Town of Chatham, NY
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms or words used herein shall be interpreted as follows:
A. 
Word usage.
(1) 
The word "person" includes a firm, association, organization, partnership, trust, company or corporation, as well as an individual.
(2) 
The present tense includes the future tense; the singular number includes the plural, and the plural number includes the singular.
(3) 
The word "shall" is mandatory; the word "may" is permissive.
(4) 
The words "used or occupied" include the words "intended, designed or arranged to be used or occupied."
(5) 
The word "lot" includes the words "plot" or "parcel."
B. 
Terms defined. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONMENT
The discontinuance of use by not performing the normal functions associated with the mining operation for an eighteen-month period.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
ACCESSORY USE OR STRUCTURE
A use or structure on the same lot with and of a nature customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use or structure. Accessory uses and structures shall not be located in any required front yard, but structures 15 feet or less in height and 200 square feet or less in ground area may be located within a required side yard or rear yard, provided that such structure is not situate closer than 10 feet to any side or rear lot line.
[Amended 2-6-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997]
AFFECTED AREA
The sum of that surface area of land or land under water which is to be disturbed by the mine.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
AGRICULTURAL USE
The keeping, raising, growing, selling or otherwise maintaining of one or more livestock, cow, horse, pig, goat, sheep, duck, goose, chicken, guinea chicken and/or any other animal, bird, reptile, fish, amphibian or insect associated with farming or kept for commercial purposes. Agricultural use shall also mean the keeping, raising, growing, selling or otherwise maintaining of any plant or crop not intended for the personal consumption of the owner of the land on which same is maintained.
[Added 9-20-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007]
ANTENNA(S)
A device used in communications which receives and transmits electromagnetic waves, microwave or other electronic communication signals from or to satellites or other instruments for television, radio, data, imagery, telephone or other forms of telecommunications or broadcast.
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
ANTENNA ARRAY
One or more whips, panels, discs, or similar devices used for the transmission or reception of frequency signals, which include omnidirectional antenna (whip), directional antenna (panel), and parabolic antenna (disc) but does not include the support structure defined hereinbelow.
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION
Discharging from stacks, chimneys, exhausts, vents, ducts, openings, buildings, structures, premises, open fires, portable boilers, vehicles, processes, or any source, of any smoke, soot, fly ash, dust, cinders, dirt, noxious or obnoxious acids, fumes, oxides, gases, vapors, odors, toxic or radioactive substances, waste, particulate, solid, liquid or gaseous matter, or any other materials in such place, manner or concentration as to cause injury, detriment, nuisance or annoyance to the public, or to endanger the health, comfort, repose, safety or welfare of the public, or in such a manner as to cause or have a natural tendency to cause injury or damage to business or property.
AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR
A building other than a private or parking garage used for adjustment, painting, replacement of parts or other repair of motor vehicles or parts thereof, whether or not accessory or incidental to another use.
[Added 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 1-1999]
AUTO SERVICE STATION
Any area of land, including structures thereon, that is used or designed to be used for the supply of gasoline or oil or other fuel for the propulsion of motor vehicles and which may include facilities used or designed to be used for polishing, greasing, washing, spraying, dry cleaning or otherwise cleaning or servicing such motor vehicles. A service station is not a sales, major repair or rental agency for autos, trucks or trailers.
BED-AND-BREAKFAST
An owner-occupied dwelling unit that contains no more than five guest rooms where lodging, with or without meals, is provided for compensation.
[Added 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 1-1999]
BUILDING
Any structure for the shelter, support or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or property of any kind.
CAMOUFLAGING
The construction of facilities to house or support towers so that the towers blend readily with the landscape, neighborhood, and adjacent architectural features. Examples of camouflaging that may be used are silo and barn, windmill and simulated tree.
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
CEASE TO OPERATE/ABANDONMENT
A discontinuance of use, not performing the normal functions associated with the tower and its equipment on a continuous and ongoing basis for over 120 days, unless extended by the Zoning Board of Appeals for good cause shown.
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
COLLOCATION
The mounting of antenna(s) or other telecommunications or broadcast equipment used by two or more providers, persons, firms or corporations on the same antenna support structure, monopole or antenna tower.
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
COMMUNICATION OR BROADCAST TOWER
A structure on which antennas or other telecommunications or broadcast devices are located for television, radio, data, imagery, telephone or other forms of telecommunications.
