Town of Bethlehem, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 128-42 General regulations.

A. 
Following the effective date of this chapter:
(1) 
Lot requirements. No lot shall be formed from part of a lot already occupied by a building unless such building, all yards and open spaces connected therewith and the remaining lot comply with all requirements prescribed by this chapter for the district in which said lot is located. No permit shall be issued for the erection of a building on any new lot thus created unless such building and lot comply with all the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
Divided lots. Where a lot is divided by a zoning district boundary line so that a part of the lot is located in a residential district and a part is located in a nonresidential district, access to a nonresidential use on the nonresidential part of the property across the residential part of the property is prohibited if the nonresidential part has or can develop legal access on a public road.
(3) 
On a corner lot, front yards are required on both street frontages, and one yard other than the front yards shall be deemed to be a rear yard and the other or others shall be deemed to be side yards. The minimum district requirements for each shall be complied with.
(4) 
On a through lot, a front yard setback shall be required on both street frontages.
B. 
Previously issued permits. Nothing contained in this chapter shall require any changes in the plans, construction or designated use of a building complying with existing law, a permit for which shall have been duly issued prior to the date of this chapter and the footing and foundation shall have been completed, in accordance with such plans as have been filed, within two years from the date of the passage of this chapter.

§ 128-43 Agricultural uses and right to farm.

The Town of Bethlehem supports the use of land for agricultural purposes and through the Town Comprehensive Plan and this chapter has attempted to provide, to the fullest extent allowed by law, for the protection of agricultural uses and lands suitable for agricultural production. The Town supports the continued operation of active farm operations and has provided, through the regulations of this chapter and Chapter 103, Subdivision Regulations, the means for the Planning Board to approve nonagricultural land development subject to such conditions as may be required to assure the long-term viability of active farm operations and agricultural activities by limiting the potential for conflict between established farms and agricultural uses and newly established nonagricultural land uses. The Town supports sound agricultural practices necessary for the on-farm production, preparation and marketing of agricultural commodities and supports the farm protection policies set forth in § 308 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

§ 128-44 Amateur radio communications towers.

[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
A. 
Review authority. The Building Inspector is hereby authorized to review applications for a building permit pertaining to the construction of amateur radio communications towers.
B. 
Purpose and intent. The purpose of this section is to establish regulations for the siting of amateur radio communications towers in order to accommodate such equipment as required by Federal Communications Commission Order dated September 16, 1985, known as "PRB-1," while protecting the public against any adverse impacts on aesthetic resources, assuring public safety and welfare, minimizing visual impacts through proper design, siting and screening, and avoiding potential physical damage to adjacent properties.
C. 
Preexisting amateur radio communications towers are exempt from the provisions of this section.
D. 
Application requirements. The applicant for a building permit under this section shall be required to provide the following information:
(1) 
A scaled plan or drawing of the proposed tower, with design data and documentation that the tower meets or exceeds applicable federal and state specifications.
(2) 
A sketch showing the lot or parcel and its dimensions, and all structural improvements thereon, on which the tower is to be located and showing the location of all structures on the lot or parcel, and the location of the proposed tower.
(3) 
Proof that the applicant is an amateur radio operator licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.
(4) 
Proof of insurance specifically covering the proposed tower.
(5) 
If the FCC license holder and operator is not the property owner, the property owner must also sign the application.
E. 
Building permit criteria. The Building Inspector, in reviewing the application for amateur radio communications towers, shall be guided by the following standards:
(1) 
The structural design of the proposed tower shall meet accepted engineering standards including wind-load requirements.
(2) 
The proposed tower shall be erected only in a rear or side yard.
(3) 
The proposed tower, including all masts and antennas, shall not exceed a height of ninety-five (95) feet above the ground and in no event shall be closer in horizontal distance than 1.25 the height of the tower to a principal dwelling or structure used for human habitation on any adjacent or neighboring property.
(4) 
No part of the proposed tower, including stays and guy or supporting wires, shall be in violation of the relevant district setbacks.
(5) 
If the base of a ground-based tower is visible from any public right-of-way or from adjacent property, then reasonable screening of the base may be required so long as such screening will not interfere with the reception or the transmission of signals.
(6) 
Towers shall not be located on drainage easements, public utility easements or on any reserved open space.
F. 
Approvals. The federal government has determined that amateur radio communications towers and the activities of a licensed operator are beneficial to the public health, safety and general welfare of the community. If the proposed tower meets the requirements of this section, then the building permit application shall be approved. Any approval shall contain the condition that the Building Inspector may enter the premises at any reasonable time to inspect the tower installation for its construction, stability and maintenance. The applicant shall at all times maintain a valid FCC license to operate the facility and shall provide a valid copy of his or her FCC license to the Building Inspector upon demand.
G. 
Abandonment and removal. The applicant shall remove the tower upon selling the property or when the applicant no longer holds a valid FCC license to operate as an amateur radio operator, unless the purchaser of the property or a member of the purchaser's immediate family is also a licensed amateur radio operator.

§ 128-45 Bed-and-breakfasts.

A. 
A bed-and-breakfast may have no more than five bedrooms for guests and may accommodate no more than 10 transient lodgers.
B. 
The bed-and-breakfast may offer meals to its lodgers only.
C. 
Bed-and-breakfast establishments may not be used commercially for conference centers, weddings, concerts, a public restaurant, auctions, retreats or other for-hire events.
D. 
Residence. The applicant/operator must be the owner and must reside full time in the residence that is to be the bed-and-breakfast facility unless an accessory structure is to be converted to a bed-and-breakfast, in which case the owner must reside in the principal residence on the same parcel as the accessory structure. If the principal residence and an accessory structure are to have bed-and-breakfast rooms, the total number of bedrooms allowed is still limited to five and the total number of transient lodgers is still limited to 10.
E. 
The applicant shall comply with all applicable health codes, building codes and other applicable laws. Upon request the operator shall provide documentation that all required permits, including but not limited to County Health Department, state, county and local highway permits, etc., have been obtained. Prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the applicant must show that all applicable permits have been received.
F. 
The dwelling shall comply with all applicable bulk regulations and other applicable provisions of this chapter.

§ 128-46 Conservation subdivisions.

See Chapter 103, Subdivision Regulations, § 103-18, Conservation subdivisions.

§ 128-47 Fences and freestanding walls.

[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
A. 
Fences or freestanding walls not exceeding four feet in height may be erected anywhere on a lot, except as otherwise provided in this section.
B. 
Fences or freestanding walls in residential districts.
(1) 
Fences or freestanding walls not exceeding four feet in height may be erected in the front yard.
(2) 
Fences or freestanding walls greater than four feet in height but not more than six feet may be erected in the side and rear yards.
(3) 
For corner lots, fences or freestanding walls not exceeding six feet in height may be located in the front yard, opposite the side yard, as determined by the Building Inspector. Said fence or freestanding wall shall have a minimum setback of 15 feet from the determined front yard property line.
(4) 
Fences for pools, spas and hot tubs shall encompass the entire perimeter of the pool, spa or hot tub. Fences shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb the fence. Fences and appurtenances shall meet or exceed the minimum requirements as set forth for barriers under the Residential Code of New York State and shall be approved by the Building Inspector before installation. Fences for pools, spas and hot tubs shall also meet requirements of § 128-60.
(5) 
Fences constructed for the purpose of enclosing a tennis court shall not exceed 10 feet in height and may not be located closer than 15 feet to any property line.
(6) 
The use of dangerous materials such as crushed glass and razor wire is prohibited.
(a) 
Electric fencing and barbed wire are prohibited in residential districts, except when used for the following purposes:
[1] 
Confinement of livestock or other farm purposes where permitted.
[2] 
Enclosures of public utilities.
[3] 
Enclosures of properties or storage by commercial or industrial users.
(b) 
If barbed wire is used, it shall be canted in.
C. 
Fences or freestanding walls in the Heavy Industrial District, that abut a residential zoning district, shall not exceed eight feet in height, but may include an additional 18 inches of barbed wire at the top. If barbed wire is used it shall be canted in.
D. 
Fences in mixed-use and commercial districts.
(1) 
Fences or freestanding walls not exceeding four feet in height may be erected in the front yard.
(2) 
Fences or freestanding walls greater than four feet in height but not more than six feet may be erected in the side and rear yards.
(3) 
Notwithstanding the provisions of preceding Subsection D(1) and (2), open-weave chain-link fences not exceeding 10 feet in height, and solid fences not exceeding eight feet in height, shall be permitted in Rural Light Industrial Districts and Heavy Industrial Districts.
[Added 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
E. 
Fences for agricultural uses may not exceed eight feet in height, shall not be solid (i.e., stockade-style fences or chain link fencing with vinyl slat inserts), and shall allow unimpaired visibility through the fence (i.e., standard chain link or other wire fence without vinyl slat inserts).
F. 
Fences designed to be structurally supported by posts, cross members or rails on one side only shall be erected with the posts, cross members or rails on the fence owner's side, and the finished side of the fence shall face adjacent properties.
G. 
No minimum distance shall be required between a fence or freestanding wall and a lot line, unless otherwise specified in this chapter.
H. 
Fences and freestanding walls in any zoning district shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition.
I. 
No hedge, freestanding wall, fence or other boundary structure, nor trees, shrubs and other landscaping, shall be located so as to cause danger to vehicular and pedestrian traffic by obstructing the view.
J. 
No fence or freestanding wall shall be located in a municipal right-of-way.

§ 128-48 Flag lots and shared driveways.

[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
A. 
Flag lot requirements. Lots which meet the definition of "flag lot" as defined in this chapter shall meet the following additional standards:
(1) 
The access to the flag lot shall be by way of a driveway placed within the flagpole or panhandle portion of the lot or parcel, as recorded.
(2) 
Only that portion of the lot having adequate width to meet the minimum lot width requirements and allow for provision of meeting the minimum yard and setback requirements of the district shall be counted as part of the minimum lot area. The accessway (i.e., the flagpole or panhandle) shall not be included in the calculation of minimum lot area.
(3) 
The accessway shall maintain a constant minimum width of not less than the minimum highway frontage as set forth in § 128-100 for the district in which the property is located.
(4) 
The flagpole shall not cross a flowing or intermittent stream, ravine, or similar topographic feature without provision of an adequate structure or fill and culvert to carry traffic.
(5) 
In no event shall a flag lot be used to access a private road.
(6) 
The flagpole shall be conveyed with the ownership of the rear lot or parcel and shall be considered a permanent part of that lot or parcel never to be resubdivided or conveyed separately from the parcel to which it provides access.
(7) 
A flag lot parcel shall not be approved which would create a flagpole that would be generally parallel to a public street, unless the flagpole is separated from the public street by a distance of not less than 200 feet.
(8) 
Adjoining flag lots. Adjoining flag lots are prohibited. The minimum distance between driveways serving individual flag lots shall be not less than 100 feet as measured along the public road or highway frontage. Lots located in the R, RR and RLI Districts shall be exempt from adjoining flag lot requirements of this subsection.
(9) 
Flag lots shall be permitted in both major and minor subdivisions at the discretion of the Planning Board. Flag lots must meet all area, yard and bulk requirements for the zoning district applicable and shall be so arranged as to provide suitable all-weather access for passenger and emergency vehicles.
(10) 
The length of the pole of the flag lot from the roadway to the front yard line shall not be less than 200 feet. See driveway construction requirements as provided in supplemental regulation § 128-66.
(11) 
Where one flag lot parcel is preexisting, the adjoining lot or parcel shall not be divided into a flag lot shape.
(12) 
Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of this chapter, flag lots shall be permitted for the erection and maintenance of single-family dwellings only.
(13) 
Flag lots may not be further subdivided.
B. 
[1]Shared driveways. A shared driveway may be used to access no more than three buildable lots. In the instance of flag lots, shared driveways may be used to access a flag lot and not more than two lots adjoining the flag lot, provided that each such lot has frontage on a public road or public highway. The establishment of a shared driveway requires an access easement and an agreement or covenant setting forth the rights and obligations of the owners of the lots to share in the cost of maintaining and repairing the shared driveway. Such agreement or covenant is subject to the approval of the Town Attorney.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection B, Modification of flag lot requirements, was repealed 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012. This local law also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection C as Subsection B.

§ 128-49 Grading, erosion and sediment control.

