[HISTORY: Adopted by the Conservation Commission (now Inland Wetlands Commission) of the Town of Old Lyme 5-24-1974, as amended through 2-4-1988. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The following are Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations adopted by the Conservation Commission pursuant to Chapter 20, Article VII, Conservation Commission, of the Code of the Town of Old Lyme for the purposes therein enunciated and in accordance with the provisions of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (1972 Public Act 155, as amended).
Editor's Note: See C.G.S. §§ 22a-36 to 22a-45.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, or his agents or representatives, seeking a license to conduct, or cause to be conducted, regulated activities.
- The Inland Wetlands Commission.[Amended 1-26-2004]
- Includes, but shall not be limited to, fill, grade, dump, place, discharge or emit.
- The emission of any water, substance or material into waters of the Town, whether or not causing pollution.
- The whole or any part of any permit, certificate or approval required of any person by the provisions of these regulations.
- Any applicant, or his agents or representatives, who is granted a license.
- Any substance, solid or liquid, organic or inorganic, including but not limited to soil, sediment, aggregate, land, gravel, clay, bog, mud, debris, sand, refuse or waste.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, limited
liability company, company, organization or legal entity of any kind, including
municipal corporations, governmental agencies or subdivisions thereof.[Amended 1-27-2003]
- Harmful thermal effect or the contamination or rendering unclean
or impure of any waters of the state by reason of any waste or other materials
discharged or deposited therein by any public or private sewer or otherwise
so as directly or indirectly to come in contact with any waters.[Amended 1-27-2003]
- REGULATED ACTIVITY
- Any activity, except the activities specified in § 197-3 hereof, taking place in, or within 100 feet of, a wetland or watercourse involving, but not limited to, the following:
- A. Installation of a subsurface sewage system, sewage discharge or overflow, or privy vault;
- B. Removal or the deposit of any material or materials;
- C. Placement or construction of any structure or building;
- D. Obstruction, alteration or pollution of such wetlands or watercourses; or
- E. Any other activity or change deemed by the Commission to be detrimental to wetlands or watercourses.
- Includes, but shall not be limited to, drain, excavate, mine, dig, dredge, suck, bulldoze, dragline or blast.
- RENDERING UNCLEAN OR IMPURE
- Any alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of any of the waters in the Town, including but not limited to change in odor, color, turbidity or taste.
- RESIDENTIAL HOME
- A building designed for permanent occupancy as a dwelling and so occupied by one or more families.
- A. Any activity involving a deposition of material which will have a substantial adverse effect on the regulated area or on another part of the wetland or watercourse system;
- B. Any activity involving a removal of material which will have a substantial adverse effect on the regulated area or on another part of the wetland or watercourse system;
- C. Any activity which changes or will change substantially the natural channel or may inhibit the natural dynamics of a watercourse system;
- D. Any activity which diminishes or will diminish substantially the capacity of a wetland or watercourse to support desirable biological life, prevent flooding, supply water, assimilate waste, and facilitate drainage; or
- E. Any activity which will result in degrading a watercourse or the surface and/or ground water of a wetland, such degradation to be measured by standards of the Water Compliance Division of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, where applicable.
- SOIL SCIENTIST
- An individual duly qualified in accordance with standards set by the Federal Office of Personnel Management. 
- The Town of Old Lyme.
- Sewage or any substance, liquid, gaseous, solid or radioactive, which may pollute or tend to pollute any of the waters of the Town.
- Rivers, streams, brooks, waterways, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, bogs, and all other bodies of water, natural or artificial, vernal or intermittent, public or private, which are contained within, flow through, or border upon the Town or any portion thereof, not regulated pursuant to C.G.S. §§ 22a-28 to 22a-35, inclusive, as amended. Intermittent watercourses shall be delineated by a defined permanent channel and bank and the occurrence of two or more of the following characteristics: evidence of scour or deposits of recent alluvium or detritus; the presence of standing or flowing water for a duration longer than a particular storm incident; and the presence of hydrophytic vegetation. 
