Village of Great Neck Plaza, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Great Neck Plaza 8-4-1999 by L.L. No. 7-1999.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 89.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 91.
Condominium conversion — See Ch. 98.
Zoning — See Ch. 225.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 121, Historic Conservation, adopted 1-5-1977 by L.L. No. 2-1977.

§ 121-1 Findings and purpose.

It is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of landmarks and historic 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 the Village of Great Neck Plaza has many significant historic, architectural and cultural resources which constitute its heritage, this chapter is intended to:
A. 
Protect and enhance the landmarks and historic districts which represent distinctive elements of Great Neck Plaza's historic, architectural and cultural heritage;
B. 
Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;
C. 
Protect and enhance Great Neck Plaza's attractiveness to visitors and the support and stimulus to the economy thereby provided; and
D. 
Ensure the harmonious, orderly and efficient: growth and development of the Village of Great Neck Plaza.

§ 121-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING
A structure wholly or partially enclosed within exterior walls, or within exterior or party walls, and a roof, affording shelter to persons, animals or property.
COMMISSION
The Great Neck Plaza Historic Preservation Commission, as established in § 121-3 of this chapter.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL FEATURE(S)
The architectural style, design, general arrangement and components of all of the outer surfaces of any building or structure or historic district, including, but not limited to, the kind, color and texture of building materials and the type and style of all windows, doors, lights, landscaping, signs and other fixtures appurtenant to a building or structure.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
Any area which satisfies the requirements of § 121-4C of this chapter.
LANDMARK
Any place, structure or building which satisfies the requirements of § 121-4B of this chapter.
LANDMARK AND HISTORIC DISTRICT MAP
A map to be prepared and maintained by the Village Building Inspector identifying the locations of all landmarks and historic districts within the Village.
PROPERTY
Any parcel of land, structure, place or building located wholly or partially within the Village of Great Neck Plaza.
STRUCTURE
Any assembly of materials forming a construction framed of component structural parts for occupancy or use, including buildings.
VILLAGE
The Village of Great Neck Plaza.
VILLAGE BOARD
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Great Neck Plaza.

§ 121-3 Historic Preservation Commission.

A. 
There is hereby created a commission to be known as the "Great Neck Plaza Historic Preservation Commission."
B. 
Membership.
(1) 
The Commission shall consist of an odd number of members, no less than five and no more than nine, to be appointed, to the extent available in the community, by the Village Board of Trustees as follows:
(a) 
At least one shall be an architect;
(b) 
At least one shall be an historian;
(c) 
At least one shall be a licensed real estate broker;
(d) 
At least one shall be an attorney;
(e) 
At least one shall be a resident of a landmark or an historic district;
(f) 
At least one shall have demonstrated significant interest in and commitment to the field of historic preservation evidenced either by involvement in a local historic preservation group, employment or volunteer activity in the field of historic preservation or other serious interest in the field;
(g) 
At least one shall be a resident of the Village; and
(2) 
All members shall have an interest in historic preservation and architectural development within the Village of Great Neck Plaza.
C. 
Commission members shall serve for terms of three years, with the exception of the initial terms of two of the members, which shall be one year, and the initial terms of two other members, which shall be two years.
D. 
The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Commission shall be appointed by the Village Board of Trustees from among the members of the Commission.
E. 
The powers of the Commission shall include:
(1) 
Employment of staff and professional consultants as necessary to carry out the duties of the Commission within the budget allocated by the Village Board.
(2) 
Promulgation of rules and regulations as necessary for the conduct of its business.
(3) 
Adoption of criteria for the identification of significant historic, architectural, and cultural landmarks and for the delineation of historic districts.
(4) 
Conduct of surveys of significant historic, architectural and cultural landmarks and historic districts within the Village.
(5) 
The making of recommendations to the Village Board for designation of identified properties as landmarks and historic districts.
(6) 
The making of recommendations to the Village Board concerning the acquisition and acceptance of facade easements or other interests in real property as necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(7) 
The making of recommendations to the Village Board concerning the utilization of state, federal or private funds to promote the preservation of landmarks and historic districts within the Village.
(8) 
The making of recommendations to the Village Board concerning the acquisition of a landmark by the Village where its preservation is essential to the purposes of this chapter and where private preservation is not feasible.
(9) 
Increasing public awareness of the value of historic, cultural and architectural preservation by developing and participating in public education programs.
(10) 
Approval or disapproval of applications for certificates of appropriateness pursuant to this chapter.
(11) 
The making of an annual written report to the Village Board which shall describe the Commission' s activities during the prior year and which shall document the physical changes of significance within the Village during the prior year.
(12) 
The prioritization of matters and hearings before it in accordance with the constraints imposed by its budget and resources.
F. 
The Commission shall meet as necessary, and meetings shall be held at any time on the written request of a majority less one of the Commission members or on the call of the Commission Chairperson or the Mayor.
G. 
A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the Commission's members, but not less than a majority of the full membership may authorize any action by the Commission.

