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Town of Massena, NY
St. Lawrence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The following procedures and requirements shall apply to minor subdivisions only (see definitions).[1] Classification as a minor subdivision refers to the ultimate buildout of a parcel, as determined by the characteristics of the parcel and judgment of the Planning Board. This procedure may not be used to complete a larger project in stages to avoid the procedures and requirements for major subdivisions. All other subdivisions and resubdivisions, regardless of the total number of lots involved, shall be processed as major subdivisions according to the procedures and requirements specified herein.
A. 
All applications, plans, reports and other required documentation must be submitted a minimum of 10 days before a regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Board. The Planning Board is not required to review or act upon any submissions that do not meet this criteria.
B. 
Sketch plan required. Submission of a sketch plan showing existing site features and a tentative layout of the subdivision shall be required as part of the plat approval process for all minor subdivisions. The Planning Board shall use the sketch plan for determining the number of lots permitted, arranging and conducting a site inspection of the property and establishing whether the subdivision is located in an agricultural district.
C. 
Application. Any person proposing to create a minor subdivision shall submit, along with plans required below, nine copies of an application for minor subdivision approval. This application may be in letter form and shall specify and/or be accompanied by:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the property owner of record and those of the subdivider, if different.
(2) 
If the subdivider is not the property owner, evidence that the subdivider has written permission of the owner(s) to make such application.
(3) 
The name or number of the road where the proposed subdivision is to be located.
(4) 
The name, address and telephone number of the surveyor or engineer preparing the subdivision plans.
(5) 
The type of water supply proposed.
(6) 
The type of sewer system proposed.
(7) 
The required fee or receipt for the same from the Town Clerk.
(8) 
A completed environmental assessment as required by SEQRA.
(9) 
A completed coastal assessment form if the proposed subdivision lies within the Waterfront Revitalization Overlay District, defined in Chapter 207, Zoning, in the Massena Town Code.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See also the definition of "Waterfront Revitalization Overlay District" in § 191-11, Terms defined.
D. 
Final plat. The subdivider shall submit nine copies of a final plat and required supplementary data for the proposed subdivision. This plat shall be prepared by a professional engineer or surveyor and shall show all the lots proposed to be created. Said submission must be at least 10 days before a regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Board. The final plat shall meet the following requirements:
(1) 
The subdivision plat shall, ordinarily, be not less than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches.
(2) 
The names of all abutting property owners and the size of any remaining acreages in the tract from which lots are being taken shall be shown.
(3) 
The plat shall show the name of the municipality, name of the owner of record, North point, graphic scale, and date.
(4) 
Soil types found on the site shall be shown unless the lots involved are lot improvements or contain existing sewage systems. Natural Resources Conservation Service classifications shall be used.
(5) 
Existing public roads shall be identified by traffic route numbers and private roads by their posted names and numbers.
(6) 
Proposed lot or parcel lines shall be drawn to scale and dimensions given in feet and hundredths of a foot. Lot areas shall be shown in acres or square feet. The plat shall depict the proposed subdivision as a part of the contiguous holdings of the subdivider and show adjacent lots already taken from the parcel.
E. 
Soil tests. Documentation as may be required by the New York State Department of Health, along with a soils evaluation by the test pit method and/or other required supplemental data relating to sewage disposal, shall be submitted.
F. 
Street encroachment permits. A completed application to the Massena Highway Superintendent, the State Department of Transportation or County Highway Department, as the case may be, for a street encroachment permit, shall also be required.
G. 
Public hearing. The Planning Board shall, within 62 days of the receipt of a complete final plat by the Planning Board Secretary, hold a public hearing, advertising such hearing at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least five days prior to the hearing and providing such other notice as it deems appropriate. The hearing shall be closed on motion of the Planning Board within 120 days after it is opened and be used to guide the Planning Board in acting upon the environmental assessment. Notices shall also be mailed at least five days prior to the public hearing to property owners that are adjacent to the proposed subdivision and to clerks of an adjacent municipality if a municipal boundary is within 500 feet of the proposed subdivision.
H. 
