[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Monroe 8-6-1973 by Local Law No. 3, 1973. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board does find it necessary to provide a method of administration for open space required as a condition of subdivision or planned unit development approval whereby such open space is maintained and administered in a fashion consistent with its purpose: for the recreation and enjoyment thereof by the inhabitants of the subdivision and planned unit developments in which such open space is required, and for the general enhancement of the Town of Monroe.
The purpose of this local law is to establish a procedure whereby the residents of such subdivisions and planned unit developments will contribute to the cost of such administration and partake in the decisions, along with the developer, concerning its use, maintenance and possible development in the initial phases of such administration, and will ultimately completely control and administer such open space. It is also the purpose of this local law to establish the town as the authority imposing and collecting the residents' contributions to such control and administration in the form of a special district assessment.
For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
- The owner or owners of the real property comprising the entire area of a subdivision or planned unit development which may be the subject of an open space requirement.
- HOMEOWNER'S ASSOCIATION
- A not-for-profit or membership corporation formed under the authority of the New York State Not For Profit Corporation Law, as the same may be amended, for the purposes, among other things, of maintaining, administering and developing open space.
- OPEN SPACE
- Any land required to be left undeveloped for residential or commercial purposes and intended solely for recreational purposes, as a precondition of approval of a proposed subdivision plat by the Planning Board or a planned unit development overall development plan by the Town Board.
- Any person, firm, corporation, association or legal representative acting individually or jointly, including any transportation corporation.
- PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT
- A grouping of residential dwelling units, combined with and serviced by compatible commercial service establishments constructed as a unified project in accordance with an overall development plan approved by the Town Board.
- PLANNING BOARD
- The Planning Board of the Town of Monroe.
- TOWN BOARD
- The duly elected Town Board of the Town of Monroe.
If the Town Board or the Planning Board shall require open space as a precondition of subdivision or planned unit development approval, the developer shall, prior to final approval of such subdivision or planned unit development, petition the Town Board pursuant to the applicable provision of the Town Law, to form a park district, the boundaries of which shall be coterminous with the area of the entire subdivision or the planned unit development to be approved.
Prior to final approval of any subdivision or planned unit development which is the subject of an open space requirement, the developer shall irrevocably offer to the Town of Monroe good and marketable fee title to the open space. Such offer shall be in a form acceptable to the Town Attorney and Town Board and shall be in a form sufficient for recording.
Such offer shall contain a covenant that the developer, his heirs, successors or assigns shall forever refrain from developing, constructing upon or physically altering such open space except as may be provided for in this local law as amended from time to time. The Town of Monroe shall be deemed the beneficiary of such covenant along with the residents of the subdivision or planned unit development affected.
Nothing herein shall be deemed to prevent a conveyance of such open space by the developer, but all such conveyances, including those to a homeowner's association, shall be subject to the offer of dedication and restrictive covenants required hereby.
The developer or his successor shall convey the open space to the homeowner's association required to be established by this local law, but not until 75% of the dwelling units proposed to be built in said subdivision or planned unit development are occupied or a period of five years has elapsed from the time the first such dwelling unit was occupied, whichever event shall first occur. Any such conveyance to the homeowner's association shall be at no cost to the association.
Prior to final approval of any subdivision or planned unit development which is the subject of an open space requirement, the developer shall form a homeowner's association. Such corporation need not be designed exclusively to administer open space, but its certificate of incorporation and/or bylaws shall contain at least the following provisions:
All owners, unit owners, lessees or tenants of any dwelling units in such subdivision or planned unit development shall automatically become members of the homeowner's association upon becoming vested with their legal interest in such units, notwithstanding that such interest may be in common or jointly held with others.
The developer or his successor shall be a member until the open space is conveyed to the homeowner's association as required by this local law.
The homeowner's association shall have the primary duty of controlling and maintaining the open space and any subsequent improvements thereon and shall contract with the Town of Monroe to provide park district services in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Town Law.
Directors of the homeowner's association need not be residents of the affected subdivision or planned unit development or of the Town of Monroe.
In voting for directors, each member shall have one vote except that until the developer conveys the open space as required by this local law, he shall have 1 1/2 votes for every member's vote in such election.
The Board of Directors shall consist of five directors, the terms of which shall be three years.
