Town of Schodack, NY
Rensselaer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The planned development (PD) procedure provides a flexible land use and design regulation through the use of performance criteria so that developments may be matched with sensitivity to the unique characteristics of their site. This procedure recognizes that while the standard zoning function (use and bulk) and the subdivision function (platting and design) are appropriate for the regulations of land use in areas substantially developed, these controls represent a type of regulatory rigidity and uniformity which may be inimical to the techniques of land development contained in the planned development concept. Conventional area and density specifications set forth by other sections of this chapter are intended to be replaced by application of the planned development procedure and resulting PD-2 District, as provided for herein, to lands upon which the approved plan becomes the basis for control and development.
B. 
While flexibility in substantive regulations is encouraged, it is intended that this uniform procedure and the required conformance with the Town Comprehensive Plan and municipal service capability shall ensure the general welfare through equal treatment under the law as well as precise control of all aspects of the development as approved.
In order to distinguish Planned Development Districts created under this flexible procedure from those similarly named districts previously mapped within the Town of Schodack, those districts created hereunder shall be designated for purposes of inclusion on the Zoning Map as PD-2 Districts, with the latter designated as PD-1 Districts.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
In order to carry out the intent of this article, the application of PD shall achieve the following objectives; it shall:
A. 
Contain an adequate and integrated system of open space and recreation areas designed to tie the PD together internally and link it to the larger community.
B. 
Preserve trees, outstanding natural topography and geologic features, while preventing soil erosion and uncontrolled surface water drainage.
C. 
Preserve and integrate historically significant structures and sites into viable adaptive uses.
D. 
Use land efficiently, resulting in smaller networks of streets and utilities and thereby lower development and maintenance costs.
E. 
If residential in land use, provide a maximum choice in occupancy tenure (e.g. individual ownership, leaseholds, condominiums), type of housing (e.g., detached houses, townhouses, garden apartments), lot size and community facilities available to existing and potential Town residents.
F. 
Possess creative design and site planning of a quality that will produce a more desirable environment through improved functional relationships between buildings and uses.
G. 
Provide more convenience in the location of accessory commercial and service areas.
H. 
Provide an orderly transition of land from rural to urban uses.
I. 
Produce a development pattern in harmony with the goals and objectives of the Town.
The legislative determination to establish a Planned Development District must be based upon the following standards:
A. 
Location. A Planned Development (PD) District may be established at any location within the Town, but only if the objectives and provisions of this chapter are satisfied as determined by the Planning Board and Town Board and the PD is consistent with the spirit and intent of the Town's Comprehensive Plan.
B. 
Development area. The minimum development area required to qualify for a Planned Development District shall be five contiguous acres of land.
C. 
Ownership. The tract of land for a project may be owned, leased or controlled either by a single person or corporation or by a group of individuals or corporations. An application must be filed by the owner or jointly by the owners of all property included in the project. In the case of multiple ownership, the approved plan and its amendments shall be binding on all owners or their successors in title and interest.
D. 
Permitted uses in PD Districts. All uses within an area designated as a PD District are determined by the provisions of this article and the approved plan of the project concerned. For a PD District involving mixed uses, such as a residential development with associated service uses, the following shall apply:
(1) 
Residences may be of any variety of type and density as appropriate within the intent and objectives of this PD regulation.
(2) 
Private garages, storage spaces, recreational and community facilities shall be permitted as appropriate within the PD.
(3) 
Commercial, service and other nonresidential accessory uses may be permitted or required where such uses are scaled to serve the residents of the PD and, as necessary, the surrounding community.
(4) 
Based upon a market analysis, commercial, service, industrial and other nonresidential uses may be permitted as principal uses if integral to the design of the PD and if such uses are supportive to the PD and the community population in terms of work force, design and character and if such uses are consistent with the Town's Comprehensive Plan. Consideration shall be given to determine the appropriateness of such uses.
E. 
Intensity of land use. The density allowed within the planned development shall be determined by the approved planned development site plan or plat as established on a project-by-project basis. Clustering is encouraged to a maximum localized density equal to that allowed in the RMF District.