§ 121-4 Procedure for designation of landmarks or historic districts.

A. 
The designation of an individual property as a landmark or of a group of properties as an historic district shall be made by the Village Board after the written report and recommendation of the Commission in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth herein.
B. 
An individual property may be designated as a landmark if it:
(1) 
Possesses special character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic or social history of the locality, region, state or nation; or
(2) 
Is identified with historic personages; or
(3) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style; or
(4) 
Is the work of a designer whose work has significantly influenced an age; or
(5) 
Represents an established and familiar visual feature of a neighborhood by reason of a unique location or singular physical characteristic.
C. 
A group of properties may be designated as an historic district if it contains properties which meet one or more of the criteria for designation of a landmark; and by reason of possessing such qualities, it constitutes a distinct section of the Village. The boundaries of each historic district designated henceforth shall be specified in detail and shall be identified on the Landmark and Historic District Map of the Village, which it shall be available for public inspection.
D. 
The Commission shall, promptly after the enactment of this chapter, conduct such surveys of the Village as shall be necessary and advisable for the purpose of making a report and recommendation to the Board of Trustees concerning properties to be designated as landmarks or historic districts.
E. 
Any person, as well as the Village Board, may request the designation by the Commission of property or properties as landmarks or historic districts.
F. 
In the event that the Commission decides that it is advisable to proceed with the designation of any property or group of properties as a landmark or historic district, then the Commission shall proceed to consider such designation in accordance with the procedures set forth hereinafter. The Commission shall not be required to address such designations on a first-filed basis, but can instead address them in accordance with the architectural or historical significance of the properties involved.
G. 
Notice of a proposed designation shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, by the Commission to the owners of the property or properties proposed for designation, describing the property or properties proposed and announcing a public hearing by the Commission to consider the designation. Notice of a proposed designation shall also be provided by regular first-class mail to owners of all property within 250 feet of any property or properties proposed to be designated as a landmark or as part of an historic district. Such notices shall be mailed at least 14 days before the public hearing. Notice of the proposed designation and public hearing shall also be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation at least 14 days prior to the date of the public hearing. Once the Commission has issued notice of a proposed designation, no building permits or other permits regarding such property or properties shall be issued by the Village until after the determinations by the Commission and the Village Board in accordance with the procedures set forth herein.
[Amended 4-21-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
H. 
The Commission shall hold a public hearing prior to making a written report and recommendation to the Board of Trustees concerning the 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 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.
I. 
The Commission shall make its determination regarding a proposed designation within 60 days after the conclusion of the public hearing. The Commission's determination may approve or reject the proposed designation as submitted, or may make modifications thereto.
J. 
After notice and hearing as described above, the Commission shall send a written report and recommendation to the Village Board regarding the designation of a proposed landmark or historic district. The Village Board shall then hold a public hearing regarding the proposed designation, after notice. Such notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owners of the property or properties proposed for designation, describing the property or properties and announcing a public hearing by the Village Board to consider the designation. Such notice shall also be provided by regular first-class mail to owners of all property within 250 feet of any property or properties proposed to be designated as a landmark or as part of an historic district. Such notice shall be mailed at least 14 days before the public hearing. Notice of the proposed designation and public hearing shall also be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation at least 14 days prior to the date of the public hearing. The Board of Trustees shall make its determination regarding a proposed designation within 60 days after the conclusion of the public hearing. The Village Board may approve or reject the proposed designation as submitted or it may make modifications thereto.
[Amended 4-21-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
K. 
The Commission, shall forward notice of each property designated by the Village Board as a landmark and of the boundaries of each designated historic district to the Office of the Nassau County Clerk for recordation. The Commission shall also cause each designated landmark and historic district to be identified on the Village's Landmark and Historic District Map, which shall be available for public inspection.
L. 
In the event that the Board determines, after notice and hearing as described above, to reject the designation of a property or properties as a landmark or historic district, then neither it nor the Commission shall consider a further application for such designation for a period of five years, unless there has been a change of circumstances since the prior application.