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
COMMUNICATION OR BROADCAST TOWERS AND FACILITIES
A site development including a structure on which antennas or other telecommunications or broadcast devices are located for television, radio, data, imagery, telephone or other forms of telecommunications and all related structures and improvements necessary for the operation of said facility.
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
DRIVE-IN RESTAURANT or REFRESHMENT STAND
Any place or premises used for the sale, dispensing or serving of food, refreshments or beverages in automobiles, including those establishments where customers may serve themselves and may eat or drink the food, refreshments or beverages on the premises.
DWELLING, LIMITED MULTIFAMILY
A dwelling unit of not less than 600 square feet with a lot size of 30 square feet for each square foot of dwelling area. The number of dwelling units per structure shall not exceed four units.
DWELLING, MULTIFAMILY
A residential building designed for or occupied by three or more families with the number of families in residence not exceeding the number of dwelling units provided.
DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY
A detached residential dwelling unit other than a mobile home, designed for and occupied by one family only.
DWELLING UNIT
One room, or rooms connected together, constituting a separate, independent housekeeping establishment for owner occupancy, rental or lease, and physically separated from any other rooms or dwelling units which may be in the same structure, and containing independent cooking, sleeping and toilet facilities.
ESSENTIAL SERVICES
The erection, construction, alteration or maintenance by public utilities or municipal or other governmental agencies of underground or overhead gas, electrical, steam or water transmission, or distribution systems, including poles, wires, mains, drains, sewers, pipes, conduit cables, fire alarm boxes, police call boxes, traffic signals, hydrants, street signs and similar equipment and accessories in connection therewith, but not including buildings reasonably necessary for the furnishing of adequate service by such public utilities or municipal or other governmental agencies or for the public health or safety or general welfare.
EXCAVATION
The permanent removal of overburden and minerals, as defined herein, from the ground in the affected area.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
FACTORY-MANUFACTURED HOME
A factory-manufactured home incorporates structures or components designed for residential occupancy, constructed by a method or system of construction whereby the structure or component is wholly or in substantial part, manufactured in a manufacturing facility and is intended for permanent installation on a building site. Factory manufactured homes shall be deemed to be one- or two-family dwellings and shall be constructed and installed in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. Every factory-manufactured home or component shall bear the insignia of approval issued by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
FAMILY
One or more persons related by blood, marriage or adoption, living and cooking together, exclusive of household servants; a number of persons living together as a single housekeeping unit, although not related by blood, adoption or marriage, shall be deemed to constitute a family unit.
[Amended 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 1-1999]
FARM OR RESIDENTIAL POND
A man-made or artificially created body of water to be used for fire protection, recreation, beautification or agricultural purposes.
[Added 4-1-1993 by L.L. No. 1-1993]
GROSS LEASABLE AREA
The total floor area designed for tenant occupancy and exclusive use, including basements, mezzanines and upper floors, if any; expressed in square feet and measured from the center line of joint partitions and from outside wall faces.
HAULAGEWAY
All roads utilized for mining purposes, together with that area of land over which material is transported that are located within the permitted area.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
HOME OCCUPATION
Any occupation, business or professional activity that results in a product or service, that is conducted in whole or in part in a dwelling or residential accessory building (a building accessory to a dwelling) and that is clearly subordinate in space utilization and intensity to the residential use of the lot.
[Added 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 1-1999]
LODGING HOUSE
A building in which the rooms are rented with or without meals to three or more, but not exceeding six persons. A boarding house or a rooming house or a furnished room shall be deemed a lodging house.
LOT
A lot is a parcel of land occupied or to be occupied by only one main building and the accessory buildings or uses customarily incident to it. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a lot shall be of sufficient size to meet minimum zoning and requirements for use, coverage and area, and to provide such yards and other open spaces as are herein required. Such lot shall have frontage on an improved public street, or on an approved private street, and may consist of: a single lot of record; a portion of a lot of record; a combination of complete lots of record, or complete lots of record and portions of lots of record, or of portions of lots of record; or a parcel of land described by metes and bounds, provided that in no case of division or combination shall any residual lot or parcel be created which does not meet the requirements of this chapter.
(1) 
The distance between the midpoints of straight lines connecting the foremost points of the side lot lines in front and the rearmost points of the side lot lines in the rear.
(2) 
The distance between straight lines connecting front and rear lot lines at each side of the lot, measured across the rear of the required front yard; provided, however, that width between the lot lines of their foremost points (where they intersect with the street line) shall not be less than 80% of the required lot width, except in the case of lots on the turning circle of culs-de-sac where the 80% requirement shall not apply.