[Amended 2-10-2005 by L.L. No. 1-2005]
F. 
Natural and recreational open space.
(1) 
Not less than 35% of that total area of any tract developed or proposed to be developed as a PD District, exclusive of the land area used primarily for vehicular modes of transportation and accessory uses, shall remain forever as common property reserved for an open space system.
(2) 
The open space system shall be developed to provide the following:
(a) 
Passive and active recreation spaces and facilities adequate to meet under requirements based upon projected population and age distribution.
(b) 
Undeveloped open space as necessary to preserve outstanding natural features.
(c) 
Water areas to the extent appropriate for user needs.
(d) 
Such complementary structures, improvements and equipment as necessary and appropriate for the benefit and enjoyment of its users.
(3) 
The plan or plat for all planned developments shall contain or be supplemented by such material as required to establish the method by which the open space system shall be perpetuated, maintained and administered. The plan or plat and other materials shall be construed as a contract between the landowner(s) and the Town and shall be specifically noted on all deeds.
(a) 
All land held for open space shall be so designated on the plat. The plat shall additionally contain the following statement: "Open space may not be separately sold, nor shall such land be further developed or subdivided."
(b) 
The plat shall designate the use of open space, the type of maintenance to be provided and a planting plan or schedule. In designating use and maintenance, the following classes may be used:
[1] 
Lawn: a grass area with or without trees which may be used by the residents for a variety of purposes and which shall be mowed regularly to ensure a tidy appearance.
[2] 
Natural area: an area of natural vegetation undisturbed during construction or replanted; such areas may contain pathways. Meadows shall be maintained as such and not left to become weed-infested. Maintenance may be minimal but shall prevent the proliferation of weeds and undesirable plants. Litter shall be removed and streams kept in free-flowing condition.
[3] 
Recreation area: an area designated for a specific recreation use, including but not limited to tennis, swimming, shuffleboard, playfields and tot-lots. Such areas shall be maintained so as to avoid creating a hazard or nuisance and shall perpetuate the proposed use.
(c) 
Designated planting and recreation facilities within the open space areas shall be provided by the developer. A performance bond or other guaranty may be required to cover the costs of installation in accordance with this chapter.
(d) 
At the pleasure of the Town Board, any of the following methods may be used to preserve, own or maintain the open space areas: condominium, homeowners' association, dedication in fee simple, dedication of development rights or formation of a special park district. The following specific requirements are associated with each of these methods as well as any other provisions deemed necessary by the Town Board.
[1] 
Condominium. The open space may be controlled through the use of condominium agreements. All open space land shall be held as a common element. Such land shall be eligible for sale to another method of ownership permitted under this subsection, but only where there is no physical change in the open space. All plats required by this chapter shall show required open space area, whether this land is to be conveyed or not.
[2] 
Homeowners' association. The open space may be held in common ownership by a homeowners' association. This method shall, at a minimum, be subject to all of the provisions for homeowners' associations and such other provisions as may be required by the Town Board.
[3] 
Fee simple dedication. The town may, but shall not be required to, accept any portion or portions of the open space, provided that such land is freely accessible to the public, that there is no cost involved and that the town agrees to and has access to maintain such lands.
[4] 
Dedication of development rights. The town may accept, but shall not be required to accept, title to the development rights or easements to any portion or portions of open space. In such cases, the land shall remain in the ownership of the individual, condominium or homeowners' association while the development rights are held in public ownership.
[5] 
Special park district. Application must be made in a suitable form for establishment of a special park district. All cost associated with establishment of such a district shall be borne by the developer.
(e) 
In any scheme involving private ownership and maintenance of the open space system, provisions shall be made for dedication to the town and for the formation of a special park district at no cost to the town in the event that the system is not adequately maintained as determined by the Town Board.
G. 
Environmental design. A proposed plan shall demonstrate sensitivity toward and minimum disruption of the microecology of the site and its surroundings. Specifically:
(1) 
Environmental quality of surrounding lands, air and water shall not be degraded.