- Land, including submerged land, not regulated pursuant to C.G.S. §§ 22a-28 to 22a-35 inclusive, as amended, which consists of any of the soil types designated as poorly drained, very poorly drained, alluvial, and floodplain by the National Cooperative Soil Survey, as it may be amended from time to time, of the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. 
The following operations and uses shall be permitted in wetlands and watercourses, as of right:
Grazing, farming, nurseries, gardening, harvesting of crops, and farm ponds of three acres or less essential to the farming operation. This subsection shall not be construed to include road construction or the erection of buildings not directly related to the farming operation, relocation of watercourses with continual flow, filling or reclamation of wetlands or watercourses with continual flow, clear-cutting of timber except for the expansion of agricultural cropland and the mining of topsoil, peat, sand, gravel or similar material from wetlands or watercourses for the purpose of sale.
A residential home for which a building permit has been issued or on a subdivision lot, provided that the building permit has been issued or the subdivision has been approved by the Town Planning Commission as of May 24, 1974, and further provided that no residential home shall be permitted as of right pursuant to this subsection unless such permit was issued on or before July 1, 1987.
Boat anchorage or mooring.
Uses incidental to the enjoyment and maintenance of residential property, such property being defined as equal to or smaller than the largest minimum lot size permitted anywhere in Town. Such incidental uses shall include maintenance of existing structures and landscaping but shall not include removal or depositing of significant amounts of material from or onto a wetland or watercourse or diversion or alteration of a watercourse.
Construction and operation, by water companies as defined in C.G.S. § 16-1, or by municipal water supply systems as provided for in Chapter 102 thereof, of dams, reservoirs and other facilities necessary to the impounding, storage and withdrawal of water in connection with public water supplies, except as provided in C.G.S. §§ 22a-401 and 22a-403.
The following operations and uses shall be permitted as nonregulated uses in wetlands and watercourses, provided that they do not disturb the natural and indigenous character of the wetland or watercourse by removal or deposition of material, by alteration or obstruction of water flow or by pollution:
Conservation of soil, vegetation, water fish, shellfish, and wildlife.
Outdoor recreation, including play and sporting areas, golf courses, field trials, nature study, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, skin diving, camping, boating, waterskiing, trapping, hunting, fishing and shellfishing where otherwise legally permitted and regulated.
Subject to the provisions of § 197-15 hereof, regulated activities are prohibited except as they may be licensed by the Commission as hereinafter provided.
The boundaries of the wetlands and watercourses of the Town are shown on a map titled "Old Lyme Conservation Commission Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Inventory" adopted April 9, 1974, which map is on file in the office of the Town Clerk. Said boundaries may be changed, and the changes shown by amendments to said map, as provided in § 197-19 hereof.
Any person proposing to conduct or cause to be conducted any regulated activity or permitted use described in § 197-3 hereof shall submit an application to the Commission.
If the applicant contends that all or a portion of the proposed activity is not regulated he shall so state in his application.
Applications shall be submitted to the Clerk of the Commission and shall be deemed received at the next regularly scheduled meeting after submission, provided such meeting is more than three days after submission, or 35 days after such submission, whichever is sooner.
When an application involves, or may involve, regulated activity upon a wetland or watercourse any portion of which is within 500 feet of the boundary of another municipality, the applicant shall, on the same day that such application is submitted to the Commission, mail written notice of such application by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the inland wetlands agency of such other municipality.
The application shall include the following information:
The name and home and business addresses and telephone numbers of the applicant and, if the applicant is not the owner of the land to be affected, the applicant's interest in the land, i.e., lessee, licensee, etc.
If the applicant is not the owner, the owner's name, home and business addresses and telephone numbers and his written consent, duly acknowledged, to the proposed activity set forth in the application.
A description of the activity for which the permit is sought and its purpose.
A description of the land to be affected by the proposed activity in sufficient detail to allow identification of such land on the map referred to in § 197-5 hereof.
