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Frequently Asked Questions
Inland Wetlands and Watercourses

  • What is a wetland?
  • What constitutes a watercourse? If a stream dries up periodically, is it still a regulated watercourse?
  • How do I know if I have wetlands on my property?
  • Why does Connecticut protect wetlands and watercourses?
  • What role does the Greenwich IWWA play in implementing the statute?
  • I want to tend my wetlands and watercourse responsibly. What should I be doing?
  • I’m in the early planning phase of a project. Can someone at the IWWA give me guidance?
  • Is someone from the town able to come to my property to talk about my wetlands?
  • I want to buy a home which has a “Declaration of Wetlands and Watercourses” filed on the land records. What does that mean?
  • What is a “Regulated Activity”?
  • Why is a there a regulated area - “buffer” - next to wetlands and watercourses?
  • What can be done with seasonally wet areas on my property?
  • WHEN A PERMIT IS NEEDED
  • When do I need a permit from the IWWA for my residential property?
  • What if I am in violation of the regulations?
  • Within the 100/150-foot regulated buffer, how close to the wetland or watercourse can I build and/or landscape?
  • I want to “clean up” an area of scrubby vegetation on my property. Do I need a permit?
  • Can I put yard debris in or next to wetlands?
  • Is a permit required to remove trees?
  • I want to install a deer fence. Do fences require an IWWA permit if it’s in a regulated area?
  • My septic system is failing. Do I need a permit if the repair is located within IWWA regulated areas?
  • I am interested in creating a pond on my property. What should I take into consideration prior to submitting an application?
  • APPLYING FOR A PERMIT
  • I know I need a permit, so what next?
  • Why are there three levels of applications and how do I know which one to use?
  • How do I submit my application?
  • Are my neighbors going to be informed of my application?
  • Who are the members of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency?
  • APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS
  • What happens after I submit my application? How long will the review take?
  • I received my permit, can I start my project?
  • I need to post a bond? Why, when, and how?
  • How do I get my bond back?
  • I am a neighbor to a project. How do I participate?


  • Q. What is a wetland?
    A.
    For most people, the perception of a wetland is limited to swamps and marshes.  In fact, surface-dry woodlands, meadows, and even lawns can be identified as wetlands.  In Connecticut, wetlands are identified by the features of the first 18-24 inches of soil.  A wetland is caused by groundwater coming to or near the ground surface or is caused by a restrictive layer of clay or ledge blocking water from percolating downward.  Soils that are identified as poorly drained, very poorly drained, alluvial or floodplain are wetland soils. The statutory definition can be found at https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_440.htm#sec_22a-38

    Be aware this describes inland wetlands, as opposed to tidal wetlands.  Tidal wetlands are those wetlands that occur below elevation 5.5’ and are tidally influenced.  Tidal wetlands are regulated by the Planning and Zoning Commission as part of the Coastal Area Management program of the state. For more information on tidal wetland regulations, see http://www.greenwichct.org/FAQ/35_Planning_and_Zoning/#24854.


    Q. What constitutes a watercourse? If a stream dries up periodically, is it still a regulated watercourse?
    A.
    Yes, streams which flow year-round or only for portions of the year are subject to regulation.  Specifically, watercourses are defined as rivers, streams, brooks, waterways, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, bogs, and other bodies of water.  A watercourse has to have “bed and banks,” evidence of alluvial deposits, and/or hydrophytic (water loving) plants.  Flow must also be present longer than a particular storm event; this requirement keeps stormwater discharge points free from regulation. 

    Watercourses can be man-made or naturally occurring, and they can be perennial or intermittent, even if the intermittent flow is short in duration. Vernal pools, which can be described as big, springtime puddles, often in woods, also qualify as watercourses. The statutory definition can be found at https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_440.htm#sec_22a-38.


    Q. How do I know if I have wetlands on my property?
    A.
    Wetland boundaries are determined by a soil scientist on your property. The soil scientist hangs surveying tape or “flags” along the boundary of the wetland or watercourse. A surveyor then documents the location of the flags on a property survey. The agency maintains a list of soil scientists for convenience. This list is not a recommendation and is not all-inclusive. http://www.greenwichct.org/public_documents/greenwichct_wetland/forms/index/ 

    The IWWA has issued thousands of permits and if your property ever received a permit, a copy of the surveyed wetland boundary and watercourse is likely on file. Applications made prior to 2011 are available on a public portal found on the IWWA home page. Or, come to the office from 8:00-1:00 weekdays and a staff member will help you look up your property records. Files for applications made since 2011 are available in the office of the agency, too.