(2) 
Trees, groves, waterways, scenic points, historic sites and structures and other community assets shall be preserved.
(3) 
Excessive grading and clearing of topsoil, trees and natural features shall be discouraged.
(4) 
Design and construction of improvements and structures shall adequately control erosion, slippage, inundation and other environmental effects.
H. 
Utilities. Required utilities shall be provided in accordance with applicable town, county and state regulations. Among other actions, the developer shall:
(1) 
Provide water and sanitary sewage disposal facilities in accordance with Rensselaer County Health Department and New York State Health and Department of Environmental Conservation requirements.
(2) 
Make application in suitable form to the Town Board for establishment of any special utility district, as may be required, with the costs incurred in the establishment of such district(s) to be borne by the developer.
(3) 
Provide a water system and fire hydrants, as practicable, designed to meet the minimum standards of the Recommended Water System Design Standards of the Insurance Services Office of New York, Public Protection Department, with modifications as recommended by the local fire protection unit.
(4) 
Provide adequate and decorative lighting for pedestrian walkways, parking areas and streets.
I. 
Off-street parking. Off-street parking shall conform to the standards set forth within §§ 219-24, 219-25 and 219-26 of this chapter, except that the minimum number of spaces may be reduced if it can be demonstrated that a particular aspect of the PD makes such appropriate.
J. 
Refuse disposal.
(1) 
Refuse storage areas shall be conveniently located and enclosed in well-designed structures capable of keeping out vermin and animals.
(2) 
If inside storage is to be provided, the location should facilitate pickup.
K. 
Transportation.
(1) 
Nonvehicular (pedestrian and bicycle) modes shall be the primary means of transportation within the PD and to the adjacent community. There shall be a network interconnecting the PD community and linking it to recreation, commercial, community and open space facilities and to the adjacent community.
(2) 
Relationship to major transportation facilities. A PD district shall be so located as to be provided with direct access to major streets, highways or other transportation facilities so as to prevent the generation of traffic along minor streets in residential neighborhoods.
(3) 
All proposed public roads shall meet all requirements of the Town of Schodack Land Subdivision Regulations and Road Specifications and Regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 188, Subdivision of Land; and Ch. 184, Streets and Sidewalks.
L. 
Public services. A full complement of necessary urban services to accommodate the population in the planned development shall be available or provided by the developer. Consideration shall be given to the impact of the PD on the school district, the transportation system and facilities, fire protection and the local tax structure. Large-scale development in an area may have to be deferred until the town can properly service such new growth.
A. 
Whenever any planned development is proposed, before any permit for the erection of any permanent structure in such planned development shall be granted and before any subdivision plat of any part thereof may be filed in the office of the Rensselaer County Clerk, the developer or his authorized representative and the landowner(s) shall apply for and secure approval of such planned development in accordance with the procedures detailed in this Article.
B. 
The procedure generally combines the Zoning Map amendment procedure with the platting procedure of the subdivision process and is designed to establish a means for:
(1) 
A change in the existing zoning district to a Planned Development District based upon an approved sketch plan.
(2) 
Approval of a satisfactory preliminary and final site plan or plat.
A Planned Development District may only be established in accordance with the following procedure:
A. 
Prefiling conference. In order to allow the Planning Board and the developer to reach an understanding on basic concepts and design requirements prior to a detailed design and engineering investment, the applicant or his representative shall meet informally with the town's Director of Planning and Zoning and the Planning Board to discuss the proposed development prior to the formal filing of an application or preparation of a sketch plan. At this stage, the Planning Board shall notify the Town Board of the prospective proposal of a PD District.
B. 
Sketch plan.
(1) 
Based upon the concepts and design requirements developed during the prefiling conference, a sketch plan shall be submitted to the Director of Planning and Zoning at least 10 days prior to the Planning Board's regular meeting. The sketch plan shall, though, clearly show the following information:
(a) 
The location of the various uses and their areas in acres.
