any dwelling containing more than two dwelling units.
DWELLING, SUMMER
A dwelling which is normally occupied for human habitation, other than the winter months, and does not presently comply with §§ 67-2F, 67-3D and 67-4D of this chapter.
DWELLING UNIT
A dwelling or part of a dwelling occupied or intended to be occupied by one family for residential purposes.
DWELLING, YEAR-ROUND
A dwelling other than a summer dwelling.
EXTERMINATION
The control and elimination of insects, rodents, or other pests by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their foods; by poisoning, spraying, fumigating, or trapping; or by any other recognized and legal pest elimination methods approved by the Director of Health.
FAMILY
Any number of individuals related by blood, marriage or adoption, living together as a single housekeeping unit. A group of not more than six persons keeping house together, but not necessarily related by blood or marriage, may be considered a family.
GARBAGE
The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, and consumption of food.
HABITABLE ROOM
Any room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, pantries, foyers or hallways, closets, recreation rooms (but not including living rooms), private workshops or hobby rooms and storage spaces.
HOUSING INSPECTOR
The person appointed by the Selectmen to carry out the instructions of the Director of Health in the enforcement of this chapter and to make routine inspections of housing within the Town under the direction of the Director of Health.
INFESTATION
The presence, within or around a dwelling, of any rodents, insects or other pests.
OCCUPANT
Any person, over one year of age, living, sleeping, cooking, or eating in, or having actual possession of, a dwelling unit or a rooming unit.
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care, or control of a building, or part thereof, in which dwelling units or rooming units are let. The operator shall be subject to the same provisions of this chapter as the owner.
OWNER
Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, has legal title to any dwelling, including any person acting as agent of the owner, or who has possession of a dwelling as lessee.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership.
PLUMBING
Any and all of the following supplied facilities and equipment: gas pipes, gas-burning equipment, water pipes, garbage disposal units, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes-washing machines, catch basins, drains, grease traps, vents, and any other similar supplied fixtures together with all connections to water, sewer or gas lines.
ROOMING HOUSE
Any dwelling, or that part of any dwelling containing one or more rooming units, in which space is let by the owner or operator to three or more persons who are not husband or wife, son or daughter, mother or father, or sister or brother of the owner or operator, provided that hospitals, homes for the aged, and other institutions licensed by the State Department of Public Health under Chapter 368A of the Connecticut General Statutes shall not be regarded as rooming houses or as subject to the provisions of this chapter.
ROOMING UNIT
A room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used as private living and sleeping quarters but not for cooking or eating purposes.
RUBBISH
Combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage.
SUPPLIED
Anything paid for, furnished, or provided by or under the control of the owner or operator.
B. 
Meaning of certain words. Whenever the words "dwelling," "dwelling unit," "rooming house," "rooming unit," and "premises" are used in this chapter, they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words "or any part thereof." Whenever the masculine pronoun is used it shall also mean the feminine pronoun. Words in the present tense include the future, the singular number includes the plural and vice versa, unless otherwise specifically stated.
A. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain no less than 500 square feet of floor space for the first occupant and not less than 100 square feet of additional floor space for each additional occupant thereof, on the basis of total habitable room area.
B. 
Every new dwelling unit constructed shall be so arranged that access to a bathroom or water closet compartment may be had from any sleeping room without passing through another sleeping room. No sleeping room in any such dwelling unit shall have its sole access through another sleeping room or through a bathroom or water closet compartment.
C. 
No cellar space shall be used as a habitable room or dwelling unit without written permission from the Director of Health and the Building Official.
D. 
No basement space shall be used as a habitable room or dwelling unit unless, in addition to the other provisions of this chapter:
(1) 
The floor and walls are impervious to leakage of underground and surface runoff water and insulated against dampness; and
(2) 
The minimum aggregate glass area of windows as required under § 67-3A is located entirely above the grade of the ground adjoining such window area, or it is provided with an adequate mechanical ventilating system approved by the Director of Health.
E. 
Every dwelling unit shall have safe and unobstructed means of egress to open space at the ground level. Every dwelling unit of which any habitable room is located above the second floor of a building shall have two separate means of egress, as remote from each other as practicable.
F. 
