Town of Stanford, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Pursuant to resolution of the Town Board, the Planning Board is empowered to modify to the extent provided within Article V, § 164-23, of the Zoning Law applicable provisions of said law in accordance with the provisions of § 281 of the Town Law for the purpose of enabling and encouraging flexibility of design and development of land in such a manner as to promote the most appropriate use of land, to facilitate the adequate and economic use of streets and utilities and to preserve the natural and scenic qualities of open lands. The following shall be the standards and procedure utilized by the Planning Board in reviewing applications for approval of a cluster subdivision within the Town of Stanford.
A. 
Applicability. A subdivider may request on his own initiative, or the Planning Board may require, the use of § 281 of the Town Law simultaneously with or subsequent to presentation of the sketch plat as per procedure described in Article III, § 140-5.
B. 
Sketch plat.
(1) 
A subdivider shall present, along with the proposed cluster sketch plat in accordance with the provisions of § 281 of the Town Law, a standard sketch plat which is consistent with all the criteria established by these, Subdivision Regulations, including lots being fully consistent with the Zoning Law.
(2) 
Upon review of the standard sketch plat, the Planning Board shall, by resolution, determine the number of lots that could be accommodated on the land under a conventional subdivision approach and, thus, the maximum number of lots or dwelling units that would be authorized through application of the cluster subdivision concept.
C. 
Lands for park, recreation, open space or other community purposes. Conditions regarding the long-term ownership, use, maintenance and permanent protection of all common lands within a cluster subdivision shall be set forth by the subdivider in consultation with the Planning Board. The following minimum standards shall be strictly met:
(1) 
The open space land, which shall be not less than 75% of the area of the tract in a five-acre density area or 55% of the tract in a less-restricted density area, shall be shown on the plat 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.
(2) 
A perpetual conservation easement leaving the open space land forever wild or limiting use of such open space land to agricultural, managed forest land, passive recreational or open space use and prohibiting residential, industrial or commercial use of such open space land, pursuant to § 247 of the General Municipal Law and/or §§ 49-0301 through 49-0311 of the Environmental Law, shall be granted to the Town, with the approval of the Town Board, or to a qualified 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, shall not be amendable to permit commercial, industrial or residential development and shall be recorded in the Dutchess County Clerk's office simultaneously with the filing of an approved cluster subdivision plat.
(3) 
Open space land may be owned in common by a homeowners' association, dedicated to the Town, or held in private ownership subject to a permanent conservation easement. If owned by a homeowners' association, the common open space land shall be protected by conservation easement from future subdivision and development. The Planning Board shall assure that proper provision has been made for ownership and maintenance of the open space land. Ownership 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 each 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.
D. 
Plat submission. Upon determination that such sketch plat is suitable for the procedures under § 281 of the Town Law and subsequent resolution by the Planning Board authorizing the subdivider to proceed, a preliminary plat meeting all of the requirements of the resolution shall be presented to the Planning Board within six months, and thereafter the Planning Board shall proceed with the required public hearings and satisfy all other procedural requirements of these regulations.
E. 
Filing; notation on Zoning Map. On the filing of a final plat in the office of the Dutchess County Clerk in which § 281 of the Town Law has been used, the subdivider shall file a copy with the Town Clerk, who shall make appropriate notations and reference thereto on the Town Zoning Map. The Clerk of the Planning Board shall notify the Building Inspector when such a subdivision plat is filed.
Pursuant to the resolution of the Town Board, the Planning Board is further empowered to modify to the extent provided within the Zoning Law applicable provisions of said law for the purpose of encouraging the preservation of large tracts of open space by affording flexibility to landowners in road layout and design and road frontage requirements, if and only if such landowners commit to the permanent preservation of significant open space resources. The following shall be standards and procedure utilized by the Planning Board in reviewing applications for approval of a conservation density subdivision within the Town of Stanford.
A. 
Location. A conservation density subdivision may be created in the CR, AR and RR Zoning Districts.
B. 