(b) 
The general outline of the interior road system and all existing rights-of-way and easements, whether private or public.
(c) 
A description of the various residential areas proposed, indicating for each such area the general extent, size and composition in terms of the number of dwelling units, the percentage by housing type (single-family detached, duplex, townhouse, garden apartment, etc.) and a general description of the intended market (luxury, middle-income, moderate-income, elderly, family units, etc.), plus a calculation of the residential density in dwelling units per gross acre (total area, including interior roadways) for each such area.
(d) 
The interior open space system.
(e) 
The overall drainage system.
(f) 
Principal ties to the community at large with respect to transportation, water supply, sewage disposal and other infrastructure.
(g) 
A general description of the provision of, and the demands to be placed on, other community facilities such as schools, fire and police protection.
(h) 
A location map showing uses and ownership of all abutting lands.
(i) 
Topography showing contour intervals of not more than five feet.
(j) 
A natural features overlay clearly indicating types of vegetation, soils, natural drainageways and other significant features, vistas, areas subject to flooding, areas of high erodability, etc.
(k) 
The location and proposed use of any existing structures on property, including those which are historically significant.
(2) 
In addition, the following documentation shall accompany the sketch plan:
(a) 
Evidence of how the developer's particular land use or mix of land uses meets existing community needs as noted in the form of specific studies or reports initiated by the developer or in the form of references to existing studies or reports relative to the project in question.
(b) 
Evidence that the proposal is compatible with the goals of the town's Comprehensive Plan.
(c) 
A general statement as to how any common open space is to be owned or managed.
(d) 
If the development is to be staged, a general indication of how the staging is to proceed.
(e) 
Evidence of any sort in the applicant's own behalf to demonstrate his competence to carry out the plan and his awareness of the scope of the project, both physical and financial.
C. 
Planning Board review of sketch plan.
(1) 
The Chairman of the Planning Board shall certify when all of the necessary application material outlined in this section has been presented. The Planning Board shall then submit a report to the Town Board within 60 days of such certification and furnish a copy thereof to the applicant. This report shall approve, approve with modifications or disapprove the sketch plan. If no report is rendered by the Planning Board within 60 days, the applicant may proceed as if a favorable report were given to the Town Board.
(2) 
In its review, the Planning Board may seek the advice and recommendations of a designated professional planner and initiate coordination, as appropriate, with the Rensselaer County Bureau of Planning, the County Health Department, the school district, the local fire district and any other body or agency which the Planning Board deems desirable or necessary. The Planning Board's reasonable expenses for planning, engineering or other professional consultation shall be chargeable to and reimbursable by the applicant.
(3) 
A favorable report shall contain findings that the proposal does or will, if modified as stated in such report:
(a) 
Conform to the town's Comprehensive Plan.
(b) 
Meet the intent and objectives of a planned development as stated in this Article.
(c) 
Meet the general criteria stated in this Article.
(d) 
Achieve conceptual soundness in that it meets local and area-wide needs and it conforms to accepted design principles in the proposed functional roadway and pedestrian system, land use configuration, open space system and scale of its elements, individually and to one another.
(e) 
Provide adequate physical and human protective services and utilities available or proposed to be made available in the construction of the development.
(4) 
If a plan is approved subject to modifications, such modifications shall be fully set forth in the report. If the plan is disapproved, the report shall clearly and fully state the reasons therefor.
D. 
Town Board action on sketch plan.
(1) 
Upon receipt of a report from the Planning Board either approving or approving with modifications a proposed sketch plan, the Town Board shall set a date for a public hearing for the purpose of considering PD districting for the applicant's plan in accordance with the procedures established by the Town Law or other applicable law for such rezoning. Such public hearing shall be conducted within 60 days of the receipt of a favorable report from the Planning Board.
