Town of Bethel, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The design standards and requirements set forth in this article shall be observed as minimums by the subdivider in the design of each subdivision within the Town. The Planning Board shall require more-restrictive standards where necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, and where circumstances unique to the property so dictate.
A. 
Lots to be comprehensive. All portions of a tract being subdivided shall be taken up in lots, streets, public lands, dedicated open space or other proposed uses, so that remnants and landlocked areas shall not be created. The layout of a subdivision shall also be planned with consideration to existing nearby developments or neighborhoods, so that the development is coordinated in terms of traffic movement, drainage and other reasonable considerations.
B. 
Preservation of natural features. In all subdivisions, care shall be taken to preserve natural features such as trees, watercourses, views and historical features which will add attractiveness and value to the remainder of the Town. Damming, filling, relocating or other interference with the natural flow of surface water along any surface water drainage channel or natural watercourse shall not be permitted except with the approval of the Planning Board and, where appropriate, the DEC.
C. 
Lot lines. Wherever possible, lot lines shall follow Town boundary lines rather than cross them. Reserve strips controlling access to lots, public rights-of-way, public lands or adjacent private lands are prohibited.
D. 
Adverse impacts on groundwater. The subdivision shall avoid adverse impacts on groundwater users and/or surface waters.
A. 
Lots to be buildable. This section shall apply to the subdivision of land into two or more lots. The lot size, width, depth, shape and arrangement shall be appropriate for the type of development and use contemplated and shall be such that there will be no foreseeable difficulties, for reasons of topography or other conditions, in securing building permits to build on all lots in compliance with Chapter 345, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Bethel, as it may be adopted, or in providing access to buildings on such lots from an approved street. For purposes of calculating development yield, the following areas shall be subtracted from the gross acreage of each lot to establish the minimum lot area:
(1) 
The surface area at the high water mark of any river, stream, lake or pond.
(2) 
DEC designated wetlands together with a buffer of 100 feet from the edge of such designated wetlands.
(3) 
Public rights-of-way for highway purposes.
(4) 
For public roads without dedicated rights-of-way, a theoretical right-of-way 50 feet in width measured 25 feet each side of the center line of such public road.
(5) 
Utility easements, except for utility easements relating to the provision of utility services to individual structures.
(6) 
Fifty percent of any land area located within the one-hundred-year floodplain as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
B. 
Development standards. The development standards contained herein are minimums and shall apply to each lot unless specifically provided otherwise. The area or dimension of any lot shall not be reduced to less than the minimum required by this chapter.
(1) 
Sight distance requirements for corner lots. On a corner lot, no fence, wall, hedge, structure or plantings more than 3 1/2 feet in height above the adjacent street center line elevation shall be erected, placed or maintained within the triangular area formed by the intersecting pavement line, or their project, where corners are rounded, and a straight line joining the pavement line at points 50 feet distance from their point of intersection. Land at the corners of intersecting streets shall be graded so as not to exceed in elevation at any point the surface of an imaginary triangular plane established as follows: the apex shall be at a point 3 1/2 feet above the intersection of the street center line. The other two corners shall be a vertical distance of 2 1/2 feet above a point 100 feet from the apex along the center line of the intersecting streets.
(2) 
Double frontage lots. Lots fronting on two streets, other than corner lots, shall be avoided except where deemed essential by the Planning Board in order to provide separation of residential development from major or collector streets, or to overcome problems of topography or orientation. The Planning Board may require limitations and/or buffer landscaping for such double frontage lots where the Board determines that such measures would be appropriate. Both frontages shall be subject to the front yard requirements of this chapter.
(3) 
Flag lots. The development of interior lots with limited lot frontage consisting of only an access right-of-way shall be permitted, provided that:
(a) 
The right-of-way is a minimum of 50 feet in width.
(b) 
The lot area shall be exclusive of that portion used as a right-of-way for purposes of meeting minimum lot area and all other development standards for the district.
(c) 
No right-of-way shall be established over an existing parcel of land to reach a new lot to the rear that would reduce the length of the front lot line of the existing parcel to less than 150 feet.
(d) 
All flag lot access rights-of-way shall be titled in fee-simple ownership to the flag lot property owner and shall not be used to access any property not part of the original tract. Such owner shall bear responsibility for maintenance of the improvements.
(e) 
No more than one such lot shall be created from each parcel that existed as of July 8, 2008, a cumulative total of two lots including the original. This restriction shall be incorporated in deed covenants and placed on the recorded plat map at the time any flag lot is created.
(4) 
Side lot lines. Side lot lines shall be at right angles to street lines unless a variation from this rule will give, in the opinion of the Planning Board, a better street or lot plan. Lot lines shall coincide with municipal boundaries rather than cross them. Where extra width has been dedicated for widening an existing street, lot lines shall begin at such extra width line. All side lines of lots should ordinarily be at approximate right angles to straight street lines and radial to curved street lines except where a variation to this rule will provide a safer layout.