Minimum lot area. A conservation density subdivision shall require a minimum lot area of five acres and a minimum average lot area of 25 acres. All lots created within a conservation density subdivision shall be permanently restricted by conservation easement from further subdivision and shall, by virtue of the expressed language of said easement, be restricted to the development of one single-family dwelling unit per approved lot, except as may be otherwise authorized on active farm parcels.
C. 
Maximum number of lots. The maximum number of lots and/or dwelling units within a conservation density subdivision shall be eight.
D. 
Conditions for waiver of road frontage requirements and authorization of private roads. In a conservation density subdivision, the Planning Board may waive the requirement for lot frontage on a public road and may permit the construction of private roads to lesser specifications than normally required for Town roads, provided that the following conditions are met:
(1) 
All road designs must be approved by the Planning Board and the Town Engineer. Specifications for such roads shall be adequate to service the maximum number of lots that can be developed on such roads, as provided on the plat and in the restrictions on future subdivision. Unpaved roads may be permitted, provided that all other Town highway specifications except those related to the pavement surface and pavement width are met.
(2) 
A homeowners' association or other mechanism acceptable to the Planning Board and the Town Attorney must be created to maintain all private roads and must have adequate powers to collect funds needed to assure road maintenance, including the ability to impose liens against all lot owners. The adequacy of the homeowners' association or other documents shall be reviewed and approved by the Town Attorney.
(3) 
The homeowners' association or other documentation and conservation easements shall state that the private roads may not be deeded to the Town unless they are improved to Town highway specifications at the sole cost of the lot owners, each sharing equally in the cost of such upgrading of the road, which costs may be made a lien against the property.
(4) 
All reasonable engineering and legal costs for Town review of the adequacy of the road designs, conservation easements and homeowners' association or other documents shall be paid by the applicant for a conservation density subdivision.
(5) 
To the extent applicable, the requirements of § 352-e of the General Business Law relating to the filing with the Attorney General's office of common interests in real estate shall be strictly adhered to by the subdivider.
[Added 9-13-1990[1]]
The following criteria are established as the minimum acceptable local standards for the design, construction and approval of common driveways within the Town of Stanford:
A. 
That the term "common driveway" be defined as a private street providing access from not more than four single-family residential lots to a public roadway.
[Amended 5-8-2003 by L.L. No. 3-2003]
B. 
That such common driveway intersects the public roadway at a location and in a design configuration satisfactory to the New York State Department of Transportation, the Dutchess County Department of Public Works or the Town of Stanford Highway Superintendent, whichever party or agency shall have jurisdiction in the matter.
C. 
That the common driveway be situated within a mapped right-of-way or easement not less than 36 nor more than 48 feet in width.
D. 
That, except as provided below, the common driveway be constructed to a minimum grade of 1.0% to facilitate drainage and to a maximum grade of 12% to facilitate vehicular movement, particularly under adverse weather conditions.
(1) 
A maximum grade of 3% shall, however, be authorized within 50 feet of the right-of-way line of the intersecting highway or within 75 feet of the center line of the intersecting highway, if a user road. In addition, horizontal alignment shall be governed by the authority having jurisdiction over the intersected highway.
(2) 
A maximum grade of 15% may be authorized for limited straightaway sections of the common driveway which, individually, do not exceed 150 feet in length or, in the aggregate, exceed 20% of the total length of the common driveway.
E. 
That the common driveway be improved, surfaced and maintained to a cartway width of not less than 16 feet and graded to a width of not less than 24 feet.
F. 
That the common driveway be designed with a minimum center line radius of 100 feet and that the minimum tangent distance between reverse curves be 50 feet.
G. 
That the common driveway subbase depth and material be specified by the subdivider's engineer in accordance with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' rating of the underlying soils, with 12 inches of mechanically compacted subbase being the minimum acceptable depth.
H. 
