It is in the best interests of the Town of Rush to protect, as much as possible, features which are environmentally sensitive and to preserve the rural character of the Town. If property proposed to be subdivided and/or developed contains any environmentally sensitive features, as defined in this article, the applicant must obtain an environmental special permit from the Planning Board after demonstrating that the subdivision and/or development will be implemented in a manner calculated to take into account the environmentally sensitive features and to avoid interference with and protect such features as much as possible. The Planning Board may condition the permit upon such mitigating measures as it deems appropriate.
The presence or absence of environmentally sensitive features shall be disclosed on the application by the applicant. If any are present, they shall be shown on the sketch layout and preliminary plat. The Planning Board and Conservation Board, in their reviews of the application, will determine the accuracy of the applicant's assessment of the presence or absence of environmentally sensitive features.
Environmentally sensitive features are areas or conditions which have been determined as deserving special consideration and/or treatment. The following are environmentally sensitive features:
WETLAND: An area which has standing water at any time of year, which has a marshy or swampy aspect for more than half of the year, and which has vegetation characteristic of a wetland. Wetland areas include those designated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, but also include areas smaller than the twelve-and-four-tenths-acre minimum protected by state law, and include a one-hundred-foot wide area around the wetland.
An area within:
200 feet of the center line of a natural or man-made watercourse with an approximate channel top width which is 100 feet or greater;
100 feet of the center line of a natural or man-made watercourse with an approximate channel top width which is 50 feet or greater and less than 100 feet;
50 feet of the center line of a natural or man-made watercourse with an approximate channel top width of less than 50 feet.
The approximate channel top width of a watercourse shall be deemed to be the width of the watercourse at its mean annual flood level.
WOODLAND: An area of one or more contiguous acres of mature wooded land. Mature wooded land is a continuously wooded area in which more than half of the trees are 30 feet or more in height or six inches in trunk diameter at a level of four feet from the ground. It shall not be interpreted to include orchards, Christmas tree lots, or other trees planted for the specific purpose of commercial harvest.
STEEP SLOPE: An area with a slope of 15% or greater measured over a linear distance of 100 feet and all areas within 50 feet of said slopes. Shall also include an area with a 10% to 15% slope so measured, in combination with a rock outcropping.
ARCHEOLOGICAL OR HISTORICAL SITE: An area containing structures or artifacts of historical or prehistorical significance. Archeological sites include areas designated by the Rochester Museum and Science Center or other recognized agency as known archeological sites or strong potential sites by virtue of close contiguity with known sites. Historical sites include, but are not limited to, buildings, sites or districts listed on the State or National Registers of Historical Places, a National Landmark, or any site which is currently in the application process for such designation.
In granting an environmental special permit, the Planning Board may impose whatever conditions it deems necessary to preserve or mitigate interference with the environmentally sensitive features. The conditions imposed shall seek to enhance and preserve the environmentally sensitive features and the existing character of the area.