City of Beacon, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Beacon as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 195.
Zoning — See Ch. 223.
[Adopted 1-17-1972 as Art. II of Ch. 20 of the 1972 Code of Ordinances]
[1]
Editor's Note: The former title of Art. I, Establishment of Planning Board, was amended 10-17-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005 to Art. I, Establishment of Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.

§ 45-1 Creation.

[Amended 3-16-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992; 10-17-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005; 5-2-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016]
A. 
There shall be a City Planning Board appointed by the Mayor of the City, which Board shall consist of seven members and alternate members as set forth in Article II. The respective terms of the members first appointed shall be one, two or three years from and after appointment. Their successors shall be appointed for terms of three years from and after the expiration of the term of their predecessors in office.
B. 
There shall be a City Zoning Board of Appeals appointed by the Mayor of the City, which Board shall consist of five members and alternate members as set forth in Article II. The respective terms of the members first appointed shall be one, two or three years from and after appointment. Their successors shall be appointed for terms of three years from and after the expiration of the term of their predecessors in office.

§ 45-2 Vacancies.

[Amended 10-17-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005; 5-2-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016]
If a vacancy shall occur in either the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals, other than by expiration of term, it shall be filled by appointment by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council for the unexpired term.

§ 45-3 Removal of members.

[Amended 10-17-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005; 5-2-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016]
A. 
Any member of the City Planning Board and any member of the City Zoning Board of Appeals may be removed by the Mayor for cause and after a public hearing. The following shall be grounds for removal for cause:
(1) 
Absence from three consecutive meetings or four meetings in any calendar year; or
(2) 
Failure to obtain the required four hours of training in a twelve-consecutive-month period as required by New York General City Law §§ 27(7-a) and 81(7-a), as may be amended.
B. 
The Chairperson of the ZBA and the Chairperson of the Planning Board shall notify the Mayor in writing on or about December 1 in any year of any member or alternate member, if any, who fails to comply with the minimum requirements for training in any calendar year. In the event a member or alternate member of the ZBA or the Planning Board has failed to complete the minimum training requirements set forth in § 24-5, then the Mayor may remove such member for cause as hereinafter provided. The Chairperson of the ZBA and the Chairperson of the Planning Board shall also promptly notify the Mayor in writing at any time that a member of the respective Board shall fail to maintain the minimum attendance at meetings, upon which event the Mayor may remove such member for cause as hereinafter provided.
C. 
The process to remove a member of the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals shall be as follows:
(1) 
Notice. Such member shall be mailed a written notice specifying the nature of the cause for the member's removal.
(2) 
Public hearing. Such notice shall specify a date, not less than 20 nor more than 30 days from the date of mailing such notice, when the Mayor shall convene and hold a public hearing on whether or not such member should be removed from service on such board. Such notice shall specify the time, date and place of such hearing.
(3) 
Public notice. Public notice of such hearing shall be published in the official newspaper of the City, at least five days prior to the date of the public hearing.
(4) 
Conduct of hearing. The public hearing on the charges shall be conducted before the Mayor. The member shall be given an opportunity, within the foregoing time constraints, to retain an attorney, present evidence, call witnesses to refute the charges, and cross-examine witnesses. A record of such hearing shall be made. The decision of the Mayor shall be reduced to writing together with specific findings with respect to each charge against such member. A copy of such decision and such findings shall be filed in the Office of the City Clerk and mailed to the member and the respective Chairman of the Board.

§ 45-4 Compensation.

[Amended 3-16-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992; 10-17-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005]
Members of the City Planning Board and City Zoning Board of Appeals shall receive no payment for their services as members of their respective Boards.

§ 45-5 Chairman.

[Amended 10-17-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005]
The Chairman of the City Planning Board and the Chairman of the City Zoning Board of Appeals shall be designated by the Mayor or, on failure to do so, shall be elected from and by their own members.

§ 45-6 Employment of experts and staff.

[Amended 10-17-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005]
The City Planning Board and the City Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the power and authority to employ experts and a staff and to pay for their services and such other expenses as may be necessary, not exceeding in all the appropriation that may be made for such Board by the City Council.

§ 45-7 Adoption of rules and regulations.

[Amended 10-17-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005]
The City Planning Board and the City Zoning Board of Appeals may adopt rules and regulations in respect to procedure before it and in respect to any subject matter over which it has jurisdiction under this article or any other statute, after public hearing by the City Planning Board or by the City Zoning Board of Appeals and subject to the approval of the City Council.

§ 45-8 Master Plan.