That side slopes be restricted to a maximum of one vertical to three horizontal in fill sections and to one vertical to two horizontal in stabilized cut sections within 12 feet of the common driveway's minimum graded width of 24 feet. If a steeper slope exists or will be created, the use of retaining structures on the uphill side of the common driveway and guide rails on the downhill side shall be required. In these instances, grading easements may also be required beyond the width of the common driveway right-of-way or easement.
I. 
That the common driveway include suitable drainage improvements and erosion control measures.
(1) 
These shall achieve the following objectives:
(a) 
Maintain natural drainage flow.
(b) 
Protect the structural integrity of the common driveway improvement.
(c) 
Prevent erosion and sedimentation both during construction and over the life of the common driveway improvement.
(d) 
Provide for appropriate placement of topsoil and the seeding of all disturbed areas associated with the common driveway, including any on-site spoil areas which may be used.
(2) 
Appropriate reports and documentation shall be submitted for the review and approval of the Town Engineer demonstrating the adequacy of the proposed drainage improvements under a minimum design storm of 25 years, 24 hours.
J. 
That any extension of the mapped right-of-way or easement area required to accommodate the long-term maintenance of side slope improvements, drainage improvements and permanent erosion control measures be similarly mapped and shown on the subdivision plat.
K. 
That the common driveway surface be constructed per the typical cross-section detail except where the common driveway grade exceeds 10% at any location or exceeds 5% within 200 feet and uphill of the right-of-way of the intersecting public highway, in which case the affected portion shall be paved to the satisfaction of the Planning Board and upon recommendation of the Town Engineer. All driveway surfaces shall be crowned.
L. 
That the common driveway shall be improved with a hammerhead turn-around suitable for maneuvering a fire truck at the point the common driveway terminates (i.e. at the point the common driveway becomes a private driveway serving only one residence.) The applicant shall obtain a letter from the responsible Fire Department having jurisdiction in the area of the subdivision providing that Department's review comments on the acceptability of the proposed design of the common driveway as an accessway for emergency vehicles. The hammerhead turnaround shall not exceed a maximum grade of 2%.
M. 
That the common driveway be subject to a road maintenance agreement, acceptable to the Town Planning Board, in accordance with the following guidelines:
(1) 
The Town of Stanford Planning Board considers suitably-drafted maintenance agreements essential to provide for the long-term ownership and maintenance of common driveways serving lots with frontage on public highways. The agreement for the long-term ownership and maintenance of the right-of-way and associated common driveway should, in each instance, include at a minimum the following features:
(a) 
The described common driveway should be clearly defined and dimensioned, and the lots affected should be clearly identified. This should be done by making specific reference in the agreement to the final subdivision map or plat.
(b) 
A permanent easement and right-of-way over and upon the common driveway for access, with and without vehicles, should be granted to each lot affected.
(c) 
There should be an affirmative covenant that the common driveway and all associated improvements, such as bridges, guide rails and drainage structures shall be maintained in a good and passable condition under all traffic and weather conditions and kept open so that fire-fighting equipment and other emergency vehicles can reach the individual access driveways.
(d) 
There should be an equitable apportionment of the expenses of maintenance, repair and/or restoration of the common driveway among the lot owners which obligation should be clearly and completely set forth.
(e) 
The agreement should be designed to run with the land and be appurtenant thereto in perpetuity and should be binding on and enforceable by all lot owners affected thereby.
(f) 
There should be a clear statement that the Town shall have no liability or responsibility for the care and maintenance of said common driveway.
(g) 
The agreement should be acknowledged before a notary public by all parties who are vested at the time of execution and own a fee interest in either the common driveway or any of the affected lots, and should be duly recorded in the Dutchess County Clerk's office at the time of filing of the subdivision plat.
(2) 
The final subdivision plat should also contain a notation to the effect that the common driveway is a private drive and that all lots or house sites to which access is gained from such common driveway are subject to a common driveway maintenance agreement which is a condition of approval. The resolution granting final approval of the plat should set forth the minimum requirements of the common driveway maintenance agreement. The common driveway maintenance agreement might also contain other or further terms and provisions at the discretion of the subdivider and/or the Planning Board.