(2) 
If the Town Board grants the PD districting, the Zoning Map[1] shall be so noted. The Town Board may, if it feels such is necessary in its exercise of the police power, impose additional requirements or conditions upon the plan for the applicant to meet which may include, but shall not be limited to, visual and acoustical screening, land use mixes, order of construction and/or occupancy, pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems, availability of sites within the area for necessary public services, protection of natural and/or historic sites and other physical or social requirements.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
(3) 
Conventional use and bulk regulations for the PD are replaced by the approved sketch plan, together with all modifications made a prerequisite for approval and all additional requirements and conditions imposed on the plan as further developed during final site plan or plat approval, in accordance with the procedures set forth in this Article.
(4) 
If no application for site plan review is submitted within the twelve-month period following the creation of the PD District, the Town Board shall consider a Zoning Map amendment and may return the zoning classification of the property to its former status.
A. 
Application for approval of a preliminary site plan or plat for a PD District shall be made to the Planning Board and shall include the following information prepared by a licensed engineer, registered architect and/or landscape architect:
(1) 
All information required for a preliminary plat under the town's Land Subdivision Regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 188, Subdivision of Land.
(2) 
All information required for preliminary site plan approval as detailed in § 219-80 of this chapter.
B. 
The Planning Board's consideration of the preliminary site plan or plat shall include but not be limited to the following considerations, as applicable:
(1) 
General criteria as set forth in § 219-93 of this Article.
(2) 
Conformity with the approved sketch plan.
(3) 
Design requirements of the town's Land Subdivision Regulations and Road Specifications and Regulations.
(4) 
Considerations for review of a preliminary site plan as detailed by § 219-81 of this chapter.
(5) 
Conformance with other specific charges of the Town Board which may have been stated in the resolution approving the PD Zoning Map amendment.
C. 
In its review, the Planning Board may consult with the Town Engineer and other town and county officials as well as representatives of appropriate federal and state agencies, including the Soil Conservation Service and the Department of Environmental Conservation. The planning and engineering consultants shall submit their reviews of the preliminary site plan within 30 days of the receipt of the same from the Planning Board. The Planning Board may require that the exterior design of all structures be performed by, or under the direction of, a registered architect whose seal shall be prominently affixed to the plans. The Planning Board may also require such additional provisions and conditions that appear necessary for the public health, safety and general welfare. The Planning Board's reasonable expenses for planning, engineering or other professional consultation shall be chargeable to and reimbursable by the applicant.
D. 
Within 45 days of the receipt of the application for preliminary site plan or plat approval by the Chairman of the Planning Board, the Planning Board shall conduct a public hearing, pursuant to applicable statute. Within 90 days of its receipt, the Planning Board shall act upon the application for preliminary site plan approval. If no decision is made by the Planning Board within the ninety-day period, the preliminary site plan shall be considered approved. The decision shall be in the form of a written statement to the applicant stating whether or not the preliminary site plan is approved, approved with modification or disapproved. A copy of the appropriate minutes of the Planning Board shall be a sufficient report, and if approval with or without modifications is granted, the report should specify the drawings, specifications and forms of performance bonds that must accompany an application for final approval.
E. 
The Planning Board's statement may be that of approval, approval with modifications or disapproval and, as such, should include recommendations concerning desirable revisions to be incorporated in the final site plan, conformance with which shall be considered a prerequisite of full approval. Such recommendation shall be limited, however, to siting and dimensional details within general use areas and shall not significantly alter the sketch plan as it was approved in the rezoning to PD.
F. 
If the preliminary site plan is disapproved, the Planning Board's statement shall contain the reasons for such findings. In such a case, the Planning Board may recommend further study of the site plan to the Planning Board after it has been revised or redesigned.
A. 
After receiving approval, with or without modification, of the preliminary site plan or plat and approval for all necessary permits from state and county officials, the applicant may prepare a final site plan or plat and submit it to the Planning Board for final review.
B. 
If more than 12 months have elapsed between the time of the Planning Board's report on the preliminary site plan or plat and if the Planning Board finds that conditions have changed significantly in the interim, the Planning Board may require resubmission of the preliminary site plan or plat for further review and possible revision prior to accepting the proposed final site plan or plat for review.
C. 