A. 
Purpose. Uncontrolled disturbance of land and inadequately controlled land clearing activities can lead to failure of slopes and the mass movement of earth; damage to the natural environment, man-made structures and personal safety; and the degradation of aesthetics. In addition, the failure to properly regulate large-scale clear-cutting and land clearing activities, particularly on steep slope areas, has been shown to have dire short-term and long-term impacts on the wetlands, streams, ponds and lakes that make up the unique environmental landscape of the Town. In particular, uncontrolled runoff carrying soil, organic material, and natural and man-made chemicals, metals and toxins has been shown to have the following deleterious effects on the natural and the built environment:
(1) 
Destroys fish habitat through blanketing of fish spawning and feeding areas.
(2) 
Kills aquatic organisms required by fish by reducing sunlight penetration through the water column.
(3) 
Kills fish directly through gill abrasion and fin rot.
(4) 
Reduces the recreational value of water and makes it less attractive for swimming.
(5) 
Increases risk to swimmers and boaters by impeding search and rescue efforts as water turbidity increases.
(6) 
Adds to overall construction cost since new topsoil and base materials must be brought in to make up the lost difference.
(7) 
Adds to taxpayer cost to remove accumulated soil from catch basins and pipes.
(8) 
Introduces toxic materials into water bodies that contribute to algae blooms and degradation of drinking water sources, which require the construction of new and/or enhanced water treatment facilities to make water potable.
B. 
Intent. It is the intent of the Town of Bethlehem to ensure that all activities involving land disturbance in all areas of the Town are carried out so as to ensure the maximization of benefits to the public and the residents of the Town and the protection of the natural and man-made environment, by ensuring that soil erosion is controlled to the maximum extent practicable.
C. 
Prohibited activities. The following activities are prohibited:
[Amended 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007; 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
(1) 
Construction of improvements and land disturbance activities on an area within the angle of repose of 20% or greater of any slope with a vertical rise of 20 feet or more, or 33% or greater of any slope with a vertical rise of 10 feet or more, or 40% or greater of any slope with a vertical rise of five feet or more. A waiver from this prohibition may be granted by the Planning Board in association with its review of a subdivision, site plan and/or special use permit application, or by the Town Engineer in other cases. A waiver may be granted only upon review and acceptance of a report from a professional engineer, who in the judgement and discretion of the Town Engineer has experience in geotechnical engineering, certifying that such construction or land disturbance activities are consistent with generally accepted engineering standards, meet or exceed established factors of safety against slope failure and would not result in undue risk of slope failure or danger to human health, welfare or property. A request for a waiver to the Town Engineer shall be accompanied by an application for a grading, erosion and sediment control permit containing the information outlined in § 128-49F below. A request for waiver to the Planning Board shall be made as part of the site plan, subdivision or special permit application and shall contain the pertinent information from § 128-49F, as determined by the Planning Board.
(2) 
Land disturbance activities that would alter or change the direction and/or quantity of water flow within any established drainage channel, or that would change the direction and/or quantity of water flow across neighboring properties.
D. 
Regulated activities. The following activities shall require a grading, erosion and sediment control permit pursuant to this section:
[Amended 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
(1) 
Land disturbance of 0.25 acre or more but less than one acre of land within the designated MS4 Phase II stormwater areas of the Town.
(2) 
Land disturbance of one acre or more shall comply with this section and Chapter 98 of the Code of the Town of Bethlehem.
(3) 
Land disturbance within 100 feet of the bank of the following streams or within the one-hundred-year flood zone of said streams:
(a) 
Normans Kill Creek.
(b) 
Vloman Kill Creek.
(c) 
Onesquethaw Creek.
(d) 
Phillipin Kill Creek.
(e) 
Dowers Kill Creek south of Route 32.
(f) 
As used herein, "bank" refers to the location of the mean high water level.
(4) 
Excavation or filling activity, which exceeds a rate of 200 cubic yards of material per acre of land physically altered by such excavation or fill, within any parcel or any contiguous parcels in any twelve-month period.
(5) 
Grading activity that establishes a slope gradient of 20% or more over a vertical rise of 20 feet or more, or a slope gradient of 33% or more over a vertical rise of 10 feet or more, or a slope gradient of 40% or more over a vertical rise of five feet or more.
E. 
Exemptions. The following activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this section and no grading, erosion and sediment control permit shall be required:
(1) 
[1]Activities performed in conjunction with special use permit, site plan, or subdivision approvals granted by the Planning Board following the effective date of this chapter, so long as said activities are not commenced until after the grant of a permit/approval and so long as the application for said activities has been reviewed for conformance with this chapter and Chapter 98 of the Code of the Town of Bethlehem and approval has been conditioned upon compliance with the standards set forth herein, and further provided that the activities shall be subject to and not exempt from the provisions for inspections, enforcement, penalties and revocations set forth herein.
[Amended 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E(1), which exempted activities for which a notice of intent has been filed, was repealed 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007. This local law also provided for the redesignation of Subsection E(2), (3) and (4) as Subsection E(1), (2) and (3), respectively.
(2) 
Activities performed in conjunction with special use permit, site plan, or subdivision approvals granted by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals prior to the effective date of this chapter and Chapter 98 of the Code of the Town of Bethlehem, provided that such activities are commenced within one year of the date of approval.
[Amended 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007]
(3) 
Activities performed in conjunction with the erection, structural alteration or movement of a structure or building for which a building permit is granted following the effective date of this chapter and Chapter 98 of the Code of the Town of Bethlehem, so long as said activities are not commenced until after the grant of a building permit as provided herein, and so long as the application for said activities has been reviewed for conformance with this chapter and issuance of the building permit has been conditioned upon compliance with the standards set forth herein, and further provided that the activities shall be subject to and not exempt from the provisions for inspections, enforcement, penalties and revocations set forth in herein.
[Amended 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007; 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
(4) 
(Reserved)
(5) 
Clearing or timber harvesting for the purpose of cutting firewood for personal use by a single household.
(6) 
Selective cutting of marketable timber.
(7) 
Household gardening.
(8) 
Removal of dead wood and diseased trees or cutting of trees on a scale that does not constitute timber harvesting.
(9) 
Repairs to occupied buildings.
(10) 
Routine road, highway or street maintenance.
(11) 
Routine maintenance and repair of existing structures or facilities.
(12) 
The placement, use and maintenance of improvements used in agricultural production.
(13) 
The removal of trees and vegetation in accordance with a forestry management plan approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation.
(14) 
The removal of vegetation as required to establish safe sight line distances for driveway entrances.
(15) 
The removal of vegetation that threatens resident or public safety and removal of non-native plant species designated as "invasive."
(16) 
The removal of vegetation to comply with a governmental order.
(17) 
Activities performed in conjunction with the use of land for agricultural purposes, including tree plantations and tree harvesting and forestry.
(18) 
Land filling or excavation activity involving the placement or removal of two cubic yards of material or less.
[Added 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
F. 
Permit procedure.
(1) 
The Town Engineer is hereby designated to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying grading, erosion and sediment control permits in accordance with its provisions.
(2) 
An application for a grading, erosion and sediment control permit shall be made to the Town Engineer and shall include the following information:
(a) 
A completed application form signed by the applicant and the owner and/or including a notarized statement signed by the owner authorizing the applicant to act as the owner's agent and binding the owner to the terms of this chapter and any permit issued hereunder.
(b) 
A plan of the proposed activity, drawn at a scale as determined by the Town Engineer, that adequately depicts the area of proposed improvements and/or disturbance using as a base map a current boundary and topographic survey of the property depicting all existing improvements and prepared by a New York State licensed land surveyor.
[1] 
The proposed plan shall depict all proposed improvements to the property and shall be prepared and certified by a professional engineer, a landscape architect, or an architect licensed by the State of New York, showing:
[a] 
The location of the proposed area of disturbance and its relationship to property lines, easements, buildings, roads, walls, and wetlands, if any, within 50 feet of the boundaries of said area.
[b] 
Existing topography of the proposed area of disturbance at a contour interval of not more than two feet. Contours shall be shown for a distance of 50 feet beyond the limits of the proposed area of disturbance, or greater than 50 feet if determined necessary by the Town Engineer in order to fully evaluate the application.
[c] 
Proposed final contours at a maximum contour interval of two feet, locations of proposed structures, underground improvements, proposed surface materials or treatment, and dimensional details of proposed erosion and sediment facilities, as well as calculations used in the siting and sizing of sediment basins, swales, grassed waterways, diversions and other similar structures.
[2] 
The Town Engineer may also require information depicting the watershed tributary to the proposed area of disturbance, including proposed controls and diversions of upland water.
[Amended 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007]
[3] 
Except for applications involving one single-family dwelling, The Town Engineer may also require the depth to bedrock and depth to water table to be identified in all areas of disturbance.
[Amended 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007]
(c) 
A soil erosion and sediment control plan designed utilizing the standards and specifications contained in the most recent version of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation publication titled New York State Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control. The design, testing, installation, maintenance and removal of erosion control measures shall adhere to these standards and any conditions of this chapter and the erosion control permit. This plan shall:
[Amended 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
[1] 
Describe or depict the temporary and/or permanent structural and vegetative measures that will be used to control erosion and sedimentation for each stage of the project, from land clearing to the finished stage;
[2] 
Delineate the area of the site that will be disturbed and include a calculation of the acreage or square footage so disturbed;
[3] 
Include a map drawn at a scale as determined by the Town Engineer that adequately depicts the location of erosion and sediment control measures, swales, grassed waterways, diversions and other similar structures;
[4] 
Provide dimensional details of proposed erosion and sedimentation facilities as well as calculations used in the siting and sizing of sediment basins, swales, grassed waterways, diversions and other similar structures;
[5] 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection F(2)(c)[5], which required a timetable and schedule for completion and installation of all elements of the erosion control plan, including proposed construction and disturbance, was repealed 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007.
[6] 
Provide an estimate for the cost of implementing all elements of the erosion control plan; and
[7] 
Provide a maintenance schedule for erosion control measures.
(d) 
The details of any surface or subsurface drainage systems proposed to be installed, including special erosion control measures designed to provide for proper surface or subsurface drainage, both during the performance of the work and after its completion.
(e) 
Any special reports deemed necessary by the Town Engineer to evaluate the application, including but not limited to detailed soils, geologic or hydrologic studies.
(f) 
Except for applications involving one single-family dwelling, a written narrative explaining the nature of the proposal, including any future development anticipated for the property and whether alternative locations exist for the proposed activity.
(g) 
Copies of all applications, permits and approvals required by any other local, state or federal agency associated with the construction and site work/disturbance proposed by the applicant.
(h) 
An application fee in an amount as shall be established by the Town Board.
(i) 
Certification from a New York State licensed engineer, landscape architect or surveyor stating that the proposed land disturbance activity does not fall within the angle of repose of 20% or greater of any slope having a vertical rise of 20 feet or more, or 33% or greater of any slope with a vertical rise of 10 feet or more, or 40% or greater of any slope with a vertical rise of five feet or more.
[Added 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
(3) 
Information waiver. Where the Town Engineer finds that due to the specific nature of a proposed land disturbance activity certain information or data is not necessary to conduct the review and render an informed decision on the application, the Town Engineer may waive said information and data requirements.
[Added 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
G. 
Review. The Town Engineer shall:
(1) 
Determine when an application is complete.
(2) 
Review the application to determine that the requirements of this section have been satisfied.
(3) 
Review each complete application and approve, approve with conditions or deny applications in accordance with this section within 62 days of the receipt of a complete application.
(4) 
Require the applicant to execute a statement binding the applicant to the terms of this section and any permit issued hereunder.
[Amended 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
H. 
Criteria for granting permit. In granting a grading, erosion and sediment control permit, the Town Engineer shall find that all of the following conditions have been met:
(1) 
The proposed activity will not result in creep, sudden slope failure or additional erosion;
(2) 
The proposed activity will preserve and protect existing watercourses, floodplains and wetlands;
(3) 
The proposed activity will not adversely affect existing or proposed water supplies or sewage disposal systems; and
(4) 
The proposed activity will stabilize all earth cut and fill slopes by vegetative or structural means. Maximum exposed soil slopes shall be 33% unless otherwise approved by the Town Engineer.
I. 
Surety. In order to insure the full and faithful completion of all construction activities related to compliance with all conditions set forth by the Town in its issuance of a grading, erosion and sediment control permit, the owner/applicant shall provide, prior to construction, a cash escrow account certification or irrevocable letter of credit from an appropriate financial or surety institution which guarantees satisfactory completion of the project and names the Town as the beneficiary. The security shall be in an amount to be determined by the Town Engineer based on submission of final design plans and shall be in a form acceptable to the Town Attorney. In addition, the owner/applicant shall name the Town of Bethlehem as an additional insured on all workmen's compensation and general liability insurance policies required to perform the work. The Town Engineer may waive the requirement of a surety where it finds that the amount of the surety is disproportionate to the estimated cost of the proposed activity or the work is determined to be low risk and is to be performed by the owner of the land.
J. 
Enforcement. Any activity that requires a grading, erosion and sediment control permit as provided herein, and is commenced without one, or is conducted contrary to the approved grading, erosion and sediment control permit, shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be restrained by an order to stop work, and/or injunction, and/or direct action by the Town to abate the condition, and/or any other manner provided by law as included in § 128-83. The Building Inspector and/or Town Engineer may issue a stop-work order for the entire construction and site work/disturbance project, or any specified portion thereof, if it is determined that any of the following conditions exist:
[Amended 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007]
(1) 
The construction or the site work/disturbance is being undertaken without a grading, erosion and sediment control permit as provided in this chapter;
(2) 
The approved grading, erosion and sediment control permit has not been fully implemented;
(3) 
The approved grading, erosion and sediment control permit is not being maintained; or
(4) 
Any of the conditions of the permit are not being met.
K. 
For purposes of this section, a stop-work order is validly posted by posting a copy of the order on the site of the construction or site work/disturbance activity in reasonable proximity to said construction or site work/disturbance and in a location where the posted order is visible. Additionally, a copy of the order, in the case of work for which a permit has been issued, shall be mailed by first-class mail, certified return receipt, and one copy of the order shall be mailed by regular first-class mail to the address listed by the applicant and to the owner as the case may be. In the case of work for which no permit has been issued, a copy of the order shall be mailed by first-class mail, certified return receipt, and one copy of the order shall be mailed by regular first-class mail, to the person listed as owner of the property according to the latest roll maintained by the Town Assessor's office.
(1) 
In the case of a stop-work order for an activity for which a permit has been issued, if the applicant does not cease the activity and comply with the permit within one day of the date of the order, the permit may be revoked. In addition to revocation of the grading, erosion and sediment control permit, the authorized Town official(s) may revoke all or any portion of any other permits issued in accordance with the Town Code, including building permits. Upon a showing of compliance with the terms of the stop-work order and the grading, erosion and sediment control permit, the Town official(s) may reinstate the grading, erosion and sediment control permit and any other permit that may have been revoked.
(2) 
In the case of a stop-work order for an activity for which a permit has not been issued, if the owner does not immediately cease the activity and comply with the provisions of this chapter within one day of the date of the order, the authorized Town official(s) may request that the Town Attorney seek injunctive relief. In addition, the authorized Town official may revoke all or any portion of any other permits issued in accordance with the Town Code, including building permits, affecting the property. Upon a showing of compliance with the terms of this chapter and issuance of a grading, erosion and sediment control permit, the Town official may reinstate any other permit(s) that may have been revoked.
L. 
Ten days after posting and mailing of the stop-work order, the authorized Town official may issue a notice of intent to the applicant and the owner of the Town's intent to perform the work necessary to bring the project into compliance with this chapter. Within 14 days of the date of the notice of intent the Town may enter upon the property and commence work to abate the noncompliance and to bring the property into compliance with this chapter.
M. 
In the case of a stop-work order for an activity for which a permit has been issued, the Town shall use the surety posted by the applicant to implement the approved provisions of the permit and such other measures as may be required to prevent or minimize soil erosion and sedimentation conditions posing imminent and substantial danger to public health, safety, welfare or natural resources. The applicant, the owner and the contractor shall be jointly and severally liable for any additional costs incurred by the Town to undertake such work over the amount of the posted surety. All such unpaid additional amounts shall be a lien on the property and shall be assessed against the property as a special assessment as provided in the Town Law.
N. 
In the case of a stop-work order for an activity for which a permit has not been issued, the Town may implement such measures as may be required to prevent or minimize soil erosion and sedimentation conditions posing imminent and substantial danger to public health, safety, welfare or natural resources. The applicant, the owner and the contractor shall be jointly and severally liable for all costs incurred by the Town to undertake such work. All such unpaid amounts shall be a lien on the property and shall be assessed against the property as a special assessment as provided in the Town Law.
O. 
A stop-work order issued pursuant to this section constitutes a determination from which an administrative appeal may be taken to the Town.
P. 
All construction, land disturbance, and land clearing activities, whether undertaken pursuant to an erosion control permit or otherwise, shall be undertaken in a manner designed to minimize surface runoff, erosion and sedimentation. The construction and site work/disturbance authorized by a permit issued under this section shall be considered to be in conformance with these provisions if soils are prevented from being deposited onto adjacent properties, rights-of-way, public or private storm drainage systems, roads, streets or sidewalks, and wetlands or watercourses.
Q. 
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter or conditions of the permit, the applicant is responsible for the prevention of damage to adjacent and nearby public and private property, wetlands, watercourses, rights-of-way, public streets, and public highways from erosion, sedimentation, settling, cracking and other damage or personal injury that may result from the construction and site work/disturbance undertaken by the applicant. The applicant shall be responsible for the prompt removal and correction of damages resulting from any soil, debris or other materials washed, spilled, tracked, dumped, placed or otherwise deposited onto adjacent and nearby public and private property, wetlands, watercourses, rights-of-way, public streets, and public highways, whether incident to the construction or the site work/disturbance undertaken by the applicant or resulting from the movement of vehicles and persons to and from the site.
R. 
The applicant, the landowner, and the contractor are all responsible for the successful implementation of the erosion control plan and the maintenance of all erosion control measures as depicted on the plan for the duration of the construction and site work/disturbance proposed by the applicant. The applicant, the landowner, and the contractor shall be jointly and severally liable for all costs incurred, including environmental restoration costs, resulting from noncompliance with the approved plan. The application for a permit shall constitute express permission by the applicant and the owner for the Building Inspector or other authorized Town officials to enter the property for the purposes of inspection for compliance with the erosion control plan permit. The application form shall contain a prominent provision advising of this requirement, and by signing the application the applicant, the landowner, and the contractor expressly waive any objection to authorized Town official(s) entering the property for the purpose of conducting an inspection.
S. 
At all times during the construction and site work/disturbance the erosion control plan shall be maintained in compliance with the permit, and the applicant, the owner, and the contractor shall be fully responsible for said maintenance. The Town Engineer may require that a new application for a grading, erosion and sediment control permit be filed if it finds that the prior approved plan was not properly implemented, or that the construction plans have been revised or altered, or that the site work/disturbance plans have been revised or altered. Changes to a plan for which a permit has been issued shall receive the prior review and approval of the Town Engineer before such changes may be implemented.
T. 
All grading, erosion and sediment control permits issued shall expire on the earlier of the completion of the work specified or one year from the date the permit is issued, unless otherwise renewed by the Town Engineer.
U. 
Where the activity subject to this chapter also requires a building permit, the Building Inspector shall not issue a building permit until the building permit application has been reviewed and approved by the Town Engineer for conformance with this section and Chapter 98 of the Code of the Town of Bethlehem.
[Amended 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007]
V. 
Limitations on liability of Town. No action for damages may be maintained against the Town by reason of its failure to comply with any of the provisions of this section.
[Added 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]

§ 128-50 Home occupations.

A. 
Applicability. These provisions shall apply to any use that conforms to "home occupation" as defined in this chapter, provided that such use conforms to the standards set forth in this section.
B. 
Registration and site plan approval required. Except as provided in Subsection E below, relating to de minimis use, the owner of a home occupation shall register the business with the Department of Economic Development and Planning. Said registration shall identify the owner of the property on which the home occupation is conducted; shall identify the operator of the home occupation if different from the owner of premises; shall certify that the home occupation is a permitted home occupation; and shall certify compliance with the requirements for operation of a home occupation as set forth in this section. Except as provided in Subsection E below, establishment of a home occupation shall require site plan approval in all districts in which it is permitted, except the Rural (R) and Rural Light Industrial (RLI) Districts where it is permitted by right.
[Amended 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
C. 
Home occupation operations. All home occupations shall meet each of the following conditions:
(1) 
The home occupation shall be incidental to and secondary to the use of the dwelling for residential purposes. It shall be conducted in a manner which does not give the outward appearance of a nonresidential use or business being conducted on the premises, does not infringe on the right of neighboring landowners to the quiet enjoyment of their land, and does not alter the character of the district in which the lot is located.
(2) 
Except for de minimis uses as provided in Subsection E below, the portion of the dwelling unit that is used for the home occupation shall have or obtain a currently valid certificate of compliance.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
(3) 
The home occupation shall be conducted only by a full-time resident of the premises.
(4) 
The home occupation shall be conducted wholly within an area not to exceed the equivalent of 30% of the total floor area of the dwelling unit or 600 square feet, whichever is less. In no case shall the home occupation cause the scale of use on the lot to exceed the maximum permitted. More than one home occupation may be conducted on a lot, provided that the total floor area of the dwelling devoted to all of the home occupations does not exceed the maximum floor area as provided herein.
(5) 
The home occupation shall employ no more than two persons who are not resident in the dwelling unit.
(6) 
Signage for the home occupation shall conform to the requirements for signs as set forth in this chapter.
(7) 
Delivery and pickup of material or commodities to and from the premises by a commercial vehicle shall not exceed three trips per week, and the parking of delivery vehicles shall not impede or restrict the movement of traffic on adjacent streets.
(8) 
The building construction classification and fire separations for the structure shall comply with the applicable fire and building safety requirements of the Town for mixed use of residential and the applicable nonresidential use classification of such home occupation and shall be certified by the Building Inspector.
(9) 
There shall be no exterior display, exterior storage of materials or other exterior evidence of any home occupation except for signs and off-street parking.
(10) 
The home occupation shall not produce any odor, noise, vibration, smoke, dust, heat, or glare discernible at the property line.
(11) 
The home occupation shall not use, store, produce or dispose of any toxic or hazardous material.
(12) 
The home occupation may sell or offer for sale any articles or products that are wholly produced, grown, created or assembled on the lot and may provide repair services in connection with the trade of a dressmaker, milliner, seamstress, or tailor, furniture repair, reupholstering, or the trade of a locksmith or minor household appliance repair. Repair services may include the sale of replacement or repair products, products substantially produced on site, or accessories that are reasonably related to the principal product.
(13) 
The intensity of a home occupation use shall be restricted to no more than 20 vehicle trips per week, or five per day, generated by customers, clients or sales representatives.
D. 
Prohibited home occupations. The use of a residence for the following home occupations is prohibited:
(1) 
Ambulance or taxi service.
(2) 
Beauty salons and barbershops, except in the Rural District.
(3) 
Dance studio, aerobic exercise studio, and gymnasium or health club.
(4) 
Kennel.
(5) 
Laundry service or dry-cleaning service.
(6) 
Mortician, funeral home or hearse service.
(7) 
Motor vehicle repair, sales or rental.
(8) 
Parking garage or the rental of off-street parking spaces.
(9) 
Restaurant, cafe or tavern.
(10) 
Towing service.
(11) 
Tractor-trailer operations, including parking, storage or repair.
E. 
De minimis use. Registration and site plan approval are not required for a home occupation use which meets each of the following standards:
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
(1) 
No physical change to the exterior of a principal or accessory structure is required to accommodate the home occupation; and
(2) 
The use is conducted on the site solely by persons utilizing the home as their primary residence; and
(3) 
The home occupation has no nonresident employees; and
(4) 
There is no sign or other exterior advertisement of the existence of the home occupation use; and
(5) 
There is no exterior storage of materials, equipment, vehicles or other supplies used in conjunction with the home occupation; and
(6) 
The home occupation meets the conditions listed under § 128-50C above.

§ 128-51 Incentive zoning.

A. 
Statement of policy. Pursuant to § 261-b of Town Law, the Town of Bethlehem hereby establishes a policy of encouraging the preservation of open space and the provision of facilities and amenities that would benefit the Town, providing incentive(s) to applicants seeking approval of a major subdivision plat to develop residential lots in accordance with the conservation subdivision standards of this chapter and Chapter 103, Subdivision Regulations, and applicants seeking approval of multifamily development projects.
B. 
Purpose. The purpose of the Town's system of incentive zoning is to advance the goals and policies expressed in the Town Comprehensive Plan and this chapter. Pursuant to a findings statement adopted after the review and acceptance of a final generic environmental impact statement that analyzed the potential environmental effects associated with adoption of this chapter, the Town Board hereby finds that the system of incentive zoning set forth in this section is consistent with the Town Comprehensive Plan and that such incentives are compatible with the development otherwise permitted in the residential districts as set forth in this chapter. As set forth below the Town Board has established standards for the proper application of incentive zoning to a conservation subdivision layout and multifamily development projects and the specific findings the Planning Board shall make prior to approving an adjustment to the maximum unit density requirements of this chapter.
C. 
Grant of authority. In considering an application for approval of a conservation subdivision plat or multifamily development project the Planning Board is hereby authorized to adjust the maximum unit density requirements of the zoning district in which the property is located in exchange for one or more of the specifically identified incentives and in accordance with the standards and conditions set forth below.
D. 
Applicability. The incentives set forth herein shall be applicable only to land parcels zoned for residential uses for which an application for approval of a conservation subdivision pursuant to § 128-46 of this chapter and Chapter 103, Subdivision Regulations, of the Town Code, and applicants seeking approval of multifamily development projects pursuant to this chapter may be approved by the Planning Board.
E. 
Incentives. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of Town Law, this chapter, or Chapter 103, Subdivision Regulations, that limits or restricts the maximum unit density of a proposed conservation subdivision, an applicant for a conservation subdivision may apply for an incentive adjustment to the maximum unit density requirements of this chapter in exchange for the following benefits:
(1) 
Open space for conservation subdivisions.
(a) 
Tier 1 incentive. This incentive may be applied to any conservation subdivision. The calculation of the Tier 1 incentive is based on the maximum density for a conservation subdivision as determined by the Planning Board.
[1] 
For the permanent preservation of not less than 40% of the gross land area of a proposed conservation subdivision, a fifteen-percent increase to the maximum unit density for the zoning district may be approved; or
[2] 
For the permanent preservation of not less than 50% of the gross land area of a proposed conservation subdivision, a twenty-percent increase to the maximum unit density for the zoning district may be approved.
(b) 
Tier 2 incentive. The calculation of the Tier 2 incentive is based on the maximum density for a conservation subdivision prior to the addition of any Tier 1 incentive and shall be in addition to the Tier 1 incentive adjustment. In no event shall the total of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 adjustments exceed 50% of the base maximum density for the conservation subdivision as determined by the Planning Board. For the dedication of not less than 10 contiguous acres of land for public use for trails, active or passive recreation, or waterfront access, a fifteen-percent increase to the maximum unit density for the zoning district may be approved. Such dedication may be by permanent easement or conveyance of land in fee to the Town. Such dedication shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any dedication of parkland or payment in lieu of parkland as provided in § 128-57 of this chapter and § 103-29 of Chapter 103, Subdivision Regulations, of the Town Code.
(2) 
Affordable housing for multifamily development.
(a) 
This incentive may be applied to any multifamily dwelling development project pursuant to this chapter. The calculation of the incentive is based on the maximum density for the project as determined by the Planning Board.
[1] 
If more than 25% of dwelling units qualify as affordable, ten-percent increase in the total number of units.
[2] 
If more than 33% of dwelling units qualify as affordable, fifteen-percent increase in the total number of units.
[3] 
If more than 50% of dwelling units qualify as affordable, twenty-percent increase in the total number of units.
(b) 
For the purposes of this Subsection E(2), "affordable housing" shall mean residential units available for a sales price or rental fee within the means of a household income which is 80% of the median income of the Town of Bethlehem as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
F. 
Findings. Before approving an adjustment to the maximum unit density requirements of this chapter in exchange for one or more of the identified benefits, the Planning Board shall make the following specific findings:
(1) 
The proposed adjustments would not have a significant adverse impact on the property, or to adjoining property, or to the neighborhood in which the property is situate.
(2) 
The open space protected pursuant to this section would maximize conservation value, which may include, but is not limited to, recreational, historic, ecological, agricultural, water resource, scenic or other natural resource value.
(3) 
The units designated as affordable housing under this section shall remain affordable by an annual certification to the Board identifying the occupancy of the units by qualified persons and families, and a failure to so certify may be deemed a violation of the site plan approval granted by the Planning Board. The Planning Board may grant one or more waivers from this provision, not to exceed one year each, upon written request and proof from the applicant that despite best efforts the applicant has been unable to locate persons or families qualified to occupy one or more of the units designated as affordable housing.
(4) 
The units designated as affordable housing under this section shall remain affordable by an instrument approved by the Planning Board Attorney that shall be filed in the office of the Albany County Clerk.
(5) 
Proper surety or performance guaranties between the applicant and the Town covering future title, dedication and provisions for the costs of land or improvements are or will be in existence as of the date the final plat map is signed by the Chairman of the Planning Board.
(6) 
The proposed adjustments would not adversely affect the public health, safety or welfare or those of the residents of the project or neighboring lands.

