[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of New Castle 7-28-2009 by L.L. No. 9-2009. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 46.
Building construction administration — See Ch. 48.
Zoning — See Ch. 60.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 113.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 76, Historic Preservation, adopted 3-10-1992 by L.L. No. 4-1992, as amended.
It is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of historic properties is necessary to promote the economic, cultural, educational and general welfare of the public. Historic properties are defined as buildings, structures, sites, objects, or other features that represent or reflect significant elements of the Town's cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history. The Town is authorized to enact a local law pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 10 and General Municipal Law § 96-a to effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of such historic properties, in order to safeguard the Town's historic, aesthetic and cultural heritage; to stabilize and improve property values; to ensure the harmonious, orderly and efficient growth in development of the Town; to foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past; to protect and enhance the Town's attractiveness to visitors; and to provide an educational service to the community.
Jurisdiction and purpose. To effectuate the goals of this chapter, there is hereby created in and for the Town of New Castle the Landmarks Advisory Committee (hereinafter the "Committee").
Composition and selection.
The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Town Board. The Committee shall consist of five members, all of whom shall be Town residents. One member shall be the Town Historian. All members shall have a known interest in historic preservation and architectural development within the Town of New Castle.
The Committee members shall serve three-year terms, except that initially two members shall be appointed for three-year terms, two for two-year terms and one member for a one-year term.
The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee shall be appointed by the Town Board.
Vacancies shall be filled by the Town Board.
Powers and duties. The Committee shall investigate, document and make recommendations, in its discretion, to the Town Board to designate historic properties as New Castle landmarks, pursuant to § 76-3 herein. The Committee shall provide written reports concerning the historic character of designated New Castle landmarks and recommendations for their preservation. The Committee shall also review plans and provide written comments to the Building Inspector for any application involving the proposed moving, exterior construction, alteration, removal or demolition of a New Castle landmark.
The Committee, in carrying out the aforementioned duties, shall have the power to:
Employ staff and professional consultants, if necessary to carry out the duties of the Committee, to the extent that funds are appropriated and available therefor.
Promulgate rules and regulations as necessary for the conduct of its business as set forth in this chapter.
Adopt criteria for the identification of significant historic, architectural and cultural structures, sites and areas.
Conduct surveys, in consultation with public or private agencies, if appropriate, of buildings for the purpose of determining those of historic, architectural or cultural significance and pertinent facts about them.
Identify structures or resources as historic properties and possible New Castle landmarks.
Increase public awareness of the value of historic, architectural and cultural preservation by developing and participating in public information programs.
Make recommendations to the Town of New Castle concerning the utilization of state, federal or private funds to promote the preservation of landmarks and historic properties within the Town.
Formulate and publish recommendations concerning the preparation of maps, brochures and historical markers for designated historic, architectural and cultural landmarks, landmark sites and historic properties.
Advise owners of historical buildings on problems and benefits of preservation and restoration; assist owners of historical buildings with preservation plans and activities and provide advice as to recommended restoration or choice of appropriate materials, as compatible with the historic nature of the landmark, landmark site and/or historical property and the intent of this chapter.
The Committee shall meet at least semiannually, but meetings may be held at any time on the written request of any two of the Committee members or on the call of the Chairman or the Town Board.
A majority of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of its business or the performance of its functions, and the concurring vote of a majority of those constituting a quorum shall be necessary for the adoption of any recommendations or other acts of the Committee.
The Town Board and the Committee, with the concurrence of the owner(s), may designate any historic property, including any building, structure, site, or object constituting a physical betterment of real property or any part of such betterment, a New Castle landmark if it:
Possesses special character of historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic or social history of the Town, region, state or nation;
Is identified with historic personages;
Embodies distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or possesses unique architectural and artistic qualities;
Is the work of a designer or master whose work has significantly influenced an age; or
Because of a unique location or singular physical characteristic, represents an established and familiar visual feature of the neighborhood.
Notice of a proposed designation shall be sent by mail to the owner of the property proposed for designation, describing the property and action to be taken and requesting the owner's written consent to the designation. Forty-five days following the mailing of the notice the Town Board shall schedule a public hearing at the next available Town Board meeting to consider the designation.
The Town Board shall hold a public hearing prior to designation of any historic property as a New Castle landmark. The Committee, 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 or cultural importance of the proposed New Castle landmark. The record may also contain staff reports, public comments or other evidence offered outside of the hearing.
The Town Board shall file notice of each historic property designated as a New Castle landmark, including the boundaries of the historic property, in the office of the Town Clerk.
Within 10 days following the adoption of a resolution establishing a New Castle landmark, the landmark shall be recorded on the Official Map of the Town and will indicate the portions of the land embracing the New Castle landmark.
A New Castle landmark designation may be amended or rescinded in the same manner as the original designation.
Any designation made under this chapter shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of filing the notice in the Town Clerk's office.
