Village of Greenport, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Greenport 2-18-1988 by L.L. No. 1-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 76-1 Purpose.

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Greenport finds that:
A. 
There exists within the Village of Greenport sites, structures, buildings and districts of special historic significance which by reason of their maritime character, antiquity or uniqueness of architectural construction, design or waterfront location are of particular significance to the heritage of our Village, town, county and state.
B. 
The conservation, protection, appearance and preservation of such historic sites, structures, buildings and districts is necessary to promote the economic, cultural, educational and general welfare of the public. Inasmuch as the identity of a people is founded on its past and inasmuch as Greenport has many significant historic, architectural and cultural resources which constitute its heritage, this act is intended to:
(1) 
Provide procedures to identify, preserve and enhance the landmarks and historic districts which represent distinctive elements of Greenport's historic, maritime, architectural and cultural heritage.
(2) 
Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of its past.
(3) 
Protect and enhance Greenport's attractiveness to residents and visitors, thereby supporting and stimulating the economy of the Village.
(4) 
Provide for architectural review so as to prevent such design and appearances as are incompatible with the historic or architectural characteristics of a landmark or historic district.
(5) 
Ensure the harmonious, orderly and efficient growth and development of the Village, consistent with its historic integrity.

§ 76-2 Definitions.

A. 
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the same meaning as they have in common usage and so as to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALTERATION
Any act or process that changes one or more of the exterior architectural features of a structure.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A certificate issued by the Commission indicating its approval of plans for alteration, construction, removal or demolition of a landmark or of a structure within an historic district.
CERTIFICATE OF ECONOMIC HARDSHIP
A certificate issued by the Commission authorizing an alteration, construction, removal or demolition, even though certificate of appropriateness has previously been denied.
COMMISSION
The Greenport Historic Preservation Commission.
CONSTRUCTION
The act of adding an addition to an existing structure or the erection of a new principal or accessory structure on a lot or property.
DEMOLITION
Any act or process that destroys in part or in whole a landmark or a structure within an historic district.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL APPEARANCE
The architectural character and general composition of the exterior of a structure, including but not limited to the kind, color and texture of the building material and the type, design and character of all windows, doors, light fixtures, signs and appurtenant elements.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
An area designated as an "historic district" by action of the Village Board of Trustees in accordance with § 76-4.
LANDMARK
A property or structure designated as a "landmark" by action of the Village Board of Trustees in accordance with § 76-4.
MAJOR ALTERATION
Any alteration, construction, removal or demolition of a landmark or structure which may significantly impair the historic or architectural appearance or features of the landmark or historic district.
NEIGHBORING PROPERTY AND PUBLIC VIEW
Any privately owned structure which is not itself historic, but which is located in an historic district and by reason of which is subject to the provisions of this chapter.
OWNER OF RECORD
The person, corporation or other legal entity listed as owner on the records of the Suffolk County Clerk.
REPAIR
Any change that is not construction, removal or alteration.
SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC OR FINANCIAL INJURY
The proof submitted by the applicant which shows that the estimated cost of complying with the conditions imposed by the Commission pursuant to this chapter is substantially disproportionate as compared to the final cost of the project as proposed by the applicant.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires permanent or temporary location on or in the ground, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, buildings, fences, gazebos, walls, sidewalks, signs, billboards, backstops for tennis courts, radio and television antennas, including supporting towers and swimming pools.

§ 76-3 Historic Preservation Commission.