Action on final plat. The Planning Board shall, by resolution, conditionally approve, with or without modification, disapprove or grant final approval and authorize signing such plat within 62 days of the close of the public hearing, provided that it has first acted upon the environmental assessment and made a negative declaration with respect to environmental impacts. Should the Board be unable to make a negative declaration, it shall proceed in the manner provided by New York State Town Law § 276.
I. 
Certification, filing and signing of final plat. Within five business days of the adoption of the resolution granting conditional or final approval of the final plat, such plat shall be certified by the Secretary as having been granted conditional or final approval and a copy of such resolution and plat shall be filed in such Secretary's office and with the Town Clerk and shall be mailed to the subdivider. In the case of a conditionally approved plat, such resolution shall include the requirements which, when completed, will authorize the signing thereof. Upon completion of such requirements, the plat shall be signed by a duly authorized officer of the Planning Board and filed with the Secretary.
J. 
Time limits on conditional approvals. A conditional approval of a final plat shall expire within 180 days unless all conditions are satisfied and certified as completed. This period may be extended for not more than two additional periods of 90 days where particular circumstances so warrant in the judgment of the Planning Board.
K. 
Approvals by default. In the event the Planning Board fails to take action on a plat within the time periods prescribed herein or within such extended periods as may have been established by mutual consent of the subdivider and the Planning Board, the subscriber shall be entitled to an approval by default pursuant to the Town Law.
L. 
Recording of final plats. All final plats shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk within 62 days of approval, subject to the provisions of § 276 of the Town Law.
M. 
County Planning Board review. Applications for preliminary or final plat approval shall be subject to referral to the County Planning Board pursuant to § 239-n of the General Municipal Law, if located within 500 feet of:
(1) 
The Town boundaries; or
(2) 
The boundaries of any existing or proposed county or state park or other recreation area; or
(3) 
The right-of-way of any county or state highway, or
(4) 
The right-of-way of any existing or proposed stream or drainage channel owned by the county or for which the county has established channel lines; or
(5) 
The boundary of any existing or proposed county or state land on which a public building or institution is situated; or
(6) 
The boundary of a farm operation in an agricultural district.
[1]
Editor's Note: See the definition of "minor subdivision" under the definition of "subdivision" in § 191-11, Terms defined.
Major subdivision plat submissions shall be subject to SEQRA review and be processed as follows:
A. 
All applications, plans, reports and other required documentation must be submitted a minimum of 10 days before a regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Board. The Planning Board is not required to review or act upon any submissions that do not meet this criteria.
B. 
Sketch plan required. Submission of a sketch plan as provided in § 191-14 shall be required as part of the preliminary plat approval process for all major subdivisions. This plan shall be used to determine the number of lots permitted, determine whether the subdivision will involve other agencies and make a preliminary classification of the subdivision as a Type I or unlisted SEQRA action. The Planning Board shall also use the sketch plan for purposes of determining lead agency status, arranging and conducting a site inspection of the property and establishing whether the subdivision is located in an agricultural district. A sketch plan shall be considered filed at the first regular meeting of the Planning Board following the Secretary's receipt of the plan, and all determinations with respect to the plan shall be made within 20 days of said meeting.
C. 
Coastal assessment form. The applicant shall submit a completed coastal assessment form if the proposed subdivision lies within the Waterfront Revitalization Overlay District, defined in Chapter 207, Zoning, of the Massena Town Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also the definition of "Waterfront Revitalization Overlay District" in § 191-11, Terms defined.
D. 
When Planning Board is not lead agency or an EIS is required. Should the Planning Board not assume lead agency responsibilities in the SEQRA review of the subdivision, or should an environmental impact statement be required, the provisions contained herein pertaining to public hearings, notices and decisions shall be modified as provided in § 276 of the Town Law.
E. 
When Planning Board is lead agency and no EIS is required. If the Planning Board acts as lead agency and determines an environmental impact statement is not required, the subdivider shall complete preparation of the preliminary plat as required by § 191-15 and provide Part 1 of the SEQRA long form environmental assessment. The Planning Board, within 62 days of the receipt by the Secretary of a preliminary plat which is complete except for a negative declaration filed pursuant to SEQRA, shall hold a public hearing on this preliminary plat, advertising such hearing at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least five days prior to the hearing and providing such other notice as it may deem appropriate. The hearing shall be closed on motion of the Planning Board within 120 days after it is opened and be used to guide the Planning Board in acting upon the environmental assessment.