§ 121-5 Certificate of appropriateness for alteration, demolition and other actions.

A. 
No person shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition, new construction or moving of a landmark or of a property within an historic district, nor shall any person make any material change in the appearance of such a property, its light fixtures, signs, sidewalks, fences, steps, roof, paving, landscaping or other exterior architectural features visible from a public street or alley which affect the appearance and cohesiveness of the landmark or the historic district, without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the Commission.
B. 
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated elsewhere herein, no certificate of appropriateness shall be required where the Village Building Inspector or any authorized Village enforcement agency orders or directs the construction, removal, repair, alteration or demolition of any landmark or property in an historic district for the purpose of remedying conditions determined to be unsafe or dangerous to the life, health or property of any person.

§ 121-6 Criteria for approval of a certificate of appropriateness.

A. 
In passing upon an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission shall not consider changes to interior spaces, unless they are open to the public or to exterior architectural features that are not visible from a public street or alley.
B. 
The Commission's decision regarding a certificate of appropriateness shall be based upon the following principles:
(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, restoration or reconstruction of existing property shall be compatible with its historic character, as well as with the surrounding district; and
(3) 
New construction shall be compatible with the district in which it is located.
C. 
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, restoration, reconstruction or new construction.
(2) 
The scale of proposed alteration, restoration, reconstruction 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 surrounding properties, including 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.

§ 121-7 Application procedure for certificate of appropriateness.

A. 
Prior to the commencement of any work requiring a certificate of appropriateness, the owner of the property shall file an application for such a certificate with the Commission. The application shall contain:
(1) 
Name, address and telephone number of the applicant;
(2) 
Location and photographs of the property;
(3) 
Elevation drawings of proposed changes, if available;
(4) 
Perspective drawings, including relationship to adjacent properties, if available;
(5) 
Samples of color or materials to be used;
(6) 
Where the proposal includes signs or lettering, a scale drawing 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; and
(7) 
Any other information which the Commission may deem necessary in order to visualize the proposed work.
B. 
No building permit or other permit required by the Village shall be issued for proposed work until a certificate of appropriateness, if necessary, has first been issued by the Commission. The certificate of appropriateness required by this chapter shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit or other permit that may be required by any other ordinance of the Village.
C. 
The Commission shall approve, deny or approve, with any modifications that may be necessary or advisable, the certificate of appropriateness within 120 days from receipt of the completed application. If it deems it necessary and advisable, the Commission may hold a public hearing on the application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
D. 
All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested, and a copy filed with the Village Clerk's office for public inspection. The Commission's decision shall state the reason for denying or modifying any application for a certificate of appropriateness.
[Amended 4-21-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
E. 
In the event that the Commission rejects a certificate of appropriateness for a proposed action by the owner of property or properties designated as a landmark or historic district, and if such determination has not been reversed by the Village Board after review, then the Commission shall not consider a further application for a certificate of appropriateness for such action for a period of five years, unless the applicant can demonstrate a change in circumstances.
F. 
Certificates of appropriateness shall be valid for a period of 12 months. If the owner of the property or other person who has received such a certificate has not commenced the approved work within said period, then a new application must be filed and approved prior to undertaking said work.

