Learn About Norwalk's Coastal Area Management Zone

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What is Norwalk's Coastal Area Management Zone?

Norwalk is a coastal community—one of the oldest and most historic communities on Long Island Sound. In 1614, the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block sailed by the Norwalk Islands and, in perhaps the first written description of this area, called them the Archipelagoes. The community began in 1640 when English settlers purchased Native lands between the Norwalk and Five Mile rivers, extending from Long Island Sound inland for a distance “as far up in the country as an Indian can go in a day, from sun rising to sun setting.” 

Since the first settlement, Norwalk’s character and quality of life have been tied intrinsically to the water and shoreline resources of Long Island Sound and the Norwalk Harbor. Today, the City’s connection to its harbor and Long Island Sound is as vital as ever. It is fair to say that the coastal area is Norwalk’s most important natural resource area, providing a variety of environmental, economic, and cultural benefits and opportunities.

Thinking about purchasing waterfront property or are you considering doing some work on your coastal property?  First check out CTDEEP coastal guide pic Opens in new window DEEP's Coastal Property Owner's Guide to review some questions you should ask before jumping in.  

State of Connecticut Regulation

Activities within Tidal Waters or Tidal Wetlands, at or below the Coastal Jurisdiction Line (CJL), or certain activities that impact tidal resources are under the jurisdiction of the State of Connecticut through DEEP.   The installation or alteration of docks, alteration of marsh vegetation, or alteration or installation of any hard structure, such as seawalls, revetments or groins. 

Municipal Regulation

The Connecticut Coastal Management Act sets the coastal boundary line marking the area within which the provisions of the CCMA apply, including the requirements for coastal site plan review (CSPR). CSPR is the process through which proposed development projects within the designated coastal boundary area must be reviewed by municipal planning and zoning agencies to ensure that the potential adverse impacts of the proposed activity on both coastal resources and future water-dependent development activities are acceptable. These properties need to consider the impacts of their actions on the Long Island Sound ecosystem more than their counterparts outside of the Coastal Management Zone.  For this reason, certain actions within the Coastal Area Management Zone need to fill out a Coastal Area Management (CAM) form.

State-wide, the coastal management boundary is a continuous line delineated by a 1,000-foot curvilinear setback from the mean high water (MHW) line, a 1,000-foot setback from the inland boundary of state-regulated tidal wetlands, or the inland boundary of the “100-year” floodplain, whichever is farthest inland. As authorized by the CCMA, Norwalk modified the state-designated coastal boundary within the City’s jurisdiction to follow a more identifiable rectilinear path along either the nearest street, lot line, or other boundary, but always encompassing the area within the state-delineated boundary. This is Norwalk’s coastal boundary line officially shown on the city’s Building Zone Map. This line delineates the inland extent of the land and water area often referred to as the Norwalk Coastal Area Management (CAM) Area. 

Find out if you're in the Coastal Area Management Plan by viewing the map below:


My property is in the Coastal Area Management Zone... now what?

You'll need to learn if your project requires a CAM review. Article 111, Coastal Zone, 118-1110E lays out exempt uses and structures of CAM review. Single family residences, construction, additions are exempt except if the work consist of 1,000 square feet or more within 100 feet of a coastal resource. Further exemptions are listed in this section. 

I think I need a CAM review... should I use the "short form" or the "long form"?

A short form application is for most new single family residences and projects near and around the coast that are smaller in scale. The long form is required for site plan review on larger scale projects that consist of more property development which perhaps may have greater potential affects to coastal resources.

General requirements for ALL CAM applications:

Filing fees (debit or credit only)

1 or 2 Family$310.00
All Others$810.00

Owner’s permission: if the applicant is not the owner, the signature of the owner(s) of record: a letter of authorization signed by the property owner(s). 

  • Confirmation of tax status (tax collector’s office Room:105) 
  • Notification of neighbors: Applicant is required to notify all land owners that abut or directly across the street from the subject parcel no later than 10 days after the application has been submitted to the department. Proof of mailings must be provided to staff before or at scheduled meeting date. 

Short Form Requirements (3 hard copies and 1 digital copy are required for all documents)

  • Application filled out completed (typed)
  • Existing conditions map
  • Plot Plan certified by CT licensed Land Surveyor (Class A-2 Survey)
  • Environmental report from a licensed engineer
  • Utility Plan (existing and proposed: water, drainage, sanitary sewer, electric & gas lines)
    • Drainage report should come from a licensed engineer and comply with DPW standards
    • Erosion/sedimentation controls & schedule
    • Drainage plan by licensed engineer

Long Form Requirements (3 hard copies and 1 digital copy are required for all documents)

  • Completion of entire CAM application required (typed)
  • Plot plans by CT licensed Land Surveyor (Class A-2 Survey)
  • Aerial (most current year available from DPW) (1 copy required)
  • Existing conditions map
  • Proposed construction map
  • Grading Plan (existing and proposed contours at 2' intervals)
  • Utility Plan (existing and proposed: water, drainage, sanitary sewer, electric & gas lines)
    • Drainage report should come from a licensed engineer and must comply with DPW standards
    • Erosion/sedimentation controls & schedule
    • Drainage plan by licensed engineer
  • Landscaping/planting plan (street trees, buffers, & screening included)
  • Easements (utility, sight preservation, conservation, pedestrian)
  • R.O.W. width and paved road width
  • Sidewalks and curbs (granite, concrete, pavers, asphalt)
  • Driveway dimensions: corner radii
  • Schedule of project
  • Refuse collection areas and description of compliance with the state recycling law
  • Resource inventory & analysis
  • Three-dimensional, architectural block model of proposed building(s) and site, at same scale as site plans, if requested by Commission. For large scale developments, a digital media presentation is required for public hearings, with one printed copy to be submitted for the file, if requested by the Commission
  • Environmental Report
    • Resource inventory & analysis should be included in this report.

The commission reserves the right to hold a public hearing on any CAM application. 

Public Hearing Notice: Any application for which a public hearing is required, the applicant shall notify by certified mail, return receipt requested at least ten (10) days prior to the public hearing, the owners of land that abut or are directly across the street from the subject parcel. The name of the owners shall be taken from the latest Tax Assessor records. When a condominium is located across the street, or abuts the subject proposal notification may be sent to the condominium association in lieu of the individual unit owners. Evidence of certified mailings shall be submitted by the applicant on or before the public hearing date.

The following may be done after initial application has been submitted to the Planning & Zoning office for all CAM applications:

Contact all applicable CCEAC Departments including by not limited to the following for their review:

Building Department (Code Enforcement)Email Bill Ireland or call 203-854-7755
Department of Public Works (DPW)Email DPW
Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA)Email Ralph Kolb and Chris Cavaliere
Fire Marshall (fire sign-off not required for single and two family homes)Email Broderick Sawyer
Conservation DepartmentEmail Alexis Cherichetti
Health DepartmentEmail Bill Mooney
SNEW WaterEmail Justin Andriopoulouos
SNEW Electric Email Scott Murphy
Eversource ElectricEmail Lorenzo Diurno
FrontierEmail John Main
First Taxing District WaterEmail or call 203-847-7487
Third Taxing District Electric Call Kevin Barber 203-866-9271

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