(5) 
Minimum lot size due to geological constraints. Lots to be developed with private water supply and sewage disposal systems or private sewage disposal systems may require larger lot sizes and widths than are specified because of unusual subsoil or geological conditions found to exist on the particular location in question. In such cases, the minimum lot area otherwise required shall be increased where necessary to the extent required to allow the proposed water and/or sewerage installation to operate effectively in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Detailed plans for such water and/or sewer systems shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer and submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer and approved by him/her before a building permit shall be issued.
(6) 
Lot frontage. The minimum lot frontage of any lot shall be measured along the street line as required for the district in which it is located. For lots fronting on a cul-de-sac or on a street with a radius or curvature at the center line of 100 feet or less, or in other appropriate circumstances, the lot frontage may be reduced by the Planning Board at the time of subdivision plan or site plan approval to no less than 1/2 of the required lot width. No portion of the lot width shall be less than the approved lot frontage. The driveway access to a lot shall be provided from the front lot line.
(7) 
Split lots. Parcels of land separated by a public road or by a private road depicted on a subdivision plat approved on or after January 1, 2008, shall be considered separate lots. Each such lot shall meet the minimum lot area, lot frontage, lot width and lot dimension requirements of Chapter 345, Zoning, of the Code of the Town.
(8) 
Land after subdivision. If remnants of land exist after subdividing, they shall be incorporated in existing or proposed lots, unless designated as common area or dedicated to open space.
A. 
Blocks generally. Blocks shall not exceed 1,200 feet in length. Blocks should ordinarily be of sufficient width to permit two tiers of lots of appropriate depth, except where an interior street parallels a major street, or where it backs up to a railroad, creek or other natural barrier unsubdivided area.
B. 
Blocks; major highways. Where a subdivision adjoins a major highway (one which is designated and marked for two lanes or more and carries at least 1,000 vehicles per day on a peak monthly basis, which is typically July or August), the greater dimension of the block shall front along said highway, and interior streets may be required to minimize the number of points of access. Such streets may be required whenever topographic conditions, traffic density or lack of proper sight distance dictate for reasons of health and safety. Any subdivision of five lots or more with frontages averaging less than 300 feet along the highway shall be subject to this requirement, if the Planning Board determines, after inspection, that safety demands restricting access.
C. 
Cul-de-sac streets. Cul-de-sac streets, permanently designed as such, shall not exceed 2,500 feet in length unless measures such as boulevard designs, wider shoulders, additional turnarounds or emergency-only accesses are incorporated in the design to ensure reasonable access in the event of an emergency. Cul-de-sac streets shall also furnish access to not more than 50 dwelling units. Cul-de-sac streets shall have, at the closed end, a turnaround with a right-of-way having an outside diameter of not less than 135 feet and pavement to a diameter of not less than 120 feet so as to accommodate the turnaround of emergency and road maintenance equipment. The Planning Board shall have authority to require the use of loop streets and other alternatives to culs-de-sac where such alternatives are available and preferable as a means of providing safe access to lots, making street connections or limiting environmental impacts. Culverts, bridges and other similar features constructed in connection with any cul-de-sac or other subdivision road shall be designed to industry specifications regarding weight limits.
D. 
Rights-of-way. All lots shall front on the edge of a public or private street right-of-way (existing or proposed). The right-of-way of the principal access to any subdivision shall be a minimum of 50 feet in width and provide safe and practical access to a major portion of property (no less than the minimum lot size) in question considering the amount of prospective use involved. However, upon written request by the subdivider, the Town may grant a waiver from this and other street requirements of this chapter to permit access to no more than two single-family residential lots from a private drive, provided that a release has been given the Town and approved by the Town Board making clear that the Town is exempted from all responsibility for the maintenance of the same and that the lot in question is not capable of being subdivided further or is so restricted. Evidence of satisfactory shared arrangements for ownership and maintenance of the drive shall also be provided in the form of deed covenants.
E. 
Grades. Grades of streets shall not exceed 12% and no street shall have a grade of less than 1/2 of 1%.
F. 
Permanent markers. Permanent markers shall be set at the corner of each lot, consistent with surveyors' professional practice, to permanently and accurately define the metes and bounds of the block and lots created.
A. 
Common open space. Except where such area would be less than 1/2 acre or the Planning Board shall waive the requirement, not less than 2,000 square feet per lot of the gross area of the entire tract shall be reserved for common open space directly accessible from the lots to be created. Such open space shall be suitable for recreational use of the residents of the subdivision. The following and similar facilities shall meet this requirement: swimming pools, tennis courts, riding and cycling paths, playgrounds, community centers and other open areas. Such areas as are designated for play lots, parks and other outdoor recreational facilities shall be of a size, shape and other physical characteristics so as to be free of health and safety hazards and suitable for the designated use. No more than 50% of the 2,000 square feet per lot requirement shall be met with wetlands, slopes exceeding 20% in grade, road or utility rights-of-way, lakes or ponds or other otherwise undevelopable areas.