    It is also prudent to research the properties next to yours as regulated areas (“buffers”) of a wetland or watercourse on an adjacent property may extend onto your land.


    Q. Why does Connecticut protect wetlands and watercourses?
    A.
    In 1972, the Connecticut General Statutes were revised to include the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act. This statute acknowledges the benefits wetlands and watercourses bring to society and the natural world, and requires local protection of these resources. Wetlands and watercourses form an interrelated system which serves human needs by detaining storm water, reducing potential flood damage, and cleansing surface water of sediments and pollutants before it enters the groundwater that supplies our wells and reservoirs. Wetlands help maintain the base flow of watercourses, provide a water supply for wildlife, and furnish breeding and nesting sites for various species, many of which breed or nest only in wetlands.


    Q. What role does the Greenwich IWWA play in implementing the statute?
    A.
    The state requires municipal regulation of activities affection wetlands and watercourses. The Greenwich IWWA enacted regulations pursuant to the state mandate and updates the regulations from time to time. These regulations are available here. 

    The IWWA has seven regular members and three alternates. The members are residents of town and volunteers. Currently, the disciplines of architecture, engineering, law, and natural resources management are represented on the IWWA and members have access to CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection training modules for additional education. The professional staff provides technical guidance and offers constructive problem-solving.


    Q. I want to tend my wetlands and watercourse responsibly. What should I be doing?
    A.
    Protecting your wetland and/or watercourse is the first best approach to tending to it responsibly. Keep the use of fertilizers and pesticides to a minimum on the land that drains towards them. Pick up pet waste and discourage geese; both of these are sources of bacteria and nitrogen. Creating or maintaining a good buffer of meadow grasses, shrubs, and the like between your lawn and the resource will help filter out pollutants.

    If you wish to manage the vegetation, cutting non-native invasive vines, such as bittersweet, is good for the trees. Selectively removing other non-native invasive plants and replacing or supplementing the wetland and buffer with native plants is also good stewardship. Be certain to check in with the staff before vegetation is removed to be sure you don’t need a permit first.

    There is an abundance of information on-line and IWWA staff are also here to help you devise a good management plan.


    Q. I’m in the early planning phase of a project. Can someone at the IWWA give me guidance?
    A.
    Yes! Technical staff members are available in the office in Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. weekdays; no appointment is necessary. Please come by and we can talk about your prospective project, look up files to see what information already exists, and help identify challenges and opportunities. The agency staff want to be a resource for you to help navigate the wetland and watercourse regulations.


    Q. Is someone from the town able to come to my property to talk about my wetlands?
    A.
    Absolutely! There are several technical members in the department who can help identify whether or not you have wetlands and/or watercourses and talk about various management strategies, or contemplated projects. You are also welcome to stop by the office any weekday from 8-1 and a staff member will gladly explain our in-house resources and answer questions.


    Q. I want to buy a home which has a “Declaration of Wetlands and Watercourses” filed on the land records. What does that mean?
    A.
    In order for new home buyers to more fully understand the key components of their property, a declaration is filed on the land records whenever an IWWA permit is implemented. By indicating the presence of wetlands and watercourses and the existence of previously issued permits, the agency hopes buyers will form reasonable expectations about the potential uses of the property and avoid violations due to a lack of information. In and of itself, the Declaration does not impose any restrictions.


    Q. What is a “Regulated Activity”?
    A.
    A Regulated Activity is any operation within or use of a wetland or watercourse which alters, pollutes, or otherwise impacts the resource. This includes construction, placing of structures, removal of material, e.g. excavation and clearing of vegetation, deposition of material, e.g. soil, plants, yard debris, discharge of polluted stormwater, or otherwise altering the wetland, watercourse, and/or their adjacent upland review area.


    Q. Why is a there a regulated area - “buffer” - next to wetlands and watercourses?
    A.
    As the science of wetland and watercourse protection evolved, so did the knowledge that activities adjacent to these resources could negatively impact them.  The language in the state statutes and the town’s regulations addresses this potential and provides the agency with the authority to regulate any activity that may impact a wetland or watercourse.  Technically, regardless of where an activity is relative to a wetland or watercourse, if the activity may impact the resource, it will be regulated. 