§ 128-52 Lighting.

A. 
General requirements.
(1) 
No artificial lighting shall shine directly upon any neighboring residential property located in a residential district or be so established that it shall shine directly upon any residential property or shall shine directly on or into any room or rooms, porches or patios of any residential property, nor shall any artificial lighting be maintained or operated from any structure or land in such a manner as to be a nuisance or an annoyance to neighboring residential properties or as to interfere with the physical comfort of the occupants of residential properties.
(2) 
Vegetation screens should not be employed to serve as the primary means for controlling glare. Rather, glare control should be achieved primarily through the use of such means as cutoff fixtures, shields and baffles, and appropriate application of fixture mounting height, wattage, aiming angle and fixture placement.
(3) 
Exterior lighting shall enhance the building design and the adjoining landscape. Lighting standards and building fixtures should be of a design and size compatible with the building and adjacent areas, as determined by the Planning Board.
(4) 
Security lighting should use the lowest possible illumination to effectively allow surveillance.
(5) 
Under-canopy lighting for such uses as gasoline service stations shall be recessed so that the lens cover is recessed or flush with the bottom surface (ceiling) of the canopy or shielded by the fixture or the edge of the canopy so that light is restrained to 85° or less from vertical.
(6) 
Luminaires used for playing fields and outdoor recreational uses shall be exempt from the height restriction, provided that all other provisions of this section are met and the light is used only while the field is in use.
(7) 
Awnings and canopies used for building accents over doors, windows, walkways, and the like shall not be internally illuminated (i.e., not lit from underneath or behind).
B. 
General guidelines.
(1) 
Where practical, exterior lighting installations should include timers, dimmers, sensors, or photocell controllers that turn the lights off during daylight hours or hours when lighting is not needed, to reduce overall energy consumption and eliminate unneeded lighting.
(2) 
Exterior lighting installations should be designed to avoid harsh contrasts in lighting levels.
(3) 
Fixtures and lighting systems used for safety and security shall be in good working order and shall be maintained in a manner that serves the original design intent of the system.
(4) 
Vegetation and landscaping shall be maintained in a manner that does not obstruct security lighting.
(5) 
Flashing sources of illumination are prohibited.
(6) 
Site lighting shall minimize light spill into the dark night sky.
C. 
To assure that site lighting does not adversely affect neighboring properties, the Building Inspector shall have the authority to require changes to the on-site lighting fixtures to reduce and minimize glare and the splaying of light at the property lines and to assure continuous compliance with this section. Such changes may include, but are not limited to, lower wattage bulbs, the addition of shields to deflect light, and changes to the angle of the fixtures or shields. Failure to implement the changes as directed by the Building Inspector shall be a violation of any permit or approval granted under this section.
D. 
Exterior lighting plan review.
(1) 
Where required by the Planning Board, an application for site plan approval shall include an exterior lighting plan depicting the number, location, mounting height, and type of proposed lighting fixture and level of illumination on the site. The exterior lighting plan shall include at least the following:
(a) 
Manufacturer specification sheets, cut sheets or other manufacturer-provided information indicating the specifications for all proposed lighting fixtures.
(b) 
The proposed location, mounting height, and aiming point of all exterior lighting fixtures.
(c) 
If building elevations are proposed for illumination, drawings shall be provided for all relevant building elevations showing the fixtures, the portions of the elevations to be illuminated, the luminance levels of the elevations, and the aiming point for any remote light fixture.
(d) 
Computer-generated photometric grid showing footcandle readings every 10 feet within the property or site and 10 feet beyond the property lines. Iso-footcandle contour-line style plans are also acceptable.
(2) 
Additional information may be requested following the initial lighting plan review.
E. 
Residential district lighting. Within a residential district, all new parking lot lighting and site lighting for developments other than single-family or two-family homes shall be designed in consideration of the following:
(1) 
Illumination at the property line shall not exceed 0.1 footcandle.
(2) 
Luminaires shall be full cutoff type unless otherwise determined by the Planning Board.
(3) 
On a nonresidential premises outdoor light fixtures equipped with floodlights are prohibited.
(4) 
Wall pack outdoor light fixtures located on a front or side facade of a building or structure shall be full cutoff.
(5) 
Noncutoff outdoor light fixtures shall be limited to walkways, outdoor seating areas or other areas approved for such fixtures as part of a development plan.
(6) 
No light will produce glare so as to cause illumination beyond the boundaries of the property on which it is located.
(7) 
Freestanding lights shall be appropriate to the design of the structures and shall not exceed 15 feet in height. Wall-mounted light fixtures shall not be mounted higher than 12 feet above the ground level immediately below the location of the light fixture. Both freestanding and wall-mounted fixtures shall be fitted with movable shields to allow for the redirection of light to avoid glare and the splaying of light to off-site locations.
F. 
Commercial and mixed-use district lighting. Within a commercial and mixed-use district, all parking lot lighting and site lighting shall be designed in consideration of the following:
(1) 
Illumination at the property line shall not exceed 0.2 footcandle.
(2) 
Luminaires may be full cutoff or semicutoff as determined by the Planning Board.
(3) 
Freestanding lights shall be appropriate to the design of the structures and shall not have a mounting height greater than 24 feet in height. Wall-mounted light fixtures shall not be mounted higher than 15 feet above the ground level immediately below the location of the light fixture. Both freestanding and wall-mounted fixtures shall be fitted with movable shields to allow for the redirection of light, to avoid glare and the splaying of light to off-site locations.
(4) 
Wall pack outdoor light fixtures oriented toward an abutting residential district shall be full cutoff.
(5) 
Noncutoff outdoor light fixtures shall be limited to walkways, outdoor seating areas or other areas approved for such fixtures as part of a development plan.
(6) 
For exterior lighting installations and fixtures within 50 feet of a residential district, freestanding lighting fixtures shall be no higher than 15 feet above grade.
(7) 
All outdoor light fixtures on a single-use site, shopping center, integrated center, business park or industrial park, including those on freestanding light poles and those attached to buildings, security lights, and architectural lights, shall be of consistent or compatible style, pole height, mounting height, color, intensity, design and materials with other outdoor light fixtures within the lot, out lot, single-use site, integrated center, business park or industrial park.

§ 128-53 Lots bordering streams.

A. 
No building permit shall be issued for the construction or installation of any permitted or accessory use in any district within 100 feet of the bank of the following streams or within the one-hundred-year flood zone of said streams:
(1) 
Normans Kill Creek.
(2) 
Vloman Kill Creek.
(3) 
Onesquethaw Creek.
(4) 
Phillipin Kill Creek.
(5) 
Dowers Kill Creek south of Route 32.
B. 
An application for a building permit for lots bordering streams shall be accompanied by a plot plan prepared and certified by a professional engineer or registered landscape architect. The intent of the design plan shall be to ensure that there will be no movement, storage or stockpiling of soil, sand, gravel, organic material or any other material that may potentially:
(1) 
Cause silt and eroded material to enter the stream during storm events or as a result of wind movement.
(2) 
Affect the efficiency or the capacity of the stream.
(3) 
Increase flood heights.
(4) 
Cause an increase in water flow velocity.
(5) 
Obstruct, catch or collect debris that would obstruct flow under flood conditions.

§ 128-54 Nonconforming uses.

A. 
Except as otherwise provided in this section, any lawfully permitted use(s) of land or structure(s) existing as of the effective date of this chapter that does not comply with the requirements of this chapter shall be deemed a nonconforming use and may be continued as provided herein.
B. 
Except as provided herein, no nonconforming use of a lot or lots shall be moved to another part of a lot or outside the lot, and no nonconforming use of a building or other structure shall be moved or extended to any part of the building or other structure not manifestly arranged and designed for such use at the time the use became nonconforming, and no building or other structure containing a nonconforming use shall be moved, unless the result of any such move is to eliminate or reduce the nonconformity.
C. 
No nonconforming use of land, buildings, or other structures shall be changed to any use which is substantially different in nature or purpose from the existing nonconforming use, except to a use which is permitted in the district in which the land, building, or other structure is located, unless the Zoning Board of Appeals finds that the new use will have no greater injurious impact upon the character of the neighborhood and of the community than the existing nonconforming use.
D. 
No nonconforming use of land, buildings, or other structures that is changed to conform or to more nearly conform to this chapter shall thereafter be changed to be less conforming.
E. 
No nonconforming use of land, buildings, or other structures which shall have been discontinued shall thereafter be resumed. Any one of the following items shall constitute prima facie evidence of discontinuance:
(1) 
Any positive act indicating intent to discontinue.
(2) 
Any conscious failure to take all necessary steps to resume the nonconforming use with reasonable dispatch in the circumstances.
(3) 
Cessation of the nonconforming use of a lot and/or structure for 12 consecutive months, or for a total of 18 months during any three-year period.
(4) 
Substitution of or change to a conforming use.
F. 
All nonconforming uses shall conform in all other respects to the requirements of the zoning district in which they are located.

§ 128-55 Nonconforming lots and structures.

A. 
Structures. Except as otherwise provided in this section, any lawfully permitted structure existing at the time of the effective date of this chapter which does not comply with the requirements of this chapter shall be deemed to be a nonconforming structure and may be continued as provided herein.
B. 
Lots. Except as otherwise provided in this section, any lot in existence at the time of the effective date of this chapter which does not comply with the requirements of this chapter shall be deemed to be a nonconforming lot.
(1) 
A nonconforming lot may be built upon for any purpose permitted in the zoning district in which it is located, without a variance, despite its failure to comply with the area, shape, or frontage requirements of this chapter, provided that:
(a) 
The nonconformity results solely from the adoption of this chapter (including any preceding zoning law or subsequent amendments); and
(b) 
The nonconformity has not been increased by any act or event subsequent to the effective date of this chapter.
(2) 
A nonconforming lot satisfying Subsection B(1)(a) and (b) above shall be designated an "eligible nonconforming lot." A lot shall remain an eligible nonconforming lot until the occurrence of any of the following events:
(a) 
Reduction in the lot's size, or any other increase in the degree of its nonconformity for any reason, other than the adoption of a more stringent zoning law;
(b) 
Acquisition after the effective date of this chapter by the owner of adjoining land which, when added to the original nonconforming lot, forms one or more lots complying with the area, shape, and frontage requirements of this chapter. In such case no portion of the lot(s) so formed shall thereafter qualify as an eligible nonconforming lot under this section, unless and until again made nonconforming by the adoption of a more stringent zoning law; or
(c) 
Acquisition after the effective date of this chapter by the owner of the lot of adjoining land which, when added to the original nonconforming lot, reduces its nonconformity but does not form a lot complying with the area, shape, and frontage requirements of this chapter. In such case, a new eligible nonconforming lot shall be formed which reflects the addition of the adjoining lot.
C. 
Compliance. Nothing herein is intended or shall be construed to affect any requirement of this chapter with respect to matters other than the area, shape and frontage of nonconforming lots. An eligible nonconforming lot shall be required to comply with all other requirements of this chapter, including those set forth in the Schedule of Uses and the Schedule of Area and Bulk Requirements, and with all other requirements of the Town, county, and state regarding the construction of buildings and supporting systems.
D. 
Completion. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any building, extension, or alteration for which a permit has been duly granted, the actual construction of which has been started before the effective date of this chapter, or of a pertinent amendment thereto, may be completed in accordance with plans on file with the Building Inspector, provided that such actual construction proceeds in an expeditious manner and the building is completed within one year of the adoption of this chapter.
E. 
Rebuilding. A prior nonconforming structure may be rebuilt in the event of its total or partial destruction, provided the reconstruction commences within 24 months of said destruction, and further provided that the rebuilt structure occupies the same or a lesser amount of footprint and does not exceed the original height of the totally or partially destroyed structure. In the case of a structure of 4,000 gross square feet or greater and which is used for nonresidential purposes, such rebuilding shall require site plan review and approval by the Planning Board. The rebuilding of a residential or a nonresidential structure of less than 4,000 gross square feet shall be exempt from site plan review and approval.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
F. 
Repair. A prior nonconforming structure may be repaired or restored to a safe condition, provided that such repair does not increase the size of such structure.
G. 
Expansion. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a nonconforming structure may be expanded, enlarged or extended, provided that said expansion, enlargement or extension complies with the area, yard and bulk requirements for the district in which it is located and such expansion, enlargement or extension does not increase the extent of existing nonconformity.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]

§ 128-56 Off-street parking and loading.

A. 
Off-street parking spaces shall be required for all structures and uses that are established constructed or rebuilt after the effective date of this chapter, except that:
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
(1) 
Parking spaces shall not be required for structures and uses in existence on the effective date hereof that are rebuilt or repaired as a result of damage or destruction by causes beyond the control of the owner or lessee. This exception shall not permit the rebuilding or repair of a building having a greater number of stories or square feet of ground space than the building damaged or destroyed unless provision is made for off-street parking as provided in this chapter.
(2) 
Notwithstanding the above provisions of Subsection A, structures that are existing on the effective date of this Chapter and located on a lot in a Hamlet District shall be exempt from the off-street parking requirements relating to the number of required parking spaces, as such are found in the "Schedule of Off-Street Parking" in Subsection H of this section, provided that there is no increase in the floor area of the building(s) on the lot, and further provided that there is no reduction in the number of parking spaces located on the lot, as each existed on the effective date of this chapter.
B. 
Off-street parking space shall be provided for all dwellings. No portion of the right-of-way of an existing or proposed street or highway shall be used for parking space(s) for a residential use. A parking space may be fully enclosed (as a garage), covered (as a carport) or open. An open parking space shall have a minimum length of 20 feet and minimum width of nine feet, not including the access drive or maneuvering space.
C. 
Off-street parking space shall be provided for other uses as follows:
(1) 
Each off-street parking space shall measure not less than 20 feet in length with a minimum width of nine feet.
(2) 
The number, size and dimensions of parking spaces suitable for use by the physically handicapped shall comply with the requirements set forth in the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. Each area reserved for handicapped off-street parking shall have a minimum length of 20 feet and a minimum width of 16 feet. Spaces in a lot shall have a minimum clear width of eight feet and an adjoining access aisle having a minimum clear width of eight feet. Two accessible parking spaces are permitted to share a common access aisle.
D. 
Prohibited parking. In any commercial district, no vehicles, trailers, portable signs, or any device capable of being or designed to be towed by a vehicle shall be parked on a lawn or landscaped area in a front or side yard, unless specifically approved by the Planning Board, Town Board, or Zoning Board of Appeals. (Also see Subsection B of § 128-75, Junkyards, regarding the parking of unregistered vehicles.)
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
E. 
In all residential districts, not including the Rural District, no more than two commercial vehicles per dwelling unit may be parked overnight on a single lot, subject to the following:
(1) 
In no instance shall a commercial vehicle in excess of 23 feet in length or 8,000 pounds in curb weight be parked overnight on a single lot without first obtaining a special use permit.
(2) 
Parking and storage of boats, trailers and recreational vehicles in the front yard as defined in § 128-22 is prohibited.
F. 
In the General Commercial, Heavy Industrial and Rural Light Industrial Districts, off-street parking shall not be permitted within 10 feet of any property line providing highway frontage to the property. Such setback area shall be considered as a minimum; however, additional setback area may be required if determined to be necessary by the Planning Board and in accordance with § 128-71 of this chapter. In addition, such setback area shall be suitably landscaped in accordance with the requirements of § 128-71 of this chapter.
G. 
Except as otherwise provided, off-street parking areas as required for any use within the General Commercial, Heavy Industrial and Rural Light Industrial Districts shall be located no closer than 15 feet to any side or rear property line, except as may be approved by the Planning Board for the purpose of providing adjacent properties joint driveway access from the street, off-street access between properties and shared parking areas. Where such setback is reduced, the Board may require that a comparable amount of site area be added to other setback areas on the same site.
H. 
If the Planning Board finds that compliance with the off-street parking requirements herein would have an adverse impact upon the physical environment or visual character of the area, and if the Board also finds that all of the parking required in the Schedule of Off-Street Parking will not be necessary for the anticipated use of the site, the Planning Board may reduce the amount of parking required to be constructed, provided that sufficient usable land is set aside to satisfy the parking requirements in the future should the need for such additional parking arise. The Planning Board shall, as a condition of any approval granted, retain the right to require the owner of the property to construct such additional parking whenever it finds that such parking is needed. If a proposed use is not listed in the Schedule of Off-Street Parking, the Planning Board shall use its discretion to determine the amount of parking to be required.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
Schedule of Off-Street Parking
Uses
Spaces Required
Residential Uses
One-, two-, three- and four-family dwelling
2 for each dwelling unit
Multifamily dwelling
1.5 for each dwelling unit
Multifamily dwelling, senior citizen/subsidized
1.1 for each dwelling unit
Bed-and-breakfast, inn, motel, hotel
1 for each guest room
Nonresidential Uses
Bank, financial business
1 for each 400 square feet of office space and customer area
Bowling alley
5 for each alley
Church or temple
1 for each 5 seating spaces in main assembly room
Funeral home
5 for each 1,000 square feet of gross floor area
Industrial or manufacturing
1 for each 2 employees on maximum working shift
Medical office
1 for each 200 square feet of gross floor area
Motor vehicle repair
1 for each 3 repair bays
Nightclub (including with restaurant)
1 for each 50 square feet of gross floor area
Nursing or convalescent home
1 for each 4 beds
Office
1 for each 300 square feet of gross floor area
Restaurant, no drive-through
1 for each 3 seats or 1 for each 75 square feet of gross floor area, whichever is greater
Restaurant, with drive-through
1 per 60 square feet of gross floor area plus 4 stacking spaces per drive-up window
Shopping center, retail use, service business
1 for each 250 square feet of gross floor area
School
2 for each classroom
Theater and other place of public assembly
1 for each 3 seating spaces
Wholesale, storage, freight terminal
1 for each 1,000 square feet of gross floor area
I. 
For any buildings having more than one use, parking space shall be required for each use.
J. 
Joint parking.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008; 3-11-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015]
(1) 
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be interpreted to prevent, in any hamlet or commercial district, the provision of joint parking lots for one or more uses located on separate lots or on common lots. Parking spaces located in a joint parking lot may be used to satisfy the off-street parking requirements of this article, provided that said spaces are located within 600 feet walking distance of the lot containing the land use they are intended to serve, as measured along the public right-of-way, and further provided that said spaces shall be subject to appropriate deed restrictions (or other legal instrument), as approved by the Planning Board Attorney, binding the owner of the parking spaces and his/her heirs and assigns to provide and maintain the required number of spaces for the land use that they are intended to serve, either throughout the existence of such land use or until such spaces are provided elsewhere. In no instance shall parking spaces in a joint parking lot that are devoted to meeting the parking requirements of one land use be used to meet the parking requirements of another land use.
(2) 
Where joint use of one or more common lots is proposed for more than one land use, consistent with Subsection J(1) above, the counting of spaces in such common lots may be "shared" by different uses if the uses have substantially different operating times and evidence is provided to the Planning Board that enables it to make a determination that there are variations in the probable time of maximum use by patrons and employees among such uses.
(3) 
Where a use identified in a joint parking agreement changes, the landowner of the new use shall provide to the Planning Board evidence that enables it to make a determination of whether there are variations in the probable time of maximum use by patrons and employees among such new use and existing use.
K. 
Any parking facility for more than 40 cars shall provide landscaped areas within the parking lot equal to at least 10% of the gross parking lot area. This landscape area requirement shall be provided by landscaped end islands and landscaped center islands within the parking area. Landscaped end islands shall be a minimum of 15 feet in width and landscaped center islands shall be a minimum of 18 feet in width. The number and type of plantings within the landscaped islands shall be determined by the Planning Board.
L. 
Loading facilities. Off-street loading facilities, appropriate for intended use, shall be provided for each nonresidential use and shall be so arranged as not to interfere with pedestrian or motor traffic on the public highway or any adjacent residential area. Such off-street loading facilities shall be confined to the side or rear yard, and screening shall be provided to minimize the view of any off-street loading or commercial use from any point along a property line common to any residential use or from any street. The number and dimension of the off-street loading spaces shall be determined by the Planning Board.
M. 
Oversized vehicles. Where the Planning Board determines in its review of a site plan or special use permit application that the proposed use would generate regular demand for on-site parking of trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, or similar oversized vehicles, it may require the provision of additional parking spaces of such size, dimension and number so as to accommodate said vehicles.
[Added 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
N. 
Covered parking spaces. Carports and other open-sided roofed structures intended to provide shelter for the parking of motor vehicles shall be prohibited in a front yard.
[Added 2-24-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]

§ 128-57 Parkland reservation and fee requirements.

