Town of Stratford, CT
Fairfield County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Stratford 6-10-1996 by Ord. No. 96-14. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 62.
Sewers — See Ch. 172.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 186.
Zoning — See Ch. A220.

§ 45-1 Purpose; scope.

The Town of Stratford, acting by the Town Council hereby enacts airport zoning regulations pursuant to Section 15-91 of the Connecticut General Statutes, entitled "Stratford Airport Zoning Regulations" to reduce airport hazards. These regulations shall apply only to the land known as the Sikorsky Memorial Airport and such adjacent areas as are expressly included as stated in these regulations.

§ 45-2 Definitions.

As used in these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words shall have the following meanings:
AIRPORT
The area of land or water designated for the landing and taking off of aircraft and utilized or to be utilized by the public as a point of arrival or departure by air navigation known as the Sikorsky Memorial Airport [C.G.S. § 15-88(a)]
AIRPORT HAZARD
Any structure or tree which obstructs or may hereafter obstruct the aerial approaches of the airport. [C.G.S. § 15-88(b)]
APPROACH SURFACES
A surface located on the ground or water and centered on the runway center line as extended and expanding outward uniformly with a width and length as established for the airport approach zones in Federal Aviation Regulations Part 77.
COMMISSION
The Zoning Commission of the Town of Stratford.
NONCONFORMING USE
Any structure, tree or use of land which is inconsistent with these regulations but which was in existence when the provisions of these regulations were enacted or amended.
OBSTRUCTION
Any structure, growth or other object, including a mobile object, which exceeds a limiting height as set forth in these regulations or the Stratford Zoning Regulations.
RUNWAY
The defined area of Sikorsky Memorial Airport prepared for landing and takeoff of aircraft along its length as shown on that map entitled "Proposed Airport Zoning Boundaries, Stratford, Connecticut, dated March 13, 1996."
RUNWAY ZONE
The existing paved runways on the airport property, but excluding Runways 16 and 34, as shown on that map entitled "Proposed Airport Zoning Boundaries, Stratford, Connecticut, dated March 13, 1996."
STRUCTURE
Any object constructed or installed by man, including such objects although regulated or licensed by other provisions of law. [C.G.S. § 15-88(d)]
TOWN COUNCIL
The Town Council of the Town of Stratford.
TREE
Any object of natural growth. [C.G.S. § 15-88(e)]

§ 45-3 Airport zoning districts.

A. 
Lands within the airport boundary are divided into two airport zoning districts, known as the "Runway Zone" and the "Airport Development District," as follows:
(1) 
Runway Zone. The existing paved runways on the airport property, but excluding Runways 16 and 34.
(2) 
Airport Development District. The land area located within the airport property boundary zone shown as the Airport Zoning District boundary on that map entitled "Proposed Airport Zoning Boundaries, Stratford, Connecticut, dated March 13, 1996."
B. 
Areas adjacent to the Airport Development District but within the airport approach surfaces as defined herein are also subject to limitations on height of structures as provided in § 45-6.

§ 45-4 Runway Zone.

A. 
Zone (district) boundary. The zone boundary is the outer limits on all sides of the Runway Zone as defined herein and shown as "Runway Zone" on the map entitled "Proposed Airport Zoning Boundaries, Stratford, Connecticut dated March 13, 1996," except as the Runway Zone and map may hereafter be amended by the Town Council.
B. 
Permitted uses. The only uses permitted in this district are airport runways and improvements directly related to the takeoff and landing of aircraft, and subject to the following limitations:
(1) 
The existing runways may not be extended or expanded, and additional runways shall not be constructed without the approval of the Town Council.
(2) 
The uses allowed in this zone and the boundaries of the zone shall not be changed or expanded except by the Town Council.
(3) 
No airport hazard shall be allowed.
(4) 
Any structures within the zone shall comply with the height limitations of Federal Aviation Regulations (F.A.R.) Part 77, in addition to limitations imposed by these regulations and other ordinances of the Town of Stratford and federal and state statutes and regulations.
(5) 
Any improvements or structures erected, altered, arranged or used for airport purposes shall be reviewed and approved under the special case provisions of the Stratford Zoning Regulations by the Commission.
(6) 
The standards of the Stratford Zoning Regulations for the underlying zone in which property in the Runway Zone is located on the Stratford Zoning Map, as such standards and map may be amended by the Commission, shall apply and control lot size, lot width, height of structures, coverage and parking, except as otherwise provided in these regulations.
(7) 
Airplane touch-and-go operations as well as airplane maintenance runups are prohibited between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
(8) 
Any violation of § 45-4B(7) shall be fined $100 for each citation, the same to be enforced by the Zoning Enforcement Officer of the Town of Stratford.
C. 
Prohibited uses. All uses not expressly permitted are prohibited.