No building, structure, site, or other element relating to the exterior features of a designated New Castle landmark shall be constructed, altered, moved or demolished except in compliance with the requirements set forth in this section and all other applicable laws of the State of New York, County of Westchester, and Town of New Castle.
The Committee shall review all plans for the moving, construction, alteration, or demolition of any element relating to the exterior features of a designated New Castle landmark.
It shall be the duty of the Committee to review such plans and provide written comments before a building permit for the proposed activity is granted by the Building Inspector or, if Town agency approval is required, prior to approval of any application by appropriate Town agencies, such as the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, or Architectural Board of Review.
The Committee shall only review plans relating to the exterior features of a structure or building and shall have no jurisdiction to consider interior walls, arrangements or structures.
Additions or alterations to buildings or structures located wholly or partly within designated New Castle landmarks should be consistent with, or appropriate to, the materials and styles of the particular architectural period associated with said buildings or structures. Additions or alterations should also be compatible in scale with the original buildings or structures and should leave them visible and intact to the greatest extent possible.
Procedure for the review of plans.
Application for a permit to construct, alter, move or demolish any element relating to the exterior features of a New Castle landmark shall be made to the Building Inspector, who shall confirm that the property is currently designated as a New Castle landmark. The application shall state that the property is a New Castle landmark. Plans and photographs shall be submitted showing the existing element, its relation to adjacent structures or buildings, and the construction, alteration, moving or demolition proposed.
The Building Inspector shall transmit the application and the plans to the Committee.
The Committee shall then review the plans according to the provisions of this chapter. In reviewing the plans, the Committee may confer with the applicant or his authorized representative.
The Committee shall provide written comments within 45 days after receiving the application and said plans and shall transmit these comments to the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector will, in turn, transmit the Committee's written comments to the applicant and to the appropriate Town agencies, such as the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, and Architectural Board of Review. If the Committee fails to act within 45 days of its receipt of the application and plans, the application shall be deemed to have met the requirements under this section. The forty-five-day review period may be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the Committee, with notice to the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall promptly notify any appropriate Town agencies, such as the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, and Architectural Board of Review, of the agreed-upon extended review period.
The Building Inspector shall not grant a building permit, and there shall be no final decision by the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board or Architectural Board of Review, on an application for property designated as a New Castle landmark until at least 45 days have elapsed from the date the application and plans are received by the Committee or, if applicable, after the agreed-upon extended review period.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent ordinary maintenance or repair, with appropriate materials, of any element of a New Castle landmark.
This chapter shall not apply in any case where the Building Inspector or any authorized Town enforcement agency orders or directs the construction, removal, alteration or demolition of any element of a New Castle landmark for the purpose of remedying conditions determined to be unsafe or dangerous to the life, health or property of any person.
Every owner of a New Castle landmark shall maintain it in good order and repair.
The Town Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Architectural Board of Review and Building Inspector shall take into consideration the historic significance of any designated New Castle landmark, including consideration of written comments and oral testimony by the Committee submitted to those agencies, prior to granting approvals of applications involving or affecting such a property.
In reviewing such applications, the aforementioned agencies shall consider, to the extent permitted by law, the following:
Whether any construction, alteration, moving, or demolition of existing properties would be compatible with its historic character, as well as with the surrounding area.
In applying the principle of compatibility, the aforementioned agencies may consider the following factors:
The general design, character and appropriateness to the New Castle landmark of any proposed alteration or new construction;
The scale of the proposed alteration or new construction in relation to the New Castle landmark itself, to surrounding properties, and to the neighborhood;
Visual compatibility with surrounding properties, including the proportion of the property's front facade and the rhythm of spacing of properties on streets, including setback; and
The importance of architectural or other features to the historic significance of the property.
In accordance with Real Property Tax Law § 444-a, a New Castle landmark shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of any increase in value attributable to the alteration or rehabilitation of such New Castle landmark pursuant to the following schedule:
No such exemption shall be granted for such alterations or rehabilitation unless:
The alterations or rehabilitation is made for means of historic preservation;
The alterations or rehabilitation meets any guidelines and review standards set forth in this Chapter 76;
The alterations or rehabilitation is approved by the Committee prior to commencement of work; and
Such exemption shall be granted only by application of the owner or owners of such New Castle landmark on a form prescribed by the State Board of Equalization and Assessment. The application shall be filed with the Assessor of the Town on or before the Town's taxable status date.
Such exemption shall be granted where the Assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an exemption pursuant to this section. The Assessor shall approve such application, and such property shall thereafter be exempt from taxation and special ad valorem levies as herein provided commencing with the assessment roll prepared on the basis of the taxable status date referred to in Subsection C herein. The assessed value of any exemption granted pursuant to this section shall be entered by the Assessor on the assessment roll with the taxable property, with the amount of the exemption shown in a separate column.