    Scientists have determined on average 100-150 feet of naturally vegetated land provides enough protection against an assortment of impacts from a diversity of land uses.  In Greenwich, regulations set the Upland Review Area at 100 feet from wetlands and watercourses, unless those resources occur within the public drinking water supply watershed, then the buffer is 150 feet.

    While protecting the 100 & 150-foot buffer to wetland and watercourses is desirable, it is not always possible and sometimes not needed depending on the resource’s value and the nature of the proposed work.

    Q. What can be done with seasonally wet areas on my property?
    A.
    Some seasonally wet portions of residential properties are indeed wetlands; despite the fact they are maintained as lawn or are only wet for a part of the year. As previously explained, wetlands are determined based on soil characteristics. What appears above ground defines the functional significance of a wetland, not its presence or absence.

    It is best if these areas are naturally vegetated. This does not necessarily mean the area has to be ugly or unkempt. The IWWA has approved many applications to transform an aesthetically displeasing spot into an attractive, naturally landscaped area. The use of native shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants, e.g., grasses, flowers, can be very appealing, easier to care for, and environmentally friendly. Plans to fill or drain wetlands are inconsistent with the intent of the regulations and are rarely approved.

    The agency staff are available to meet with you on-site to discuss options for improvement, or a wetland scientist, landscape architect, landscape designer, or other professional can be hired to devise a plan for review.


    Q. WHEN A PERMIT IS NEEDED
    A.
    See below.


    Q. When do I need a permit from the IWWA for my residential property?
    A.
    Work in a wetland or watercourse, or within 100 feet of those, requires a permit from the IWWA.  If the project is in a public drinking water supply watershed, the 150 feet adjacent to the wetland or watercourse is regulated.  This buffer area is properly identified as an “Upland Review Area.” Wetlands, watercourses, and Upland Review Areas can collectively be referred to as regulated areas.

    In general, the types of activities in regulated areas on a residential property requiring a permit include the construction or placement of any structures, including sheds, generators, and propane tanks, demolition of structures; clearing of vegetation (whether it is overgrown or not), alteration of grades, installation of curtain drains and the like, maintenance of ponds and streams, installation or repairs of septic systems, expansion of lawns, driveways, and hardscape areas, and installation of fencing.  Landscaping activities are most likely to be conducted in violation of the regulations, resulting in an enforcement action by the Town.  For this reason, homeowners are strongly encouraged to check in with the agency staff to be sure your anticipated work does not require a permit. 

    People are encouraged to visit the office of the agency where extensive records are available for any property with a past application.  Documentation for 1973-2010 applications submitted can be accessed through the agency’s public portal on the IWWA page of the town’s website - http://documents.greenwichct.org/publicaccess/. Newer applications are available in the agency’s office.  Technical staff are also available to meet with you in the office or come to your site and discuss the land and your project ideas.


    Q. What if I am in violation of the regulations?
    A.
    Unfortunately, violations of the regulations occur and enforcement action follows. The first step is the technical staff issues a stop work order for the property and then issues a cease and correct order. The order is issued to the property owner and the contractor. Recipients will be given the opportunity to speak directly with the agency members to present information as to why the order was issued in error. The agency considers the evidence and determines if the order will be upheld, modified, or withdrawn.

    When the order is upheld or modified, the violators will be directed to submit an application for corrective action. This is processed the same way an application is, however the agency doesn’t issue a permit, it issues an order to correct with mandatory dates for implementation.

    Application fees for corrective actions are triple the normal base fee. Additionally, the agency has the authority to impose fines of up to $1,000 per violation per day. As a last resort, the agency may seek an injunction from the courts to force a violator to correct a violation. Thankfully, this step is rarely warranted. Fees, fines, and court action associated with violations are expensive and the agency’s staff will gladly make themselves available to help you avoid them. Questions and guidance are free; please don’t be shy!


    Q. Within the 100/150-foot regulated buffer, how close to the wetland or watercourse can I build and/or landscape?
    A.
    Because every wetland, watercourse, and project creates a unique set of circumstances, there is no hard and fast “setback” within the 100 or 150-foot regulated buffer. The quality of the wetland, nature of the activity, justification for the activity, and mitigation opportunities are variables the agency and their staff take into consideration.