No building shall be occupied as a year-round dwelling unless it is constructed on a masonry foundation and unless the entire structure complies with pertinent provisions of the Building Code and unless the interior walls are faced with plaster, wallboard or other material permitted by the Building Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 25, Building Construction.
G. 
The occupancy of any year-round dwelling, dwelling unit or multiple dwelling shall not be increased to a number of persons greater than permitted by Subsection A by reason of the use of any tent, enclosed porch, accessory building or other space which is not an integral part of the dwelling unit complying with all the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
Every habitable room shall have at least one window facing directly outdoors or adequate ventilation approved by the Director of Health. The total window area, measured between stops, of every habitable room shall be not less than 10% of the floor area of such room.
B. 
Every habitable room shall have at least one window which can easily be opened, or such other device as will adequately ventilate the room. The total of the openable window area in every habitable room shall be equal to at least 45% of the minimum aggregate glass area of the window as required in Subsection A except where there is supplied some other device affording adequate ventilation and approved by the Director of Health.
C. 
Every bathroom and water closet compartment shall comply with the light and ventilation requirements for habitable rooms contained in Subsections A and B except where the bathroom or water closet compartment is adequately ventilated by a ventilation system which is kept in continuous or automatic operation and approved by the Director of Health.
D. 
Every year-round dwelling shall have heating facilities, properly installed and maintained, capable of heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms and water closet compartments to 70º F. in zero weather measured at three feet above the floor. Every space heater, except electrical, shall be properly vented to a chimney or duct leading to the open air. No portable space heater, except electrical, shall be used.
A. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain a kitchen sink, a flush water closet, a lavatory basin, and a bathtub or shower in good working condition and properly connected to a water and sewage disposal system approved by the Director of Health.
B. 
Each such water closet, lavatory basin, bathtub or shower shall be located in an enclosed space affording privacy.
C. 
Every dwelling or dwelling unit shall be equipped with water-heating facilities to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every required kitchen sink, lavatory basin, bathtub or shower at a temperature of not less than 120º F.
D. 
No dwelling shall be occupied for human habitation unless such dwelling is supplied with water from a public water supply or from a private well approved by the Director of Health. No dwelling shall be occupied as a year-round dwelling unless such public or private water supply is constructed for winter operation, as approved by the Director of Health.
E. 
No dwelling shall be occupied for human habitation unless such dwelling is connected to a public sanitary sewer or is equipped with a private sewage disposal system approved by the Director of Health.
F. 
The Director of Health may limit the time during which a dwelling may be occupied during any one calendar year if he finds that the provisions for sanitary sewage disposal are not adequate to permit longer occupancy by reason of inadequate drainage facilities.
A. 
Every foundation, floor, wall, ceiling, door, window, roof or other part of a dwelling shall be kept in good repair and capable of the use intended.
B. 
Every inside and outside stair, every porch and every appurtenance thereto shall be kept in sound condition and good repair, capable of supporting the load normally placed thereon.
C. 
Railings or parapets, not less than 34 inches high, shall be placed around porches, balconies and roofs more than 30 inches above the ground level which are used by the occupants. Stairways having more than three steps shall be equipped with a railing.
D. 
All plumbing fixtures, piping, heating and hot water appliances, electrical fixtures and wiring, and other equipment shall be properly installed and maintained in good sanitary working condition, free from fire hazards, leaks, obstructions or defects in order to function safely and effectively.
E. 
Every water closet compartment and bathroom floor shall be constructed and maintained so as to be reasonably impervious to water and to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
F. 
Every public hall and stairway in every multiple dwelling shall be adequately lighted at all times.
G. 
Maintenance of yards. All front, side and rear yards shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. The owner of any multiple dwelling shall be responsible for the maintenance of such yards. In the case of one- and two-family dwellings, the occupants thereof shall be responsible for the maintenance of such yards. No rubbish, garbage, debris or other waste matter shall be allowed to accumulate in any yard.
A. 
Every owner of a dwelling shall be responsible for the maintenance of the structure in a safe, healthy and sanitary state of repair.
B. 
Every owner of a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units shall be responsible for maintaining in a clean and sanitary condition the areas of the dwelling and premises shared by the occupants or accessible to the occupants or to the public.
C. 
