[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Beacon 10-21-1991 by L.L. No. 9-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "City of Beacon Architectural Design Ordinance."
This chapter is adopted pursuant to § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law.
It has been determined that the character and well-being of the City of Beacon, its residents and properties are beneficially affected by the maintenance of beauty and the symmetry of development of residential properties in residential districts.
Excessive similarity or dissimilarity, leading to inappropriateness or poor quality of the exterior appearance erected in residential and commercial districts in the City adversely affect such beauty and symmetry, as well as the desirability of surrounding properties and neighborhood areas for residential, commercial or other permitted land uses. By so doing, such conditions impair the benefits of occupancy of existing properties, as well as the stability and value of both improved and unimproved properties. As a result, they prevent the most appropriate development and use of such and cause degeneration of property, with attendant deterioration of conditions affecting the health, safety and general welfare of the community, and, further, they destroy the proper relationship between the taxable value of real property and the cost of municipal services provided therefor in such areas.
It is the purpose of this chapter to prevent these and other harmful effects of such exterior appearance of buildings erected or altered in any residential or commercial neighborhood and thus to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the community, to conserve the value of buildings and to encourage the most appropriate use of land within the City.
The Planning Board of the City of Beacon is hereby designated as the Architectural and Community Appearance Board of Review. All members of the Planning Board shall also be members of the Architectural and Community Appearance Board of Review. The terms of office for both Boards shall run concurrently. All appointees to the Planning Board of the City of Beacon shall be deemed to be concurrently and simultaneously appointed to the Architectural and Community Appearance Board of Review.
The Chairman of the Planning Board shall schedule meetings of the Architectural and Community Appearance Board of Review at such time as the Chairman may designate. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Board shall keep stenographic minutes of its proceedings. The Architectural and Community Appearance Board of Review shall solicit the advice of an architectural design consultant, where necessary.
The applicant may be requested to appear to review with the Board any submission to it. A report, recommendation or decision made by the Board of Review must have the approval of the majority of the Board and shall be officially filed with the City Clerk within 30 days. In the event that the Board fails to render a decision on an application within 45 days of the meeting at which it was considered, said application shall be deemed to be approved.
The City Council shall, from time to time, set the application fee, by resolution, for the submission of plans to the Board.
[Amended 9-15-1997 by L.L. No. 11-1997]
Every application for a building permit for any construction, reconstruction or alteration of any structure in excess of 1,000 square feet proposed for construction and every application for site plan, subdivision of land or any other development within the City of Beacon shall be referred to the Architectural and Community Appearance Board of Review within seven days of the submission of the application, provided that it conforms in all respects to all other applicable laws and ordinances. All applications to the Planning Board shall be deemed to be simultaneously referred to the Board of Review, and the approval of the Planning Board shall be deemed to be an approval of the Board of Review.
The Board shall base its recommendations on the following criteria: No building or structure or land development shall be so detrimental to the desirability, property values or development of the surrounding area as to provoke one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 86-2 by reason of:
The repeated and adjacent use of identical or nearly identical facades or structures arranged without respect to natural features of terrain or other existing structures.
Inappropriateness of structure or land development in relation to any other structure or land development existing or for which a permit has been issued or to any other structure or land development included in the same application with respect to one or more of the following features:
Total volume in cubic feet.
Gross floor area.
Height of the building or height of the roof.
Other significant design features, such as material or quality of architectural design, roof structures, chimneys, exposed mechanical equipment and service, service and storage enclosures, signs, landscaping, retaining walls, parking areas, service and loading docks, dividing walls, fences, lighting posts and standards, provided that a finding of inappropriateness existed to provoke one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 86-2.
Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the Architectural and Community Appearance Board of Review shall have the right to review said decision by a public hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals and by a proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, which proceedings must be commenced within 30 days of the filing of such decision with the City Clerk.