[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Old Lyme as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words and phrases, as used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:
- Any corporation, association or partnership, one or more individuals, and any unit of government or agency thereof.
- REGULATED ACTIVITY
- Any of the following: draining, dredging, excavation, or removal
of soil, mud, sand, gravel, aggregate of any kind or rubbish from any wetland
or the dumping, filling or depositing thereon of any soil, stones, sand, gravel,
mud, aggregate of any kind, rubbish or similar material, either directly or
otherwise, and the erecting of structures, driving of pilings, or placing
of obstructions, whether or not changing the tidal ebb and flow. Notwithstanding
the foregoing, "regulated activity" shall not include activities conducted
by, or under the authority of, the Department of Environmental Protection
for the purposes of mosquito control, conservation activities of the State
Department of Environmental Protection, the construction or maintenance of
aids to navigation which are authorized by governmental authority and the
emergency decrees of the duly appointed Director of Health of the Town acting
to protect the public health.[Amended 1-27-2003]
- Those areas which border on or lie beneath tidal waters, such as, but not limited to, banks, bogs, salt marsh, swamps, meadows, flats, or other low lands subject to tidal action, including those areas now or formerly connected to tidal waters, and whose surface is at or below an elevation of one foot above local extreme high water, and upon which may grow or be capable of growing some, but not necessarily all, of the following: salt meadow grass (Spartina patens), spike grass (Distichlis spicata), black grass (Junous gerardi), saltmarsh grass (Spartina alterniflora), saltworts (Salicornia europaea and Salicornia bigelovii), sea lavender (Limonium carolianum), saltmarsh bulrushes (Scirpus robustus and Scirpus paludovar, atlatnicus), sand spurry (Spergularia marina), switch grass (Panicum virgatum), tall cordgrass (Spartina pectinata), high-tide bush (Iva frutescens var. oraria), cattails (Typha angustifolia and Typha latifolia), spike rush (Eleocharis rostellata), chairmaker's rush (Scirpus americana), bent grass (Agrostis palustra) and sweet grass (Hierocholoe odorata).
It is declared that much of the wetlands of the Town have been lost or despoiled by unregulated dredging, dumping, filling and like activities and that the remaining wetlands of the Town are all in jeopardy of being lost or despoiled by these and other activities; that such loss or despoliation will adversely affect if not entirely eliminate the value of such wetlands as sources of nutrients to finfish, crustacea and shellfish of significant economic value; that such loss or despoliation will destroy such wetlands as habitats for plants and animals of significant economic value and will eliminate or substantially reduce marine commerce, recreation and aesthetic enjoyment; and that such loss or despoliation will, in most cases, disturb the natural ability of tidal wetlands to reduce flood damage and adversely affect the public health and welfare; and that such loss or despoliation will substantially reduce the capacity of such wetlands to absorb silt and will thus result in the increased silting of channels and harbor areas to the detriment of free navigation. Therefore, it is declared to be the public policy of this Town to preserve the wetlands of the Town and prevent despoliation and destruction thereof by unregulated activity.
A regulated activity shall not be conducted upon any wetland without a permit issued by the Board of Selectmen, which shall make a specific finding, to be set forth in the minutes of the meeting of said Board at which said permit issues, that the proposed use and related regulated activities will not materially adversely affect any wetlands in the Town of Old Lyme with reference to the public policy set forth in § 170-2 hereof. Notice to said Board that the State Department of Environmental Protection is in the process of acquisition of any tidal wetlands by negotiations or condemnation shall be sufficient basis for denial of any permit.
In granting a permit said Board may limit or impose conditions or limitations designed to carry out the public policy set forth in § 170-2 hereof. Said Board may require a bond in amount and with surety and conditions satisfactory to it securing to the Town compliance with the conditions and limitations set forth in a permit and may suspend or revoke a permit if it finds that the applicant has not complied with any of the conditions or limitations set forth in said permit or has exceeded the scope of work as set forth in the application.
Applications to said Board of Selectmen for a permit shall be in such form and with such information as said Board may prescribe, including a detailed description of the proposed work and a map showing the area of wetland directly affected. Said Board shall, within 60 days after receipt of such application, grant, grant subject to modification, or deny a permit for the work applied for. Failure of said Board to act on the application within the time limit herein shall be deemed a grant of the permit for the work applied for.
A denial of permit by the Board of Selectmen pursuant to this chapter shall be effective until such time as the wetlands affected thereby shall be established as such under the provisions of 1969 Public Act 695.
Editor's Note: See C.G.S. § 22a-28 et seq.
An appeal may be taken by the applicant or any person, corporation, or municipal or interested community group other than the applicant who or which has been aggrieved by the denial, suspension or revocation of a permit or the issuance of a permit or conditional permit within 30 days of such denial, suspension, revocation or issuance of any said permit to the court of appropriate jurisdiction. If such court shall find that an application constitutes a taking of private property for public use requiring the exercise of eminent domain, the Town shall, within the time specified by the court:
Institute condemnation proceedings on behalf of the Town to acquire the applicant's land pursuant to authority granted by C.G.S. § 7-131b and/or 48-6, as amended, and the procedure set forth in C.G.S. § 48-12 et seq., as amended;
Approve the application with lesser restrictions or conditions acceptable to the applicant; or
Invalidate all conditions and the application of this chapter to the applicant's land and grant a permit without conditions.
Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $100, and in the case of a continuing violation each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
Any police officer or other person authorized by the Board of Selectmen is authorized to issue citations for violations of the Old Lyme Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations to the extent and in the manner as provided by this article. Any citation may be served either by hand or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person named in the citation. If the person named in the citation sent by certified mail refuses to accept such mail, a citation may be sent by regular United States mail. The fines set forth in this article shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any penalties or remedies set forth in the Old Lyme Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations and the Connecticut General Statutes.
The fine for each citation shall be not less than $250 nor more than $1,000. The amount of the fine shall be based on the severity of the environmental impact of the unauthorized activity.
A person receiving a citation shall be allowed a period of 30 days from his or her receipt of the citation to make an uncontested payment of the fine specified in the citation to the Treasurer of the Town of Old Lyme. If the citation has been sent by regular mail pursuant to § 170-7, the day of receipt of citation shall be three business days after the day of mailing of the citation. Such payment shall be inadmissible in any proceedings, civil or criminal, to establish the conduct of such person or other person making the payment.
Any person issued a citation shall be entitled to a hearing to contest the citation. All procedures, including but not limited to notice, hearing, disposition, appeal and enforcement, shall be as is set forth in C.G.S. § 7-152c, Hearing Procedure for Citations, and C.G.S. § 22a-42g, as the same may be amended from time to time by the General Assembly.
The First Selectman shall appoint one or more hearing officers to conduct hearings necessary to effect this article. Neither the Inland Wetlands Enforcement Officer nor any employee of the Town of Old Lyme exercising inland wetlands authority nor any member of the Old Lyme Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission may be appointed as a hearing officer pursuant to this article.