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall keep in a clean and sanitary condition that part of the dwelling, dwelling unit, and premises which he occupies and controls, including all plumbing fixtures and other appurtenances thereto.
D. 
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall dispose of all his rubbish, garbage and other waste in a clean and sanitary manner and so as to avoid attracting rodents or vermin. The owner of every multiple dwelling shall provide separate containers for rubbish and garbage for each dwelling unit therein and shall arrange for the disposal of such rubbish and garbage in a manner approved by the Director of Health.
E. 
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests therein or on the premises which he occupies and controls. The owner of every dwelling shall be responsible for maintaining the structure and premises in a reasonably ratproof and insectproof condition to the satisfaction of the Director of Health.
A. 
No person shall occupy or let to another for occupancy any summer dwelling or summer dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the following requirements in addition to those specified elsewhere in this chapter.
B. 
The occupancy of any summer dwelling, dwelling unit or multiple dwelling shall not be increased to a number of persons greater than permitted by § 67-2A by reason of the use of any tent, enclosed porch, accessory building or other space which is not an integral part of the dwelling unit complying with all the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
No summer dwelling shall be occupied for human habitation unless such dwelling is supplied with water from a public water supply or from a private well approved by the Director of Health.
D. 
No summer dwelling shall be occupied for human habitation unless such dwelling is connected to a public sanitary sewer or is equipped with a private sewage disposal system approved by the Director of Health.
E. 
No summer dwelling shall be converted to or occupied as a year-round dwelling unless the Director of Health shall have approved the adequacy of the sanitary sewage disposal system for year-round use.
F. 
No summer dwelling shall be converted to or occupied as a year-round dwelling unless the structure complies with all of the requirements of the statutes, ordinances and regulations of the State of Connecticut and Town of Old Lyme and unless approved by the Director of Health.
No person shall operate a rooming house, or shall occupy or let to another for occupancy any rooming unit in any rooming house, except in compliance with the provisions of every section of this chapter except the provisions of § 67-2, Space, use and occupancy, and § 67-6, Responsibility of owner and occupant.
A. 
Rooming house permit. No person shall operate a rooming house unless he holds a valid rooming house permit issued by the Director of Health. The operator shall apply to the Director of Health for a rooming house permit which shall be issued by the Director of Health upon compliance by the operator with the applicable provisions of this chapter.
(1) 
Rooming house permits issued as of the first day of July 1969 shall be issued only for the period from July 1, 1969, until February 1, 1970; thereafter, the period of all rooming house permits will be from February 1, 1970, and February 1 of each year thereafter, on an annual basis.
[Amended 5-5-1969]
(2) 
Such permit shall be issued in the name of the operator for the specific rooming house or rooming house unit. No permit shall be transferable. Every person holding such a permit shall give notice in writing to the Director of Health within 24 hours after having sold, transferred, given away, or otherwise disposed of ownership of, interest in, or control of any rooming house. Such notice shall include the name and address of the person succeeding to the ownership or control of such rooming house.
(3) 
Such permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the rooming house at all times.
B. 
Water supply. No rooming house permit shall be issued by the Director of Health unless:
(1) 
The rooming house is supplied with water from an approved public water supply; or
(2) 
The operator presents to the Director of Health a certificate of approval from a state-licensed water analyst attesting to the suitability of the rooming house water supply for human consumption.
C. 
Any person whose application for a permit to operate a rooming house has been denied may request in writing and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Codes Enforcement Committee under the procedure provided by § 67-10 for the hearing of petitions relating to notices.
D. 
Whenever, upon inspection of any rooming house, the Director of Health finds that conditions or practices exist which are in violation of any provision of this chapter, the Director of Health shall give notice in writing to the operator of such rooming house that, unless such conditions or practices are corrected within a reasonable period, to be determined by the Director of Health, the operator's rooming house permit will be suspended. At the end of such period the Director of Health shall reinspect such rooming house, and if he finds such conditions or practices have not been corrected he shall give notice in writing to the operator that the latter's permit has been suspended. Upon receipt of notice of suspension such operator shall immediately cease operation of such rooming house, and no person shall occupy for sleeping or living purposes any rooming unit therein.
E. 