A. 
General provisions.
(1) 
In reviewing residential site plans, residential subdivisions and proposals for planned residential and mixed economic developments, the Planning Board, in the case of site plans and subdivisions, or the Town Board, in the case of planned residential and mixed economic developments, shall ensure that the park and recreation demands generated by new residential development are addressed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
To the extent that this section is inconsistent with Town Law § 274-a, Subdivision 6, or § 277, Subdivision 4, or any other provision of Article 16 of Town Law, the provisions of this chapter are expressly intended to and do hereby supersede any such inconsistent provisions.
B. 
Reservation of land for public park, playground or recreation purpose.
(1) 
Land reservation requirement.
(a) 
Residential developments requiring site plan or subdivision approval. Where the Planning Board determines that suitable land for a public park, playground or other recreational purpose exists within the parcel boundaries of a proposed residential development, the Planning Board may require as a condition of site plan or subdivision approval that a portion of the development parcel be reserved for such purpose.
(b) 
Residential developments requiring planned residential development approval. Where the Town Board determines that suitable land for a public park, playground or other recreational purpose exists within the parcel boundaries of a proposed planned residential development, the Town Board may require as a condition of building project approval that a portion of the development parcel be reserved for such purpose.
(2) 
In determining whether or not to require the reservation of land for public park, playground or other recreational purpose, the Planning Board, in the case of residential site plans and subdivisions, or the Town Board, in the case of planned residential and mixed economic developments, shall be guided by the criteria and procedures outlined in Subsections C, D and E below.
C. 
Amount of land reservation. The minimum amount of land area to be reserved for public park, playground or other recreational purpose shall be determined by the number and type of new residential units located within the proposed residential development, according to the following schedule:
Unit Type
Amount of Land to be Reserved
(square feet per dwelling unit)
Single-family detached
1,550
Single-family attached1
1,100
Two- to four-family unit2
1,150
Multifamily unit3
925
Notes:
1
Refers to single-family attached units such as townhouses where each dwelling unit sits on its own individual lot.
2
Refers to units located in structures with two to four dwelling units, including condominium units, but excluding single-family attached units such as townhouses.
3
Refers to units located in structures with five or more dwelling units, including condominium units, but excluding single-family attached units such as townhouses.
D. 
Criteria for land reservation. In determining whether or not to require the reservation of land for public park, playground or recreational purposes, the Planning Board, in its review of residential site plans or subdivisions, or the Town Board, in its review of planned residential and mixed economic developments, shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
Whether suitable land exists within the parcel boundaries of the proposed development, in terms of its size, shape, and dimensions, to reasonably accommodate a public park, playground or other recreation use;
(2) 
Whether the characteristics of the land in terms of topography, soils, vegetative cover, hydrology and/or other natural features readily lend themselves to development of the site for active recreation use;
(3) 
Whether there are state or federal regulatory restrictions that would limit the usefulness of the site for active recreation development;
(4) 
Whether the site, in terms of its physical characteristics, would provide an attractive and safe area for recreational use;
(5) 
Whether the site is located such that reasonable and safe pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular access can be provided between the site and surrounding residential areas;
(6) 
Whether the character of the proposed residential development and that of the surrounding area is compatible with a public park and/or recreational use;
(7) 
Whether the anticipated population of the proposed residential development, together with the population density of surrounding neighborhoods, is sufficient to justify development and long-term maintenance of a public park, playground or other recreation facility at the location;
(8) 
Whether the site is located near or duplicates recreation facilities already provided in the area, particularly those providing the same type of recreation opportunities, including facilities located on public school grounds;
(9) 
Whether development and long-term maintenance of the site would place an undue burden on the Town Parks and Recreation Department, given other commitments and priorities of that Department;
(10) 
Whether the site contains any unique and significant physical, aesthetic or ecological features that would make it particularly suited for environmental education, trail development, a nature preserve, or other passive recreation use;
(11) 
Whether reservation of the land is consistent with recommendations contained in the Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Bethlehem and/or the Master Plan for Parks and Recreation in the Town of Bethlehem, if any, in effect at the time the development application is made; and
(12) 
Whether reservation of the land is consistent with the general goals and objectives of the Town Parks and Recreation Department and the Town Board with respect to parks and recreation facility development.
E. 
Referral required.
(1) 
Site plan and subdivision applications. Prior to making any final determination that land within a proposed residential development will be reserved for public park, playground or other recreational purpose, the Planning Board, in the case of site plans or subdivisions, shall first refer the proposal to both the Town Board and the Administrator of Parks and Recreation for their input on the matter. If no response is rendered within 30 days of the date of referral, the Planning Board may make a final determination. A referral is not necessary where the Planning Board makes a determination that it will not require the reservation of land within the residential development.
(2) 
Planned residential development applications. Prior to making any final determination that land within a proposed residential development will be reserved for public park, playground or other recreational purpose, the Town Board, in the case of planned residential and mixed economic developments, shall first refer the proposal to the Administrator of Parks and Recreation for his/her input on the matter. If no response is rendered within 30 days of the date of referral, the Town Board may make a final determination. A referral is not necessary where the Town Board makes a determination that it will not require the reservation of land within the residential development.
F. 
Findings required. Prior to making any final determination that land will be reserved for public park, playground or other recreational purpose, the Planning Board, in the case of residential site plans and subdivisions, or the Town Board, in the case of planned residential and mixed economic developments, shall make a finding, in accordance with § 274-a, Subdivision 6, or § 277, Subdivision 4, of the New York State Town Law, that a proper case exists for requiring that a park or parks be suitably located for playgrounds or other recreational purposes within the Town. The finding shall include an analysis of the criteria of Subsection D(1) through (12) above.
G. 
Timing of land reservation. The reservation of public park, playground or recreation land shall occur prior to the issuance of the first building permit for any dwelling unit located within the approved residential development.
H. 
Satisfaction of land reservation requirement. The land reservation requirement of this section shall be satisfied by:
(1) 
The presentation to the Town of a metes and bounds description of the site that is proposed to be reserved for public park, playground or recreation purposes;
(2) 
The placing of a notation upon the approved plan indicating that the land is so reserved and cannot be further subdivided or built upon except for such purposes; and
(3) 
The placing of deed restrictions upon the site. Said deed restrictions shall be in a manner and form acceptable to the Town Attorney and shall indicate that the land is reserved for public park, playground or recreational purposes and cannot be further subdivided or built upon except for such purposes. Said deed restrictions shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk, and upon their filing the land so reserved shall become part of the Official Map of the Town of Bethlehem.
I. 
Fee in lieu of public park, playground or recreational land.
(1) 
Fee in lieu of land reservation. Where the Planning Board, in the case of residential site plans and subdivisions, or the Town Board, in the case of planned residential and mixed economic developments, does not require the reservation of land for a public park, playground or other recreational purpose, the approving Board shall instead require that a fee in lieu of said land be paid to the Town as a condition of project approval.
(2) 
Amount of fee. The fee to be paid the Town shall be determined by the number and type of new residential units located within the proposed residential development, according to the following schedule:
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
Unit Type
Fee Amount
(per dwelling unit)
Single-family detached
$1,550
Single-family attached1
$1,100
Two- to four-family units2
$1,150
Multifamily units3
$925
Notes:
1
Refers to single-family attached units such as townhouses where each dwelling unit sits on its own individual lot.
2
Refers to units located in structures with two to four dwelling units, including condominium units, but excluding single-family attached units such as townhouses.
3
Refers to units located in structures with five or more dwelling units, including condominium units, but excluding single-family attached units such as townhouses.
(3) 
Findings required. Prior to requiring the payment of a fee in lieu of the reservation of land, the Planning Board, in the case of site plans or subdivisions, or the Town Board, in the case of planned residential and mixed economic developments, shall make a finding, in accordance with § 274-a, Subdivision 6, or § 277, Subdivision 4, of the Town Law and § 128-57 of this chapter, that the proposed residential development presents a proper case for requiring a park or parks suitably located for playgrounds or other recreational purposes but that a suitable park or parks of adequate size to meet the requirement cannot be properly located on such site plan or within such building project.
(4) 
Timing of fee payment. Payment of the fee shall be made to the Town at the time of application for a building permit for each approved dwelling unit. Fees may be paid on a unit-by-unit basis consistent with the number of units covered in each building permit application.
(5) 
Fees to constitute separate trust fund. All fees collected pursuant to this section shall be placed in a separate trust fund(s) to be established and used by the Town exclusively for the acquisition of public park, playground or recreation land and/or the improvement of public park and recreation facilities.
J. 
Credits.
(1) 
Credit for previous land reservations and fee payments. Notwithstanding the provisions found elsewhere in this section, credit shall be given for previous land reservations and/or fee payments that were made pursuant to this section or Chapter 103, Subdivision Regulations, of the Town Code, at the time of a prior residential development approval.
(2) 
Credit for land previously reserved. Any land reservation required pursuant to this section shall be reduced by an amount equal to the area of land reservation required for the approved dwelling unit(s) or lot(s) at the time of previous subdivision, site plan or planned residential development approval.
(3) 
Credit for fees previously paid. Any park and recreation fee required pursuant to this section shall be reduced by an amount equal to the park and recreation fee required for the approved dwelling unit(s) or lot(s) at the time of previous subdivision, site plan or planned residential development approval.
(4) 
Credit for on-site facilities. In instances where private recreation facilities are provided on site for the benefit of residents of the development, the recreation fee required pursuant to this section may be reduced by an amount equal to 50% of the required fee or 50% of the cost of such on-site facilities, whichever is less. Acceptable facilities shall include clubhouses, swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, athletic fields, and other similar facilities for active recreation use. The acceptability of on-site facilities and any subsequent reduction in fee shall be determined by the Planning Board, in the case of site plans or subdivisions, or the Town Board, in the case of planned residential and mixed economic developments. The cost of any on-site facilities for which credit is sought shall be fully documented and may include the cost of materials and labor only.

§ 128-58 Satellite dishes and antennas.

Satellite dishes and antennas mounted on structures shall be securely attached to the building to withstand wind loads. The mast on which a satellite dish or antenna is mounted shall not exceed a height of 15 feet. Satellite dishes and antennas are allowed as accessory uses only.