§ 45-5 Airport Development District.

A. 
District boundary. The zone or district boundary includes portions of the land areas within the airport property boundaries of the Sikorsky Memorial Airport presently owned by the City of Bridgeport, but excluding the area within the Runway Zone. The actual areas within the district are shown as "Airport Development District" on the map entitled "Proposed Airport Zoning Boundaries, Stratford, Connecticut, dated March 13, 1996," except as the map may hereafter be amended by the Town Council.
B. 
Permitted uses.
(1) 
The only uses permitted in this district are the following uses related to and directly incidental to a municipal airport, subject to the limitations in Subsection B(2) and the obtaining of a special case from the Commission:
(a) 
Air freight terminals.
(b) 
Aircraft sales, repair, service, storage and training schools.
(c) 
Automobile rental.
(d) 
Airport terminals.
(e) 
Professional and business offices related to air transportation.
(f) 
Industrial uses related to air transportation.
(g) 
Light industrial uses in the underlying zone as provided in the Stratford Zoning Regulations.
(h) 
Restaurants.
(i) 
Public parking facility.
(j) 
Storage of motor vehicles used for transportation or for airport construction or maintenance.
(k) 
Taxiways serving existing runways.
(2) 
All of the permitted uses are subject to the following limitations:
(a) 
Airport runways are not allowed in this district.
(b) 
The boundaries of the district may not be changed except by the Town Council.
(c) 
The uses permitted in the district may not be changed, extended or expanded except by the Town Council.
(d) 
No airport hazard shall be allowed.
(e) 
Any structures within the district shall comply with the height limitations of Federal Aviation Regulations Part 77, in addition to limitations imposed by these regulations and other ordinances of the Town of Stratford and federal and state statutes and regulations.
(f) 
The standards of the Stratford Zoning Regulations for the underlying zone in which property in the Airport Development District is located on the Stratford Zoning Map, as such standards and map may be amended by the Commission, shall apply and control lot size, lot width, setbacks, coverage and parking, except for height limitations and as otherwise provided in these regulations.
(g) 
All uses must comply with the following restrictions, and no use shall be allowed which will:
[1] 
Create objectionable noise, dust, vibration or noxious fumes or odors;
[2] 
Create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communication between the Airport and aircraft;
[3] 
Impair visibility in the vicinity of the Airport;
[4] 
Endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft intending to use the Airport;
[5] 
Make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others; or
[6] 
Result in glare in the eyes of pilots using the Airport.
C. 
Safety area. The creation of a safety area, consisting of any change in the configuration of the surface of land extending from the termination of a paved runway and/or an unpaved level of ground created as an extension of a runway surface, shall require the approval of the Stratford Town Council both within the Airport Development District and those areas outside the Runway Zone and the Airport Development District.
D. 
Prohibited uses. All uses not expressly permitted in Subsection B are prohibited.

§ 45-6 Areas outside the Runway Zone and the Airport Development District.

