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Town of Massena, NY
St. Lawrence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The R-A Residential-Agricultural District is intended to recognize and protect the integrity and property values of areas of the Town which are suitable for a variety of residential types and rural livelihoods. In R-A Districts, no buildings or premises shall be used except for the following:
A. 
Permitted uses.
(1) 
Uses required a standard permit (permitted by right):
(a) 
R-1 District permitted uses.
(b) 
Two-family dwellings.
(c) 
Farm operation: seven acres required. Consult the Agriculture and Markets Departments for current standards. See the definition of "farm operation" for details.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See the definition of "farm operation" under the definition of "farm" in § 207-70.
(d) 
Hobby farm (three to five acres required). See the definition for details.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See the definition of "hobby farm" in § 207-70.
(2) 
Uses requiring site plan approval:
(a) 
R-1 District uses requiring site plan approval.
(b) 
Manufactured homes and manufactured home parks.
(c) 
Multiple dwellings and conversion of existing dwelling to multiple dwelling.
(d) 
Nurseries and commercial greenhouses. Required acreage varies; consult the Agriculture and Markets Department for standards.
(e) 
Nonagricultural keeping of livestock, fowl or fur-bearing animals.
(f) 
Commercial kennels, veterinary clinics and animal hospitals.
(g) 
Railroads, airports and utilities and radio and television stations and their related transmission antennas, towers and other facilities.
(h) 
Campgrounds and other recreation facilities.
(i) 
Motels.
(j) 
Restaurants.
(k) 
Boardinghouses or rooming houses.
(l) 
Small rural businesses.
[Added 10-20-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
B. 
Small rural business applicants must meet the following criteria:
[Added 10-20-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
(1) 
The owner of the business shall be the same as the owner of the lot.
(2) 
The minimum lot size shall be determined at the presubmission conference with the Planning Board.
(3) 
The total number of employees, including owner(s) shall not exceed four persons.
(4) 
There shall be adequate off-street parking, per § 207-34A(3) of the Town of Massena Zoning Code.
(5) 
No offensive noise, vibrations, glare, dust, fumes, odor or electrical interference shall be produced.
(6) 
Hours of operation shall be specified in the special use permit.
(7) 
Any permits required by other regulatory agencies (for example: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) must be obtained before applying for a "small rural business" designation.
(8) 
Outside storage will be prohibited unless adequate screening is provided to protect the integrity of the neighborhood and the value of neighboring properties. Screening must be approved by the Planning Board.
(9) 
Signage, as per Town of Massena Code § 207-33C(1), (2) and (3):
(a) 
Signs in residential districts (R-1 and R-A).
[1] 
Signs for home occupations shall not be larger than four square feet nor more than eight feet above the ground at maximum height nor more than one in number.
[2] 
Signs for other uses shall not be larger than 32 square feet nor more than eight feet above the ground at maximum height nor more than two in number.
[3] 
Freestanding signs may be located within required front yards but no closer than 25 feet from the pavement.
(10) 
All provisions of this section shall be reviewed every five years.
The minimum lot area and dimensions shall be as follows; refer to the development standards in the Schedule of District Regulations for additional standards:[1]
A. 
Area: 30,000 square feet unless otherwise provided for specific uses or by the Planning Board during site plan review. The minimum area is not intended to be the result of multiplying the minimum width times the minimum depth (irregular lot size).
B. 
Width: 150 feet.
C. 
Depth: 200 feet.
D. 
Yards (distance from any lot line to any building):
(1) 
Front: 50 feet away from the right-of-way or 83 feet from the center of the road, whichever is greater.
(2) 
Side: 20 feet on each side, but 50 feet on the street side on corner lots.
(3) 
Rear: 30 feet.
E. 
Lot coverage: 25% of the total lot area may be covered by buildings.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said schedule is included at the end of this chapter.
The building limitations shall be as follows:
A. 
Maximum height: none.
B. 
Minimum total living space per dwelling unit: 750 feet.
Agricultural District and farm requirements shall be as follows:
A. 
Application to the Town Code Enforcement Officer is required for new farm structures as well as for the modification to existing farm structures.
B. 
Determination of sound agricultural practices.