    Q. I want to “clean up” an area of scrubby vegetation on my property. Do I need a permit?
    A.
    If the scrubby area is in a wetland and/or within 100 feet (150 feet in public drinking water supply watersheds) to a wetland and/or watercourse, then the cleanup work will likely be regulated. “Cleaning up” is the most common source of violations largely due to the somewhat vague language in the state statutes, which state “landscape maintenance” is allowed without a permit provided the work does not change the character of the area.

    Acknowledging the lack of clarity in regulations, it is best to speak with a member of the agency’s staff, who will gladly meet you and/or your landscaper in the office or on-site to discuss your plans, regulations, and if applicable, the permitting process. There is no charge for this consultation.


    Q. Can I put yard debris in or next to wetlands?
    A.
    Repeated disposal of lawn clipping, leaves, and other yard waste in the same area in a wetland or next to it, will result in filling of a regulated area. This violation can be avoided if the yard waste is spread out thin enough that it is capable of decomposing within a year or so, i.e. 4 inches or less for clippings and below the knee for leaves.


    Q. Is a permit required to remove trees?
    A.
    In most cases, if you are removing trees more than 100 feet (150 feet in public drinking water supply watersheds) from a wetland or watercourse, no permit is needed. If you are planning to have trees cut in a wetland or the 100 or 150-foot buffer from the wetland or watercourse, then a permit will be necessary if more than 2-3 trees are affected. Agency staff are readily available to meet with you and/or your arborist to discuss your plans in the office or on-site at no charge.

    Also be aware that if the tree(s) in question lie between the road and your property line, the town tree warden must be consulted.


    Q. I want to install a deer fence. Do fences require an IWWA permit if it’s in a regulated area?
    A.
    Yes, a deer fence, privacy fence, stone wall, etc. requires a permit from the IWWA if it is proposed in a wetland, watercourse, and/or their 100 or 150-foot Upland Review Area. Provided the fence does not include altering the grades or clearing vegetation to accommodate it, a permit should be issued. Permits for fences include a condition requiring the bottom of the fence be set 6 inches off the ground within 35 feet of the wetland or watercourse to allow other wildlife the ability to move across the landscape, though this condition is waived when it conflicts with the building code.


    Q. My septic system is failing. Do I need a permit if the repair is located within IWWA regulated areas?
    A.
    Yes, installation of a septic system in regulated areas, even correcting a failed system, requires a permit. Staff will be looking to see that the footprint of disturbance is minimized, erosion and sedimentation controls are adequate, and if applicable, proper mitigation is included, prior to issuing the permit. It is in everyone’s best interest to get the system repaired as quickly as possible.


    Q. I am interested in creating a pond on my property. What should I take into consideration prior to submitting an application?
    A.
    An application to create a pond should be made after careful consideration of the future pond’s support system, e.g., the size and condition of the watershed contributing to the pond, the depth of the pond, and how often it will be fully flushed (water flowing in completely replaces the volume of water in the pond). Ponds should be at least eight feet deep and have side slopes of 1:3, with more shallow slopes for the first 18 inches of depth. This baseline design information will determine the minimum size the pond should be. If there is a small area contributing overland flow to the pond or if the pond is in a stream which flows for only part of the year, the flushing rate will be low and the likelihood nuisance algal blooms and floating vegetation will increase. Similarly, the nature of the landscape contributing overland flows will influence the presence of algal blooms and floating vegetation. Management of fertilizers, pet waste, impervious surfaces, and failing septic systems on your property and those of your neighbors will make a difference. The pond should be designed with habitat goals in mind not just aesthetic goals; i.e., there should be a buffer area of tall, native grasses or the like between the lawn and the water’s edge to keep lawn chemicals and clippings out of the pond and to discourage geese from congregating.

    Creation of a pond requires approval of the IWWA and the application documentation will require professional assistance. Larger ponds and larger streams with more extensive watersheds may require additional permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. Generally speaking, creation of a pond in an otherwise healthy wetland is not in the best interest of the wetland, thus obtaining a permit will be difficult.


    Q. APPLYING FOR A PERMIT
    A.
    See Below


    Q. I know I need a permit, so what next?
    A.
    Once you know your project falls within a regulated area you will need to assess what professional assistance will be helpful.  If your wetlands and/or watercourses have not been identified (flagged) in the field by soil scientist and surveyed, this is a good first step.  Always check with the IWWA office first to see what records are available.  This could save time and money.
    Next, an environmental analyst can provide guidance regarding the values of your wetland and early advice regarding how your desired plans do or do not support wetland protection.  She can provide solutions to help balance your project before too much time and money has been spent on design work. 