§ 121-8 Hardship criteria.

A. 
An applicant whose request for a certificate of appropriateness for a proposed demolition has been denied may thereafter apply for relief on the grounds of hardship. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall 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; and
(3) 
Efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed.
B. 
An applicant whose request for a certificate of appropriateness for a proposed alteration or for any other proposed action requiring a certificate of appropriateness has been denied may apply for relief on the grounds of hardship. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that, unless the certificate of appropriateness is granted, the property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible.
C. 
After receiving written notification from the Commission of the denial of a certificate of appropriateness, an applicant may commence the hardship process. No building permit or other permit shall be issued by the Village without a certificate of appropriateness when such a certificate is required unless the Commission makes a finding that a hardship exists.
D. 
If it deems necessary and advisable, the Commission may hold a public hearing on the hardship application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
E. 
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. 
All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested, 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 hardship application.
[Amended 4-21-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
G. 
In the event that the Commission rejects a hardship application, and if such determination has not been reversed by the Village Board, then the Commission shall not consider a further application for a hardship relating to the denial of a certificate of appropriateness for a period of five years unless the applicant can demonstrate a change in circumstances.

§ 121-9 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by a determination of the Commission finding that it is not advisable under § 121-4F of this chapter to hold a public hearing relating to the designation of property or properties as a landmark or historic district or relating to hardship or a certificate of appropriateness may, within 15 days of such determination, file a written application with the Village Board for review of the determination. Reviews shall be conducted based on the same record that was before the Commission and using the same criteria.

§ 121-10 Enforcement.

All work performed pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness issued under this chapter shall conform to any requirements included therein. It shall be the duty of the Village's Building Code Enforcement Officer 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 upon notification of such fact by the Commission, the Building Code Enforcement Officer 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.

§ 121-11 Required maintenance and repair.

A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary and routine maintenance or 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.
B. 
No owner or person with an interest in property designated as a landmark or included within an historic district shall permit the property to fall into a serious state of disrepair so as to result in the deterioration of any exterior architectural feature which would, in the judgment of the Commission, produce a detrimental effect upon the character of the landmark or historic district as a whole or the life and character of the property itself. Examples of such deterioration include:
(1) 
Deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports.
(2) 
Deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members.
(3) 
Deterioration of exterior chimneys.
(4) 
Deterioration or crumbling of exterior stucco or mortar.
(5) 
Ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs or foundations, including broken windows or doors.
(6) 
Deterioration of any feature so as to create a hazardous condition which could lead to the claim that demolition is necessary for the public safety.

§ 121-11.1 Marker plaques.

[Added 5-18-2005 by L.L. No. 3-2005]
A. 
Every building within the Village that has been designated a historic or landmark building pursuant to this chapter shall be required to display a marker plaque so identifying it.
B. 
Every building within the Village located within a district that has been designated as a historic or landmark district pursuant to this chapter shall be required to display a marker plaque so identifying it.
C. 
The marker plaque required to be displayed shall conform to the size and design standards established by the Village Board of Trustees and shall initially be provided to the building owner by the Village at the Village's cost. In the event that it shall thereafter become necessary to replace the original marker plaque provided by the Village, the building owner shall pay for the cost of a replacement plaque, which shall be identical in size and design to the original marker plaque and which shall be purchased from a list of approved suppliers maintained by the Village Commissioner of Public Services.
D. 
The requisite marker plaque shall be installed prior to the later of the following dates: three months after a building or district has been first designated by the Village Board of Trustees as a landmark or historic district pursuant to this chapter; or August 31, 2005.
E. 
The marker plaque shall be installed on a facade of the building facing the public street in a location to be approved by the Village Commissioner of Public Services or by the Village Board of Trustees, and shall be placed between four and seven feet above street level, unless the Village Board of Trustees, upon application, approves a different location.
F. 
The marker plaque required to be displayed shall be installed by Village personnel or by a contractor approved by the Village in coordination with the building owner or manager.
G. 
It shall be the obligation of the building owner or manager to properly maintain the marker plaque after it is installed. In the event that a plaque is damaged, destroyed or stolen after it is initially installed, then it shall be the obligation of the building owner, within 60 days, to purchase a replacement plaque at its own expense and arrange for its installation by the Village or by an approved contractor.