F. 
Action on preliminary plat. The Planning Board shall approve, with or without modifications, or disapprove the preliminary plat within 62 days of the close of the public hearing, provided that a negative declaration has first been filed pursuant to SEQRA.
G. 
Grounds for action. The grounds for modification, if any, or the grounds for disapproval shall be stated upon the records of the Planning Board. When so approving a preliminary plat, the Planning Board shall state in writing any modifications it deems necessary for submission of the final plat.
H. 
Preliminary plat certification. Within five business days of the approval of any preliminary plat, such plat shall be certified by the Chairman of the Planning Board, as approved, and a copy of the plat and approval resolution shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk. Disapproval resolutions shall be filed and mailed in the same manner.
I. 
Time to submit final plat. The subdivider, within six months of the approval of the preliminary plat, shall install or, pursuant to § 191-16, financially guarantee all subdivision improvements and submit the plat in final form as provided in § 191-17. The Planning Board may revoke the preliminary plat approval if a final plat is not submitted within six months or grant an extension of the preliminary approval. No preliminary plat shall remain valid if a final plat has not been submitted within five years from the approval date of the preliminary plat.
J. 
Action on final plat. When the final plat is in substantial agreement with the preliminary plat, the Planning Board shall, by resolution, conditionally approve, with or without modification, disapprove, or grant final approvals and authorize signing of such plat within 62 days of its receipt by the Chairman of the Planning Board. No additional public hearing shall be required. When the final plat is not in substantial agreement with the preliminary plat, the preliminary plat procedures shall apply to a final plat insofar as SEQRA review, public hearing, notices and decision.
K. 
Certification, filing and signing of final plats. Within five business days of the adoption of the resolution granting conditional or final approval of the final plat, such plat shall be certified by the Chairman of the Planning Board as having been granted conditional or final approval and a copy of such resolution and plat shall be filed with the Town Clerk and shall be mailed to the subdivider. In the case of a conditionally approved plat, such resolution shall include the requirements which, when completed, will authorize the signing thereof. Upon completion of such requirements, the plat shall be signed by a duly authorized officer of the Planning Board and filed with the Secretary.
L. 
Final plats by section. The Planning Board may permit any subdivision for which preliminary plat approval has been granted to be submitted in sections for final plat approval.
M. 
Time limits on conditional approvals. A conditional approval of a final plat shall expire within 180 days unless all conditions are satisfied and certified as completed. This period may be extended for not more than two additional periods of 90 days where particular circumstances so warrant in the judgment of the Planning Board.
N. 
Approvals by default. In the event the Planning Board fails to take action on a plat within the time periods prescribed herein or within such extended periods as may have been established by mutual consent of the subdivider and the Planning Board, the subscriber shall be entitled to an approval by default pursuant to the Town Law.
O. 
Recording of final plats. All final plats shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk within 62 days of approval, subject to the provisions of § 276 of the Town Law.
P. 
County planning agency review. Applications for preliminary or final plat approval shall be subject to referral to the county planning agency pursuant to § 239-n of the General Municipal Law, if located within 500 feet of:
(1) 
The Town boundaries; or
(2) 
The boundaries of any existing or proposed county or state park or other recreation area; or
(3) 
The right-of-way of any county or state highway; or
(4) 
The right-of-way of any existing or proposed stream or drainage channel owned by the county or for which the county has established channel lines; or
(5) 
The boundary of any existing or proposed county or state land on which a public building or institution is situated; or
(6) 
The boundary of a farm operation in an agricultural district.
The sketch plan should be at a scale sufficient to show the entire tract on one sheet and should show or include the following:
A. 
The location of that portion which is to be subdivided in relation to the entire tract.
B. 
An existing and natural site features analysis which depicts all structures, wood area, streams, natural features, stone walls, wetlands, outstanding views and other aspects of the property around which a subdivision plan should be designed.
C. 
The name of the owner and of all adjoining property owners as disclosed by the most recent deed or tax records.
D. 