B. 
Contiguous existing parks. The Planning Board may require the reservation of smaller parcels if they can be made contiguous to existing parks.
C. 
Payments in lieu of common open space. If the Planning Board determines a suitable park or parks of adequate size cannot be properly located within a subdivision or is otherwise not practical, then the Board shall require, as a condition to approval of any such plan, a payment to the Town in an amount set from time to time by resolution of the Town Board, which amount shall be available for use by the Town for neighborhood park, playground or recreation purposes, including the acquisition of property.
A. 
Water supply. The subdivider shall investigate and determine the feasibility of the following in the following order:
(1) 
Connecting to an existing municipal central water supply system; and
(2) 
If it is determined to be unfeasible to connect to an existing municipal central water supply system, then the subdivider shall consider constructing an on-site central water supply system or connecting to an existing off-site central water supply system; in the event the subdivider constructs an on-site central water supply system, the subdivider and the Town shall enter into a developer's agreement establishing the requirements for the ownership and maintenance of such on-site central water supply system, which agreement shall be approved by the Town Board and also approved by the Town Attorney as to form and manner of execution and the Town Engineer as to sufficiency; or
(3) 
Constructing an on-site water supply system, in which case the Planning Board may in its discretion require test wells.
B. 
Central water supply plans and specifications. Plans and specifications for central water supply systems constructed as provided in Subsection A(2) (i.e., extension of an existing system or a proposed new facility) shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer and shall conform to requirements of the New York State Department of Health and the local fire district(s).
A. 
Sewage disposal. The subdivider shall investigate and determine the feasibility of the following in the following order:
(1) 
Connecting to an existing municipal central sewage disposal system; and
(2) 
If it is determined to be unfeasible to connect to an existing municipal central sewage disposal system, then the subdivider shall consider constructing an on-site central sewage disposal system or connecting to an existing off-site central sewage disposal system, unless the lots are located within the AG or FC districts, in which case an on-site central sewage disposal system shall only be constructed if the subdivision is a conservation subdivision; in the event the subdivider constructs an on-site central sewage disposal system, the subdivider and the Town shall enter into a developer's agreement establishing the requirements for the ownership and maintenance of such on-site central sewage disposal system, which agreement shall be approved by the Town Board and also approved by the Town Attorney as to form and manner of execution and the Town Engineer as to sufficiency; or
(3) 
Constructing an on-site sewage system, in which case such on-site system shall comply with Chapter 257, Article IV, On-Site Individual Wastewater Treatment, of the Code of the Town.
B. 
Central sewage disposal system plans and specifications. Plans and specifications for central sewage disposal systems, as required by the DEC, shall be submitted with all preliminary plans and design standards and shall meet DEC requirements. Formal approval of the DEC shall be required prior to final plan approval.
No preliminary plan shall be reviewed or approval granted until the Town Planning Board receives a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) prepared in accordance with the specifications of the New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual and New York Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control. The subdivider shall investigate and determine the feasibility of constructing an on-site stormwater system of treatment and control system or connecting to an existing off-site stormwater system. In the event the subdivider constructs an on-site stormwater system of treatment and control system, the subdivider and Town shall enter into a developer's agreement establishing the requirements for the ownership and maintenance of such on-site system, which agreement shall be approved by the Town Board and also approved by the Town Attorney as to form and manner of execution and the Town Engineer as to sufficiency.
A. 
Public streets. Streets built for dedication to the Town shall conform to the specifications contained in Chapter A350, Street Specifications, of the Code of the Town, provided that nothing contained herein shall be construed in any way to require the site that results in soil disturbance.
B. 
Private streets. Where it is proposed and approved by the Planning Board to create a subdivision with private streets not intended for dedication to the Town, the following requirements shall be met:
(1) 
Private streets shall be built to the same standards as those required for public streets, unless the Town Board grants a waiver.
(2) 
Rights-of-way for private streets shall include a grant of easements necessary for the installation of utilities and shall not deny access to such street to any abutting property owner or owner of any lot to which the street is intended to provide access.
(3) 
Prior to final plan approval, the Town and subdivider shall enter into a private maintenance agreement relative to all proposed private streets, which agreement shall be approved by the Town Board and also approved by the Town Attorney as to form and manner of execution and the Town Engineer as to sufficiency.
(4) 
The final plan for the subdivision shall include the following statement as to any private streets: "The street(s) depicted on this plan are private in nature and the Town of Bethel bears no responsibility now or in the future for their maintenance. Responsibility for maintenance is specified in a private maintenance agreement."
C. 
Building permits. No building permits shall be issued by the Town for any structure within a subdivision served by a private street until final plan approval has been granted and the street has been constructed and inspected by the Town Engineer and found to meet the specifications as approved by the Town Board.