There is hereby created a commission to be known as the Greenport Historic Preservation Commission (hereinafter "Commission").
A. 
The Commission shall consist of five members, all of whom shall be residents of the Village of Greenport.
B. 
All members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Village Board of Trustees. Members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for any expenses incident to carrying out their duties.
C. 
To the extent available in the community, the Commission is to be comprised of members with any of the following qualifications: an architect, an historian, an archaeologist, a licensed real estate broker, a harbormaster, a member or members of the Village Planning Board, an historic district resident and/or a person having known interest in the historic preservation and architectural development within the Village.
D. 
Commission members shall serve for a term of four years, with the exception of the term of any Planning Board member(s), who shall serve on the Commission during their respective tenure on the Planning Board, and with the exception of the original appointive members of the Commission, who shall serve as follows: one for one year, one for two years, one for three years and two for four years. The members of the Commission thereafter shall be appointed for four-year terms. The terms of each member first taking office shall commence on the date of their appointment. Each member shall serve until the appointment and qualifications of his or her successor.
E. 
Officers shall consist of a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary, who shall be annually elected by and from among the members of the Commission at the first regular meeting of the calendar year, except for the first organizational meeting, which shall be held within one month after the adoption of this chapter. Officers shall be eligible for reelection, but no member shall serve as Chairman for more than three consecutive years. The Chairman shall preside over meetings. In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chairman. If both are absent, a temporary Chairman shall be elected by those present. The Secretary to the Commission shall have the following duties:
(1) 
Take minutes of each Commission meeting.
(2) 
Be responsible for publication and distribution of copies of the minutes, reports and decisions of the Commission to the members of the Commission; and be responsible for mailing to applicants and filing with the Office of the Village Clerk a copy of any commission decision regarding a certificate of appropriateness or certificate of economic hardship within seven days of such a decision.
(3) 
Give notice as provided herein or by law for all public hearings conducted by the Commission.
(4) 
Advise the Mayor of vacancies on the Commission and expiring terms of members.
(5) 
Prepare and submit to the Village Board of Trustees a complete record of the proceedings before the Commission on any matter requiring Village Board Trustee consideration.
F. 
The Commission shall have power to:
(1) 
Adopt its own procedural regulations.
(2) 
Conduct a survey of significant historic, architectural, maritime and cultural landmarks and historic districts within the Village.
(3) 
Investigate and recommend to the Village Board of Trustees the designation of identified structures or resources having special historic, architectural, maritime or cultural value as landmarks or historic districts.
(4) 
Review and approve, deny or approve with modifications all applications for certificates of appropriateness pursuant to this chapter.
(5) 
Keep a register of all properties and structures that have been designated as landmarks or historic districts, including all information required for each designation.
(6) 
Determine an appropriate system of markers and make recommendations for the design and implementation of specific markings of the streets and routes leading from one landmark or historic district to another.
(7) 
Advise and assist owners of landmarks and property or structures within historic districts on physical and financial aspects of preservation, renovation, rehabilitation and reuse and on procedures for inclusion on the State and National Register of Historic Places.
(8) 
Nominate landmarks and historic districts to the State and National Register of Historic Places.
(9) 
Inform and educate residents and visitors concerning the historic, architectural and maritime heritage of Greenport by publishing appropriate maps, newsletters, brochures and pamphlets and by holding programs and seminars.
(10) 
Hold public hearings and review applications for construction, alteration, removal or demolition affecting proposed or designated landmarks or structures within historic districts and issue or deny certificates of appropriateness for such actions. Applicants may be required to submit plans, drawings, elevations, specifications and other information as may be necessary to make decisions.
(11) 
Consider applications for certificates of economic hardship that would allow the performance of work for which a certificate of appropriateness has been denied.
(12) 
Review proposed zoning amendments, applications for conditional use permits or applications for zoning variances that affect proposed or designated landmarks and historic districts at the request of the appropriate Village Board or if, in the opinion of the Commission, comment is warranted.
(13) 
Call upon available Village staff members as well as other experts for technical advice.
(14) 
Retain such specialists or consultants as may be required to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties.
(15) 
Testify before all boards and commissions on any matter affecting historically and architecturally significant property, structures and areas.
(16) 
Confer recognition upon the owners of landmarks or property or structures within historic districts by means of certificates, plaques or markers.
(17) 
Establish a schedule of fees for processing and reviewing certificates of appropriateness and certificates of economic hardship.
(18) 
Undertake any other action or activity necessary or appropriate to the implementation of its powers and duties or to the implementation of the purpose of this chapter.
G. 
The Commission shall meet at least monthly, but meetings may be held at any time on the written request of any two of the Commission members or on the call of the Chairman.
H. 
A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of three of the Commission's members, but not less than a majority of the full authorized membership may approve or deny a certificate of appropriateness or certificate of economic hardship.
I. 
No member of the Commission shall vote on any matter that may materially or apparently affect the property, income or business interest of that member. Any member may be removed for cause and after a public hearing by the Board of Trustees. A vacancy occurring in the membership of the Commission for any cause shall be filled by a person appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Trustees for the unexpired term.
J. 
No action shall be taken by the Commission that could in any manner deprive or restrict the use, modification, maintenance, disposition or demolition of a property until the owner shall first have had the opportunity to be heard at a meeting of the Commission. The Chairman, and in his absence the Acting Chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public. The Commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Village Clerk and shall be a public record.

