In accordance with the procedures, standards and conditions herein specified, the Planning Board may, in approving a subdivision plat under Chapter 167 of the Code of the Town of Greenwich, permit clustered subdivisions in accordance with § 278 of the Town Law.
The purpose of the cluster provisions is to encourage flexibility in the design and development of land in order to promote its most environmentally sensitive use, to preserve open space and agricultural land, to facilitate the adequate and economic provision of streets and utilities and to encourage compatibility with the goals and objectives of the Town of Greenwich Comprehensive Plan and this chapter.
All developments of five or more lots in the RA District may be required to submit a clustered subdivision plan for consideration by the Planning Board.
A subdivision of five or more lots in any district that is located on prime agricultural soils and/or soils of statewide importance shall be required to submit a clustered subdivision plan for consideration by the Planning Board.
The Planning Board may, at its discretion, require an applicant to prepare a clustered subdivision plat in any district in accordance with this section where it finds that the objectives of this chapter and the Comprehensive Plan are best served by doing so.
An applicant may request the use of this section at his/her discretion.
This article applies only to residential subdivisions. Application for a clustered subdivision shall be submitted to the Planning Board. The application shall be accompanied by the following.
Preliminary review. The Planning Board shall first review the standard plan and determine the number of lots that constitute a reasonable subdivision of the land. The permissible density of a clustered subdivision shall not be more than could be feasibly laid out and approved by the Planning Board on a standard plan, taking into account the following characteristics:
Whether the site is a significant open space area.
Whether the site has prime agricultural soils or soils of statewide significance.
Whether a significant plant or animal habitat exists on the site or may be impacted by the development of the site.
Whether there are wetlands on or near the site that may be affected by the development.
Whether there are streams on or near the site that may be affected by the development.
Whether there are slopes greater than 15% on the site that may be affected by the development.
Whether there are soils with a percolation rate of less than 0.06 per inch or greater than six inches per hour that may be affected by the development.
Whether there are soils with a depth to bedrock of less than 18 inches that may be affected by development.
Whether there are soils with a depth to seasonal high water table of 40 inches or less that may be affected by development.
Whether there are scenic views of the site that may be affected by the development.
Whether there are buildings, structures or sites of historic significance on or adjacent to the development site.
Only those residential uses allowed in the zoning district in which the clustered subdivision is proposed are permitted.
Each clustered open space subdivision shall result in the preservation of land for park, recreation, conservation, agricultural or other open space purposes as follows:
The open space shall have access, shape, dimensions, character, location and topography suitable for the purpose intended, as determined by the Planning Board.
The open space land shall be shown on the plat map and shall be labeled in a manner to indicate that such land is not to be platted for building lots and is permanently reserved for open space purposes.
A perpetual conservation easement limiting the use of the land to recreational, open space, agricultural, or managed forest land purposes and prohibiting residential, commercial or industrial use of such land pursuant to § 247 of the General Municipal Law and/or §§ 49-0301 through 49-0311 of the Environmental Conservation Law shall be granted to the Town, with the approval of the Town Board, or to an approved not-for-profit conservation organization acceptable to the Planning Board. Such conservation easement shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Board and be required as a condition of plat approval hereunder and shall be recorded in the Washington County Clerk's office simultaneously with the filing of an approved clustered subdivision plan.
Open space land may be owned in common by a homeowners' association, dedicated to the Town, held by a qualified not-for-profit organization, or held in private ownership in one or more large parcels, provided that in all cases, it is protected by conservation easement from further subdivision and development. The Planning Board shall ensure that proper provision has been made for ownership and maintenance of the open space land. The Planning Board may require the funding of an endowment for the permanent monitoring, maintenance and protection of open space. Such funds may be held by the Town or by an organization approved by the Town. Ownership by a homeowners' association shall be structured in such a manner that real property taxing authorities may satisfy property tax claims against the open space lands by proceeding against all individual owners in the homeowners' association and the dwelling units they own. Ongoing maintenance standards shall be established, enforceable by the Town against an owner of open space land as a condition of subdivision approval, to assure that the open space land does not detract from the character of the neighborhood.