All streets or roads, streams, water, sewage and gas and power lines within 500 feet of the subdivision.
E. 
The tentative layout of the remainder of the tract owned by the subdivider.
F. 
North point, graphic scale, date and name/address of subdivider and landowner.
G. 
A location map with sufficient information to enable the locating of the property.
H. 
Proposed open spaces.
A. 
The preliminary plan shall be clearly and legibly drawn and ordinarily shall be not less than 11 inches by 17 inches and should, when possible, show the entire tract to be divided. Nine copies of all plans and materials shall be provided.
B. 
The plat shall be based on the concepts presented in the sketch plan and contain the following information:
(1) 
Proposed name of the subdivision. This name shall not duplicate in spelling or pronunciation any recorded subdivision within St. Lawrence County. The name and address of landowner and subdivider shall also be provided.
(2) 
Location by town, county and state. The plan shall also include Tax Map numbers for affected and adjacent parcels and a one-inch-equals-two-thousand-feet location map.
(3) 
North point, date and graphic scale.
(4) 
Boundaries of total tract and acreage contained within it. [Also see § 191-17A(7).]
(5) 
Locations and, where appropriate, dimensions of parks and public grounds, permanent buildings in, or adjacent to, the subdivision, open space easements and other significant existing site features.
(6) 
Approximate locations of existing sanitary sewers, public water mains, storm sewers, electric power and transmission lines, gas lines, and all other items above or below the ground, with direction of flow and pressure.
(7) 
Names of owners of abutting properties, and lines showing where they intersect.
(8) 
Existing contours at intervals of at least every 20 feet. USGS maps may suffice for the basis of this item. The Town reserves the right to request greater detail when the scope or nature of the development demands the same.
(9) 
Proposed layout of streets, alleys and other public rights-of-way, including widths and proposed names, which shall not duplicate existing names by spelling or pronunciation. The street proposals shall be accompanied by a submission of plans as required by the Town road and street encroachment laws, including profiles, cross sections, and preliminary designs for bridges and culverts.
(10) 
The proposed layout, numbering and approximate dimensions and acreage of lots.
(11) 
Parcels to be dedicated to the public or reserved for their use or to be reserved by covenant for residents shall be shown and marked as such.
(12) 
Building setback lines. Where lots are located on a curve or side lines are not parallel, the width at the building line shall be shown.
(13) 
All drainage easements shall be shown and marked as such.
(14) 
Approximate final grades in areas of cut or fill shall be shown.
(15) 
Any lots designated for uses other than residential shall be indicated.
(16) 
Proposed covenants and restrictions.
(17) 
Evidence of water supply. In cases where no public water supply is planned as part of the subdivision, the subdivider shall supply acceptable evidence of the availability of other potable water source. This evidence may be in the form of drill logs from existing wells established by professional well drillers.
(18) 
Letters from each utility servicing the area indicating that the utility company is aware of and will provide service to the proposed subdivision.
(19) 
An erosion and sedimentation control plan indicating those measures to be employed during construction and as may be necessary to prevent loss of soil from erosion and to prevent resulting property damage, siltation and contamination of watercourses or impoundments.
(20) 
A stormwater management plan prepared in accord with the requirements hereof and DEC guidelines and standards (see "Reducing the Impacts of Stormwater Runoff from New Development").
(21) 
Documentation as may be required by the New York State Department of Health or the Planning Board, along with a soils evaluation by the test pit method and/or other required supplemental data relating to sewage disposal.
(22) 
All applicable zoning data.
(23) 
Completed applications to the Town of Massena, the County of St. Lawrence or the New York Department of Transportation, as the case may be, for street encroachment or highway occupancy permits.
(24) 
Detailed landscaping plans for such common areas or improvements as may require new landscaping.
A. 
After approval of the preliminary plat, the subdivider, in a manner consistent with the New York State Town Law, shall provide for the installation of the required improvements (those physical additions and changes which may be necessary to provide usable and desirable lots). Before requesting final plat approval, the subdivider must:
(1) 
Install all the improvements approved on the preliminary plat or required by Article IV, Design Standards; or
(2) 
File with the Town Board a performance guarantee to insure installation and construction of those improvements at the standards required. Such guarantee shall meet with the approval of the Town Attorney as to form and procedure.