(3) 
The subdivider should also consider the applicability of § 352-e and related sections of Article 23-A of the General Business Law of the State of New York to the particular agreement. Either the filing of an Offering Plan with the Attorney General's office or the receipt of a no action letter from that office may be required.
N. 
That, in addition to the data required to comply with the above-noted guidelines, the common driveway maintenance agreement include a reasonable estimate based on current dollars of the annual charges to each of the participating lot owners for maintenance of the common driveway and for the cost that would be incurred for replacing any of the significant elements of the common driveway, e.g., a bridge or culvert structure, which could be severely damaged by an act of nature.
O. 
That the common driveway be designed and installed by the subdivider as a required improvement within the subdivision, and that final plat approval be withheld by the Planning Board until the common driveway has been satisfactorily installed or made the subject of a performance guaranty in accordance with the provisions of § 277 of the Town Law.
P. 
That the installation of the common driveway be inspected and approved by the Town Engineer and that the work at the point of intersection with the public roadway be further inspected and approved by the New York State Department of Transportation, the Dutchess County Department of Public Works or the Town of Stanford Highway Superintendent, whichever shall have jurisdiction in the matter, for conformance with previously-reviewed plans and the conditions established within the previously-issued access or work permit.
Q. 
That the common driveway be approved by the Town of Stanford Building Inspector as suitable to meet the access criteria established by § 280-a of the Town Law, which criteria must be met in the judgment of the Town Building Inspector as a condition precedent to the issuance of a building permit.
R. 
That a conservation easement be granted to the Town of Stanford, or similar binding covenant be provided, limiting further subdivision of the lots which gain access via the common driveway.
(1) 
This shall be regulated as set forth below:
(a) 
If the number of lots served by the common driveway is four, no further subdivision of any of the lots shall be authorized.
(b) 
If the number of lots served by the common driveway is fewer than four, limited resubdivision may be authorized, but only to the extent that the total number of lots served by the common driveway never exceeds four.
(2) 
This conservation easement shall be accepted by the Town of Stanford or the similar binding covenant approved by the Town Planning Board prior to the approval of the final plat and shall be filed in the Dutchess County Clerk's office at the time of filing of the approved plat. Should the applicant fail to file the conservation easement or other approved document in a timely manner and prior to the sale of any of the lots which gain access from the common driveway, the Town Planning Board shall move to have the approved plat stricken from the records of the County Clerk's office.
S. 
The maximum length of the common driveway shall be 2,000 feet, provided that the criteria for the design, construction and approval of common driveways set forth in this section have been satisfied. The Planning Board may, however, restrict the common driveway length to less than 2,000 feet on a case-by-case basis where the Board specifically finds that extraordinary circumstances are present that were neither addressed nor anticipated by the general design, construction and approval criteria set forth herein and that such further restriction is necessary in its view to protect the public health, safety and welfare to achieve the objectives set forth in § 140-2 of this chapter.
T. 
That the applicant shall submit necessary plans, profiles, sections, grading plans and details for Planning Board review so as to demonstrate that the proposed common driveway improvement will comply with all above-stated design and construction criteria and with the explanatory material which follows:
(1) 
Table 1: Summary of Common Driveway Specifications.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Table 1 appears at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
Figure A: Side Road Approach Grades for Common Driveways.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Figure A appears at the end of this chapter.
(3) 
Figure B: Common Driveway Typical Section.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Figure B appears at the end of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: This resolution also provided for the renumbering of former §§ 140-26 through 140-31 as §§ 140-27 through 140-32.
A. 
Waiver of specific improvements. The Planning Board may waive upon specific request and by specific resolution, subject to appropriate conditions and guaranties, for such period as it may determine, the requirements of these regulations relative to the provision and design of any or all required improvements which, in its judgment of the special circumstances of a particular plat or plats, are not requisite to the interests of the public health, safety and general welfare of the Town or are not appropriate because of the inadequacy or lack of connecting facilities adjacent to or in the proximity of the proposed subdivision.