§ 128-59 Signs.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to promote and protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating existing and proposed on-premises advertising signs and signs of all types within the Town of Bethlehem. This section is intended to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community, preserve the scenic and natural beauty and provide a more enjoyable and pleasing community. It is further intended to reduce distractions and obstructions that may adversely affect traffic safety, reduce hazards that may be caused by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way, provide more visual open space and maintain the generally high level of the community's appearance and attractiveness. This section is intended to promote attractive signs that clearly present the visual message in a manner that is compatible with their surroundings and to ensure that signs aid orientation and adequately identify uses and activities to the public. The appearance, character and quality of a community are affected by the location, size, construction and graphic design of its signs. Therefore, such signs should convey their messages clearly and simply to be compatible with their surroundings.
B. 
General regulations.
(1) 
No person, firm or corporation shall hereafter erect, re-erect, construct or structurally alter a sign or sign structure without first obtaining a permit issued by the Building Inspector.
(2) 
Every application for a sign permit shall be accompanied by plans to scale showing the area of the sign; the position of the sign in relation to nearby buildings or structures; the location of the building, structure or lot to which or upon which the sign is to be attached or erected; the method of illumination, if any; and statements indicating compliance with appropriate construction standards.
(3) 
No sign shall be erected which, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, may cause hazardous or unsafe conditions. If such signs exist, they shall be removed upon direction of the Building Inspector following notification to the owner.
(4) 
No sign, other than an official traffic sign, shall be erected within the right-of-way of any public street or highway (including Town, county, state, and federal streets or highways). The Building Inspector, Highway Superintendent or Commissioner of Public Works, or their duly designated representatives may remove any sign erected in a public street or highway right-of-way if the Building Inspector, Highway Superintendent or Commissioner of Public Works, or their duly designated representatives believe, erection of the sign may cause hazardous or unsafe conditions to motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians or if the sign violates any provision of this chapter. No signs shall be placed on any other Town property, except for informational signs placed by the Town and such other signs that may be authorized by the Town relating to meetings or events occurring on Town property.
[Amended 6-13-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
C. 
General standards.
(1) 
Unless otherwise provided for in this section, no sign shall have more than two sides. The maximum allowable square footage of a two-sided sign shall be the sum of both sides, unless otherwise specified.
(2) 
All illuminated signs shall bear the Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., seal in conformance with U.L. 48 or be inspected and certified by a Town-authorized electrical inspection company.
(3) 
All freestanding signs shall be designed and constructed to withstand a wind pressure of not less than 30 pounds per square foot of surface area.
(4) 
All signs, including wall signs and projecting signs, shall be securely anchored and shall not swing or move in any manner.
(5) 
All signs shall be constructed of durable materials and shall be maintained in a good condition.
(6) 
Except for the Hamlet (H), Commercial Hamlet (CH) and Rural Hamlet (RH) Districts, no sign shall project beyond property lines or over public sidewalk areas.
(7) 
Projecting signs shall have no more than two faces. The exterior edge of a projecting sign shall extend not more than five feet from the building face or 1/3 the width of the sidewalk over which it is suspended, whichever is less. No part of a projecting sign shall extend into a vehicular traffic area. A projecting sign suspended over a pedestrian traffic area shall have a clearance of not less than seven feet six inches. No sign shall project from an awning.
(8) 
On multistory buildings, projecting signs shall be attached to the building above first-story windows and below second-story windowsills. On one-story buildings, projecting signs shall be attached above first-story windows and below the roofline. The size and location of a projecting sign shall complement neighboring signs.
(9) 
No wall sign shall be higher than the building to which it is attached.
(10) 
Illumination of any sign shall not produce a direct glare beyond the limits of the property. Ground-mounted spotlights used to illuminate a sign shall be shielded.
(11) 
All wiring to a freestanding sign shall be underground and/or concealed within the sign structure.
D. 
Signs in the H, CH and RH Districts.
(1) 
On all nonresidential and mixed-use premises, wall signs with a maximum total area of one square foot per linear foot of building facade are permitted. The maximum length of a wall sign shall be 2/3 of the width of the face of the building on which the sign is located. In addition, in H Districts, one freestanding sign is permitted which shall not exceed 20 square feet in area per side or 10 feet in height. In CH and RH Districts, one freestanding sign is permitted which shall not exceed 32 square feet in area per side or 10 feet in height. Freestanding signs shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the highway right-of-way or 35 feet from the highway center line, whichever is greater.
(2) 
On home occupation premises, one freestanding or wall sign is permitted, the total area of which shall not exceed four square feet. Freestanding signs shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the highway right-of-way or 35 feet from the highway center line, whichever is greater. The height of the freestanding sign shall not exceed six feet above the finished grade.
(3) 
On multifamily premises, one freestanding and one wall sign are permitted. Wall signs shall have a maximum area of 20 square feet. Freestanding signs shall have maximum area of 15 square feet per side and a maximum height of six feet. Freestanding signs shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any highway right-of-way or 35 feet from any highway center line, whichever is greater.
(4) 
One sandwich/sidewalk sign of eight square feet or less per side is permitted, provided that such signage is not placed so as to impede, restrict or otherwise interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Such signs shall not be permanently affixed to any structure, shall be displayed only during hours of operation and shall be located between the building facade of the sign owner, or of the tenant, and the street. All other portable signs are prohibited.
[Amended 6-13-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
(5) 
For agricultural land uses that are located in both the Town of Bethlehem and a certified agricultural district, a total of no more than four temporary signs may be located off the premises, provided said signs are of the sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type, are not permanently affixed to a stationary object, measure no more than eight square feet per side, do not obstruct sight distance for motorists or otherwise diminish traffic safety, are located on private property and outside of the highway right-of-way, are located on premises that are nonresidential in use, are nonilluminated, and advertise an agricultural business open to, or an agricultural service or product offered for sale to, the general public. "Temporary" shall mean a sign that is displayed only during the season of operation that the land use is open to the general public. For agricultural land uses not located in a certified agricultural district, not more than one sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type sign measuring not more than eight square feet per side may be placed in an off-site location.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(6) 
Signs in these districts may be lit by external means only.
E. 
Signs in the RLL, RA, RB, RC, CR and MR Districts.
(1) 
On all nonresidential premises, one wall sign and one freestanding sign are permitted. Wall signs shall have a maximum area of 10 square feet. Freestanding signs shall have a maximum area of 10 square feet per side and a maximum height of six feet in height above the finished grade. Freestanding signs shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any highway right-of-way or 35 feet from any highway center line, whichever is greater.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(a) 
Notwithstanding the sign area provisions of this subsection, agricultural uses located in an agricultural district shall be permitted one wall sign having a maximum total area of one square foot per linear foot of building facade and one freestanding sign not exceeding 32 square feet in area per side. Internal illumination of said signs shall not be permitted.
(2) 
On home occupation premises, one freestanding or wall sign is permitted. Such sign shall not exceed four square feet in area and shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the highway right-of-way or 35 feet from the highway center line, whichever is greater. No freestanding sign shall exceed six feet in height above the finished grade.
(3) 
For agricultural land uses that are located in both the Town of Bethlehem and a certified agricultural district, a total of no more than four temporary signs may be located off the premises, provided said signs are of the sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type, are not permanently affixed to a stationary object, measure no more than eight square feet per side, do not obstruct sight distance for motorists or otherwise diminish traffic safety, are located on private property and outside of the highway right-of-way, are located on premises that are nonresidential in use, are nonilluminated, and advertise an agricultural business open to, or an agricultural service or product offered for sale to, the general public. "Temporary" shall mean a sign that is displayed only during the season of operation that the land use is open to the general public. For agricultural land uses not located in a certified agricultural district, not more than one sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type sign measuring not more than eight square feet per side may be placed in an off-site location.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(4) 
On multifamily premises, one freestanding and one wall sign are permitted. Wall signs shall have a maximum area of 20 square feet. Freestanding signs shall have maximum area of 15 square feet per side and a maximum height of six feet. Freestanding signs shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any highway right-of-way or 35 feet from any highway center line, whichever is greater.
(5) 
Projecting signs are prohibited. Portable signs are prohibited except as allowed for agricultural premises.
(6) 
Signs in these districts may be lit by external means only.
F. 
Signs in the RR District.
(1) 
On all nonresidential premises, one wall sign and one freestanding sign are permitted. Wall signs shall have a maximum area of 40 square feet. Freestanding signs shall have a maximum area of 32 square feet per side and a maximum height of eight feet above the finished grade. Freestanding signs shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any highway right-of-way or 35 feet from any highway center line, whichever is greater.
(2) 
On home occupation premises, one freestanding or wall sign is permitted. Such sign shall not exceed four square feet in area and shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the highway right-of-way or 35 feet from the highway center line, whichever is greater. No freestanding sign shall exceed six feet in height above the finished grade.
(3) 
For agricultural land uses that are located in both the Town of Bethlehem and a certified agricultural district, a total of no more than four temporary signs may be located off the premises, provided said signs are of the sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type, are not permanently affixed to a stationary object, measure no more than eight square feet per side, do not obstruct sight distance for motorists or otherwise diminish traffic safety, are located on private property and outside of the highway right-of-way, are located on premises that are nonresidential in use, are nonilluminated, and advertise an agricultural business open to, or an agricultural service or product offered for sale to, the general public. "Temporary" shall mean a sign that is displayed only during the season of operation that the land use is open to the general public. For agricultural land uses not located in a certified agricultural district, not more than one sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type sign measuring not more than eight square feet per side may be placed in an off-site location.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(4) 
On multifamily premises, one freestanding and one wall sign are permitted. Wall signs shall have a maximum area of 20 square feet. Freestanding signs shall have maximum area of 20 square feet per side and a maximum height of eight feet. Freestanding signs shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any highway right-of-way or 35 feet from any highway center line, whichever is greater.
(5) 
Projecting signs are prohibited. Portable signs are prohibited except as allowed for agricultural premises.
(6) 
Signs in these districts may be lit by external means only.
G. 
Signs in the R and C Districts.
(1) 
On all nonresidential premises, wall signs are permitted with a maximum total area of one square foot per linear foot of building facade. The maximum length of a wall sign shall be 2/3 of the width of the face of the building on which the sign is located. In addition, one freestanding sign is permitted that shall not exceed 40 square feet in area per side nor 15 feet in height. All freestanding signs shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the highway right-of-way or 35 feet from the highway center line, whichever is greater.
(2) 
On home occupation premises, one freestanding or wall sign is permitted. Such sign shall not exceed four square feet in area. Freestanding signs shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the highway right-of-way or 35 feet from the highway center line, whichever is greater. The height of a freestanding sign shall not exceed six feet above the finished grade.
(3) 
For agricultural land uses that are located in both the Town of Bethlehem and a certified agricultural district, a total of no more than four temporary signs may be located off the premises, provided said signs are of the sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type, are not permanently affixed to a stationary object, measure no more than eight square feet per side, do not obstruct sight distance for motorists or otherwise diminish traffic safety, are located on private property and outside of the highway right-of-way, are located on premises that are nonresidential in use, are nonilluminated, and advertise an agricultural business open to, or an agricultural service or product offered for sale to, the general public. "Temporary" shall mean a sign that is displayed only during the season of operation that the land use is open to the general public. For agricultural land uses not located in a certified agricultural district, not more than one sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type sign measuring not more than eight square feet per side may be placed in an off-site location.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(4) 
On multifamily premises, one freestanding and one wall sign are permitted. Wall signs shall have a maximum area of 32 square feet. Freestanding signs shall have maximum area of 32 square feet per side and a maximum height of 10 feet. Freestanding signs shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any highway right-of-way or 35 feet from any highway center line, whichever is greater.
(5) 
One sandwich/sidewalk sign of eight square feet or less per side is permitted, provided that such signage is not placed so as to impede, restrict or otherwise interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Such signs shall not be permanently affixed to any structure, shall be displayed only during hours of operation, and shall be located between the building facade and the street.
H. 
Signs in the MED and PDD Districts. As approved by the Planning Board.
I. 
Signs in the I and RLI Districts.
(1) 
On all nonresidential premises, wall signs are permitted with a maximum total area of one square foot per linear foot of building facade. The maximum length of a wall sign shall be 2/3 of the width of the face of the building on which the sign is located. In addition, one freestanding sign is permitted that shall not exceed 40 square feet in area per side nor 20 feet in height and shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the highway right-of-way or 35 feet from the highway center line, whichever is greater.
(2) 
On home occupation premises, one freestanding or wall sign is permitted. Such sign shall not exceed four square feet in area and shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the highway right-of-way or 35 feet from the highway center line, whichever is greater. The height of the freestanding sign shall not exceed six feet above the finished grade.
(3) 
For agricultural land uses that are located in both the Town of Bethlehem and a certified agricultural district, a total of no more than four temporary signs may be located off the premises, provided said signs are of the sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type, are not permanently affixed to a stationary object, measure no more than eight square feet per side, do not obstruct sight distance for motorists or otherwise diminish traffic safety, are located on private property and outside of the highway right-of-way, are located on premises that are nonresidential in use, are nonilluminated, and advertise an agricultural business open to, or an agricultural service or product offered for sale to, the general public. "Temporary" shall mean a sign that is displayed only during the season of operation that the land use is open to the general public. For agricultural land uses not located in a certified agricultural district, not more than one sandwich board, chalkboard, reader board or similar type sign measuring not more than eight square feet per side may be placed in an off-site location.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(4) 
On multifamily premises, one freestanding and one wall sign are permitted. Wall signs shall have a maximum area of 32 square feet. Freestanding signs shall have maximum area of 32 square feet per side and a maximum height of 10 feet. Freestanding signs shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any highway right-of-way or 35 feet from any highway center line, whichever is greater.
J. 
Signs in shopping centers and shopping malls.
(1) 
Freestanding signs.
[Amended 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
(a) 
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, a shopping center or shopping mall is permitted one freestanding sign per street front. Freestanding sign(s) shall be set back not less than 15 feet from any highway right-of-way or 40 feet from any highway center line, whichever is greater, and shall not be placed within 15 feet of any other property line. Freestanding sign(s) for shopping centers with gross floor area of 60,000 square feet or more shall not exceed 100 square feet in area per side and shall not exceed 20 feet in height. For shopping centers with gross floor area less than 60,000 square feet, freestanding sign(s) shall not exceed 10 feet in height and maximum permitted sign area for such sign(s) shall be as follows:
Shopping center with gross floor area
(square feet)
Maximum
square feet per side
Less than or equal to 20,000
40
Greater than 20,000 but less than or equal to 40,000
50
Greater than 40,000 but less than 60,000
60
(b) 
Freestanding signs may be internally illuminated, except that in the H, CH and RH Districts, freestanding signs for shopping centers with less than 60,000 square feet of gross floor area may be illuminated by external means only.
(2) 
Each tenant is permitted one wall sign. Such wall sign shall not exceed the lesser of 10% of the area of the facade of the portion of the shopping center leased by the tenant or 125 square feet. Such sign shall not exceed the height of the facade. If the space such tenant occupies has more than one facade, the tenant shall be allowed a maximum of two wall signs to be placed on the building's facades, with no more than one sign on any facade; the total area of each sign shall not exceed 10% of the total area of the facade on which the sign is placed.
[Amended 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
(3) 
Wall signs shall be securely affixed to the facade of the building. For shopping centers with gross floor area of 60,000 square feet or more, such signs shall consist only of channel signs composed of individual channel letters and associated corporate logo. Notwithstanding provisions found elsewhere in this section, wall signs within such shopping centers may be internally lit, provided that light is transmitted only through the logo and the material that comprises the letters located within the sign display area. For shopping centers with less than 60,000 square feet of gross floor area, such signs may consist of a variety of designs, except that box signs shall be prohibited. In the CH and RH Districts, wall signs may be illuminated by external means only unless such signs consist of individual channel letters as described herein.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012; 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
(4) 
Projecting signs are prohibited. Portable signs are prohibited except for sidewalk/sandwich board signs with a maximum area of eight square feet per side that are permitted between the building and the parking.
K. 
Nonconforming signs. Signs that were legally erected before the adoption of this chapter and which do not conform to the provision of this chapter may continue to be maintained as legal nonconforming signs, provided that such signs shall not be enlarged, reworded (other than in the case of theater or cinema signs or other signs that were designed to periodically change message, including signs designed to list multiple tenants), redesigned or altered in any way, including repainting in a different color, except to conform to the requirements of this chapter. Routine maintenance, including repainting of a nonconforming sign in the same color and design, shall be allowed.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
L. 
Prohibitions.
(1) 
No off-premises signs shall be allowed other than as permitted for agricultural premises and as stated in the exempt signs provisions of this section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Subsection M, Exempt signs.
(2) 
No sign shall be illuminated by or contain flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving lights, except to show time, date and/or temperature.
(3) 
No sign shall contain any moving parts.
(4) 
No sign shall impair or cause confusion of vehicular or pedestrian traffic in its design, color or placement.
(5) 
No sign shall be mounted on the roof of any building or structure.
(6) 
Temporary advertising banners shall be prohibited except as stated in the exempt signs provisions of this section.[2]
[Added 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008; amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
[2]
Editor’s Note: See Subsection M, Exempt signs.
(7) 
Signs which physically or visually move, rotate or create an illusion of movement, or which have parts or surfaces that physically or visually move, rotate or create the illusion of movement, or which emit audible sound or noise shall be prohibited.
[Added 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(8) 
Signs which appear animated or projected, or which are intermittently or intensely illuminated or of a traveling, tracing, scrolling, or sequential light type, or signs which contain or are illuminated by animated or flashing light are prohibited.
[Added 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(9) 
Except for the display of time and/or temperature, electronic-message-center-type signs which display electronically changeable messages consisting of illuminated text or graphics are prohibited.
[Added 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
M. 
Exempt signs. The following signs are exempt from these provisions:
(1) 
Decorative banners, flags, posters, placards and streamers on residential premises.
(2) 
Decorative banners on nonresidential premises not containing any words, labels, figures or descriptions.
(3) 
Permanent monument signs as part of a decorative entryway to a residential subdivision approved by the Planning Board pursuant to Chapter 103 of the Town Code, provided said signs are not internally illuminated, and further provided that design details for said signs, along with a plan for long-term maintenance, are approved by the Planning Board as part of the subdivision approval.
[Amended 12-14-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
(4) 
Historical markers, tablets and statues, memorial signs and plaques; names of buildings and dates of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze, stainless steel or similar material; and emblems installed by governmental agencies or religious or nonprofit organizations, not exceeding six square feet.
(5) 
Flags and insignia of any government.
(6) 
On-premises directional signs for the convenience of the general public, identifying public parking areas, fire zones, entrances and exits, not exceeding four square feet per face and six feet in height. Business names and personal names shall be allowed, excluding advertising messages.
(7) 
Number and name plates identifying residences mounted on the house, building, apartment or mailbox, not exceeding two square feet in area.
(8) 
Lawn signs identifying residences, not exceeding one square foot. Such signs are to be nonilluminated except by a light that is an integral part of a lamppost if used as a support.
(9) 
Private owner merchandise sale signs for garage sales and auctions located on the premises, not exceeding four square feet, for a period not exceeding seven days in any one month.
(10) 
On-premises "No Trespassing" or "Private Property" or similar signs.
(11) 
Real estate signs.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(a) 
Temporary, nonilluminated "For Sale," "For Rent," and "For Lease" real estate signs and signs of a similar nature concerning the vacant or improved real property upon which the sign is located, provided such signs do not exceed six square feet per side in a residential district and 32 square feet per side in a nonresidential district.
(b) 
Temporary "Opening Soon," "Coming Soon," and "Grand Opening" signs, and signs of a similar nature concerning the vacant or improved real property upon which the sign is located, provided such signs do not exceed 32 square feet per side, are limited to one such sign per property and are displayed only during the period of project construction and/or for a period not to exceed 30 days from the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the establishment(s) advertised by said sign. In no instance shall said signs be displayed for a period exceeding one year from the date an application is submitted for the initial building permit for the project.
(12) 
Temporary, nonilluminated window signs and posters not exceeding 10% of the total window surface of a building.
(13) 
At a gasoline dispensing station, integral graphics or attached price signs on gasoline pumps and one portable sign per station not exceeding 16 square feet.
(14) 
Drive-through menu boards.
(15) 
Temporary informational and directional signs for meetings, conventions and other assemblies displayed only for the duration of the event.
(16) 
One sign, not exceeding six square feet in a residential district or 32 square feet in a nonresidential district, listing the architect, engineer, contractor and/or owner on premises where construction, renovation or repair is in progress.
(17) 
Temporary signs (e.g., political signs, signs advertising civic, religious, educational, or nonprofit events, etc.) not exceeding six square feet that are permitted by the owner on noncommercial (e.g., residential, institutional, religious, educational, and other nonprofit) premises, as long as they are placed no less than five feet from the edge of the pavement of any public street or highway (including Town, county, state, and federal streets or highways). This exemption does not include signs advertising for-profit businesses.
[Amended 6-13-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
(18) 
Temporary banners (e.g., grand opening banners), provided that they are affixed to a building, do not exceed 60 square feet in area, are limited to one banner per establishment and are displayed only during that period commencing on the date of issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the establishment and terminating 30 days thereafter.
[Added 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012; amended 6-13-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
(19) 
A flag flown by a business with copy limited to the word "open," provided that said flag is attached to the building housing the business, the size of the flag is no greater than 15 square feet, the flag is removed when the business is closed, and no more than one flag is displayed per establishment.
[Added 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
N. 
Substitution clause. Any sign authorized pursuant to this chapter may contain a noncommercial message constituting a form of expression in lieu of other copy.

§ 128-60 Swimming pools, spas and hot tubs.

A. 
Building permit. No person or persons, association or corporation shall erect or install, or dismantle or abandon, a swimming pool, spa or hot tub within the Town of Bethlehem without first obtaining a building permit.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
B. 
Fee. Building permit shall include a fee as set by the Town Board.
C. 
Accessory to dwelling. Swimming pools, spas or hot tubs may be erected or installed only as an accessory to a dwelling and for the private use of the owner or occupants and their family and guests.
D. 
Installation. Installation shall meet or exceed the requirements as set forth in the Residential Code of New York State as well as the provisions set forth in this section.
E. 
Location. No swimming pool, spa or hot tub shall be installed, constructed or maintained in a front yard, within 10 feet of any side or rear property lines, or on any easement or right-of-way. Pools shall be located away from overhead power lines.
F. 
Water. Swimming pools, spas and hot tubs may be filled from a private water source (i.e., private well or water service company) or domestic water supply. Hydrant filling is prohibited. Enclosures must be complete, including fencing if required, before water is put into the pool, spa or hot tub.
G. 
Prohibited connections. Installation of a permanent or temporary plumbing connection between a potable public or private water supply system and a pool, spa or hot tub is prohibited.
H. 
Electric. A third party inspection shall be performed by a Town-approved, certified electrical inspection agency for compliance with the National Electrical Code and recorded in the Building Department.
I. 
Fencing. Fencing shall comply with § 128-47. Fences shall be structurally sound, durable and must be maintained in such condition to prevent and prohibit accidental or unauthorized entrance to the pool. A permanent protective fence shall be installed so as to encompass the entire perimeter of the pool, spa or hot tub. Fences shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb the fence. Fences and appurtenances shall meet or exceed the minimum requirements as set forth for barriers under the Residential Code of New York State and shall be approved by the Building Inspector before installation.
(1) 
In-ground pools, spas or hot tubs. Fences shall be a minimum of four feet in height and a maximum of six feet in height above grade, measured on the side of the fence that faces away from the swimming pool. Spas or hot tubs with lockable tops shall be exempt from said requirements.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
(2) 
Aboveground pools, spas or hot tubs. The provisions for fencing shall not apply to aboveground pools, spas or hot tubs less than 24 inches in height. Pools greater than four feet in height are also exempt, provided that the stairs are removable or designed to be secured in a manner to prevent access. Where the top of the pool is above grade, the fence is authorized to be at ground level or mounted on top of the pool. The maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool and the bottom of the fence shall be four inches.
(3) 
Pool structures used as a fence. Where an aboveground pool structure is used as a fence or where the fence is mounted on top of the pool structure and the means of access is a ladder or steps, then the ladder or steps shall be capable of being secured locked or removed to prevent access or the ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a fence. When the ladder or steps are secured, locked, or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a four-inch-diameter sphere.
(4) 
Dwelling unit wall as a fence. Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of a fence, one of the following shall apply:
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
(a) 
Doors with direct access to the pool, spa or hot tub through a dwelling unit wall shall be equipped with an alarm which produces an audible warning when the door and its screen are opened. The alarm shall be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities; or
(b) 
The pool shall be equipped with a powered safety cover. Spas or hot tubs with a lockable top or safety cover which complies with the state code shall be exempt; or
(c) 
Other means of protection, such as self-closing doors with self-latching devices, which are approved by the administrative authority.
J. 
Access gate. Access gates shall open outward away from the pool, spa or hot tub and shall contain a self-closing, self-latching, lockable device. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism shall be located on the pool, spa or hot tub side of the gate at least three inches below the top of the gate.
K. 
Existing pools. The Building Inspector is hereby authorized and directed to inspect swimming pools, spas and hot tubs existing at the time of the adoption of this chapter. If a fence is required, the Building Inspector shall verify that said fence is in compliance with the foregoing provisions. If a fence does not comply with the provisions of this chapter, alterations or repairs shall be made within 30 days. If a required fence is not in place at the time of the inspection, immediate action shall be taken to erect a temporary fencing, and permanent fencing shall be installed within 30 days.
L. 
Lighting. Lighting shall be permitted in, on, or about a pool, spa or hot tub, except that said lighting shall cast no light, glare or reflection onto abutting properties as required in § 128-52, Lighting.
M. 
Area of pools. Swimming pools shall not occupy more than 10% of the total area of the premises.
N. 
Grading, erosion and sediment control. An application for a swimming pool shall also be subject to requirements of § 128-49. When regrading a lot with on-site excavated materials, the applicant shall submit a grading plan showing the existing and proposed finished grades.
O. 
Subsurface drainage. All subsurface drainage from a swimming pool, spa or hot tub shall be directed in a manner so as to prevent sewage from being siphoned, flooded or otherwise discharged into said swimming pool.
P. 
Surface drainage. All areas immediately surrounding the pool, spa or hot tub shall have positive drainage away from the structure or shall be routed to a pool gutter as applicable. Drainage shall not be directed to adjoining lots or properties or interfere with existing and/or natural drainage patterns.
Q. 
Abandonment of pool. Should the owner abandon a swimming pool, the area occupied by the swimming pool shall be returned to its original grade and approximately to the same condition as before the swimming pool was constructed, and the owner shall obtain a building permit for and notify the Building Inspector of the abandonment so that an inspection of the site may be made and the records of the permit marked accordingly.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
R. 
Exempt pools. This chapter shall not apply to a wading pool or to a portable pool that contains less than 24 inches of water, or to any pool or spa with a power safety cover that is in compliance with the Residential Code of New York State, or to any facility to which the regulations of the State Sanitary Code apply.

§ 128-61 Telecommunication facilities.