Names of abutting property owners, and owners of land within 100 feet of the inland wetland or watercourse involved in the application.
A statement identifying other Town agencies to which an application must be, or has been, submitted in connection with the activity sought to be approved by the Commission.
Applications shall be submitted on such forms as the Commission may require and in sufficient copies, but not fewer than two copies, to enable the Commission to carry out its duties under these regulations. The Commission shall retain the original application for its files and shall provide one copy for each agency or officer of the Town from whom it seeks advice or recommendation concerning the application, or to whom its decision must be reported.
All factual information supplied by the applicant in connection with any application hereunder shall be presumed correct. Any applicant supplying such information which he knows, or should have known, is incorrect and which is material to the issuance of a license hereunder shall be deemed in violation of these regulations, and such violation shall be sufficient ground for denial, suspension or revocation of such license.
There shall be a filing fee sufficient to cover the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting on applications, including but not limited to the costs of certified mailings, publications of notice and decisions and monitoring compliance with permit conditions or Commission orders. Such fee shall be established by the Commission and may be revised from time to time to reflect changing costs or experience. Such fee shall be payable upon submission of such application to the Commission. All information which the Commission may require to be submitted in connection with applications hereunder shall be provided at the expense of the applicant.
The Commission shall reach a decision on each complete application within 65 days from the date of receipt thereof; provided, however, that if there shall be a public hearing on such application, a decision shall be reached within 35 days after completion of said hearing. The applicant shall be notified of the decision of the Commission by certified mail within 15 days of the date thereof, and the Commission shall cause notice of such decision to be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town.
In order to reach its decision, the Commission shall, as promptly as possible after receipt of a completed application, make a first, second or third stage finding and, for the purpose of making such finding, may require the applicant to furnish such additional information as it may deem necessary, including but not limited to that set forth in § 197-8 hereof. The Commission may also seek the advice and recommendation of other boards, agencies or officers and of experts in pertinent scientific disciplines, such as ecology, land use planning, sanitation, hydrology, soil science, etc., as it deems necessary.
Second stage finding. If the Commission finds that the proposed activity is a regulated activity not involving a significant impact or a major effect on the wetland or watercourse, it may grant a license, with or without conditions.
Third stage finding. If the Commission finds that the proposed activity is a regulated activity which may involve a significant impact or a major effect on the wetland or watercourse, it shall schedule a public hearing on the application pursuant to § 197-9 hereof, or, if it finds that such proposed activity is a use described in § 197-3 hereof which is a regulated activity which will or is likely to involve such significant impact or major effect, it may schedule such public hearing.
The Commission may require the applicant to furnish, in addition to the information required to accompany the application by § 197-6B hereof, such additional information as it deems necessary to reach a decision on such application, which information may include but is not limited to the following:
A site plan or map drawn to scale determined by the Commission, prepared by a professional engineer or surveyor licensed by the State of Connecticut, and depicting the location and effects of the proposed activity by showing some or all of the following as necessary:
Property lines on the real property to be affected, the owners of record of that property and of abutting properties, and structures existing on the affected property.
Areas of proposed changes in use or activity.
Locations on or near the affected property of the boundary of wetlands or watercourses as shown on the map or maps referred to in § 197-5 hereof.
Locations of all boring and soil samples data, obtained by a soil scientist, which the applicant wishes to present to refute the location of said boundary.
Elevations by contour lines at one-foot vertical intervals.
All existing and proposed drainage structures such as culverts and catch basins.
Locations of all existing and proposed waste treatment facilities.
Areas where material is to be deposited or removed.
Location of all existing or proposed construction.
Significant vegetation, including all trees over six inches in caliper.
Proposed grading by one-foot contours of any moved material.
An inset map showing the general location of the proposed activity in the Town.
A soil sample report prepared and signed by a soil scientist indicating the soil type and location of wetlands keyed to the soil sample locations shown on any map prepared in accordance with Subsection A(1) hereof.
A biological evaluation of any marsh, swamp or bog on the affected property indicating:
Analysis of any material to be deposited within the affected property, including:
Volume in cubic yards.
