Purpose. The purpose of special use permit review is to ensure that land development is compatible with surrounding uses and the human and natural environment, including agricultural and open space resources.
Authority. Pursuant to Town Law § 274-b, the Planning Board is hereby authorized to review and approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove special use permits for land uses within the Town as hereinafter designated pursuant to and in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth in this chapter.
Special use permit review shall be required for any use listed in Table 1 as requiring special use permit review, including any change in an existing use or to construct, improve, remodel, renovate, demolish or convert any building or structure listed as requiring a special use permit in Table 1, or for any amendment to an approved special use permit.
Editor's Note: Table 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
A special use permit application shall be filed with the Town by the owner or owner's agent at least 10 days prior to the Planning Board meeting at which it is to be introduced, on forms prescribed by the Planning Board.
A special use permit application shall contain the following to be deemed complete:
Five copies of a completed application form, containing:
The applicant's name, address and interest in the property.
The name of the owner of the subject property (if different from the applicant).
The subject property address and Tax Map and lot number as shown on the tax records of the Town of Greenwich.
The current zoning district classification and present use of the subject property.
A written general description of the proposed project, the number and size of buildings to be constructed or converted, their present and proposed uses and the number and type (resident, employee, etc.) of occupants anticipated to be accommodated by the project after completion.
A written description of the uses of surrounding properties.
A site plan containing those elements from § 190-16 as may be determined necessary by the Planning Board.
A statement and documentation as may be required to comply with this chapter or other relevant Town law describing the intended method of ownership and maintenance of agriculture and open space.
Other elements integral to the proposed development may be required by the Planning Board where considered necessary to carry out the intent of this chapter, including but not limited to testing to assess environmental capabilities.
[Amended 11-7-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
Within 45 days of a complete special permit application being deemed complete by the Planning Board, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing to receive comments on the application. The Planning Board shall give notice of the public hearing by publishing a notice of hearing in a paper of general circulation in the Town at least five days prior to the date thereof and, at least 10 days prior to that date, by mailing notice of the hearing to all owners of property within 500 feet of the nearest boundary of the property for which the special permit is sought. The Planning Board may elect to waive the notification for certain special permit requests if deemed appropriate.
Within 62 days of close of the public hearing and after considering the evidence presented at the public hearing and after making any further investigations considered necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter, the Planning Board shall determine whether or not to grant a special permit for the proposed use. A special use permit shall be issued if the use for which it is sought is consistent with all of the following standards:
Operations in connection with the proposed use will not be objectionable to nearby properties by reason of noise, fumes, vibration, illumination or other potential nuisance.
Community infrastructure and services, including but not limited to protective services, roadways, garbage collection, schools and water and sewer facilities, are currently or will be of adequate capacity to accommodate the proposed use.
The proposed site possesses adequate soil capacity and natural features to safely support proposed facilities and structures, including water and septic services at the site.
Stormwater will be managed in accordance with the regulations of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and of the Town of Greenwich.
The proposed use, building design and site layout shall meet the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, including the design standards in Article VI, and other regulations and ordinances of the Town and standards of New York State and comply with the intent of the Town's Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
Vehicular and pedestrian traffic patterns associated with the proposed use will be appropriate and satisfactorily established and managed for the area involved. Factors for the Planning Board to consider in making this determination include turning movements in relation to traffic flow, proximity to and relationship to intersections, adequacy of sight distances, location and access of off-street parking, provision for pedestrian traffic, capacity of existing roads and minimizing pedestrian-vehicular circulation conflicts.
The proposed use, design and layout will be of such location, size and character that it will be in harmony with the appropriate and orderly development of the surrounding area.
The proposed location and height of buildings or structures, walls and fences, parking, loading and landscaping shall be such that it will not interfere or discourage appropriate development or use of land adjacent to the proposed site or unreasonably affect its value.
In areas where there are patterns and similarities in the scale and design of neighborhood structures, the scale, design and material of the proposed structure(s) shall be compatible with existing structures within the vicinity of the site.