LOT OF RECORD
A lot which is part of a subdivision recorded in the office of the Columbia County Clerk, or a lot or parcel described by metes and bounds, the description of which has been so recorded.
MINE
Any excavation from which a mineral is to be produced for sale or exchange, or for commercial, industrial or municipal use; all haulageways and all equipment above, on or below the surface of the ground used in connection with such excavation, and all lands included in the life of the mine review by the DEC.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
MINERAL
Peat, topsoil, sand and gravel shall be considered minerals.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
MINING FLOATING ZONE
The area in which mining may occur within the Town's RL-1, RL-2, RL-3 and Industrial Zones and particular solely to each individual application.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
MINING OPERATION/MINING
The excavation of overburden and minerals from the earth; the preparation and processing of minerals, including any activities or processes or parts thereof for the extraction or removal of minerals from their original location and the preparation, washing, cleaning, crushing, stockpiling or other processing of minerals at the mine location so as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial, or construction use; exclusive of manufacturing processes, at the mine location; the removal of such materials through sale or exchange, or for commercial, industrial or municipal use; and the disposition of overburden, tailings and waste at the mine location.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
MINING PLAN
A description of the applicant's mining operation which shall include maps, plans, written materials and other documents as required by the Town and/or the DEC.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
MOBILE HOME
A detached unit designed for residential occupancy and capable of being transported after fabrication on streets and highways on its own wheels or on flatbed or other trailers, and arriving at the site ready for occupancy except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations and being placed on jacks or other temporary or permanent foundation and connected to utilities. Within the meaning of this chapter, a travel trailer shall not be considered a mobile home, nor shall a travel trailer be considered a dwelling unit. It is not a factory-manufactured home as defined herein.
MODULAR HOME
See "mobile homes" and "factory-manufactured homes."
MONOPOLE
Any freestanding pole that serves as a communication or broadcast tower, and upon which an antenna, or antennas or other telecommunications or broadcast equipment, is or has been located.
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL FACILITY
Any commercial facility, such as a grocery, general, newspaper or drug store or retail service establishment, intended principally to serve the hamlet in which it is located.
OPERATOR and OPERATOR THEREOF
Any person, corporation, firm, partnership or other entity conducting a mining operation as defined herein with the Town of Chatham, Columbia County, New York, and shall include any owner of land or other premises situated within the said Town who permits or consents to the use of such land or other premises by any person, corporation, firm, partnership or other entity for a mining operation unless such other person, corporation, firm, partnership or other entity is conducting the same on such premises under a lease granting him sole occupancy, use and possession of such premises for a term of at least one year and is a permittee hereunder.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
OVERBURDEN
All of the earth, vegetation and other materials which lie above or alongside a mineral deposit.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
(1) 
For purposes of this chapter, a space adequate for parking an automobile with room for opening doors on both sides, together with properly related access to a public street or alley and maneuvering room. Required off-street parking areas for three or more automobiles shall have individual spaces marked and shall be so designed, maintained and regulated that no parking or maneuvering incidental to parking shall be on any public street, walk or alley, and so that any automobile may be parked and unparked without moving another.
(2) 
For purposes of rough computation, an off-street parking space and necessary access and maneuvering room may be estimated to be 300 square feet, but off-street parking requirements will be considered to be met only when actual spaces meeting the requirements above are provided and maintained, in a manner appropriate to the circumstances of the case, and in accordance with all ordinances and regulations of the Town.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, firm, partnership or similar entity.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
PERSONAL SERVICE SHOP
An establishment primarily engaged in providing services involving the care of a person or his or her apparel, such as a barbershop or beauty parlor, shoe repair, dry cleaning, tailoring or dressmaking, optician, health club, clothing, rental shop, photographic studio and other similar services.
[Added 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 1-1999]
PLANNED BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Provides a means of clustered business expansion outside of established commercial areas without creating "strip commercial development." In effect, it creates a "floating commercial area" whose specific location is judged according to its suitability and by the criteria previously established.
RECLAMATION
The conditioning of the affected land to make it suitable for any productive use, including but not limited to the planting of forests, the planting of crops for harvest, the seeding of grass and legumes for grazing purposes, the protection and enhancement of wildlife and aquatic resources, the establishment of recreational, residential, commercial, industrial and historical sites or for other uses demonstrated to be consistent with the policy of the Town and/or the DEC.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
RECLAMATION PLAN
A description of operations to be performed by the applicant to reclaim the land to be mined over the life of the mine. The reclamation plan shall include maps, plans, the schedule for reclamation, written material and other documents as required by the Town and/or the DEC.