The City Planning Board shall prepare and may change a comprehensive Master Plan for the development of the entire area of the City, which Master Plan shall show existing and proposed streets, bridges and tunnels and approaches thereto, viaducts, parks, public reservations, roadways in parks, sites for public buildings and structures, zoning districts, pier head and bulkhead lines, waterways and routes of public utilities and such other features, existing and proposed, as will provide for the protection and improvement of the City and its further growth and development and will afford adequate facilities for the public housing, transportation, distribution, comfort, convenience, public health, safety and general welfare of its population. The Master Plan and all modifications thereof shall be on file in the office of the City Planning Board, and certified copies thereof shall be filed in the offices of the City Engineer and City Clerk.

§ 45-9 Public hearings.

The City Planning Board may advertise and hold public hearings when it desires, notice of which hearing shall be advertised at least once in one of the official newspapers or in a newspaper of general circulation in the City at least five days before each such hearing.

§ 45-10 Final action on planning matters.

The authority having final jurisdiction over any matter in which the City Planning Board also has jurisdiction shall not proceed to such final action until such City Planning Board has made its final report thereon to such authority, but, if such City Planning Board shall not have made its final report thereon within 45 days from the date of reference thereto, the authority having final jurisdiction may proceed to final action. This section shall not be construed to prevent the City Council from granting, in any specific case, such longer period as it may fix within which the City Planning Board may make its final report, and, if such longer period is granted, the authority having final jurisdiction shall not, in the absence of such report, proceed to final action until that longer period shall have elapsed.

§ 45-11 Plans, plats or descriptions of land.

A. 
No plan, plat or description showing the layout of any highway or street upon private property or of building lots in connection with or in relation to such highways or streets within the limits of this municipality shall be received for record in the office of the Clerk of Dutchess County until a copy thereof shall have been filed with the City Planning Board and it has certified with relation to its approval or its refusal to approve. Before such approval shall be given, formal offers of cession of all streets, highways and parks not marked by notation on the plat as being retained under private ownership shall be filed with the City Planning Board, and a public hearing shall be held by such Board after being advertised as provided in § 45-9 herein. The City Planning Board may thereupon approve, modify and approve or disapprove of such plat. The approval required by this section or refusal to approve shall take place within 45 days from and after the time of submission of the plat to the City Planning Board for approval; otherwise, such plat shall be deemed to have been approved, and the certificate of the City as to the date of submission of the plat for approval and the failure of the City Planning Board to take action within such time shall be issued by the City Clerk on demand and shall be sufficient in lieu of the written endorsement or other evidence of an approval herein required. The ground for refusal shall be stated in the records of the City Planning Board. The approval by the City Planning Board or the certificate of the City Clerk as to the date of such submission of the plat and the failure of the City Planning Board to take action thereon within 45 days shall expire 90 days after the date of such approval or of such certificate, unless, within such ninety-day period, such plat shall have been duly filed or recorded by the owner in the office of the County Clerk. The City Clerk is hereby authorized and charged with the duty of filing in the office of the County Clerk a certificate showing that the City Planning Board has been so authorized and that the City Clerk shall issue the aforementioned certificate of failure to take action as aforesaid.
B. 
Before the approval of the City Planning Board of a plat, such plat shall show, in proper cases and when required by the City Planning Board, a park or parks suitably located for playground or other recreational purposes. In approving such plats, the City Planning Board shall require that the streets and highways shall be of sufficient width and suitable grade and shall be suitably located to accommodate the prospective traffic, to afford adequate light and air, to facilitate fire protection and to provide access of fire-fighting equipment to buildings to be coordinated so as to compose a convenient system conforming to the Master Plan; that the land shown on such plats shall be of such a character that it can be used safely for building purposes without danger to health or peril from fire, flood or other menace; that suitable monuments have been placed at such block corners and other necessary points as may be required by the City Planning Board, and the location thereof is shown on the map of such plat; that the parks shall be of reasonable size for neighborhood playgrounds or other recreational uses; that all streets or other public places shown on such plats shall be suitably graded and paved; and that sidewalks, streetlighting standards, curbs, gutters, street trees, water mains, sanitary sewers and storm drains or combined sewers shall be installed in accordance with standards, specifications and procedures acceptable to the appropriate municipal departments or that, alternatively, a performance bond sufficient to cover the full cost of the same as estimated by the City Planning Board or other appropriate municipal department designated by the City Planning Board shall be furnished to the municipality by the owner; provided, however, that the City Planning Board may waive, subject to appropriate conditions and guaranties, for such period as it may determine, the provision of any or all such improvements as, in its judgment of the special circumstances of a particular plat or plats, are not requisite in the interests of the public health, safety and general welfare. Such performance bond shall be issued by a bonding or surety company approved by the City Attorney of the City or a performance bond executed by the owner with security acceptable to the legislative body and shall also be approved by the City Attorney as to sufficiency and manner of execution. Such performance bond shall run for a term to be fixed by the City Planning Board, but in no case for a longer term than three years; provided, however, that the term of the performance bond may be extended by the City Planning Board with consent of the parties thereto. If the City Planning Board shall decide at any time during the term of the performance bond that the extent of building development that has taken place in the subdivision is not sufficient to warrant all the improvements covered by such performance bond or that required improvements have been installed as provided in this section and required by the City Planning Board in sufficient amount to warrant reduction in the face amount of such bond, the City Planning Board, after due notice and public hearing, may modify its requirements for any and all such improvements, and the face value of such performance bond shall thereupon be reduced by an appropriate amount so that the new face value will cover the cost in full of the amended list of improvements required by the City Planning Board, and any security deposited with the bond may be reduced proportionately. In the event that any required improvements have not been installed within the term of the performance bond, the legislative body may thereupon declare the performance bond in default and collect the sum remaining thereunder, and, upon the receipt of the proceeds thereof, the City shall install such improvements as are covered by such performance bond and commensurate with the building development that has taken place in the subdivision but not exceeding in cost the amount of such proceeds.
C. 
In making such determination regarding streets, highways, parks and required improvements, the City Planning Board shall take into consideration the prospective character of the development, whether dense residence, open residence, business or industrial.
D. 
Insofar as provisions of law, other than those contained in this article, require approval of a plat, map or plan of land as prerequisite of its record, or to allow it to be recorded, such provisions shall not be in force insofar as they apply to plats, maps and plans of land within the limit of this municipality.