§ 76-4 Designation of landmarks or historic districts.

A. 
Notwithstanding the procedures set forth in Subsections C, D, E, F, G and H below, those properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places as landmarks or being located within the historic district of the Village of Greenport shall, for purposes of this chapter, be designated respectively as "landmarks" and an "historic district."
[Added 5-26-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988]
B. 
A list and a map showing such properties on the National Register of Historic Places within the Village of Greenport are on file in the Village offices and are hereby made a part of this chapter.
[Added 5-26-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988; amended 5-16-1996 by L.L. No. 3-1996]
C. 
The Commission shall recommend that the Board of Trustees designate an individual property as a landmark if it:
(1) 
Qualifies for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places as provided in the National Preservation Act of 1966.
(2) 
Possesses significant character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the maritime, architectural, economic or social heritage of the Village, town, county, state or nation.
(3) 
Is the site of an historic event or is identified with historic personages.
(4) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style or represents the work of a master builder, designer, architect or landscape architect.
(5) 
Because of a unique location or singular physical characteristic, represents an established and familiar visual feature of the Village of Greenport.
(6) 
By being part of or related to the Village Waterfront or other distinctive area, should be developed or presented according to a plan based on an historic, cultural, maritime or architectural motif.
D. 
The Commission shall recommend that the Board of Trustees designate a group of properties as an historic district if it:
(1) 
Contains properties which meet one or more of the criteria for designation of a landmark and which may have within its boundaries other properties or structures that, while not of such historic and/or architectural significance to be designated as landmarks, nevertheless contribute to the overall visual characteristics of the landmark or landmarks located within the historic district.
(2) 
By reason of possessing such properties, it constitutes a distinct section of the Village.
E. 
The Village Clerk shall send a notice of a proposed designation by registered mail to the owner of the property proposed for designation, describing the property proposed and announcing a public hearing by the Village Board of Trustees to consider the designation. Where the proposed designation involves so many owners that individual notice is infeasible, notice may instead be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation at least 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing. Once the Village Board of Trustees has issued notice of a proposed designation, no building permits shall be issued by the Building Inspector until the Village Board of Trustees has made its decision.
F. 
The Village Board of Trustees shall hold a public hearing prior to designation of any landmark or historic district. The Commission, owners and any interested parties may present testimony or documentary evidence at the hearing which will become part of a record regarding the historic, architectural, maritime or cultural importance of the proposed landmark or historic district. The record may also contain staff reports, public comments or other evidence offered outside of the hearing.
G. 
The Commission shall forward notice of each property designated as a landmark and of the boundaries of each designated historic district to the office of the Suffolk County Clerk for recordation.
H. 
Each property designated as a landmark and the boundaries of each historic district shall be specified in detail and shall be filed, in writing, in the Village Clerk's Office for public inspection. The historic district designation shall identify all landmarks and all neighboring properties in public view within the historic district.

§ 76-5 Certificate of appropriateness.