A. 
It is the purpose of this section to accommodate the communications needs of residents and businesses consistent with the applicable federal and state regulations while protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Bethlehem by:
(1) 
Facilitating the provision of wireless telecommunication and other communication services to the residents and businesses of the Town while simultaneously preserving the character, appearance and aesthetic resources of the Town;
(2) 
Minimizing the adverse visual effects of telecommunications towers and facilities through development of locational and approval criteria;
(3) 
Protecting the scenic, historic, environmental, natural and man-made resources of the Town;
(4) 
Preserving the property value of the community;
(5) 
Minimizing the undue proliferation and height of communications towers throughout the community;
(6) 
Avoiding potential harm to adjacent persons and properties from tower failure, noise, falling objects and attractive nuisances through setback and height limitations; and
(7) 
Encouraging the shared use of existing and approved towers in order to reduce the number of towers needed to serve the community where reasonably possible, so as to minimize and mitigate the adverse visual impacts of towers and their facilities.
B. 
These regulations are intended to be consistent with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in that:
(1) 
They do not prohibit, or have the effect of prohibiting, the provision of personal wireless services;
(2) 
They are not intended to be used to unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services; and
(3) 
They do not regulate personal wireless services on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that the regulated services and facilities comply with the FCC's regulations concerning such emissions.
C. 
Telecommunication facilities regulated and covered under these regulations shall include the following: personal wireless radio telecommunication facilities (PWRT) using an automated high-capacity system with two or more multichannel fixed base stations arranged as part of an integrated cellular system providing radio telecommunication from the fixed (immobile) base stations to mobile stations. Such personal wireless radio telecommunication facilities employ low-power transmitting and receiving and automatic handoff between base stations of communications in progress to enable channels to be reused at short distances for the purposes of voice, data or paging transmissions. Cellular systems may also employ digital techniques such as voice encoding and decoding, data compression, error correction and time or code division multiple access in order to increase system capacities. Personal wireless radio telecommunication facilities ("PWRT facilities") shall include cellular services, personal communication services (PCS), specialized mobile radio services, and paging services.
D. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
ANTENNA
A device that converts radio frequency electrical energy to radiated electromagnetic energy and vice versa.
BASE STATION
A stationary transmitter that provides radio telecommunication services to mobile and fixed receivers, including antennas.
BY-RIGHT FACILITIES
Those PWRT facilities as described herein which may be installed and operated subject only to the securing of a building permit for construction and a certificate of occupancy for operation from the Town Building Inspector upon furnishing the information and plans specified by the Building Inspector and this chapter.
CELLULAR COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
A radio telecommunication service provided using a cellular system.
COLLOCATION
The placement of a wireless communication antenna on an existing telecommunication tower or other permissible structure, usually owned by another entity and supporting antenna from multiple entities.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
EXEMPT FACILITIES
Transmitting and receiving telecommunication facilities which are exempt from regulation under this section, and shall include:
(1) 
Amateur radio and satellite facilities so long as such facilities are operated by a licensed amateur operator;
(2) 
Civil emergency facilities; and
(3) 
Home satellite facilities where installed on residential premises solely for the use of the residents of that premises and not offered for resale to off-premises locations.
LATTICE TOWER
A freestanding tower supported by a series of interconnected struts or stanchions.
MONOPOLE TOWER
A freestanding tower consisting of a single pole.
PAGING SERVICE
A numeric, text and voice messaging service.
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
Radio telecommunication services that encompass mobile and ancillary fixed communications operating at 1.8 to 2.1 GHz that provide services to individuals and businesses and can be integrated with a variety of competing networks.
SPECIALIZED MOBILE RADIO SERVICES
A radio communication system in which licensees provide land mobile communication services in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands on a commercial basis to entities eligible to be licensed under 47 CFR 90, federal government entities and individuals.
STEALTH TECHNIQUE
A method or methods that would hide or conceal an antenna, supporting electrical or mechanical equipment, or any other support structure that is identical to or closely compatible with the color or appearance of the support structure so as to make the antenna and related equipment as visually unobtrusive as possible.
E. 
By-right facilities.
(1) 
In order to encourage the appropriate location and collocation of telecommunication systems in the Town of Bethlehem, the following PWRT facilities shall be permitted by right:
(a) 
On monopole or lattice towers in existence prior to the date of this chapter anywhere in the Town so long as no change or alteration to the height or appearance of the existing structure is required.
(b) 
On existing structures located anywhere in the Town so long as no part of the PWRT facility exceeds the height of the existing structure and so long as no change or alteration of the height or appearance of the existing structure is required.
(2) 
Standards. A by-right PWRT facility shall meet the following additional standards and requirements:
(a) 
Towers shall not be artificially lighted.
(b) 
If an antenna is installed on a structure other than a tower, the antenna and supporting electrical and mechanical equipment shall be of a neutral color identical to or closely compatible with the color of the supporting structure.
(c) 
Except for towers constructed and in use prior to the effective date of this chapter, towers that are no longer in service as part of a PWRT facility network shall be removed within 90 days of the cessation of the use of the tower.
(d) 
The applicant shall post a security deposit or bond in an amount satisfactory to the Planning Board and in a form acceptable to the Town Attorney to assure the removal of those portions of the PWRT facility and any base station and ancillary support structures which were not in place prior to the effective date of this chapter.
(3) 
Data. An application for approval of a by-right PWRT facility shall contain the following:
(a) 
An application for construction of a PWRT facility shall contain all the information ordinarily required by the Building Inspector for the issuance of the building permit.
(b) 
An application for construction of a PWRT facility shall include a report certifying that the electromagnetic emissions from the PWRT facility will be within the threshold limits established by the Federal Communications Commission and certifying that the proposed facility will not cause interference with existing communication devices.
(c) 
Upon installation of the PWRT facility the applicant shall submit to the Building Inspector an as-built survey of the PWRT facility, including a certification as to the finished height above ground level of the structure, certified to the Town of Bethlehem by a land surveyor or professional engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York.
(d) 
Documentation of intent from the owner of the existing PWRT facility to allow collocation and shared use.
(e) 
An engineer's report certifying that the proposed shared use of an existing structure or tower will not diminish the structural integrity and safety of the existing structure or tower.
(f) 
A copy of its Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license.
F. 
Special use permit facilities. All PWRT facilities that do not meet the standards for by-right location shall be subject to the provisions of this section and shall require special use permit and site plan approval by the Planning Board pursuant to Article VII of this chapter.
[Amended 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(1) 
Siting criteria. All applications for a special use permit to construct a PWRT facility shall demonstrate a good-faith effort to locate the facility in accordance with the order of siting preference outlined in § 128-61F(1)(a) below. No PWRT facility shall be granted a special use permit unless the applicant can demonstrates and the Planning Board finds that it is not practicable to locate the proposed facility at a site having a higher order of preference than the location proposed by the applicant.
(a) 
Order of siting preference. Where practicable, PWRT facilities shall be sited and geographically located according to the following order of preference:
[1] 
On existing monopoles, lattice towers or structures, as provided at § 128-61E(1) of this chapter.
[2] 
On power and transmission towers.
[3] 
In the following order of preference, on property zoned or used for the following purposes:
[a] 
Land zoned industrial.
[b] 
Land used for agricultural purposes.
[c] 
Land zoned commercial.
[d] 
Land zoned residential.
(2) 
In addition to any other authority conferred under this chapter, the Planning Board is authorized to attach the following conditions on the granting of a special permit/site plan approval for a PWRT facility:
(a) 
Increased setback, side line and rear line requirements.
(b) 
Measures to ensure the construction of a safe and adequate access road to the facility.
(c) 
Utilization of stealth techniques to minimize the visual impact of the facility.
(d) 
Measures to secure the facility from intruders, including fences and chained entryways.
(e) 
Measures to ensure the proper maintenance and continued vitality of the plantings and landscaping done to properly screen the tower compound from adjacent properties.
(3) 
The special use permit shall expire five years from the date of approval unless an application for renewal is made, and approved, prior to the date of expiration.
(4) 
The tower and ancillary facilities shall be removed upon expiration of the special use permit, abandonment or decommissioning by the applicant.
(5) 
Collocation is required for telecommunication facilities unless:
(a) 
There are no other usable existing structures in the area for telecommunication facility services.
(b) 
Collocation cannot achieve the minimum reasonable technical needs of the proposed telecommunication facility.
(c) 
Structural or other engineering limitations, absent reasonable refurbishment, are demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence to be prohibitive.
(d) 
The telecommunication operator, after thorough and good faith efforts disclosed to the Town, is unable to secure permission from the tower or structure owner to collocate.
(6) 
The clustering of towers and structures on a common site should be considered if collocation cannot be facilitated.
(7) 
Visual appearance.
(a) 
Unless such a structure cannot achieve the applicant's purposes as disclosed in its application and supporting data, the Planning Board shall have the authority to require the applicant to furnish an alternative proposal using stealth techniques or some other alternative structure at the proposed site, rather than a conventional tower, in order to better achieve the least impact on the visual environment.
(b) 
The height of any new tower shall be the minimum required to establish and maintain adequate service, but in no event shall the height of any new tower exceed three times the maximum building height for the zoning district in which the tower is to be located as set forth in the Schedule of Area, Yard and Bulk Requirements of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Schedule of Area, Yard and Bulk Requirements is included at the end of this chapter.
(c) 
All equipment shelters and accessory structures shall be architecturally uniform and shall not exceed 12 feet in height.
(d) 
All equipment shelters used shall only be used for housing of equipment related to the particular facility on the particular site.
(8) 
Materials and colors for a proposed utility structure(s) shall be of an appearance that is compatible with any surrounding structures and/or vegetation to the maximum extent practicable and as approved by the Planning Board.
(9) 
All towers and monopoles shall be set back from all property lines, structures habitable by people on the same parcel as the tower or monopole or aboveground power lines a distance equal to 150% of the height of the tower or the minimum setback requirement for the zoning district in which the tower or monopole is located, whichever is greater. Towers may be located on lots of less than the minimum acreage for the district so long as the PWRT facility is unmanned and can meet the setback, side yard and rear yard setback requirements set forth herein.
(10) 
Location.
(a) 
No tower or monopole shall be located:
[1] 
Closer than 300 feet, on a horizontal plane, to any structure existing at the time of application which is, or is able to be, occupied or habitable on the property of any school (both public and private).
[2] 
Closer than 300 feet, on a horizontal plane, to an existing dwelling unit on a parcel other than the parcel on which the subject tower or PWRT facility is located or any day-care center, hospital, nursing home, church, synagogue, or other place of worship.
(b) 
Subject to the provisions of Subsection F(10)(a)[1] and [2] above, the Planning Board shall determine appropriate distance setbacks from any school, power line, dwelling unit or other structures, whether on or off the parcel, on which a tower or monopole shall be based. Visibility of the tower or monopole from such structures and consideration for the safety of the users or occupants of such structures in the event of the structural failure of the tower or monopole shall also be considered.
(11) 
Tower facilities shall be landscaped with a buffer of plant materials that effectively screens the view of the tower compound from adjacent properties. The standard buffer shall consist of a landscaped strip at least six feet wide outside the perimeter of the compound. The plantings shall consist of alternately spaced evergreens having a height of not less than six feet above the height of the ground elevation at the time of installation. The Planning Board may waive these landscaping requirements where the Board determines that the amount and type of existing on-site vegetation is adequate to fully screen the facility.
(12) 
Existing mature trees and natural land forms on the site shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.
(13) 
The Planning Board shall review and approve the plans for construction of any access road or driveway for the facility. A road and parking plan shall be provided to assure adequate emergency and service access. Maximum use of existing roads, public or private, shall be made, provided that said use is consistent with safety and aesthetic considerations. Road construction shall at all times minimize ground disturbance and vegetation cutting. Road grades shall closely follow natural contours to assure minimal visual disturbance and soil erosion potential. Except to the extent that the Planning Board shall determine to apply its own road criteria as the same may exist from time to time, the applicant shall adhere to the standards for unpaved forest roads set forth in New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Unpaved Forest Road Handbook, ECH-8409.11, as the same may be amended or revised from time to time.
G. 
Data. In addition to the information required by Article VII of this chapter, an application for approval under this section shall contain the following additional information:
(1) 
A photo simulation of the proposed facility as seen from the north, south, east and west from the facility. The photo simulation shall be keyed to a location map. Photographs for the photo simulation shall be taken during periods when deciduous leaf cover is minimal (i.e., during the late autumn, winter, and early spring months), and shall only be taken when there is no precipitation, fog, or more than 50% cloud cover, in order to present a worst-case scenario for visual impact assessment purposes. Prior to performing the visual test, the applicant shall meet with the Planning Board to obtain the Board's consent as to the date and time on which the visual test will be conducted and photographs for the photo simulation will be taken. The applicant shall also inform the Board as to the manner in which the visual test will be conducted (i.e., a crane test or balloon test). The Board may require the visual test to be performed on more than one day when the Board determines that additional time for the visual test is required in order to provide neighboring and nearby landowners and residents adequate time to observe the test. Notice of the test shall be published in the official newspaper at least five days prior to the date set for testing. The Planning Board may provide that the testing be further advertised in such manner as it deems most appropriate for full public notification, including the prominent placement of one or more signs on the premises that is the subject of the application notifying interested persons that a visual test will be conducted. All notices shall include the date, time and manner in which the visual test will be conducted and shall state the reason for the test.
(2) 
An application for construction of a PWRT facility shall include a report certifying that the electromagnetic emissions from the PWRT facility will not exceed the threshold limits established by the Federal Communications Commission and certifying that the proposed facility will not cause interference with existing communication services.
(3) 
A certification by a licensed professional engineer as to wind loading and the ability of the supporting structure to accommodate the facility and any additional users.
(4) 
A statement by the applicant as to all other alternative sites, including other alternative sites not owned or operated by the applicant, in any area considered and the reasons for their rejection.
(5) 
A statement by the applicant that locating the facility in a by-right location is not practical or feasible and the reasons supporting that determination.
(6) 
A graphic depicting the location of all of the applicant's existing wireless communication facilities located in or otherwise serving the Town of Bethlehem.
(7) 
A graphic depicting the geographic area to be served by the proposed facility.
(8) 
A copy of the applicant's FCC operating license.
(9) 
Upon installation of the PWRT facility the applicant shall submit to the Building Inspector an as-built survey of the facility, including a certification as to the finished height above ground level of the structure, certified to the Town of Bethlehem by a land surveyor or professional engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York.
(10) 
Documentation from an expert qualified in the field of telecommunications and radio frequency engineering showing that the tower and/or facility is needed to provide adequate coverage to an area of the Town that currently has inadequate coverage, including a sealed, graphical depiction of the inadequate coverage area.
H. 
For applications involving tower construction or modification to accommodate a PWRT facility:
(1) 
The applicant shall provide written documentation of any existing and planned facility sites in the Town of Bethlehem and within a seven-mile radius of the proposed site in which it has a legal or equitable interest, whether by ownership, leasehold or otherwise. For each such facility site, it shall demonstrate with written documentation that the facility site is not already providing, or does not have the potential to provide, adequate coverage and/or adequate capacity to the Town of Bethlehem. The documentation shall include, for each facility site listed, the exact location (in longitude and latitude, to degrees, minutes and seconds), ground elevation, height of antennas on tower or structure, output frequency, number of channels, power input and maximum power output per channel. Potential adjustments to these existing facility sites, including changes in antenna type, orientation, gain, or power output, shall be specified. Radial plots from each of these facility sites, as they exist, and with adjustments as above, shall be provided as part of the application.
(2) 
The applicant shall demonstrate with written documentation that it has examined all existing towers or structures located in the Town of Bethlehem and within a seven-mile radius of the proposed site in which the applicant has no legal or equitable interest to determine whether those existing facility sites can be used to provide adequate coverage and/or adequate capacity to the Town of Bethlehem. The documentation shall include, for each site examined, the exact location (in longitude and latitude, to degrees, minutes and seconds), ground elevation, height of tower or structure, type of antennas proposed, proposed antenna gain, height of proposed antennas on tower or structure, proposed output frequency, proposed number of channels, proposed power input and proposed maximum power output per channel. Radial plots from each of these sites shall be provided as part of the application. This report shall demonstrate good faith efforts to secure shared use from the owner of each then existing tower or structure on which a PWRT facility is then located as well as documentation of the physical, technical and/or financial reasons why shared use is not practical in each case. Written requests and responses for shared use shall be provided.
(3) 
The applicant shall demonstrate with written documentation that it has analyzed the feasibility of repeaters or non-tower-mounted PWRT facilities in conjunction with all sites listed in compliance with Subsection H(1) and (2) above to provide adequate coverage and/or adequate capacity to the Town of Bethlehem. Radial plots indicating such consideration shall be provided as part of the application.
(4) 
The applicant shall also submit a three-year build-out plan for the proposed and other sites within the Town and within adjacent towns and villages, clearly demonstrating the applicant's plan for other structures, proposed application and building dates, and justification for additional structures. Additionally, the three-year build-out plan must take into consideration known and potential changes in technology.
(5) 
An applicant for a new tower must demonstrate the structure's ability to handle additional collocators and must identify the maximum number of collocators which could be supported on the structure.
(6) 
Documentation of intent from the owner and/or lessee of the facility to allow collocation and shared use shall be provided.
I. 
Annual certification. After the issuance of a special permit, the Planning Board may condition its approval on the owner/operator of the facility certifying annually (on January 1 of each year), by an independent licensed engineer, that the facility is operating in compliance with FCC emissions standards and in compliance with the existing special permit and site plan.
J. 
Retention of experts and engineers. Should the Planning Board determine it necessary to retain the services of experts with the requisite technical expertise to assist it in the making of the determinations required by this chapter, or to perform any testing called for hereunder, it may retain such assistance and charge the cost thereof to the applicant. A deposit for the purpose of paying these expenses may be required of the applicant at the time of application for the special permit or building permit, as the case may be. If a deposit is not taken at the time of application and said costs are incurred thereafter, the applicant shall be charged for them and must pay said charges as a condition of retaining its special use permit or by-right use.

§ 128-62 Temporary shelters.

A. 
Vehicle, trailer or vessel serving as building. Any movable vehicle, trailer or dockside vessel that is used or occupied for the purpose of providing shelter to persons, animals or property shall be subject to the regulations contained in this chapter applicable to its particular use.
(1) 
Residential use. Camping trailers and recreational vehicles shall be occupied for residential purposes in campgrounds or trailer camps only. Dockside vessels may be occupied for residential purposes within a marina only. It shall be unlawful for any person to occupy a camping trailer or recreational vehicle on any lot, other than in a campground or trailer camp, for more than 30 days in any twelve-month period.
(2) 
Commercial use. Any construction office trailer shall be identified in the applicable building permit issued by the Building Inspector and shall be removed from the premises prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. Such trailer may have electric and heating capable of temporary connection to site utilities. Each construction office trailer shall be subject to the fee set forth in the current fee schedule adopted by the Town Board, which shall be due and payable at the time that an application for a certificate of occupancy is made.
(3) 
Temporary storage.
(a) 
Commercial trailers may be placed on any lot for the purpose of storage, accessory to any permitted commercial use, provided that a permit is first obtained from the Building Inspector.
(b) 
Dockside vessels may be used for the purpose of storage, accessory to any permitted commercial or industrial use, provided that a permit is obtained from the Building Inspector.
(c) 
The permit referred to in Subsection A(3)(a) and (b) above shall be valid for the length of time specified thereon not to exceed nine months. Such permit shall not be renewable. The fee for such permit shall be as set forth in the current fee schedule adopted by the Town Board.
(4) 
Permanent storage. Commercial trailers may be placed on any lot in the Rural, Heavy Industrial and Rural Light Industrial Districts for the purpose of permanent (i.e., greater than nine months) storage, accessory to any permitted nonresidential, nonagricultural use, provided that a permit is first obtained from the Building Inspector.

§ 128-63 Terraces, patios, decks, porches, bay windows and fire escapes.

A. 
Terraces and patios. A ground-level terrace or patio shall not be considered in the determination of lot coverage or the minimum setbacks to the property lines, provided that such terrace or patio is unroofed and without walls, parapets or other forms of enclosure and does not extend above the elevation of the ground on which it is located. Such terrace or patio may have an open guard railing not more than three feet in height and shall not project into any yard to a point closer than four feet to any lot line.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
B. 
Decks. A deck that is structurally supported by piers or other structural means shall be considered in the determination of the minimum setback to the property line but not in lot coverage so long as it remains uncovered.
C. 
Porches. Any open or enclosed porch shall be considered a part of the building in the determination of minimum setback to the property line or lot coverage.
D. 
Bay windows. Bay windows, including their cornices and eaves, may project into any required setback not more than three feet; provided, however, that the sum of such projections on any wall does not exceed 1/3 of the length of said wall.
E. 
Fire escapes. Open fire escapes, exit landings and exit stairs may extend into any required setback not more than four feet six inches.

§ 128-64 Vacation campgrounds.