§ 45-12 Confirmation of zoning regulations.

The City Planning Board is authorized and empowered, simultaneously with approval of such plat mentioned in § 45-11, to confirm the zoning regulations of the land so platted as shown on the Official Zoning Map of the City and to make such reasonable change therein as may be necessary or proper to improve or protect the interests of the City in its public health, safety and general welfare.

§ 45-13 Undeveloped plats.

A. 
For the purpose of providing for the future growth and development of the City and affording adequate facilities for the housing, transportation, distribution, comfort, convenience, safety, health and welfare of its population, the City Planning Board is hereby authorized and empowered to approve the development of plats, entirely or partially undeveloped and which have been filed in the office of the Dutchess County Clerk prior to the appointment of the City Planning Board on October 6, 1958.
B. 
Prior to taking action in accordance with the above authority, the City Planning Board shall prepare and adopt an amendment or amendments to the City's Land Subdivision Regulations[1] so as to establish the procedures and standards to be followed in identifying such entirely or partially undeveloped plats and replanning them.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 195, Subdivision of Land.
[Adopted 6-3-2002 by L.L. No. 20-2002]

§ 45-14 Definitions.

[Amended 5-2-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALTERNATE MEMBER
An individual appointed by the Mayor of the City with the consent of the City Council to serve on the City Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals when a regular member is unable to participate on an application or matter before the respective Board, as provided herein.
MEMBER
An individual appointed by the Mayor of the City with the consent of the City Council to serve on the City Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals.
PLANNING BOARD
The Planning Board of the City of Beacon as established by the City Council under the City Code, Chapter 45, Article I, pursuant to the provisions of § 27 of General City Law.
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
The Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Beacon as established by the City Council under § 223-54 pursuant to the provisions of § 81 of the General City Law.

§ 45-15 Appointment; term; powers; applicability of state law.

[Amended 5-2-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016]
A. 
The Beacon Council members hereby enact this article to provide a process for appointing alternate members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. These individuals would serve when members are absent or unable to participate on an application or matter before the respective Board.
B. 
Alternate members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall be appointed by the Mayor of the City with the consent of the City Council or other duly authorized appointing authority for a term of three years.
C. 
The Chairperson of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals may designate an alternate to substitute for a member when such member is absent or unable to participate on an application or matter before the Board. When so designated, the alternate member shall possess all the powers and responsibilities of such member of the Board. Such designation shall be entered into the minutes of the initial Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals meeting at which the substitution is made.
D. 
All provisions of state law relating to Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals member eligibility, vacancy in office, removal, compatibility of office and service on other boards, as well as any provision of a local law/local ordinance relating to training, continuing education, compensation and attendance, shall also apply to alternate members.

§ 45-16 Supersession of state law.

This article is hereby adopted pursuant to the provisions of § 10 of the New York State Municipal Home Rule Law and § 10 of the New York State Statute of Local Governments. It is the intent of the City Council pursuant to § 10 of the New York State Municipal Home Rule Law to supersede the provisions of:
A. 
Section 27, Subdivision 16 of the General City Law relating to the appointment of members to city planning boards.
B. 
Section 81, Subdivision 11 of the General City Law relating to the appointment of members to city zoning boards of appeal.

§ 45-17 Severability.

If any provisions of this article are held to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of this article shall remain in effect.