Any person whose permit to operate a rooming house has been suspended, or who has received notice from the Director of Health that his permit is to be suspended unless existing conditions or practices at his rooming house are corrected, may request in writing and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Codes Enforcement Committee under the procedure provided by § 67-10D, provided that if no petition for such hearing is filed within 20 days following the day on which such permit was suspended, such permit shall be deemed to have been automatically revoked.
F. 
At least one flush water closet, lavatory basin, and bathtub or shower, properly connected to a water and sewer system approved by the Director of Health and in good working condition, shall be supplied for each five persons or fraction thereof residing within a rooming house, including members of the operator's family wherever they share the use of said facilities, provided that in rooming houses where rooms are let only to males, flush urinals may be substituted for not more than 1/2 the required number of water closets. All such facilities shall be located within the dwelling so as to be reasonably accessible from a common hall or passageway to all persons sharing such facilities. Every lavatory basin and bathtub or shower shall be supplied with hot water at all times in accordance with the provisions of § 67-4C. No such facilities shall be located in a basement except by written approval of the Director of Health.
G. 
The operator of every rooming house shall change supplies, bed linen and towels therein at least once a week and prior to the letting of any room to any occupant. The operator shall be responsible for the maintenance of all supplied bedding in a clean and sanitary manner.
H. 
Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one person shall contain at least 70 square feet of usable floor area, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one person shall contain at least 50 square feet of usable floor area for each additional occupant thereof.
I. 
Every rooming unit shall have safe, unobstructed means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level, as required by the statutes, ordinances and regulations of the State of Connecticut and Town of Old Lyme.
J. 
The operator of every rooming house shall be responsible for the sanitary maintenance of all walls, floors, and ceilings, and for maintenance of a sanitary condition in every other part of the rooming house, and he shall further be responsible for the sanitary maintenance of the entire premises where the entire structure or building is leased or occupied by the operator.
K. 
Every provision of this chapter which applies to rooming houses shall also apply to hotels and/or motels, except as provided in Subsection L and except to the extent that any such provisions may be found in conflict with the laws of this state or with the lawful regulations of any state board or agency.
L. 
No meals may be prepared or eaten in a rooming house, other than in a dwelling unit contained therein, unless such meals are prepared and eaten in communal kitchens and dining rooms conforming to the standards of Subsections M and N, except that this subsection shall not apply to the eating of meals in establishments which are operating a valid restaurant business and which have the rooming house and restaurant operations integrated as a single business enterprise.
M. 
A communal kitchen shall comply with the following standards:
(1) 
It shall contain at least 60 square feet of floor area in every case and at least 100 square feet if meals are both prepared and eaten therein;
(2) 
If occupants are permitted to eat meals therein, it shall be supplied with one dining chair and two linear feet of dining table space, in addition to the surface area for food preparation required under Subsection M(6) below, for each occupant of the rooming house permitted to eat in the kitchen, the surface of each dining table to be smooth and easily cleanable;
(3) 
It shall contain at least one kitchen sink of an approved type which shall be supplied with hot water at all times in accordance with the provisions of § 67-4C;
(4) 
It shall contain at least one kitchen gas stove or electric stove, every such stove to have at least two top burners and an oven;
(5) 
It shall contain one supplied electric or gas refrigerator with an adequate food storage capacity;
(6) 
It shall contain one or more supplied tables or other facilities having a total surface area for food preparation of not less than six square feet, the surface of each table or other facility to be suitable for the preparation of food, smooth and easily cleanable;
(7) 
It shall contain at least one supplied cabinet of adequate size for and suitable for storage of food and eating and cooking utensils;
(8) 
It shall be supplied by the operator with the rubbish storage facilities and the garbage storage or disposal facilities specified by § 67-6D; and
(9) 
It shall be located within a room accessible to the occupant of each rooming unit sharing the use of such kitchen without going outside of the dwelling and without going through a dwelling unit or rooming unit of another occupant.
N. 
Where a communal kitchen does not conform to the provisions of Subsection M relating to the eating of meals therein, meals shall be eaten in a communal dining room that complies with the following standards:
(1) 
It shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor area;
(2) 
It shall be supplied with one dining chair and two linear feet of dining table space for each occupant of the rooming house permitted to eat in the dining room, the surface of each dining table to be smooth and easily cleanable;
(3) 
It shall be located on the same floor of the rooming house as the communal kitchen in which the meals are prepared and shall be as nearly adjacent to the communal kitchen as is practicable; and
(4) 
It shall be located within a room accessible to the occupant of each rooming unit sharing such dining room without going outside of the dwelling and without going through a dwelling unit or rooming unit of another occupant.