The final site plan or plat shall include all information required for a major subdivision plat under the town's Land Subdivision Regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 188, Subdivision of Land.
D. 
The final site plan or plat shall conform substantially to the preliminary site plan or plat that has received preliminary site plan approval. It should incorporate any revisions or other features that may have been recommended by the Planning Board and/or Town Board at the time of preliminary review. All such compliances shall be clearly indicated by the applicant on the appropriate submission.
E. 
If no approved final site plan or plat for a PD District is filed with the office of the County Clerk within a period of 30 months of approval of the preliminary site plan by the Planning Board, the Town Board shall consider a Zoning Map amendment and may return the zoning classification of the property to its status prior to its rezoning to PD.
F. 
Within 45 days of receipt of the application for final site plan approval, the Planning Board shall render a decision to the Director of Planning and Zoning. If no decision is made within the forty-five-day period, the final site plan shall be considered approved.
(1) 
Upon approving an application, the Planning Board shall endorse its approval on a copy of the final site plan and shall forward it to the building inspector who may then issue a building permit to the applicant if the project conforms to all other applicable requirements and all fees and reimbursable costs have been paid to the town.
(2) 
Upon disapproving an application, the Planning Board shall so inform the building inspector, and the building inspector shall deny any requested building permits to the applicant. The Planning Board shall also notify the applicant in writing of its decision and the specific reasons for its disapproval. A copy of the appropriate meeting minutes may suffice for this notice.
G. 
If the applicant wishes to stage his development and he has so indicated on the approved sketch plan, he may submit only those stages he wishes to develop for site plan approval in conformance with his approved staging plan. Any plan which requires more than 24 months to be completed shall be required to be staged, and a staging plan must be developed. At no point in the development of a PD shall the approved ratio of differing uses or nonresidential to residential acreage or the dwelling unit ratios between the several different housing types for that portion of the PD completed and/or under construction differ from that of the PD as a whole by more than 20%.
H. 
Other applicable regulations.
(1) 
For the purpose of regulating the further development and use of PD property after initial construction and occupancy, any changes other than use changes shall be in the form of a special use permit request to the Planning Board. Use changes shall also be in the form of a special use permit request, except that in such instance, Town Board approval shall be required. It shall be noted that the properties located in mixed use Planned Development Districts are unique and shall be so considered by the Town Board or Planning Board when evaluating these requests. The maintenance of the intent and function of the planned development shall be of primary interest.
(2) 
Site plan review under the provisions of this Article shall constitute the Planning Board's review of the subdivision under applicable Town Land Subdivision Regulations,[2] subject to the following conditions:
(a) 
The developer shall prepare sets of subdivision plats suitable for filing with the office of the Rensselaer County Clerk in addition to those drawings required by this Article.
(b) 
The developer shall plat the entire development as a subdivision; however, a Planned Development District being developed in stages may be platted and filed in the same stages.
(c) 
Final site plan review and approval shall constitute final plat approval under the Town Land Subdivision Regulations. Provisions of § 276 of the Town Law requiring that the plat be filed with the County Clerk within 60 days of final Planning Board approval shall apply.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 188, Subdivision of Land.
I. 
Financial responsibility. No building permits shall be issued for construction within a planned development until necessary improvements are installed or performance bonds posted in accordance with the same procedure as provided for in § 277 of the Town Law relating to subdivisions. Other requirements regarding performance bonds may also be established from time to time by the Town Board.
J. 
Fee. Application for approval of a Planned Development District sketch plan shall be accompanied by a fee equal to that charged under the Town's Land Subdivision Regulations for review of a similarly sized major subdivision plat.
[Added 4-12-1990 by L.L. No. 1-1990]
The Planning Board may require an applicant for any review, permit or approval to deposit in escrow an amount established by the Planning Board to pay for the fees and/or costs of any engineer, consultant or attorney designated by the Planning Board to review such application. The fees and/or costs charged by such engineer, consultant or attorney in connection with such review will be charged against the sum deposited in escrow. Any amount remaining shall be returned to the applicant within 45 days of final action on the application.