A. 
Density. Density shall be four to eight campsites per acre as approved by the Planning Board.
B. 
Minimum lot size. The minimum lot size shall be 10 acres.
C. 
Minimum campsite area. The minimum campsite area shall be 3,000 square feet in area with a minimum average width of 30 feet.
D. 
Yard and space requirements are as follows:
(1) 
Yard requirements, campground:
(a) 
Front yard setback: 100 feet.
(b) 
Side yard setback: 50 feet.
(c) 
Rear yard setback: 100 feet.
(2) 
Highway frontage: 200 feet.
(3) 
No camping space shall be within 50 feet of any property line or within 100 feet of any watercourse which is part of any public water supply system.
E. 
Minimum spacing between campsite pads: 80 feet extremity to extremity.
F. 
Water supply. The site shall be serviced by a municipal or private water system. A minimum rate of 200 gallons per day per site shall be provided at a minimum pressure of 20 pounds per square inch at peak demand. An adequate supply of potable water shall be provided within 250 feet of all campsites. One water spigot with a soakage pit or other disposal facilities shall be provided for each 10 campsites without individual water facilities. Other water sources supplied to toilets and urinals shall not be physically connected with the drinking supply or be available for public use.
G. 
Sewage disposal. The site shall be provided with a municipal or approved private sanitary sewage disposal system. Only flush toilets shall be provided.
H. 
Lavatories or other hand-washing facilities shall be provided at a ratio of one for each 15 sites (without water and sewage hookups) for each gender.
I. 
At least one travel trailer sanitary dumping station shall be provided for every 100 campsites or less.
J. 
Sewage treatment facility. The design shall be based on the water supply design flow, plus infiltration, and approved by the County Health Department.
K. 
Solid waste disposal. The owner of a campground shall provide for the collection of refuse and garbage daily and shall also conveniently locate flytight refuse containers on each campsite. Refuse containers shall be cleaned, covered and maintained as often as may be necessary to prevent the breeding of insects and attracting of vermin.
L. 
Vehicular access. Sight distances at the entrance and exit must be in compliance with all appropriate Town, county and state regulations.
M. 
Campground stores. Campground stores are permitted to be located within the campground site and may be part of the office.
N. 
Ancillary facilities. Plans for ancillary facilities, such as stores, offices, swimming pools, service buildings, etc., shall be submitted to the Planning Board for site plan approval along with the overall development.
O. 
Landscaping. The entire site except for areas covered by structures or service or parking areas shall be suitably landscaped. All landscaping shall be approved by the Planning Board and properly maintained after planting.
P. 
Screening. All campground sites shall be screened from the view of adjacent properties and adjoining public highways by means of an opaque screen of plant materials and/or fencing. All screening shall be approved by the Planning Board, properly maintained after placement and located within the required front, rear and side yards.
Q. 
Resident manager. No permanent structures shall be permitted for use as living quarters, with the exception of those of the resident manager or property owner. The resident manager or a caretaker shall reside on the premises.
R. 
Annual period of closing. The campground must close annually from December 15 to March 15. Any habitable structures or vehicles, other than those of the owner/caretaker, must be locked and made unavailable for occupancy during that time period. Occupancy by an individual or group of individuals in any form of permitted temporary, movable or portable shelter shall be for a period of not longer than 120 days in any twelve-month period.
S. 
Recreational facilities. Recreational facilities, such as swimming pools, beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, and camp recreational facilities, shall be for campsite guests only.
T. 
Fire protection. The property owner shall ensure that adequate fire protection equipment is on the premises at all times, as required by the New York State Fire Code.
U. 
Public phone. Each campground shall have at least one public telephone.

§ 128-65 Senior citizen housing.

The following regulations shall apply to any application requesting approval of senior citizen housing:
A. 
Senior citizen housing shall be arranged as individual dwelling units for occupancy by senior citizens and their families. Senior citizen dwellings may be located in structures having one, two, three, four or multiple dwelling units.
B. 
Accessory uses, including buildings and facilities, which are reasonably necessary to meet the proper maintenance, administration, security, off-street parking, storage, fencing and utility system needs of the development are permitted. In addition, the following accessory uses are permitted, provided that such facilities are restricted in their use to residents of the development and their guests:
(1) 
Meeting rooms, multipurpose rooms, lounges, lobby areas or other similar common spaces.
(2) 
Game rooms, art and craft rooms, workshops, jacuzzis, exercise rooms, libraries or other similar indoor recreation or leisure facilities.
(3) 
Outdoor sitting areas, game areas, walking trails or other similar outdoor recreation or leisure facilities.
C. 
The following accessory uses are permitted, provided that such facilities are managed as part of the building or complex of buildings and restricted in their use to residents of the building or building complex and their guests, and further provided that there are no external advertising signs for such facilities:
(1) 
A common kitchen and dining room.
(2) 
A beauty and/or barber shop, provided that the maximum floor area devoted to such use is no more than 250 square feet.
(3) 
A self-service laundry.
(4) 
A convenience shop for daily needs such as food items, prescription and nonprescription drugs, newspapers and small household items and similar items, provided that the maximum floor area devoted to such use is no more than 400 square feet.
(5) 
A coin-operated vending machine room, provided that the maximum floor area devoted to such use is no more than 250 square feet.
(6) 
Office space for a doctor, medical infirmary or clinic and/or social service delivery.
D. 
Occupancy restrictions. Occupancy of dwelling units within a senior citizen housing project shall be for residential purposes only. Occupancy restrictions shall be the subject of restrictive covenants of record that are enforceable by the Town. Occupancy shall be limited to elderly families as defined and described below. The Planning Board shall require the project sponsor to file such covenants, deed restrictions, or other encumbrances deemed necessary to comply with the occupancy provisions of this section, which conditions shall be met prior to the issuance of a building permit for such housing.
E. 
Elderly family defined. Notwithstanding the definition of "family" found in § 128-22 of this chapter, for purposes of this section an elderly family shall consist of:
(1) 
A single person 55 years of age or older;
(2) 
Two or three persons, all of whom are 55 years of age or older;
(3) 
A married couple, the husband or wife of which is 55 years of age or older;
(4) 
One child residing with a parent who is 55 years of age or older, provided that said child is over the age of 18;
(5) 
The surviving spouse of a person 55 years of age or older, provided that the surviving spouse was duly registered as a resident of the development at the time of the elderly person's death; or
(6) 
One adult, 18 years of age or older, residing with a person who is 55 years of age or older, provided that said adult is essential to the long-term care of the elderly person as certified by a physician duly licensed in New York State.
F. 
Temporary occupancy. The surviving child of a person 55 years of age or older may continue to reside in the development for a period of six months following the death of the elderly or physically handicapped person, provided that said child was duly registered as a resident of the development at the time of the elderly or physically handicapped person's death.
G. 
Guests. Temporary occupancy by guests of families who reside in a senior citizen multifamily dwelling project shall be permitted, provided that such occupancy does not exceed 30 days in any calendar year. The time limits as specified in this subsection shall not apply in instances where temporary occupancy exceeding 30 days is required in the public interest. Guests staying overnight shall be required to register their temporary occupancy with the project manager or building superintendent.
H. 
Exceptions. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, one unit in a senior citizen dwelling project may be occupied by a building superintendent or project manager and his/her family.
I. 
Parking ratio. Parking spaces shall be provided at the ratio indicated in the Schedule of Off-Street Parking found at § 128-56H of this chapter. If the Planning Board finds that compliance with the off-street parking requirements will not be necessary for the anticipated use of the site, the Board may reduce the amount of parking required to be constructed, provided that sufficient usable land is set aside to satisfy the parking requirements in the future should the need for such additional parking arise. The Planning Board shall, as a condition of any approval granted, retain the right to require the owner of the property to construct such additional parking whenever it finds that such parking is needed.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
J. 
Outdoor recreation. Usable outdoor recreation space shall be provided at the ratio of 50 square feet per dwelling unit. Such space shall consist of both active and passive recreation amenities, such as patio areas, shaded sitting areas, and walking or jogging trails.

§ 128-66 Driveway construction.

A. 
Driveways over 100 feet in length shall be constructed in accordance with Town specifications.
(1) 
Minimum width of driveway shall be 11 feet.
(2) 
All turns in the driveway shall have turning radii, or widened width, to accommodate emergency vehicles.
(3) 
Driveway grades shall not exceed 10%.
(4) 
Construction of driveway shall be in accordance with Town Highway Specifications and accommodate emergency vehicle loadings for the soil conditions present. Asphalt surfacing is optional; however, the driveway must be paved from the edge of existing roadway pavement to the limits of the public road right-of-way.
(5) 
When necessary, adequately designed driveway culverts shall be installed in all driveways to accommodate local drainage patterns.
(6) 
A placard identifying the house number of the residence shall be installed, adjacent to the driveway, at the public road right-of-way line. The numerals shall not be less than four inches in size.
B. 
Driveways over 200 feet in length shall be constructed in accordance with Town specifications.
(1) 
Refer to specifications outlined in Subsection A for driveways over 100 feet.
(2) 
A water meter pit shall be installed by the property owner. It shall be located adjacent to and outside of the public road right-of-way. All water meters are radio read meters and are furnished and installed by the Town.

§ 128-67 Route 9W Corridor design guidelines.

[Added 2-8-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
A. 
Route 9W Corridor defined. The Route 9W Corridor is herein defined as all that land area located within the Town of Bethlehem and lying within 2,500 feet of the center line of U.S. Route 9W.
B. 
Applicability. The design guidelines contained in this section shall apply to the Route 9W Corridor. In reviewing any zoning or development application in the Route 9W Corridor, including, but not limited to, applications for site plan approval, special permit approval, subdivision approval, establishment of a planned development district (PDD), district plan approval within a PDD, approval of a development master plan within a Mixed Economic Development District and any other zoning or development application within the jurisdiction of the Town Board and/or Planning Board of the Town of Bethlehem, said Town Board and/or Planning Board shall consider the guidelines contained in this section and shall apply to the application those guidelines its deems appropriate given the location, scope and magnitude of the development project, environmental conditions in the vicinity of the project site, and the individual characteristics of the application. In determining the applicability of any guideline to a specific development project, the Town Board and/or Planning Board, as the case may be, shall be guided by the recommendations contained in the document titled "US 9W Corridor Transportation Planning Assessment, Advancing the Town of Bethlehem's Comprehensive Plan and Economic Development Goals," prepared by Wilbur Smith Associates, dated December 2008, as amended, and hereinafter referred to as the "Route 9W Corridor Study."
C. 
Terms defined. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated below:
AASHTO
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
CDTA
Capital District Transportation Authority.
CDTC
Capital District Transportation Committee.
ITE
Institute of Transportation Engineers.
NYSDOT
New York State Department of Transportation.
TRB
Transportation Research Board.
D. 
Design guidelines. The following design guidelines shall be considered by the Town Board and/or Planning Board in its review of zoning, subdivision, site plan, special permit and/or other development applications in the Route 9W Corridor.
(1) 
Notwithstanding the setback requirements for front yard and side yard found elsewhere in this chapter, buildings, accessory structures, parking lots and other accessory uses should be set back a sufficient distance from the US Route 9W right-of-way to accommodate future highway improvements, including, but not limited to, widening of the right-of-way for installation of a center median, additional travel lanes, turn lanes, shoulders/bike lanes, sidewalks, and planting strips at locations as outlined in the Route 9W Corridor Study.
(2) 
Notwithstanding the setback requirements for front yard and side yard found elsewhere in this chapter, buildings, accessory structures, parking lots and other accessory uses should be located so as not to preclude or have a significant adverse affect on future development of roundabouts at the following intersections:
(a) 
US Route 9W and NYS Route 32.
(b) 
US Route 9W and Bethlehem Town Center driveways.
(c) 
US Route 9W and Bender Lane.
(d) 
US Route 9W and Town Squire driveway.
(e) 
US Route 9W and Feura Bush Road/Glenmont Road.
(f) 
US Route 9W and Beacon Road.
(g) 
US Route 9W and Wemple Road.
(h) 
US Route 9W and Jericho Road.
(i) 
US Route 9W and Creble Road.
(3) 
New development projects and projects that entail substantial redevelopment of an existing land use should be designed to share driveway access with, and provide vehicular interconnections to, adjoining properties.
(4) 
Prior to approval of any development plan showing direct driveway access to US Route 9W, the applicant and reviewing agency should explore the potential for consolidating driveways, providing vehicular interconnections and obtaining shared access with adjoining properties.
(5) 
Driveways providing direct vehicular access to US Route 9W should be limited to right-in / right-out only, except at signalized intersections or where provisions are made to allow shared access from adjoining properties to the driveway.
(6) 
Driveway access to US Route 9W should be limited to a maximum of one cub cut per property unless a traffic study demonstrates that additional curb cuts will be beneficial in minimizing traffic congestion along the roadway or in improving traffic safety.
(7) 
Driveways should only be placed along US Route 9W at locations that provide adequate sight distance as per standards recommended by AASHTO, ITE, NYSDOT, and/or TRB.
(8) 
To the extent practicable, driveway spacing along US Route 9W should conform to guidelines as suggested in the "Access Management Manual" (2003), prepared by the TRB and/or the "Suggested Minimum Driveway Spacing Guidelines for Capital District Arterials" (1997) prepared by CDTC.
(9) 
Where opportunities exist for expansion of transit service in the Route 9W Corridor, larger-scale development projects should be designed and laid out to accommodate public transportation service and to facilitate bus access and circulation through the site. This is of particular relevance in the northern section of the Corridor, where opportunities may exist for future routing of transit service though undeveloped properties as outlined in the Route 9W Study.
(10) 
Development projects should be designed and laid out to accommodate and provide appropriate facilities for pedestrian and bicycle circulation within the site, and to provide connectivity of such facilities to adjoining properties and facilities within the US Route 9W right-of-way, including connectivity to existing or future transit stops.
(11) 
To the extent practicable, sidewalks should be provided along US Route 9W frontage and along the frontage of select intersecting streets at locations as outlined in the Route 9W Corridor Study. Said intersecting streets include, but are not limited to, Feura Bush Road, Glenmont Road, Beacon Road, Wemple Road, Jericho Road, Elm Avenue East, and NYS Route 396.
(12) 
To the extent practicable, the installation of bike lanes and expanded shoulders should be provided along US Route 9W at locations as outlined in the Route 9W Corridor Study.
(13) 
Development projects should be designed with a minimum twenty-foot-deep landscaping strip along the US Route 9W right-of-way. Said landscape strip should be designed to contain street trees and other landscape material of such size and spacing so as to enhance the visual environment along US Route 9W and provide a unifying streetscape element to the Corridor.
(14) 
New development projects should be designed and laid out so as not to preclude the future implementation of new roadway, bicycle and pedestrian facilities recommendations as outlined in the Route 9W Study. These recommendations include but are not limited to the provision of:
(a) 
A second means of vehicular ingress/egress to Magee Drive;
(b) 
A connecting road between the Glenmont Plaza and Town Squire driveways;
(c) 
A north-south connecting road between Wemple Road and Creble Road;
(d) 
An eastward extension of Jericho Road;
(e) 
A realigned Clapper Road and New York State Thruway interchange;
(f) 
An off-road shared-use path connecting Maple Avenue to Becker Elementary School.

§ 128-67.1 Delaware Avenue Hamlet Overlay District.

[Added 3-11-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015]
A. 
Purpose. The Delaware Avenue Hamlet Overlay District is based on the recommendations identified in the Delaware Avenue Hamlet Enhancement Study. The Delaware Avenue Hamlet area of the Town is considered the Town's "main street" and "downtown" area. The Hamlet is located along a major road corridor, New York State Route 443 (Delaware Avenue), and major intersection of Kenwood Avenue (New York State Route 140) and Delaware Avenue and contains small-scale businesses and essential services in close proximity to residences. The area allows and encourages the development of mixed-use buildings: first-floor commercial use and second-floor residential use. Transportation options consists of pedestrian-friendly access along street fronts, on-street parking, access to municipal parking lots, and access to public transit. A walkable, pedestrian-friendly environment is encouraged.
B. 
Applicability. All requirements of this chapter shall apply unless otherwise modified herein by this section.
C. 
Specific regulations for district.
(1) 
Front yard setback for new buildings.
(a) 
The minimum front yard setback from the highway right-of-way line shall be zero feet. The maximum front yard setback shall be the average of the prevailing setbacks of the buildings within 200 feet of either side property line, unless the Planning Board determines that placement of the building based on the average of the prevailing setbacks would detract from the aesthetics of the streetscape or site conditions restrict development of the site to meet the objectives of the Delaware Avenue Hamlet Enhancement Study.
(2) 
Off-street parking. Notwithstanding the provisions for off-street parking requirements related to the number of required parking spaces found elsewhere in this chapter:
(a) 
Buildings that are existing on the effective date of this chapter and located on a lot in the Delaware Avenue Hamlet Overlay District shall be exempt from the off-street parking requirements of this chapter. This exemption shall continue for so long as the building floor area existing on the effective date of this chapter continues or is expanded by 25% or less, unless the expansion also causes a reduction in the number of parking spaces located on the lot on the effective date of this chapter.
(b) 
Building expansions greater than a 25% increase to the existing floor area of the building located on a lot in the Delaware Avenue Hamlet Overlay District shall provide parking spaces for all uses based on a requirement of one space per 250 square feet of the gross floor area of the building expansion. The existing building located on the lot shall continue to be exempt from the off-street parking requirements, provided that there is no reduction in the number of parking spaces located on the lot, as each existed on the effective date of this chapter.
(c) 
New buildings constructed on a lot in the Delaware Avenue Hamlet Overlay District shall receive a 10% reduction from the off-street parking requirements relating to the number of parking spaces, if the lot is located within 1/4 mile walking distance of any of the following: municipal parking lot, on-street parking, or CDTA transit service. The walking distance is to be measured along the public right-of-way. New buildings in the Delaware Avenue Hamlet Overlay District not meeting this locational requirement shall comply with the off-street parking requirements of this chapter then in effect.
(3) 
Notwithstanding the dimensional requirements for off-street parking spaces found elsewhere in this chapter, the Planning Board may reduce the depth of the parking space to 18 feet when justified by site conditions.