    Many construction projects will require a civil engineer, who will be largely responsible for creating a site plan.  The engineer will assess the project’s needs for, among other things, stormwater management, as accommodating stormwater will eventually become part of the scope of your project.  An engineer will also be useful if a septic system is involved.  

    A landscape architect is a helpful professional to enlist for projects that include a landscaping component.  A landscape architect will draft the site plan showing vegetation to be altered, any regrading, and what plants are going to be installed - including plants for mitigating the impacts the project may pose to wetlands and watercourses.  It is important to work with a professional who has experience with wetlands and watercourses and shares your aesthetic. 

    Any of these professionals can represent you to the agency.  Whether or not you retain an attorney is a personal choice.  Generally, the more complex a project is, the more likely an applicant is to have an attorney as part of their team.

    For simple projects, it is best to speak with a technical staff member to discuss what is the minimum information you need to support your project.  A cadre of professionals may well be more than is necessary.

    Application forms are available on the agency’s website

    Q. Why are there three levels of applications and how do I know which one to use?
    A.
    The agency provides three levels of applications in recognition of the variety of complexity in submitted projects and the variety of supporting documentation that is needed.

    Minor projects may be approvable by the agency staff. These projects are generally further from the wetland and/or watercourse and tend to be small-scale activities such as small additions, decks, generators, etc., which do not involve a lot of grading or clearing. The application requirements are relatively simple.

    The vast majority of applications submitted are subject to review by the agency and entail more substantial additions or landscaping, new homes, expansion of lawns, pond dredging, etc. Many of these projects will require one or more professionals to help compile application documents. Of these, the environmental analyst and engineer will contribute the most, once the wetland boundary and survey are obtained.

    The highest category is reserved for projects which may cause significant impact to wetlands or watercourses, thus the supporting documentation reflects this potential. Usually, a variety of professionals are needed to represent these more complex applications and a public hearing will be held.


    Q. How do I submit my application?
    A.
    Once you have assembled your application documents, you can make an appointment with the Applications Coordinator, Lauren Lockwood (lauren.lockwood@greenwichct.org). She will review the package to ensure all necessary information is provided. The deadline for submission is 3:00 p.m. the Friday before each regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the agency. The filing fee must be submitted at the time of filing. A digital copy of the application package is also needed for submission.


    Q. Are my neighbors going to be informed of my application?
    A.
    Yes. As part of the application process abutting property owners are notified by direct mailing. The agency is only interested in receiving input from the public pertaining to wetland and watercourse protection. Consequently, even if your neighbor doesn’t like your project (or you!), their comments will not carry weight unless they reference wetland issues that can be substantiated.


    Q. Who are the members of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency?
    A.
    The agency’s seven regular and three alternate members are residents of Greenwich, who volunteer their time to review applications and other important issues related to the town’s wetland and watercourse resources. The Board of Selectmen make appointment recommendations to the Representative Town Meeting, which is ultimately responsible for making the final appointments.

    The agency is supported by five technical staff members and three administrative staff members.


    Q. APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS
    A.
    See below.


    Q. What happens after I submit my application? How long will the review take?
    A.
    Your application will appear on the agency’s agenda at the first meeting following submission of the application to the office. The agency will administratively receive the application, which sets the start date for various timelines within which the agency must act. The agency will discuss the application at their next meeting the following month.

    During the intervening month, staff will review the application, seek additional information from the applicant or applicant’s agent, if warranted, and write a staff report. Agency members will also conduct a site inspection.

    At the second meeting the application is on the agenda it will be introduced by a staff member who provides a technical review of the application. The applicant or his/her agent may then further describe the project and answer outstanding questions posed by staff. The agency will then ask question or discuss issues with the presenters. At the agency’s discretion, they will ask if there is any public comment. If the agency is satisfied with the proposal, there will be a motion to approve. If more information is needed, there will be a motion to delay action and schedule the project for further discussion at the next meeting. The agency may also make a motion to deny the application, if warranted under the regulations.

    The agency only has 65 days from the date of receipt of the application to take action. The agency may request of the applicant another 65 days for review. The agency is most likely seeking more time so more information can be submitted and they can make an informed decision.