A. 
Areas outside of the Runway Zone and the Airport Development District, as defined as "approach surface boundaries" on the map entitled "Proposed Airport Zoning Boundaries, Stratford, Connecticut," dated March 13, 1996, shall be regulated under these Airport Zoning Regulations. Approval by the Stratford Town Council is required for any expansion of Sikorsky Memorial Airport by the City of Bridgeport and/or any subsequent owner of Sikorsky Memorial Airport. In addition, the creation of a safety area, consisting of any change in the configuration of the surface of land extending from the termination of a paved runway and/or an unpaved level of ground created as an extension of a runway surface, shall require the approval of the Stratford Town Council both within the Airport Development District and those areas outside the Runway Zone and the Airport Development District.
[Amended 9-22-1997 by Ord. No. 97-29]
B. 
Any land areas that are physically located either within or beyond the boundaries of the Sikorsky Memorial Airport, but which are outside of both the Runway Zone and the Airport Development District, shall be regulated under the applicable provisions of the Stratford Zoning Regulations, which shall define the zone of any such property areas and permitted uses therein. Changes in zoning regulations or the boundaries of zoning districts outside of the airport zones shall be determined by the Commission as long as they are consistent with the terms and limitations of these regulations.
[Amended 9-22-1997 by Ord. No. 97-29]
C. 
No uses of property within the vicinity of the Airport may be conducted which:
[Amended 9-22-1997 by Ord. No. 97-29]
(1) 
Create objectionable noise, dust, vibration or noxious fumes or odors;
(2) 
Create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communication between the Airport and aircraft;
(3) 
Impair visibility in the vicinity of the Airport;
(4) 
Make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others; or
(5) 
Result in glare in the eyes of pilots using the Airport.
D. 
The area within the Airport approach surfaces as defined herein, including the portions of them which are outside of the airport zones, shall be kept free of airport hazards that could interfere with low-flying aircraft or the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft, in accordance with the height limitations of Federal Aviation Regulations Part 77 or height regulations of the State Department of Transportation.
[Amended 9-22-1997 by Ord. No. 97-29]
E. 
No structures shall be constructed, installed or altered upon the approach surfaces to the Airport without a permit from the Commission or its designated agent. A permit shall also be required for construction or installation of any other structures in the vicinity of the Airport which may result in an airport hazard.
[Amended 9-22-1997 by Ord. No. 97-29]
F. 
In case of a difference between state or federal standards and provisions of the Stratford Zoning Regulations for the maximum height of structures or trees in areas of the airport zones or the approach surface adjacent to the Airport as defined herein, the restriction providing for the lowest maximum height shall control.
G. 
If the Commission determines that any tree in the vicinity of the Airport is an airport hazard, after notice to the owner of the land where the tree is located, a hearing if requested by the owner and the approval of the Tree Warden, it may direct that the tree be removed or pruned so as not to constitute an airport hazard. The Tree Warden shall then proceed pursuant to Section 23-59 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

§ 45-7 Permits.

A. 
No structures shall be constructed, installed or altered within the Runway Zone or the Airport Development District without a permit from the Commission or its designated agent.
B. 
Permit applications for the construction, installation or alteration of any structures within the areas regulated pursuant to these regulations shall be reviewed by the Commission, subject to the limitations in these regulations, under the terms of regulations adopted by the Commission.
C. 
Permit applications submitted under Subsection B shall also be furnished to the Sikorsky Memorial Airport Commission as well as the Federal Aviation Administration.
D. 
No permit shall be granted that would allow the establishment or creation of any obstruction or permit a nonconforming use, structure or tree to become a greater hazard to air navigation than it was on the effective date of these regulations or any amendments thereto.
E. 
In granting any permit, the Commission may, if reasonably necessary to carry out the purpose of these regulations, condition any permit to require the owner of any structure or tree to allow the owner of the Airport, at its own expense, to install, operate and maintain suitable obstruction markers and obstruction lights on such structure or tree. [C.G.S. § 15-93(c)]

§ 45-8 Nonconforming uses.