Nature of materials (e.g., sand, gravel, loam, building materials, etc.).
Precise chemical composition of any toxic materials and whether they are to be enclosed in containers of any type or deposited openly without containment.
Explanation of how the affected property is to be protected from the erosion or leaching of deposited materials.
A description of proposed construction or the erection of structures upon the affected property and the purposes of such construction.
The effect of the proposed activity upon a watercourse within or partly within the affected property, including present and estimated post-completion values of:
The information required by the Commission pursuant to Subsection A hereof shall be furnished in sufficient copies to permit the Commission to carry out its duties under these regulations, but in no case fewer than two copies.
Promptly upon receipt of all information required of the applicant, the Commission shall forward one copy of the application and one copy of each item of information submitted in support hereof to the Soil and Water Conservation District for New London County for review.
If a public hearing on an application is to be held, the Commission shall commence the hearing no later than 65 days after the receipt of such application, and the hearing shall be completed within 45 days of its commencement. Notice of such hearings shall be published at least twice at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than 15 days and not fewer than 10 days and the last not less than two days before the date set for the hearing in a newspaper having a general circulation in each town where the affected wetland and watercourse, or any part thereof, is located. All applications, maps and documents related to a hearing shall be available for public inspection at the office of the Town Clerk from the date of notice of the hearing until the hearing takes place.
At the public hearing, the Commission shall make public any written review which may have been received from the Soil and Water Conservation District and shall hear evidence on the character and extent of the proposed activity and its possible effects on the affected property and surrounding areas.
In reaching a decision on any application hereunder or in carrying out the purposes and policies of the Wetlands and Watercourses Act and its duties under these regulations, the Commission shall take into consideration all relevant facts and circumstances, including but not limited to:
Evidence offered at a public hearing.
Information submitted by the applicant.
Any reports of Town boards, agencies, officials or experts solicited by the Commission.
The environmental impact of the proposed action, including:
Amount of material to be removed or deposited and the projected effect on the water table and drainage pattern.
Danger of erosion.
Likelihood of siltation and any resulting adverse effects on water quality and aquatic life.
The nature of any material to be removed or deposited and its effect on flood control, water supply and quality and on aquatic organisms.
Projected changes in velocity, volume or course of water flow or in the water table, and their effects.
Relationship to existing flood or channel encroachment lines, floodplain and stream belt zoning.
Changes to the physical, chemical and biological properties of the water or soil and their impact.
Importance of the area to the region with regard to water supply, water purification, flood control, natural habitat, recreation, open space and size.
The alternatives to the proposed action.
The relationship of the proposed action as a short-term use of the environment to the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity.
Irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed activity.
The character and degree of injury to, or interference with, safety, health or the reasonable use of property which is caused or threatened.
The suitability or unsuitability of such activity to the area for which it is proposed.
The availability of a preferable alternate location in the area under application or, in the case of an activity of sufficient magnitude, the availability of other reasonable locations.
The availability of further technical improvements in the proposed activity or safeguards for its implementation which could reasonably be required.
The extent to which the exercise of property rights and the public benefit derived from such use may or may not outweigh or justify the possible degradation of the inland wetland or watercourse, the interference with the exercise of other property rights and the impairment or endangerment of public health, safety or welfare.
The possibility of further avoiding reduction of the wetland's or watercourse's natural capacity to support desirable biological life, prevent flooding, supply water, control sedimentation and/or prevent erosion, assimilate wastes, facilitate drainage, and provide recreation and open space.
In the case of an application which received a public hearing, a license shall not be issued unless the Commission finds that a feasible and prudent alternative does not exist. In making such finding the Commission shall consider the facts and circumstances set forth in Subsection A hereof.
All findings and conclusions reached by the Commission with respect to the granting of a license or license with conditions or the denial of a license, including the findings enumerated in Subsections A and B hereof, where applicable, shall be fully set forth in writing and shall be maintained as public records in the manner provided by law. All applications, together with supporting information submitted by the applicant, and any written reports obtained pursuant to § 197-9 hereof shall also be retained as a part of such records.