A. 
Where a building permit is required pursuant to Chapter 65, Fire Prevention and Building Construction, of the Code of the Village of Greenport, no person shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition, new construction or moving of a landmark or property within an historic district without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the Commission.
B. 
Upon receipt by the Building Inspector of the Village of Greenport of any application for a building permit pursuant to Chapter 65, Fire Prevention and Building Construction, of the Code of the Village of Greenport with respect to a landmark or structure which is located within the historic district, the Building Inspector shall within seven days thereof refer the owner or applicant to the Commission to obtain a certificate of appropriateness.
C. 
The owner or applicant shall file an application for a certificate of appropriateness with the Commission prior to the commencement of any work. The application shall contain;
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of applicant, owner of record and of neighboring property owners.
(2) 
The location, tax map number and photographs of property.
(3) 
Elevation drawings of new structures and all affected elevations in the case of additions, alterations or remodeling.
(4) 
Perspective drawings, including relationship to adjacent properties, if specifically requested by the Commission.
(5) 
A sample of color or materials to be used.
(6) 
Where the proposal includes signs or lettering, a scale showing the type of lettering to be used, all dimensions and colors, a description of materials to be used, method of illumination and a plan showing the sign's location on the property.
(7) 
An application fee receipt issued by the Village Clerk.
(8) 
Any other information which the Commission may deem necessary in order to visualize the proposed work.
D. 
No building permit shall be issued for such proposed work until the Building Inspector shall have received a certificate of appropriateness or a certificate of economic hardship issued by the Commission. The certificate(s) required by this act shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit that may be required by any other local law or regulation of the Village of Greenport.
E. 
The Commission shall act to approve, deny or approve with modifications the application for a certificate of appropriateness within 30 days from receipt of an application completed in accordance with Subsection C herein.
(1) 
For applications involving major alterations, the Commission shall hold a public hearing on an application completed in accordance with § 76-5C. At the hearing, proponents and opponents of the application will be provided the opportunity to present their views. Notice of the public hearing shall be by regular mail to the applicant and to neighboring property owners. Additional notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation at least five days prior to the date of the public hearing. In the event that a public hearing is held, the Commission shall act to approve, deny or approve with modifications the application for a certificate of appropriateness within 30 days from the date of the public hearing.
(2) 
Within seven days following the determination, the applicant shall be sent by registered mail a certificate of appropriateness in the case of an approval or a written notice of denial in such case. All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. The Commission Secretary shall file a copy of the decision with the office of the Village Clerk for public inspection.
F. 
A denial of the application for a certificate of appropriateness shall be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for the denial. The Commission shall make recommendations to the applicant concerning changes, conditions or restrictions, if any, in the proposed action that would cause the Commission to reconsider its denial and shall confer with the applicant and attempt to resolve as quickly as possible the differences between the owner and the Commission. The applicant may resubmit an amended application or reapply for a building or demolition permit that takes into consideration the recommendations of the Commission.
G. 
If the Commission shall fail to act upon an application completed in accordance with § 76-5C within 30 days of date of referral or of the public hearing, whichever is applicable, the application shall be deemed to have been approved, unless the applicant and the Commission shall have mutually agreed to an extension of time.

§ 76-6 Approvals criteria.

A. 
In considering the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness either alone or in connection with an application for a building or demolition permit, the Commission shall be guided by the following principles as they apply to the exterior features of any structure which is a landmark or located within an historic district:
(1) 
Properties which contribute to the character of the historic district shall be retained, with their historic features altered as little as possible.
(2) 
Any alteration of an existing property shall be compatible with its historic character or with the character of the surrounding historic district.
(3) 
New construction shall be compatible with the historic district in which it is located.
B. 
In applying the principle of compatibility, the Commission shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
The general design, character and appropriateness to the property of the proposed alteration or new construction.
(2) 
The scale of proposed alteration or new construction in relation to the property itself, surrounding properties and the neighborhood.
(3) 
Texture, materials and color and their relation to similar features of other properties in the neighborhood.
(4) 
Visual compatibility with neighboring properties in public view, including the proportion of the property's front facade, proportion and arrangement of windows and other openings within the facade, roof shape and the rhythm of spacing of properties on streets, including setback.
(5) 
The importance of historic, architectural or other features to the significance of the property.
(6) 
The United States Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (Feb. 1978 rev.).
C. 
In approving an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission shall find that the building or structure for which the permit was requested, if erected or altered in accordance with the submitted plan, would be compatible with principles of this chapter, would not be visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design, monotonous similarity or visual discord in relation to the sites or surroundings, would not mar the appearance of the area, would not impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the values of properties in the area, would not be detrimental to the character of the neighborhood, would not prevent an appropriate development and utilization of the site or of adjacent lands and would not adversely affect the functioning economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the community.
D. 
In approving any application, the Commission may impose appropriate conditions and safeguards designed to prevent incompatibility of design. Such conditions and safeguards may include screening, planting, fencing or other methods of keeping from view obviously unsightly features of such buildings or structures.
E. 
In approving an application for a certificate of appropriateness involving demolition or removal of a landmark or structure within an historic district, the Commission shall find that the building or structure or portion thereof is in such condition that it is not feasible to preserve or restore it, taking into consideration the economic feasibility of alternatives to the proposal and balancing the interest of the public in preserving the building or structure or portion thereof and the interest of the owner thereof in its utilization. In the event that the demolition or removal is approved, the property shall be left in a manner which will be compatible with the existing character of the neighborhood and will have no adverse impact on any adjacent properties within an historic district.

§ 76-7 Economic hardship criteria.