A. 
The regulations and restrictions in these regulations shall not be construed as to require the removal, lowering or other change or alteration of any structure not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date of these regulations or to otherwise interfere with the continuance of a nonconforming use, or to require the change in the construction or intended use of any structure which was under construction or alteration commenced prior to the effective date of these regulations.
B. 
Where a nonconforming structure or tree exists in any of the areas regulated by these regulations which may affect aerial navigation, the owner of any such nonconforming structure or tree may be required to allow the owner of the Airport, with the permission of the Commission, to install prescribed markers or lights where necessary to indicate to operators of aircraft in the vicinity of the Airport the presence of such airport obstruction.
C. 
If the Commission determines that a nonconforming structure or tree has been abandoned or more than 80% torn down, destroyed, deteriorated or decayed:
[Amended 9-22-1997 by Ord. No. 97-29]
(1) 
No permit shall be granted that would allow such structure or tree to exceed the applicable height limit or otherwise deviate from the Zoning Regulations, but a permit shall be issued as of right if the structure as erected or altered is in conformance with the regulations or will not constitute a greater hazard than the structure that is replaced or altered; and
(2) 
Whether application is made for a permit or not, the Commission may by appropriate action compel the owner of the nonconforming structure or tree to lower, remove, reconstruct or equip such object as may be necessary to conform to the regulations. [C.G.S. § 15-93(a)]
D. 
Except as provided in these regulations, all applications for permits for replacement, change or repair of nonconforming uses shall be granted. [C.G.S. § 15-93(a)]

§ 45-9 Variances.

A. 
Any property owner desiring to erect any structure, or increase the height of any structure, or permit the growth of any tree under these regulations may apply to the Board of Appeals, as provided herein, for a variance from the regulations in question. A variance shall be granted where a literal application or enforcement of the regulations would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship and the relief granted would not be contrary to the public interest but would result in substantial justice and be in accordance with the spirit of the regulations. [C.G.S. § 15-93(b)]
B. 
In granting any variance, the Board of Appeals may, if reasonably necessary to carry out the purpose of these regulations, condition the variance upon the owner of the structure or tree allowing the owner of the Airport, at its own expense, to install, operate and maintain suitable obstruction markers and obstruction lights on such structure or tree. [C.G.S. § 15-93(c)].
C. 
The authority to grant variances shall not extend to approvals reserved to and required by the Town Council, or to extend the runways or allow uses not permitted in the zones provided for in these regulations.

§ 45-10 Board of Appeals. [C.G.S. § 15-94(c)]

A. 
The Board of Appeals shall consist of five members of the Stratford Zoning Board of Appeals.
B. 
The Board of Appeals shall have and exercise the following powers:
(1) 
To hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Commission in the enforcement of the Airport Zoning Regulations; and
(2) 
To hear and decide specific variance applications from administration of the Airport Zoning Regulations.

§ 45-11 Airport Agreement of 1978.

The Airport Zoning Regulations enacted herein shall in no way affect or abrogate the enforceability of the terms and conditions of the Airport Agreement entered into between the Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, dated December 7, 1978, and recorded in Volume 536 at page 236 of the Stratford Land Records.

§ 45-12 Appeals.

The right to appeal actions and decisions under these regulations shall be in accordance with the applicable provisions of Sections 15-94(d), 15-95 and 15-96 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

§ 45-13 Penalties and enforcement.

In addition to any other remedies provided by law, enforcement of the Airport Zoning Regulations shall be as provided in Section 15-97 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

§ 45-14 Limitations of regulations; delegation of authority.

By enacting these regulations providing for Airport zoning, the Town of Stratford is not waiving any contractual, statutory or other legal rights that it has to approve Airport expansion, and there is no approval of or delegation of any authority to the City of Bridgeport or the Airport Commission to enlarge the Airport or change the uses therein, and the delegation of administrative authority to the Stratford Zoning Commission is expressly limited as stated in these regulations.

§ 45-15 Compensation.

[Added 9-22-1997 by Ord. No. 97-29]
Any land or interest therein taken directly or indirectly through enforcement of the Airport Zoning Regulations shall be compensated by the City of Bridgeport or any subsequent owner of Sikorsky Memorial Airport.