B. 
The subdivider shall meet with the Town Engineer to develop a schedule, so that at the time each improvement is to be installed and upon its completion, adequate inspections can be made.
C. 
This section is designed to be consistent with § 277 of the New York State Town Law, and the Town of Massena hereby incorporates all authorities and requirements contained therein as part of this chapter.
(1) 
Posting. The performance guarantee must be approved by the Town Board and the Town Attorney, with the advice of the Town Engineer, and must:
(a) 
Be a corporate surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit from a bank or certified check, provided that the same is satisfactory to the Town Board and the Town Attorney and meets Town Law § 277 requirements.
(b) 
Be payable to the Town of Massena.
(2) 
Be in an amount sufficient to complete the improvements in compliance with these regulations plus any expected cost increases over the period of the guarantee. Costs shall be assumed to escalate a minimum of 10% per year for purposes of determining the amount of a guarantee.
(3) 
In the case of cash or its equivalent, be held in an escrow fund in the name of the Town of Massena.
(4) 
Specify a satisfactory completion date for improvements which shall, unless extended by mutual consent of the subdivider and the Planning Board, be not more than three years from the date of the final plat approval. Should an extension be granted, the amount of the guarantee shall be increased as may be required to cover further cost increases as provided in Subsection C(3) above. Provisions may also be made, pursuant to the aforementioned Town Law § 277, for completion of improvements in phases.
(a) 
Return. When the improvements have been completed and approved for conformity with these regulations by the Planning Board and the Town Engineer or other qualified individual designated by the Town and accepted by the Town Board, the guarantee must be released and returned. When any of the required improvements have been completed and approved or materials for the same have been secured on site, a portion of the security commensurate with the cost of these improvements may be released and returned.
(b) 
Default. In the event of default, the obligor and surety shall be liable thereon to the Town of Massena for the cost of the improvements or parts thereof not installed. If proceeds of such bond or other security are insufficient to pay the cost of installing or making repairs or corrections to all the improvements covered by said security, the Town Board may, at its option, install part of such improvements in all or part of the subdivision or land development and may institute appropriate legal or equitable action to recover the moneys necessary to complete the remainder of the improvements. All of the proceeds, whether resulting from the security or from any legal or equitable action brought against the subdivider, or both, shall be used solely for the installation of the improvements covered by such security, and not for any other municipal purpose.
(5) 
Prior to the certification of any improvements or release of any guarantee, the subdivider shall pay all inspection and related costs (for professional services, meetings, advertisements and expenses) associated with the improvements or guarantees. These costs will be assessed as a special fee apart from the regular fees provided for in this chapter. Said payment shall be made to the Town of Massena.
D. 
Where improvements are being dedicated to the Town, the subdivider shall comply with the applicable requirements of any other Town laws governing dedication of improvements and submit a maintenance bond or other approved performance guarantee to guarantee maintenance and repair of those improvements for 18 months from the date of dedication. The maintenance bond shall generally be a maximum of 15% of the costs of improvements, subject to approval of the Town Board. Similar maintenance agreements may be required for private streets, and nothing herein shall be deemed to require acceptance of dedication by the Town under any circumstances.
The final plat shall be prepared on one or more sheets of a uniform size coinciding with requirements of the St. Lawrence County Clerk's office. Final plat attachments and exhibits shall be numbered and labeled in accordance with the requirements of this section and a "subdivision checklist" to be developed by the Town.
A. 
The final plat shall include, in addition to the information required for the preliminary plat submission, the following, in nine copies:
(1) 
Exact locations, widths and names of all streets and all crosswalks within the subdivision.
(2) 
Complete curve data for all curves included in the plat.
(3) 
Exact descriptions of all easements being provided for services or utilities in the subdivision, and any limitations placed on the use of such easements.
(4) 
Accurate outlines of any lots or areas to be reserved or dedicated for common use by residents of the subdivision, or for general public use, with the purpose indicated thereon, including all open space, conservation or drainage easements.
(5) 
Front building lines, shown graphically with dimensions.