The terms of the first-elected directors shall be staggered so that one such director shall have a term of one year; two for a term of two years; and two for a term of three years. All subsequent elections for directors shall be for a term of three years.
The books and records of the homeowner's association shall be subject to visitation without prior notice by the Town Board or anyone designated by the Town Board for that purpose.
The directors shall render to every member and to the Town Board an annual accounting of receipts and expenditures, prepared in accordance with generally acceptable accounting principles.
The first election for directors shall take place not earlier than nine months after the first dwelling unit in the affected subdivision or planned unit development is occupied. Until such election, the developer shall upon formation of the corporation, nominate three directors who shall act as a Board of Directors.
The primary, but not sole, function of the homeowner's association will be the administration, maintenance and control of the open space and any facilities located thereon.
The Town Attorney shall review and be satisfied with the terms of all proposed certificates of incorporation and bylaws for such homeowner's association prior to final approval of the affected subdivision or planned unit development. Such review shall be for the purpose of seeing that the certificate of incorporation and the bylaws conform with the provisions of this local law.
Upon sale or lease of any dwelling or unit, the developer shall inform the owner, unit owner, tenant or lessee of the existence of such homeowner's association and shall provide him, without cost, a copy of the certificate of incorporation, bylaws and the names and addresses of the directors and officers of such association.
The homeowner's association shall, upon its formation, enter into an agreement with the town whereby it agrees to maintain, control and administer the open space on behalf of the park district in which the open space is located. Such agreement shall provide that the open space shall not be further developed except as provided for in this local law.
In return for such services, the town will pay the homeowner's association an annual sum agreed upon as necessary to maintain, control, and administer said open space.
Such contract shall be deemed renewable as to all its terms and provisions unless the town or the homeowner's association shall notify the other of any desired change prior to September 15 of the current year. If the homeowner's association shall desire a change in the amount of the sum to be paid by the town under the agreement for the next ensuing calendar year, it shall prepare and submit a proposed budget to the Town Board by September 15 of the current year. Such budget shall include a detailed estimate of actual and potential revenues and expenditures.
The sum of money to be paid annually to the homeowner's association for maintenance, control and administration by the town shall be charged back to the district as a park district tax and shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as other town charges on an ad valorem basis.
The preparation of the budget for the park district and the public hearing required before the final adoption thereof shall be in the same manner and at the same time as that of the annual budget for the town as a whole.
No structure or building shall be constructed, stream or water body altered or other major physical or topographical alteration made except with consent of the Town Board. No such consent shall be given unless it appears that the proposal to so develop the open space is consistent with the concept of open space for recreational use and is agreed upon by a majority of the directors of the homeowner's association who have made their decision after holding a meeting of the membership of the homeowner's association called for such purpose after giving written notice thereof to each member.
All such structures or buildings shall conform with all other provisions of law except the yard requirements of the Town of Monroe Zoning Law. In giving such consent, the Town Board shall determine if the spatial separation of such structures or buildings from other buildings or structures or property lines is sufficient.
The cost of any such improvement shall be a district charge and shall be charged back to the district and collected as a district tax in the same manner as the annual cost for the contract of maintenance with the town.
In regard to any development of the open space or any item of maintenance, control or administration that shall require the sale of obligations of the Town of Monroe, all such sales shall be made in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Local Finance Law and Town Law, and the annual installments of principal and interest thereon shall be a district charge collected as a district tax beginning the next ensuing calendar year.
If in the opinion of the Town Board, the homeowner's association defaults under its contract with the town and does not control, maintain or administer the open space, the town shall adopt one or all of the following procedures:
Accept the offer of dedication and go into actual control and possession of the open space.
Correct any specific defect or perform any specific task necessary for proper maintenance and control of said open space and charge the cost thereof to the park district as a district tax for the next ensuing year.
Unless the town shall accept the offer of dedication required by this local law, it shall be unlawful for any person who is not a resident of the park district in which such open space is located to use such open space or the facilities located thereon in any manner except by permission and upon such conditions as may be required by the homeowner's association. Such conditions may include a reasonable charge or a fee for such use. All such conditions shall be reviewed and approved by the Town Board prior to being applicable.
Any violation of this restriction shall be deemed to be a trespass in the third degree and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both, for each such violation.