(1) 
Farmers, as well as those employed, retained or otherwise authorized to act on behalf of farmers, may lawfully engage in agricultural practices within the county at all times, at such locations as are consistent with local zoning or land use laws and § 305 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law and as are reasonably necessary to conduct the business of agriculture. For any agriculture practice, in determining the reasonableness of the time, place, and methodology of such practice, due weight and consideration shall be given to both traditional customs and procedures in the farming industry as well as to advances resulting from improved technologies.
(2) 
Any person may submit, in writing, a request to the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) for an opinion determining whether a specific agricultural practice is sound. In rendering such opinions, the AFPB may consult (within the limitations of its budget or such other grants or funding sources as may be available to it) with such outside experts and agencies as it deems appropriate in reaching a determination as to whether a particular agricultural practice is sound. Such outside experts and agencies may include, but not limited to, the St. Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. All such practices shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
(3) 
The opinion of AFPB in the preceding subsection shall be made by a majority vote of the Board, in a written opinion which shall specify the factual basis for its determination. Dissenting opinions shall likewise be reduced to writing, with reasons. The AFPB shall make its written opinion within 62 days of receipt of the request, unless within that time it has provided notice to the applicant that an extension is necessary and given an estimated date for issuance of the opinion. Opinions of the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board shall be provided to the requesting party: to the New York State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets; to the owner of property on which the practice is conducted, if different; and to any adjoining property owners. In a manner consistent with Local Law No. 3 of 1995, the Board shall publish an abstract of the opinion in a newspaper of public record and make a copy of the text available to any person requesting same, the opinion in a manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
(4) 
A determination that an agricultural practice is sound may be issued by the County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board if, upon examination and review, such practice is found to be:
(a) 
Reasonable and necessary to the particular farm or farm operation.
(b) 
Conducted in a manner which is not negligent or reckless.
(c) 
Conducted in conformity with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
(d) 
Conducted in a manner which does not constitute a threat to public health and safety or cause injury to the health or safety of any one person.
(e) 
Conducted in a manner which does not unreasonably obstruct the free passage or use of commercially navigable waters or public roadways.
C. 
A determination of the Board that an agricultural practice is sound may be presented as evidence by any party in any proceeding for which the nature and character of the practice is relevant or material.
(1) 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an aggrieved party from recovering damages for bodily injury or wrongful death due to failure to follow generally accepted agricultural practices, as outlined in this section, or to maintain any action or proceeding and upon any theory of legal liability which such party is authorized to maintain pursuant to statute or at common law.
(2) 
The Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board may seek public input on any relevant issue before making its decision.
D. 
Design criteria and management practices for spreading of biosolid fertilizer.
(1) 
The minimum horizontal distance from the perimeter of the land application area must meet or exceed the values found in the following table. For storage facilities, the minimum horizontal separation distance is the distance from the storage unit to the nearest item as indicated below. The Department may require greater horizontal separation between the land application area and a surface water body that is actively used as a municipal water supply source.
Nonagricultural District
Minimum Horizontal Separation Distance
(feet)
Agricultural District
Property line
100
Agriculture and Markets Department regulations and the Department of Health shall apply.
Consult with them for current standards.
Residence, place of business or public contact area*
500
Potable water well
200
Surface water and state-regulated wetland (waste not directly injected)
200
Surface water and state-regulated wetland (waste directly injected)
100
NOTE:
*The landowner's or operator's residence, plant nurseries and turf farms are excluded from this requirement. In addition, this requirement does not apply to waste that is directly injected below the land surface or to lands of adjacent owners who consent to the activity within the separation distance.
(2) 
Farm complaint forms for R-A farm operations: Agricultural District/R-A District Odor Report Form (complaint form). Same form used by Agriculture and Markets Departments and the Soil and Water Department of St. Lawrence County.
E. 
Agricultural District: complaint form and literature available from the Code Enforcement Officer and Town Clerk.
(1) 
Agricultural District/R-A District Odor Report Form (complaint form): same form used by Agriculture and Markets Departments and Soil and Water Department of St. Lawrence County.
(2) 
Rural odor issues: A Farm Neighbor Information Sheet.
(3) 
Guidelines for Review of Local Laws Affecting Nutrient Management Practices (i.e., Land Application of Animal Waste, Recognizable and Nonrecognizable Food Waste, Sewage Sludge and Seepage; Animal Waste Storage/Management).
(4) 
Local Laws and Agricultural Districts: How Do They Relate?