Adequate screening, landscaping, exterior lighting, signs and architectural designs compatible with the neighborhood and of appropriate size and style will be provided to protect neighborhood properties within the vicinity of the site from any adverse impacts that might result from the proposed use.
The development will be organized in a way which reflects the natural capabilities of the site to support such a use. Buildings, lots and support facilities will be clustered in those portions of the site that have the most suitable conditions for development. Environmentally sensitive areas, such as wetlands, steep slopes, floodplains and unique natural features, will be maintained and preserved.
The development will be protective of agricultural and open space resources.
The existing landscape will be preserved in its natural state insofar as practical by minimizing tree removal, disturbance and compaction of soil. Landscaping will be provided to adequately define street edges, buffer adjacent properties and break up parking areas.
As appropriate, the site will provide for recreation areas and open space sufficient to meet the needs of users and residents of the development.
Denial. If the Planning Board determines that the proposed use would not comply with the requirements of this chapter and in particular with one or more of the standards stated in § 190-32, it shall deny the application.
Approval. If the Planning Board determines that the proposed use will comply with this chapter and in particular with all of the standards stated in § 190-32 of this article, the Board may grant a special use permit for the proposed use. In rendering its decision, the Board shall issue a written decision that shall include any reasonable additional conditions imposed on the proposed use by the Board to prevent or minimize any potentially adverse impacts of the proposed use on adjacent or nearby property.
The Planning Board, as a condition of granting a special use permit, may specify its term of validity. There are three types of permits which may be granted by the Planning Board, described as follows:
Permanent: permits a specific use to continue indefinitely until the specific use ceases for any reason for a period of 12 consecutive months.
Temporary: permits a specific use to continue until a specific date, at which time the special use permit shall automatically terminate and the use shall be permanently discontinued. This type shall not be renewable.
Renewable: permits a specific use to continue until a specific date, unless renewed or extended by the Planning Board for an additional period of time. If not extended, the use shall be permanently discontinued. It is the responsibility of the applicant and not the Town of Greenwich, or any board, officer or employee thereof, to initiate the request for the renewal or extension prior to the expiration of the original term of such renewable special use permit. If not extended or renewed prior to the date set for expiration, the right to continue such special use shall terminate on such expiration date, subject to the right of the applicant to seek an extension or renewal. Applications for permit extensions or renewals shall be made on the applicable form provided by the Town of Greenwich. The application shall include an affirmation that there have been no changes in the use since the date of the original approval. The Planning Board may waive the public hearing for extension or renewal of a special permit.
[Amended 12-28-2016 by L.L. No. 10-2017]
Any applicant who receives a temporary or renewable special use permit and who decides to proceed with the special use does so realizing that the temporary special use permit has a fixed duration, that all rights to continue that use terminate upon the expiration of the specified time, and that the renewable special use permit may not be extended beyond its original term without approval pursuant to this section. The applicant, in accepting a temporary or renewable special use permit, acknowledges and agrees that such special use permit confers no rights or privileges other than those specifically contained therein.
No special use permit shall be valid for a period longer than one year from the date of issuance if construction of the special use has not begun. If construction of the special use has actually begun within the first year and is thereafter diligently pursued to completion within the second year, the special use permit shall remain in force. In the event that construction has not been completed two years from the date of the special permit issuance, the special use permit shall expire, unless extended by the Planning Board.
One or more extensions of said time, each not to exceed one year, may be granted by the Planning Board to extend the effective life of a special permit if the facts which supported the granting of the permit have not materially changed.
A special use permit authorizes only the activity expressly described in the application and approved permit materials. A special use permit shall expire upon change in property ownership or property transfer, unless the official is notified by the owner, in writing, prior to property transfer and the Planning Board reviews the use or activity and special permit documents and is satisfied that the use has and is being conducted in a manner that is consistent with the special permit and any conditions which may have been stipulated at the time of its issuance and approves, in writing, the transfer of the special use permit. Lack of reply from the Planning Board within 30 days of notification by the property owner shall constitute approval of the continuation of the special use permit. A new special use permit shall be required for any expansion, alteration or variation of a use already authorized by a special use permit. A request for such a permit shall be subject to the application and review procedures described in this article.