The Commission may grant, grant with conditions, modifications or limitations, or deny any license for regulated activities. It may deny without prejudice any license where, through no fault of the applicant, the information required by the Commission cannot be made available to it within the time limited by these regulations for action on an application.
All licenses or licenses with conditions which shall issue under these regulations shall be in writing and may be on such forms as the Commission shall provide. Such licenses shall be furnished to the applicant and a copy retained by the Commission for its records. Any conditions applicable to licenses issued shall be set forth in full thereon.
If the Commission shall find, after granting a license, that the activity for which it was granted has, or will have, a more significant impact or greater major effect on a wetland or watercourse than was evident at the time such license was granted, then the Commission may suspend or revoke such license pursuant to Subsection D hereof without prejudice to the filing of a new application.
The Commission may suspend or revoke a license if it finds that the licensee has not complied with the conditions or limitations set forth in the license or has exceeded the scope of activity set forth in the application for such license. Such suspension or revocation shall occur only after giving notice to the licensee of the facts or conduct which warrants such action after a hearing at which the licensee is given an opportunity to show compliance with the requirements for retention of the license. The Commission may issue such cease and desist orders as are necessary to preserve the issues for hearing.
The applicant shall be notified of the Commission's decision within 15 days of the date of the decision, and the Commission shall cause notice of its order in issuance, denial, revocation or suspension of a license to be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town.
Work shall be initiated within six months after the issuance of a license on any project licensed by the Commission and completed within one year after initiation, unless the time period is extended by the Commission.
The Commission or its appointed agent shall make regular inspections of regulated areas and of all activities and uses for which licenses have been issued under these regulations. Licensed activities shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times by any member of the Commission or by such agent, and the owner, applicant or agent shall have such license readily available and shall produce the same for inspection by such agent of the Commission upon request.
If the Commission finds that any person is conducting or maintaining, or has taken part in or assisted in, any activity, facility or condition which is in violation of any provision of these regulations or of C.G.S. §§ 22a-36 to 22a-45, inclusive, the Commission may issue a written order, by certified mail, to such person to correct such activity, facility or condition. Within 10 days of the issuance of such order, the Commission shall hold a hearing to provide such person an opportunity to be heard and show cause why the order should not remain in effect. The Commission shall consider the facts presented at the hearing and, within 10 days of the completion of the hearing, notify such person by certified mail that the original order remains in effect, that a revised order is in effect or that the order has been withdrawn. The original order shall be effective upon issuance and shall remain in effect until the agency affirms, revises or withdraws the order. The issuance of an order pursuant to this section shall not delay or bar an action pursuant to Subsection C hereof.
Any person who commits, takes part in, or assists in any violation of any provision of C.G.S. §§ 22a-36 to 22a-45, inclusive, or of these regulations shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each offense. Each such violation shall be a separate and distinct offense, and in the case of a continuing violation each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
Any person who willfully or knowingly violates any provision of C.G.S. §§ 22a-36 to 22a-45, inclusive, shall be fined not more than $1,000 for each day during which such violation continues or be imprisoned not more than six months, or both. For a subsequent violation, such person shall be fined not more than $2,000 for each day during which such violation continues or be imprisoned not more than one year, or both. For the purposes of this Subsection D, "person" shall be construed to include any responsible corporate officer.
The Commission shall report to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection all enforcement activities undertaken by the Town and all appeals involving decisions made by the Commission which pertain to the wetlands and watercourses of the Town. All reports shall be submitted to the Commissioner within 15 days of the commencement of such action.
The Commission may, as a condition to a license, require the applicant to provide a performance bond in an amount and with sureties and in a form approved by the Commission. Such bond shall be conditioned on compliance with these regulations and any conditions imposed by the license.
The proceeds of any such bond paid by reason of default shall be applied to restore the affected wetlands or watercourses to their condition prior to the violation, insofar as possible.