A. 
An applicant whose certificate of appropriateness has been denied may apply for a certificate of economic hardship for the purpose of obtaining relief from the strict application of this historic preservation chapter on the grounds of economic hardship. The Commission shall schedule a public hearing to be held within 30 days of the economic hardship application and give notice in the same manner as required in § 76-5E. At the hearing, proponents and opponents of the application will be provided the opportunity to present their views.
B. 
The Commission may solicit expert testimony or require that the applicant for a certificate of economic hardship make submissions concerning any or all of the following information before it makes a determination on the application:
(1) 
Estimate of the cost of the proposed construction, alteration, demolition or removal and an estimate of any additional cost that would be incurred to comply with the recommendations of the Commission for changes necessary for the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness.
(2) 
All appraisals obtained within the previous two years by the owner or applicant in connection with the purchase, financing or ownership of the property.
(3) 
Any listing of the property for sale or rent, price asked and offers received, in any, within the previous two years.
(4) 
Assessed value of the property according to the two most recent assessments.
(5) 
Real estate taxes for the previous two years.
(6) 
Form of ownership or operation of the property, whether sole proprietorship, for-profit or not-for-profit corporation, limited partnership, joint venture or other.
(7) 
In the case of a proposed demolition, an estimate from an architect, appraiser or other real estate professional experienced in rehabilitation as to the economic feasibility for rehabilitation or reuse of the existing structure on the property.
(8) 
If the property is income-producing, the annual gross income from the property for the previous two years, itemized operating and maintenance expenses for the previous two years and depreciation deduction and annual cash flow before and after debt service, if any, during the same period.
(9) 
Any other information considered necessary by the Commission to a determination as to whether the property does yield or may yield a reasonable return to the owners.
C. 
For all applications, except those involving demolition or removals, the applicant shall, in order to prove the existence of economic hardship, establish that:
[Amended 8-15-1996 by L.L. No. 5-1996]
(1) 
He will suffer significant economic or financial injury if required to comply with the Commissions' decision as applied to his property; and the character of the landmark and/or historic district will be preserved and not substantially changed by the proposed alteration; or
(2) 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return.
D. 
For applications involving demolition or removal of a landmark or structure within an historic district, the applicant shall, in order to prove the existence of economic hardship, establish that:
(1) 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible.
(2) 
The property cannot be adapted for any other use, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, which would result in a reasonable return.
(3) 
Reasonable efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property for rehabilitation and preservation have been made and have failed.
(4) 
The owner has not created his own hardship through waste and neglect, thereby permitting the structure to fall into a serious state of disrepair.
E. 
Throughout the hardship procedures, the applicant shall consult in good faith with the Commission, local preservation groups and interested parties in a diligent effort to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the property.
F. 
The Commission shall make a decision within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing on the application. All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Village Clerk's Office for public inspection. The Commission's decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the economic hardship application.

§ 76-8 Maintenance and repair required.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance and repair of any exterior architectural feature of a landmark or property within an historic district which does not involve a change in design, material, color or outward appearance.

§ 76-9 Enforcement.

All work performed pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness or certificate of economic hardship issued under this chapter shall conform to any requirements included therein. It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector to inspect periodically any such work to assure compliance. In the event that work is found that is not being performed in accordance with the certificate of appropriateness or certificate of economic hardship or upon notification of such fact by the Commission, the Building Inspector shall issue a stop-work order, and all work shall immediately cease. No further work shall be undertaken on the project as long as a stop-work order is in effect.

§ 76-10 Fees.

A. 
Each application for a certificate of appropriateness shall be accompanied by a fee of $75 payable to the Village Clerk.
[Amended 3-22-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
B. 
An applicant may be charged a fee by the Commission for the actual cost of preparation and publication of each public notice of hearing on the application. The fees for preparation and publication of public notice of hearing on an application shall be fixed from time to time by resolution of the Village Board of Trustees.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A156, Fees.

§ 76-11 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a violation and, after receiving notice of such violation, the violator shall be liable, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $250 and a minimum fine of $25 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 days, or both, for each offense, and each and every day such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. All fines shall be paid to the Village of Greenport.
[Amended 5-16-1996 by L.L. No. 3-1996]
B. 
When the above does not result in the correction or abatement of the violation, the Village Board of Trustees, upon notice from the Building Inspector, is authorized and directed to institute any and all actions to enforce this chapter. This civil remedy shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any criminal prosecution and penalty.

§ 76-12 Effective date.

[Added 5-26-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988]
This chapter shall take effect immediately, after enactment, upon filing with the Office of the Secretary of State; however, no property owner shall be required to obtain a certificate of appropriateness when applying for a building permit until such time as the Village Board of Trustees has appointed the first members of the Greenport Historic Preservation Commission.