(6) 
A final version of all restrictions and covenants, if any, the subdivider intends to place in the deeds to the lots in the subdivision. If no such restrictions or covenants are to be imposed, a statement to that effect shall be included.
(7) 
The total tract boundary lines of the area being subdivided, with accurate distances to hundredths of a foot and bearings to one minute. These boundaries shall be determined by accurate survey in the field; provided, however, that the boundary(s) adjoining additional unplatted land of the subdivider (for example, between separately submitted final plat sections) is(are) not required to be based upon field survey and may be calculated. The location of all boundary line (perimeter) monuments shall be indicated, along with a statement of the total area of the property being subdivided. In addition, the engineer or surveyor shall certify the placement of the monuments.
(8) 
The final plat shall contain a certificate signed by the project engineer indicating that all improvements have either been installed and approved by the proper officials or agencies or that a guarantee in an amount satisfactory to the Town Engineer and sufficient to ensure their installation has been submitted to the Town.
(9) 
Complete final construction plans and profiles of installed or proposed public sanitary sewage disposal systems and storm drains, with grades and pipe sizes, unless on-site sewage disposal systems are to be used.
(10) 
Complete final construction plans of installed or proposed public water distribution systems showing pipe sizes and locations of valves and fire hydrants, if any, unless private wells are to be used.
(11) 
Evidence of actual arrangements made with utility companies or agencies for supplying each lot in the subdivision.
(12) 
A key map for the purpose of locating the site to be subdivided, at a scale of not less than 2,000 feet to one inch, showing the relation of the property to adjoining property and to all streets, roads and municipal boundaries existing within 4,000 feet or any part of the property proposed to be subdivided. USGS quadrangle maps may suffice as a base for such a key map.
(13) 
Blank approval blocks for the Town Planning Board stamp and signatures shall appear on every sheet of the set of plans.
(14) 
A statement that erosion and sedimentation and stormwater management plans, as required, have been prepared and, where appropriate, approved by the St. Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District.
(15) 
Copies of street encroachment or highway occupancy permits and complete final construction plans, including agreements as may be required to ensure maintenance of private streets.
B. 
Each final plat submission shall, in addition to the items required above, include new submissions of preliminary plat data in any instance where there has been a change in the plans or the circumstances surrounding them.
Lot improvements, and natural subdivisions where the parcels are already delimited by streets, railroads or other similar physical features effectively separating a parcel into different building lots, shall be exempt from the requirements contained herein, provided that nine copies of a plan prepared by a licensed land surveyor or professional engineer have been submitted describing the conveyances involved by metes and bounds and in sufficient detail to determine the situation fits the criteria below. To qualify as a lot improvement, the parcels shall:
A. 
Involve the addition of land to an existing parcel so as to:
(1) 
Improve ability of that parcel to comply with setback or other building standards; or
(2) 
Increase suitability of the parcel for building development; or
(3) 
Add to the availability of open space; or
(4) 
Resolve a boundary line dispute or produce a corrected deed if a map reflecting the same is desired for recording purposes.
B. 
Not substantially reduce the ability of the lot, from which the lot improvement parcel is taken or reconfigured, to comply with the applicable standards of this chapter.
C. 
Include a map restriction to the effect the improvement parcel will never be considered a separate building lot apart from the tract to which it is being added. The Planning Board shall, within 31 days of the receipt of the lot improvement plans, determine whether they comply with the exemption criteria found above. Should the Planning Board fail to act in the provided time or make a finding that the plans do not meet the criteria; such plans shall be deemed rejected unless an extension is granted by the Planning Board. If the Planning Board finds they do qualify as a lot improvement, the Board shall sign the plans with the following notation: "These plans are acknowledged by the Town of Massena, and for recording purposes only, to represent an exempt lot improvement or natural subdivision in accordance with § 191-18 of the Town of Massena Subdivision Regulations. No subdivision approval is required or given." No person shall record plans for any lot improvement without so first obtaining the Planning Board's clearance.
At the time an application for subdivision approval is filed, a fee shall be paid to the Town by the subdivider; such fee to be determined from a schedule of fees as adopted by the Town Board by resolution. Additional fees may be imposed to cover the costs of inspections, professional reviews and SEQRA compliance, as well as the expenses connected with notices and hearings.