O. 
The operator of any rooming house shall post in every unit a sign on which shall be written or printed in letters not less than 3/8 inch in height the following words: "No Cooking Permitted in This Room," and such sign shall remain so posted at all times the room is occupied.
P. 
The operator of any rooming house shall keep a record of the name and address of each occupant of a rooming unit, including the dates of the occupant's arrival and departure. Such record shall be contained in a bound volume as a permanent and continuous record of occupancy and shall be available for inspection at all times.
A. 
No dwelling unit or rooming unit shall be created within an existing structure or converted, remodeled or altered so as to create an additional dwelling unit or rooming unit unless the Housing Inspector has issued a written permit certifying that the plans and specifications for such work indicate that the provisions of this chapter will be complied with.
B. 
In reference to Subsection A, if the dwelling unit or rooming unit is located within the jurisdiction of a chartered association, the Housing Inspector and Building Official shall notify the designated authority of the association concerned of the intended conversion, remodeling or alteration prior to issuing a written permit. In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety, health or other ordinance or code of a charter association, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail.
A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Director of Health, acting in person or through his authorized agent.
B. 
The Director of Health is authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings within the Town of Old Lyme. For this purpose the Director of Health and his assistants are authorized to enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times all dwellings within said Town.
C. 
Whenever the Director of Health determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision hereof, he shall give notice of such violation to the person responsible. Such notice shall be in writing, stating the nature of the violation, the remedial action required, and the time to be allowed for remedial action, and shall be served upon the owner or occupant, as the case may be, either in person or by registered mail or by posting a copy of such notice conspicuously on the dwelling affected, or by notice served by a police officer of the Town of Old Lyme.
D. 
There shall be a Codes Enforcement Committee which shall consist of the Director of Health, the Building Official, the two Fire Marshals, the Housing Inspector, and the Town Engineer, appointed by the Selectmen. Any person affected by any notice issued under the provisions hereof, and any person whose application for a rooming house permit has been denied, may, within 10 days from the date thereof, file in the office of the Director of Health a petition requesting a hearing before said Codes Enforcement Committee and setting forth the grounds for such request. The Codes Enforcement Committee shall set a time and place for such hearing, not later than 10 days after the receipt of the petition, except that the Committee may at its discretion postpone such hearing upon the application of the petitioner. After such hearing, the Codes Enforcement Committee shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice. Any notice so sustained or modified shall be deemed to be an order, and any notice served pursuant hereto shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the Director of Health within 10 days of such service.
E. 
The Director of Health shall designate any dwelling or dwelling unit as unfit for human habitation if:
(1) 
It is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe, or vermin infested that it creates a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or of the public;
(2) 
It lacks illumination, ventilation or sanitation facilities adequate to protect the health and safety of the occupants or of the public; or
(3) 
Because of its general condition or location it is unsanitary or otherwise dangerous to the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
F. 
Any dwelling or dwelling unit so designated by the Director of Health shall be placarded by him and shall be vacated within a reasonable time as ordered by him.
G. 
No dwelling or dwelling unit which has been designated as unfit for human habitation as above provided shall again be used until written approval is secured from the Director of Health.
H. 
Any person affected by any such designation of a dwelling or dwelling unit as unfit for human habitation may request and shall be granted a hearing in accordance with the procedure established in Subsection D above.
Any dwelling occupied by a single family and which was constructed or approved for construction before the effective date of this chapter is exempt from those sections which would require structural changes in order to comply with the regulations, unless the Director of Health shall require such changes so as to ensure the safety and health of the occupants or the general public.
Any person who shall violate any provisions of this chapter may, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, and each day's failure to comply with any such provision shall constitute a separate violation.
If any provisions of this chapter are in conflict with provisions of any zoning, building, fire, sanitary, safety, health or other law, ordinance, code, or regulation of the State of Connecticut or Town of Old Lyme, now or hereafter applicable, the provision which establishes the higher standard shall prevail.