    If the agency determines a project may include significant impacts to the wetland or watercourse, they will schedule a public hearing. The agency must close the hearing within 35 days, unless the applicant grants an extension of no more than 65 days.

    Thus, it is possible for a project to be approved four weeks from the agency’s receipt of the application. The more complete a submission is, the more likely it is that there will be a speedy determination.
    If the application is minor in scope, an Agent Approval may be appropriate. In this case, there is no agency involvement or deadline for submission. Agents will review submitted applications as they come into the office and issue permits accordingly. These permits are usually issued 1-2 weeks after application submission.


    Q. I received my permit, can I start my project?
    A.
    In your permit there are Standard and Special Conditions which need to be satisfied before work can start. These pre-conditions are generally straight forward and commonly consist of submitting a bond estimate, a bond, filing a declaration of wetlands and watercourses, etc. The Special Conditions may also contain requirements verbalized at the meeting which need to be properly incorporated into the final plans.

    If your project also requires a building permit, all of the pre-conditions need to be completed before agency staff can sign off on the building department “check list.”


    Q. I need to post a bond? Why, when, and how?
    A.
    Most permits require a performance bond to be posted to help ensure the project is implemented in accordance with the permit and, in the case of mitigation or enhancement plantings, those plants are cared for during their first two critical years following installation. The bond also provides the incentive to complete the end-of-project requirements, such as filing foundation as-built plans, getting the engineer’s letter of compliance, etc. The agency might also use the bond to fix problems at a site if the applicant is unresponsive to staff requests and a wetland and/or watercourse is at risk of impact.

    The bond amount is included in the Special Conditions of the permit. The conditions may also call for an estimate for the retail, installed cost of any plantings. A defined percentage of this estimate will also be factored into the final bond amount. Once the bond amount is finalized, a check made out to the Town of Greenwich is submitted to the office of the agency. The funds are deposited into a non-interest bearing account for the duration of the project and “hold” period associated with plantings.


    Q. How do I get my bond back?
    A.
    Once the regulated activities are complete and all conditions of the permit have been satisfied, a letter or email can be submitted to wetlands@greenwichct.org requesting a final inspection and release of your bond.  The compliance inspector will be looking to see if the site is stabilized and the work complies with the approved plans.  She will also review the file to see that the end-of-project requirements have been met.  These include foundation as-built plans, engineer’s certification of compliance, drainage management plans filed on the land records, etc.  The portion of the bond attributed plantings will have a “hold” period, which is often two years, and compliance is met if 80% of the plants are thriving.

    Bonded funds are mailed back to the entity who posted the bond.  Without written authorization, the bond cannot be assigned to anyone other than the person who posted it.

    Q. I am a neighbor to a project. How do I participate?
    A.
    Neighbors and interested parties can participate in various ways.  Once submitted, the application is a public record and anyone may view it.  Agency staff are on hand to help explain the proposal and answer questions.  The public can also attend the meeting(s) when the project is presented and discussed.  As a courtesy, it is the practice of the agency to ask for public comment, even if the project is reviewed without a public hearing.  Conversely, if a public hearing is held, it is the public's right to be heard and the agency is obligated to provide the opportunity.  Statutes facilitate public involvement for applications by allowing a petition to be submitted calling for a public hearing (see sec. 9.1 of the regulations.  The petition demonstrates substantial public interest - a criterion the agency is required to consider when it determines whether or not to hold a hearing on a proposal.

    The jurisdiction of the agency is limited to inland wetlands and watercourses and stated concerns regarding wetland and watercourse impacts should be substantiated.  For more technical concerns, it may be prudent for the interested member(s) of the public to hire a consultant to speak to the issues.  Case law has firmly established the agency must give weight to statements based on the expertise of the person providing the information.  For example, if the applicant’s engineer states stormwater flows will not impact a downstream property and the owner of that downstream property states they have had flooding problems in the past and the new development will make it worse, the agency has no choice but to take the word of the professional consultant.  If the downstream property owner hires an engineer to evaluate the proposal and that engineer states their client’s property would be adversely affected, the agency has the discretion to follow the recommendation of either expert.

    For much more involved proposals, the Connecticut General Statutes, section 22a-19, is sometimes chosen to provide aggrieved members of the public the right to intervene.  This allows intervenors to gain legal standing within the process and requires a somewhat greater level of scrutiny by the agency. 




    If your question is not listed or if you are still unsure of the answer, please feel free to email us at wetlands@greenwichct.org.


     
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