§ 121-12 Fees and costs.

A. 
Any person who files an application with the Commission seeking the designation of a property as a landmark or historic district shall, at the time such application is made, pay to the Village Clerk the fee of $250.
B. 
Any owner of property who files an application with the Commission for a certificate of appropriateness shall, at the time such application is made, pay to the Village Clerk the fee of $125. However, the Commission may waive such fee, in its sole discretion, for applications relating to minor repair and maintenance activities.
[Amended 5-5-2004 by L.L. No. 4-2004]
C. 
Any owner of property who files a hardship application shall, at the time such application is made, pay to the Village Clerk the fee of $125.
[Amended 5-5-2004 by L.L. No. 5-2004]
D. 
Any person who files an application for review by the Village Board of a determination by the Commission shall, at the time such application is made, pay to the Village Clerk the fee of $250.
E. 
In addition to the above fees, an additional fee of $100 shall be required in connection with the filing of any application where an environmental assessment form (EAF) is also required to be filed, which fee shall be paid at the time the EAF form is filed.
F. 
Additional costs.
(1) 
In addition to those fees specified herein in Subsections A, B, C, D and E, the applicant shall be liable for and shall pay the following costs which may be incurred in processing the application:
(a) 
Advertising.
(b) 
Stenographic minutes of meetings and hearings.
(c) 
Engineering costs for the Village Engineer.
(d) 
Legal fees for the Village Attorney, which shall be charged at an hourly rate approved by the Board of Trustees.
(e) 
Recording fees.
(f) 
Planning, sound, traffic, environmental or other specialized study or consultant's fees.
(2) 
All the foregoing costs shall be consistent with fees then prevailing in the community. Such costs shall be billed by the Village on a monthly basis and shall be paid within 15 days thereafter.
G. 
Deposits required.
(1) 
At the time of making the applications described above, the applicant may be required to deposit with the Village Clerk, in the discretion of the Commission, a sum of money to be used by the Village to defray the costs listed in Subsection F hereof which are actually and necessarily incurred by the Village in processing and reviewing the application, up to the following amounts:
[Amended 5-5-2004 by L.L. No. 4-2004]
(a) 
For applications relating to the designation of a property, the sum of $1,500;
(b) 
For applications relating to a certificate of appropriateness, the sum of $1,500;
(c) 
For hardship applications, the sum of $1,500; and
(d) 
If an expanded EAF or draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) is required or if it appears to the Village Clerk that such art EAF or DEIS may be required, an additional sum of $1,500.
(2) 
In the event that the amount of the above deposits is insufficient to cover the costs listed in Subsection F hereof, the applicant shall, at such time as is fixed by the Village Clerk, deposit with the Village an amount deemed sufficient to defray all such costs. If the amount deposited exceeds the actual costs listed in Subsection F which are actually and necessarily incurred by the Village, the unused portion of such deposit shall be returned to the applicant within 60 days after the decision on the application is filed.
H. 
No action shall be taken by the Village on any application subject to the provisions of this section until all fees and deposits required hereunder are paid in full.

§ 121-13 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
A violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
B. 
The imposition of the penalties in this section shall not preclude the Village Attorney from instituting any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent an unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use or to restrain, correct or abate a violation or to prevent an illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about any premises.