§ 128-67.2 Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

[Added 2-24-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Purpose.
(1) 
It is the purpose of this section to encourage and promote the safe, effective and efficient use of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that reduce on-site consumption of utility-supplied energy while protecting the health, safety and welfare of adjacent and surrounding land uses and properties.
(2) 
It is the intent of this section to:
(a) 
Meet the goal of the 2005 Bethlehem Comprehensive Plan to promote energy efficiency and conservation, and the use of renewable energy in the Town;
(b) 
Support green economy innovations as adopted in the 2009 Bethlehem Climate Smart Community Resolution; and
(c) 
Support New York State in meeting its renewable energy goals established by the 2015 New York State Energy Plan as implemented through the Reforming the Energy Vision Initiative.
(3) 
Solar energy is an abundant and renewable energy resource, and its conversion to electricity will reduce our dependence on nonrenewable energy resources and decrease the greenhouse gas emissions that result from the use of conventional energy sources.
B. 
Applicability.
(1) 
This section applies to building-mounted, building-integrated and ground-mounted solar photovoltaic systems installed and constructed after the effective date of this section.
(2) 
This section also applies to any upgrade, modification or structural change that alters the physical size, electric generation capacity, location or placement of an existing solar PV system.
(3) 
Nonconforming solar PV systems. Nonconforming solar PV systems existing on the effective date of this section may be altered or expanded provided such alteration or expansion does not increase the extent or degree of nonconformity.
(4) 
Properties with approved site plan. Notwithstanding the requirements of § 128-68C(2)(e) of this chapter, for any lot that has an approved site plan, the installation of a "by-right" solar PV system on the lot shall not be considered a change to the approved site plan. This provision shall not be interpreted to exempt lots with an approved site plan from other requirements of this section.
(5) 
Prohibition. Solar PV systems attached to the side of a building are prohibited unless they are designed as a building integrated system.
C. 
Definitions. For the purpose of this section the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
BUILDING-INTEGRATED SOLAR PV SYSTEM
A solar PV system that is designed and constructed as an integral part of a principal or accessory building. Components of a building-integrated system are designed to replace or substitute for architectural or structural elements of a building and generally complement, blend with or form part of a building's architectural appearance. Such components will generally maintain a uniform plane with, and/or form a part of, the walls, window openings, roofing and/or other building elements into which they are integrated. Such a system is used in lieu of a separate solar PV system where components of the system are designed and attached to a building independent of building architecture. A building-integrated system may occur within vertical facades, replacing view glass, spandrel glass or other facade material; within semitransparent skylight systems; within roofing systems, replacing traditional roofing materials; or within other building envelope systems.
BUILDING-MOUNTED SOLAR PV SYSTEM
A solar PV system that is attached to the roof of a building.
GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR PV SYSTEM
A solar PV system, including its specialized solar racking or other mounting system, which is installed on the ground and not attached to any other structure.
GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR PV SYSTEM, LARGE-SCALE
A ground-mounted solar PV system that has a system capacity greater than 12kW or generates more than 110% of the kWh's of electricity consumed over the previous twelve-month period by land use(s) existing on the lot where the system is located. In applying this standard, electricity consumption shall be determined by submission of utility bills showing electric usage over said twelve-month period.
GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR PV SYSTEM, SMALL-SCALE
A ground-mounted solar PV system that is limited to a system capacity of 12kW and generates no more than 110% of the kWh's of electricity consumed over the previous twelve-month period by land use(s) existing on the lot where the system is located. In applying this standard, electricity consumption shall be determined by submission of utility bills showing electric usage over said twelve-month period.
KILOWATT (kW)
A unit of electrical power equal to 1,000 watts, which constitutes the basic unit of electrical demand. A watt is a metric measurement of power (not energy) and is the rate (not the duration) at which electricity is used; 1,000 kW is equal to one megawatt (MW).
KILOWATT-HOUR (kWH)
A unit of energy equivalent to one kilowatt of power expended for one hour of time.
LOT COVERAGE
Notwithstanding the definition of lot coverage found elsewhere in this chapter, for the purpose of this section lot coverage shall also include the area covered by a solar panel (or physically connected group of panels) as measured on a horizontal plane projected from the perimeter of said panel (or group of panels) vertically to the ground. For panels where the tilt angle is adjusted by week, month, season or other time period, lot coverage shall be determined by the tilt angle producing the greatest lot coverage.
NET METER
A meter used to measure the flow of electricity from the solar PV system to the electric utility grid for the purposes of net metering.
REMOTE NET METERING
An arrangement with the electric utility that allows for the kilowatt hours (kWh) generated from a solar PV system located at a specific site to be credited towards kWh of consumption at a different location.
SOLAR ARRAY
Any number of electrically connected solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that are connected to the same inverter.
SOLAR PANEL
A large, flat piece of equipment containing photovoltaic cells that use the sun's light or heat to create electricity.
SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) SYSTEM
A solar energy collection system consisting of solar photovoltaic cells, panels and/or arrays, and solar-related equipment, which rely upon solar radiation as an energy source for collection, inversion, storage and distribution of solar energy for electricity generation. A solar PV system may be building-mounted, ground-mounted or building-integrated.
D. 
Facilities permitted by right.
(1) 
By-right solar PV systems. In order to encourage use of solar PV systems in the Town of Bethlehem, the following systems shall be permitted by right in any zoning district in the Town, provided the system is generating electricity only for the land use(s) located on the same lot as the system, and further provided that the system meets the standards for by-right systems identified in § 128-67.2D(2) below. By-right systems require a building permit.
(a) 
Building-integrated solar PV systems. Building-integrated solar PV systems are permitted to face any rear, side and front yard area.
(b) 
Building-mounted solar PV systems. Building-mounted solar PV systems are permitted to face any rear, side and front yard area.
(2) 
Standards for by-right systems.
(a) 
Accessory use. By-right solar PV systems shall be considered an accessory use.
(b) 
Maximum system size. By-right solar PV systems shall be limited to a system capacity of 12kW and shall generate no more than 110% of the kWh's of electricity consumed over the previous twelve-month period by land use(s) existing on the lot where the system is located. In applying this standard, electricity consumption shall be determined by submission of utility bills showing electric usage over said twelve-month period.
(c) 
By-right facilities shall comply with all applicable New York State Building Codes.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 53, Building Construction and Fire Prevention Administration.
(d) 
Building-mounted solar PV systems.
[1] 
For a building-mounted system installed on a sloped roof:
[a] 
The highest point of the system shall not exceed the highest point of the roof to which it is attached.
[b] 
Solar panels shall be parallel to the roof surface, or tilted with no more than an eighteen-inch gap between the module frame and the roof surface.
[2] 
For a building-mounted system installed on a flat roof, the highest point of the system shall not extend more than five feet above the height of the roof.
[3] 
For a building-mounted system, solar panels shall be set back no less than three feet from the edge of the roof to allow for fire access and ventilation. On sloped roofs, this requirement does not apply along that portion of the bottom edge located more than three feet from a side edge. In the event New York State shall adopt regulations that govern the placement of roof-mounted solar panels for fire prevention purposes, said regulations shall supersede this setback provision.
E. 
Facilities requiring a special use permit.
(1) 
Solar PV systems requiring a special use permit. Except as provided in § 128-67.2D, Facilities permitted by right, preceding, no solar PV system shall be constructed or installed without first obtaining a special use permit and site plan approval from the Planning Board pursuant to Article VII of this chapter. In addition, all solar PV systems shall require a building permit. Solar PV systems requiring a special use permit and site plan approval shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) 
Ground-mounted solar PV systems.
(b) 
Building-mounted and building-integrated solar PV systems that have a system capacity greater than 12kW or generate more than 110% of the kWh's of electricity consumed over the previous twelve-month period by land use(s) existing on the lot where the system is located. In applying this standard, electricity consumption shall be determined by submission of utility bills showing electric usage over said twelve-month period.
(c) 
Solar PV systems, regardless of size, that generate and provide electricity, through a remote net-metering agreement or other arrangement, to an off-site user or users located on a lot(s) other than the lot on which the system is located.
(d) 
Solar PV systems, regardless of size, mounted on carports or canopy structures covering parking facilities.
(2) 
Classification: Solar PV systems requiring a special use permit may be classified as either an accessory use or a principal use as set forth below.
(a) 
Principal use. A solar PV system constructed on a lot and providing electricity to an off-site user or users through a remote net-metering agreement or other arrangement, shall be considered a principal use. All ground-mounted solar PV systems that are classified as a principal use shall adhere to the area, yard and bulk requirements of the zoning district in which the system is located, unless modified herein by § 128-67.2E(3) below.
(b) 
Accessory use/accessory structure. A solar PV system shall be considered an accessory use/accessory structure when generating electricity for the sole consumption of a principal use(s) or building(s) located on the same lot as the system. Notwithstanding the location and maximum coverage provisions for accessory uses/accessory structures found elsewhere in this chapter, all large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems that are classified as an accessory use/accessory structure shall adhere to the minimum area, yard and bulk requirements for principal uses within the zoning district in which the system is located, unless modified herein by § 128-67.2E(3) below.
(3) 
Standards for facilities requiring a special use permit.
(a) 
Small-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems as accessory use. Notwithstanding the location and height standards for accessory structures and accessory uses found elsewhere in this chapter, the following height, location and minimum yard/setback standards shall apply to small-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems that are classified as an accessory use:
[1] 
Location. Small-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems may be located within the side or rear yard. Location in a front yard is prohibited, including location in any front yard of a corner lot.
[2] 
Rear and side yard. Small-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems shall be permitted in a required minimum side yard or rear yard setback, provided that such system shall be set back not less than 10 feet from any rear or side lot line.
[3] 
Height. Small-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems shall not exceed a height of 12 feet.
[4] 
Lot coverage. Small-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems shall comply with the lot coverage requirements as defined in §§ 128-67.2C and 128-22 of this chapter.
(b) 
Large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems and ground-mounted systems classified as a principal use.
[1] 
Setbacks. Large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems are subject to the minimum yard and setback requirements for the zoning district in which the system is located. No part of a ground-mounted system shall extend into the required yards and/or setbacks due to a tracking system or short-term or seasonal adjustment in the location, position or orientation of solar PV-related equipment or parts.
[2] 
Setback to residential district. If a large-scale ground-mounted solar PV system is located on a lot that adjoins a residential district, an additional setback shall be provided between the residential district and all site improvements associated with the system. The additional setbacks are intended to provide a visual buffer between the residential district and ground-mounted system. The additional setback, as well as the minimum setback area, shall be planted with a mixture of evergreen and deciduous plantings at a height so as to provide, as much as practicable, a visual screen of the ground-mounted system from residential uses. The species type, location and planted height of such landscaping shall be subject to the approval of the Planning Board.
[a] 
Large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems located in a residential district shall be set back an additional 120 feet from the minimum yard setback along all property lines that abut a lot located in a residential district. This additional setback dimension shall also apply to the front yard setback when the lot on the opposite side of the street is located in a residential district.
[b] 
Large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems located in commercial and mixed-use districts shall be set back an additional 110 feet from the minimum yard setback along all property lines that abut a lot located in a residential district. This additional setback dimension shall also apply to the front yard setback when the lot on the opposite side of the street is located in a residential district.
[3] 
Utility connections. Utility lines and connections from a large-scale ground-mounted solar PV system shall be installed underground, unless otherwise determined by the Planning Board for reasons that may include poor soil conditions, topography of the site, and requirements of the utility provider. Electrical transformers for utility interconnections may be above ground if required by the utility provider.
[4] 
Fences. Notwithstanding the provisions found in § 128-47 of this chapter, fences not exceeding eight feet in height, including open-weave chain-link fences and solid fences, shall be permitted for the purpose of screening or enclosing a large-scale ground-mounted solar PV system regardless of the district in which the system is located, provided said system is classified as a principal use. In instances where the provisions of § 128-47 would allow a fence greater than eight feet in height, the less restrictive provision shall apply.
[5] 
Barbed wire. Notwithstanding provisions for barbed wire found in § 128-47B(6)(b) of this chapter, fences intended to enclose a large-scale ground-mounted solar PV system may contain barbed wire canted out.
[6] 
Height. Large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems may not exceed 12 feet in height.
[7] 
Minimum lot size. Large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems shall adhere to the minimum lot size requirements for the zoning district in which the system is located, except that for residential districts, the minimum lot size shall be one acre.
[8] 
Lot coverage requirements. Large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems shall adhere to the maximum lot coverage requirement for principal uses within the zoning district in which they are located. The lot coverage of a large-scale ground-mounted solar PV system shall be calculated based on the definition of lot coverage found at §§ 128-67.2C and 128-22 of this chapter.
[9] 
Signs. Large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems classified as a principal use shall adhere to the sign requirements for the zoning district in which they are located.
[10] 
Location in front yard prohibited. Notwithstanding the requirements regulating location of accessory structures found elsewhere in this chapter, large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems classified as an accessory use shall be prohibited in a front yard, including location in any front yard of a corner lot.
(c) 
Building-mounted solar PV systems.
[1] 
For a building-mounted system installed on a sloped roof:
[a] 
The highest point of the system shall not exceed the highest point of the roof to which it is attached.
[b] 
Solar panels shall be parallel to the roof surface, or tilted with no more than an eighteen-inch gap between the module frame and the roof surface.
[2] 
For a building-mounted system installed on a flat roof, the highest point of the system shall not extend more than five feet above the height of the roof.
[3] 
For a building-mounted system, solar panels shall be set back no less than three feet from the edge of the roof to allow for fire access and ventilation. On sloped roofs, this requirement does not apply along that portion of the bottom edge located more than three feet from a side edge. In the event New York State shall adopt regulations that govern the placement of roof-mounted solar panels for fire prevention purposes, said regulations shall supersede this setback provision.
F. 
Placement on nonconforming buildings. Notwithstanding the area, lot and bulk requirements of this chapter, building-mounted and building-integrated solar PV systems may be installed:
(1) 
On the roof of a nonconforming building that exceeds the maximum height restriction, provided the building-mounted system does not extend above the peak or highest point of the roof to which it is mounted.
(2) 
On a building that does not meet the minimum setback or yard requirements, provided there is no increase in the extent or degree of nonconformity with said requirement.
(3) 
On a building that exceeds the maximum lot coverage requirements, provided there is no increase in the extent or degree of nonconformity with said requirement.
G. 
Abandonment and decommissioning.
(1) 
Applicability and purpose. This section governing abandonment and decommissioning shall apply to large-scale ground-mounted solar PV systems with a rated capacity of 200 kW or more, hereinafter referred to as "commercial solar PV systems." It is the purpose of this section to provide for the safety, health, protection and general welfare of persons and property in the Town of Bethlehem by requiring abandoned commercial solar PV systems to be removed pursuant to a decommissioning plan. The anticipated useful life of such systems, as well as the volatility of the recently emerging solar industry where multiple solar companies have filed for bankruptcy, closed or been acquired creates an environment for systems to be abandoned, thereby creating a negative visual impact on the Town. Abandoned commercial systems may become unsafe by reason of their energy-producing capabilities and serve as an attractive nuisance.
(2) 
Abandonment. A commercial solar PV system shall be deemed abandoned if the system fails to generate and transmit electricity at a rate of more than 10% of its rated capacity over a continuous period of one year. A commercial solar PV system also shall be deemed abandoned if following site plan approval initial construction of the system has commenced and is not completed within 18 months of issuance of the first building permit for the project.
(a) 
Extension of time. The time at which a commercial solar PV system shall be deemed abandoned may be extended by the Planning Board for one additional period of one year, provided the system owner presents to the Board a viable plan outlining the steps and schedules for placing the system in service or back in service, at no less than 80% of its rated capacity, within the time period of the extension. An application for an extension of time shall be made to the Planning Board by the commercial solar PV system owner prior to abandonment as defined herein. Extenuating circumstances as to why the commercial solar PV system has not been operating or why construction has not been completed may be considered by the Board in determining whether to grant an extension.
(3) 
Removal required. A commercial solar PV system which has been abandoned shall be decommissioned and removed. The commercial solar PV system owner and/or owner of the land upon which the system is located shall be held responsible to physically remove all components of the system within one year of abandonment. Removal of the commercial solar PV system shall be in accordance with a decommissioning plan approved by the Planning Board.
(4) 
Decommissioning and removal.
(a) 
Decommissioning and removal of a commercial solar PV system shall consist of:
[1] 
Physical removal of all aboveground and below-ground equipment, structures and foundations, including but not limited to all solar arrays, buildings, security barriers, fences, electric transmission lines and components, roadways and other physical improvements to the site;
[2] 
Disposal of all solid and hazardous waste in accordance with local, state and federal waste disposal regulations;
[3] 
Restoration of the ground surface and soil;
[4] 
Stabilization and revegetation of the site with native seed mixes and/or plant species (excluding invasive species) to minimize erosion.
(b) 
Upon petition to the Planning Board, the Board may permit the system owner and/or landowner to leave certain underground or aboveground improvements in place, provided the owner can show that such improvements are part of a plan to redevelop the site, are not detrimental to such redevelopment and do not adversely affect community character or the environment.
(5) 
Special use permit conditions. The following conditions shall apply to all special use permits issued for a commercial solar PV system. No special use permit shall be issued unless the Planning Board finds that the conditions have been or will be met.
(a) 
Decommissioning plan. All applications for a commercial solar PV system shall be accompanied by a decommissioning plan to be implemented upon abandonment and/or in conjunction with removal of the system. The decommissioning plan shall address those items listed in § 128.67.2G(4) above and include:
[1] 
An estimate of the anticipated operational life of the system;
[2] 
Identification of the party responsible for decommissioning;
[3] 
Description of any agreement with the landowner regarding decommissioning;
[4] 
A schedule showing the time frame over which decommissioning will occur and for completion of site restoration work;
[5] 
A cost estimate prepared by a qualified professional engineer, estimating the full cost of decommissioning and removal of the solar PV system;
[6] 
A financial plan to ensure that financial resources will be available to fully decommission the site.
(b) 
Financial surety. Prior to the issuance of a building permit and every three years thereafter, the commercial solar PV system owner and/or landowner shall file with the Town evidence of financial security to provide for the full cost of decommissioning and removal of the solar PV system in the event the system is not removed by the system owner and/or landowner. Evidence of financial security shall be in effect throughout the life of the system and shall be in the form of an irrevocable letter of credit or other security acceptable to the Planning Board. The irrevocable letter of credit shall include an auto extension provision, to be issued by an A-rated institution solely for the benefit of the Town. The Town shall be entitled to draw on the letter of credit in the event that the commercial solar PV system owner and/or landowner is unable or unwilling to commence decommissioning activities within the time periods specified herein. No other parties, including the owner and/or landowner shall have the ability to demand payment under the letter of credit. Upon completion of decommissioning, the owner and/or landowner may petition the Town to terminate the letter of credit. In the event ownership of the system is transferred to another party, the new owner (transferee) shall file evidence of financial security with the Town at the time of transfer, and every three years thereafter, as provided herein.
[1] 
Amount. The amount of the surety shall be determined by the Town Engineer based upon a current estimate of decommissioning and removal costs as provided in the decommissioning plan and subsequent annual reports. The amount of the surety may be adjusted by the Town upon receipt of an annual report containing an updated cost estimate for decommissioning and removal.
(c) 
Annual report. The commercial solar PV system owner shall on a yearly basis provide the Town Building Inspector a report showing the rated capacity of the system and the amount of electricity that was generated by the system and transmitted to the grid over the most recent twelve-month period. The report shall also identify any change in ownership of the solar PV system and/or the land upon which the system is located and shall identify any change in the party responsible for decommissioning and removal of the system upon its abandonment. The annual report shall be submitted no later than 45 days after the end of the calendar year. Every third year, to coincide with the filing of evidence of financial security, the annual report shall also include a recalculation of the estimated full cost of decommissioning and removal of the commercial solar PV system. The Town may require an adjustment in the amount of the surety to reflect any changes in the estimated cost of decommissioning and removal. Failure to submit a report as required herein shall be considered a violation subject to the penalties of § 128-83 of this chapter.
(6) 
Decommissioning and removal by Town. If the commercial solar PV system owner and/or landowner fails to decommission and remove an abandoned facility in accordance with the requirements of this section, the Town may enter upon the property to decommission and remove the system.
(a) 
Procedure.
[1] 
Upon a determination by the Building Inspector that a commercial solar PV system has been abandoned, the Building Inspector shall notify the system owner, landowner and permittee by certified mail: a] in the case of a facility under construction, to complete construction and installation of the facility within 180 days; or b] in the case of a fully constructed facility that is operating at a rate of less than 10% of its rated capacity, to restore operation of the facility to no less than 80% of rated capacity within 180 days, or the Town will deem the system abandoned and commence action to revoke the special use permit and require removal of the system.
[2] 
Being so notified, if the system owner, landowner and/or permittee fails to perform as directed by the Building Inspector within the one-hundred-eighty-day period, the Building Inspector shall notify the system owner, landowner and permittee, by certified mail, that the solar PV system has been deemed abandoned and the Town intends to revoke the special use permit within 60 days of mailing said notice. The notice shall also state that the permittee may appeal the Building Inspector's determination of abandonment to the Planning Board and request a hearing on the matter.
[3] 
Said appeal and request for hearing must be made and received by the Town within 20 days of mailing notice. Failure by the permittee to submit an appeal and request for hearing within the twenty-day period will result in the special use permit being deemed revoked as stated herein.
[4] 
In the event the permittee appeals the determination of the Building Inspector and requests a hearing, the Planning Board shall schedule and conduct said hearing within 60 days of receiving the appeal and request. In the event a hearing is held, the Planning Board shall determine whether the solar PV system has been abandoned, whether to continue the special use permit with conditions as may be appropriate to the facts and circumstances presented to the Board, or whether to revoke the permit and order removal of the solar PV system.
[5] 
Upon a determination by the Building Inspector or Planning Board that a special use permit has been revoked, the decommissioning plan must be implemented and the system removed within one year of having been deemed abandoned or the Town may cause the removal at the owner and/or landowner's expense. If the owner and/or landowner fails to fully implement the decommissioning plan within one year of abandonment, the Town may collect the required surety and use said funds to implement the decommissioning plan.
(7) 
Removal by Town and reimbursement of Town expenses. Any costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with any proceeding or work performed by the Town or its representatives to decommission and remove a commercial solar PV system, including legal costs and expenses, shall be reimbursed from the financial surety posted by the system owner or landowner as provided in § 128.67.2G(5)(b) herein. Any costs incurred by the Town for decommissioning and removal that are not paid for or covered by the required surety, including legal costs, shall be assessed against the property, shall become a lien and tax upon said property, shall be added to and become part of the taxes to be levied and assessed thereon, and shall be enforced and collected, with interest, by the same officer and in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time and under the same penalties as are provided by law for the collection and enforcement of real property taxes in the Town.