[Added 10-16-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2002]
RESIDENTIAL CLUSTER
A device of the law to allow flexibility of development of housing with provisions for open space for the smaller projects that would not be possible under other provisions of this chapter.
SIGN
Any devise designed to inform or attract the attention of persons not on the premises on which the sign is located; provided, however, that the following shall not be included in the application of the regulations herein:
(1) 
Signs not exceeding one square foot in area and bearing only property numbers, post box numbers, names of occupants of premises or other identification of premises not having commercial connotations.
(2) 
Flags and insignia of any government, except when displayed in connection with commercial promotion.
(3) 
Legal notices, identification, informational or directional signs erected or required by governmental bodies.
(4) 
Integral decorative or architectural features of buildings, except letters, trademarks, moving parts or moving lights.
(5) 
Signs directing and guiding traffic and parking on private property, but bearing no advertising matter.
SIGN, OFF-SITE
A sign other than an on-site sign.
SIGN, ON-SITE
A sign relating in its subject matter to the premises on which it is located, or to product, accommodations, services or activities on the premises. On-site signs do not include signs erected by the outdoor advertising industry in the conduct of the outdoor advertising business.
(1) 
For the purpose of determining number of signs, a sign shall be considered to be a single display surface or display device containing elements organized, related and composed to form a unit. Where matter is displayed in a random manner without organized relationship of elements, or where there is reasonable doubt about the relationship of elements, each element shall be considered to be a single sign.
(2) 
The surface area of a sign shall be computed as including the entire area within a regular geometric form or combinations of regular geometric forms comprising all of the display area of the sign, and including all of the elements of the matter displayed. Frames and structural members not bearing advertising matter shall not be included in computation of surface area.
SINGLE OWNERSHIP
As used in this chapter, means ownership by the same party with identical names (or combination of names) as shown on the deed.
SPECIAL PERMIT USE
A special permit use is one that would not be appropriate generally or without restriction throughout the zoning division or district but which, if controlled as to number, area, location or relation to the neighborhood, would promote the public health, safety, order, comfort, convenience, appearance, prosperity or general welfare. Such uses may be permitted in such zoning division or district as specific provision for such special permits is made in this chapter and if it is in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected with a fixed location on the ground, or attached to something having a fixed location on the ground. Among other things, structures include buildings, swimming pools, mobile homes, walls, fences and tennis courts.
[Amended 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 1-1999]
SUPPORT STRUCTURE
A structure defined and constructed specifically to support an array antenna, and may include a monopole, self-supporting (lattice) tower, guy wire support tower and other similar structures. Any device which is used to attach a tower facility to an existing building or structure shall be included in this definition.
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
SWIMMING POOL
A water recreation facility with sides sloping greater than 30°.
TOWER FACILITY or FACILITY
See "communication or broadcast towers and facilities."
[Added 4-19-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
TRAILER
Any vehicle used or so constructed as to permit its being used as a conveyance on the public streets and highways and whether licensed or not and constructed in such a manner as will permit occupancy thereof as a dwelling or sleeping place for one or more persons and not provided with a toilet and bathtub or shower and cannot readily be connected to a community sewer and water service. A trailer under this chapter shall also mean tent trailers, truck campers, vehicles converted to sleeping facilities other than a mobile home and/or what normally constitutes a permanent dwelling unit. This definition includes uses to which trailers might be put.
TRAVEL TRAILER
Any portable vehicle or structure which is designed to be transported on its own wheels; which is designed and intended to be used for temporary living quarters for travel, recreational or vacation purposes; and which may or may not include one or all of the accommodations and facilities included in a mobile home.
[Added 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 1-1999]
TRAVEL TRAILER CAMP
An assembly of travel trailers which are occupied for recreational purposes on a seasonal basis only or which are stored unoccupied wholly within enclosed structures.
[Added 7-31-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012]
VARIANCE
A variance is a relaxation of the terms of this chapter where such variance will not be contrary to the public interest and where, owing to conditions peculiar to the property and not the result of the actions of the applicant, a literal enforcement of this chapter would result in unnecessary and undue hardship.
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit A is included at the end of this chapter.