The Commission may require, as a condition to a license, that the applicant shall obtain and keep in force insurance against liability for injury or damage to persons or property arising during performance of a licensed activity or within one year after completion thereof, in an amount to be determined by the Commission.
Nothing in these regulations shall obviate any requirement for the applicant to obtain any other assent, permit or license required by law or regulation of the government of the United States or of the State of Connecticut or any political subdivisions thereof. The obtaining of such assents, permits or licenses is solely the responsibility of the applicant.
No person shall conduct any regulated activity within a wetland or watercourse which requires zoning or subdivision approval without first having obtained a valid certificate of zoning or subdivision approval, special permit, special exception or variance or other documentation establishing that the proposal complies with the zoning or subdivision requirements adopted by the Town pursuant to Chapters 124 to 126, inclusive, Connecticut General Statutes, or any special act.
Any regulated activity legally existing prior to the effective date of these regulations shall be exempt therefrom and permitted to continue, provided that no new or expanded regulated activity shall be permitted after May 24, 1974, except by license granted under the provisions of these regulations.
Prior to the submission of any application hereunder, any person may submit, without fee, a tentative plan to the Commission for discussion purposes only. Such tentative plan shall not constitute the filing of an application hereunder but shall be preliminary thereto for the purpose of seeking the Commission's advice and guidance with respect to the general feasibility of the proposed regulated activity and establishing the basis for and clarifying the requirements of the application.
Where there is a conflict between the provisions of these regulations and those of any other applicable statute, ordinance or regulation, the provisions of that statute, ordinance or regulation which imposes the greatest restrictions on the use of wetlands and watercourses shall govern.
The invalidity of any word, clause, sentence, section, part or provision of these regulations shall not affect the validity of any other part which can be given effect without such invalid part or parts.
These regulations shall become effective upon filing in the office of the Town Clerk of Old Lyme after approval thereof by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and publication of notice of their adoption in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town.
The Commission may, from time to time, by an affirmative vote of a majority of its members, amend, change or repeal these regulations or the boundaries of the wetlands and watercourses. No such action shall become effective until after a public hearing in relation thereto is held by the Commission, notice of the time and place of which shall be published in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town at least twice, at intervals of not less that two days, the first not more than 25 days and not less than 15 days and the last not less than two days before such hearing, and a copy of such change shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk, for public inspection at least 10 days before such hearing. At such hearing, parties in interest and citizens shall have the opportunity to be heard. A copy of the notice and the proposed regulations or amendments thereto, except determinations of boundaries, shall be provided to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection at least 35 days before such hearing.
All petitions submitted in writing and in a form prescribed by the Commission requesting a change in these regulations or in the boundaries of the wetlands and watercourses shall be considered at a public hearing called and noticed in the manner prescribed in Subsection A hereof and held within 90 days after receipt of such petition. The Commission shall act upon the changes requested in such petition within 60 days after the public hearing thereon; provided, however, that the petitioner may consent to extension of the period provided for the hearing and for adoption or denial or may withdraw such petition.
All changes in these regulations or in the boundaries of the wetlands and watercourses shall become effective at such time as is fixed by the Commission, provided that a copy of such change shall have been filed in the office of the Town Clerk. The Commission shall state upon its records the reason why a change was made and shall provide a copy of such change to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection no later than 10 days after its adoption, provided that failure to submit such change shall not impair its validity.
Any person aggrieved by any regulation, order, decision or action made pursuant to these regulations by the Commission, or any person owning or occupying land which abuts any portion of land or is within a radius of 90 feet of the wetland or watercourse involved in any such regulation, order, decision or action, may, within 15 days after the publication of such regulation, order, decision or action, appeal to the Superior Court for the County of New London. Such appeal shall be made returnable to said Court in the same manner as that prescribed for civil actions brought to said Court. Such appeal shall state the reason upon which it is predicated and shall not stay proceedings on the regulation, order, decision or action of the Commission, but the Court may, on application and after notice, grant a restraining order.