B. 
Modification of specific requirements. Where the Planning Board finds that compliance with these regulations would cause unusual hardship or extraordinary difficulties to the applicant because of exceptional and unique conditions of topography, access, location, shape, size, drainage or other physical features of the site, the minimum requirements of these regulations may be modified upon specific request and by specific resolution of the Planning Board to mitigate the hardship, provided that the public interest is protected and the development is in keeping with the general spirit and intent of these regulations. The Planning Board may additionally modify the specific requirements of these regulations in situations where, due to the unique circumstances of a particular tract, strict application of these regulations would inhibit achievement of the Town's Master Plan objectives, provided that public health, safety and welfare are protected and the requirements of the Town's Zoning Law are wholly met.
C. 
Review of decisions of the Planning Board. Any officer, department, board or bureau of the Town, with the specific approval of the Town Board, or any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the Planning Board concerning a plat decision may bring a proceeding to review such decision in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules in a court of record on the ground that such decision is illegal in whole or in part. Such proceeding must be commenced within 30 days after the filing of the decision in the office of the Town Clerk. Commencement of such proceeding shall stay all further proceedings upon the decision appealed from.
D. 
Modification of flag lot layout requirements. In situations where, due to the unique circumstances of a particular tract, strict application of the flag lot regulations, as provided for in § 140-18A(7) of this chapter, would inhibit achievement of the Town's Master Plan objectives, the Planning Board is empowered to modify the criteria, standards, and review requirements for flag lot layouts, for the purpose of enabling and encouraging flexibility of design and development of land in such a manner as to promote the most appropriate use of land, to facilitate the adequate and economic use of streets and utilities and to preserve the natural and scenic qualities of open lands, provided that public health, safety and welfare are protected and the intent of the Town's Zoning Law is fulfilled.
[Added 5-8-2003 by L.L. No. 3-2003]
The sole officer authorized to sign approved subdivision plats is the Chairman of the Planning Board or, in his absence, the Vice Chairman. The Clerk of the Planning Board is authorized, however, to carry out any ministerial acts on behalf of the Planning Board or its Chairman that are required by these regulations.
No changes, erasures, modifications or revisions shall be made in any subdivision plat after approval has been given by the Planning Board and endorsed in writing on the plat, unless said plat is first resubmitted to the Planning Board and such Board approves in writing any such modifications. In the event that any subdivision plat is recorded in the office of the Dutchess County Clerk without complying with these requirements, the same shall be considered null and void, and the Planning Board shall institute proceedings to have the plat stricken from the records of the office of the Dutchess County Clerk.
In their interpretation and application, the provisions of these regulations shall be held to be the minimum requirements established by the Planning Board of the Town of Stanford for the subdivision of land and the provision of required improvements within the Town. Should the requirements of these regulations conflict with or otherwise be inconsistent with any provision or requirement of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations, ordinances or laws, the more stringent provisions or those imposing the higher standards shall govern.
These regulations may be amended by the Planning Board after public hearing and subject to the approval of the Town Board. Notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing shall be given by publication in the official Town newspaper at least five days prior to the date on which it is to be held. A copy of the proposed amendment shall be placed on file in the office of the Town Clerk, where it shall be available for public inspection during normal working hours for a period of at least five days before such hearing. Amendments adopted by the Planning Board shall take effect on the date of Town Board approval or at such time as provided in the Town Board's resolution of approval and shall apply to any preliminary subdivision which has not received approval or approval with modification prior to such date and to any preliminary subdivision approval, with or without modification, for which a formal application for final approval is not received within six months of the date of such approval.
Should any section or provision of these regulations contained herein, or as amended, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, hereinafter be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of these regulations as a whole, or any part thereof, other than the part so declared to be invalid. The Planning Board hereby declares that it would have enacted these regulations or the remainder thereof and the Town Board declares that it would have approved the same even if the invalidity of such section or provision or its application had been apparent.