Town of Waterford, NY
Saratoga County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official charged with the enforcement of any ordinance adopted pursuant to Article 16 of the Town Law. It shall also hear and decide all matters referred to it or upon which it is required to pass under any other law. Such appeals may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the town.
[Amended 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
B. 
Filing of appeals. An appeal must be made within 30 days of the action of the administrative official appealed from. The applicant must file a notice of appeal with the administrative official from whom the appeal is taken and with the Secretary of the Board of Appeals. Such notice shall be made on the form provided for that purpose. The administrative official from whom the appeal is taken shall be responsible, at the direction of the Board, for providing any applicant with the proper forms and for instructing the parties concerned on the proper manner for completing and filing said forms. All information required thereon shall be complete before an appeal is considered filed. Three copies of the proper appeal form shall be filed with the Board.
[Amended 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
C. 
A fee in the amount of $25 shall be chargeable and shall accompany all applications or petitions of appeal. Any fee so paid shall be refunded if the person bringing the appeal shall obtain the relief sought; provided, however, that this refund provision shall not be applicable where the issue is a variance or special permit application.
[Amended 1-2-1990]
D. 
Amendments to appeals. Appeals may be amended 15 days prior to the public hearing thereon.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
E. 
Notice to applicant. The applicant shall be notified by letter within five days of the hearing on his application or of his failure to complete his application properly.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 10.1, Membership, which immediately preceded this section, was deleted 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987. For current provisions regarding Zoning Board of Appeals membership, see Ch. 45.
The Board of Appeals shall have the following powers and duties prescribed by statute and by this chapter:
A. 
Interpretation: on appeal from a determination of the Zoning Inspector, to hear and decide on questions where it is alleged that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Zoning Inspector involving the interpretation of any provision of this chapter.
B. 
Variance: on appeal, from a determination of the Zoning Inspector, to grant a variance where the property owner can show that his property was acquired in good faith and where the strict application of this chapter would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship. The Board of Appeals shall prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to carry out the requirements of this subsection and shall not grant any variance unless it shall make a finding of fact based upon the evidence as presented to it in each specific case that:
(1) 
Because of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of the specific parcel or because of extraordinary topographic conditions or location of the specific parcel, the strict application of the provisions of this chapter actually prohibits or unreasonably restricts the use of the land or building for which such variance is sought, that the granting of the variance is necessary for the reasonable use of such property and that the variance granted by the Board is the minimum variance that will provide for the reasonable use of the property.
(2) 
The granting of the variance will alleviate a clearly demonstrable hardship approaching confiscation of the property, as distinguished from a special privilege or convenience sought by the owner, which conditions are peculiar to such land or building and do not apply generally to land or buildings in the vicinity or neighborhood and have not resulted from any act of the applicant subsequent to the adoption of this chapter.
(3) 
In any case, the granting of the variance will be in harmony with the intent and purpose of this chapter; it will not constitute, in effect, an amendment of any district regulations or boundaries and will not be injurious to the neighborhood.
C. 
Special permit: on application supplementing an application to the Zoning Inspector for a zoning permit or certificate of occupancy, to grant a permit for any use for which approval of the Board is required under this chapter. In granting such permit, the Board may specify appropriate conditions in harmony with the following standards:
(1) 
The use shall be of such location, size and character that it will be in harmony with the appropriate and orderly development of the district in which it is situated and will not be detrimental to the orderly development of adjacent properties.
(2) 
The location and size of the use, the nature and intensity of the operations involved in or conducted in connection therewith, its site layout and its relation to streets giving access to it shall be such that traffic to and from the use and the assembly of persons in connection with it will not be hazardous or inconvenient to the neighborhood or conflict with the normal traffic of the neighborhood. In applying this standard, the Board shall consider, among other things, convenient routes of pedestrian traffic, particularly of children, relation to main traffic thoroughfares and to street and road intersections and the general character and intensity of development of the neighborhood.
(3) 
The location and height of buildings, the location, nature and height of walls and fences and the nature and extent of landscaping on the site shall be such that the use will not hinder or discourage the proper development and use of adjacent land and buildings or impair the values thereof.
(4) 
The detailed conditions, if any, prescribed within this chapter for a particular special permit use shall be met.
[Amended 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
Meetings and records of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be in conformance with the rules of procedure of the Board of Appeals[1] as they may be adopted and which shall be in conformance with the Town Law.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A167, Zoning Board of Appeals Rules and Regulations.
A. 
When required. Public hearings shall be held on all requests for variances or special permits.
[Added 8-6-1968]
B. 
Time of hearing. The Board of Appeals shall schedule a hearing on all appeals or applications within 45 days of the filing of the appeal or application.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
C. 
Notices.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
(1) 
Zoning appeals. The Board shall give notice of the hearing at least five days (§ 267, Subdivision 5, of the Town Law) prior to the date thereof by publication in the official paper. The Board shall mail notices of the hearing to the parties and to the Regional State Park Commission having jurisdiction over any state park or parkways within 500 feet of the property affected by such appeal at least five days prior to the hearing.
(2) 
Official map appeals. The Board shall give public notice of the hearing at least 10 days prior to the date thereof by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the town, in accordance with § 279 of the Town Law, for appeals from the Town Official Map or in accordance with § 239-j of the General Municipal Law, for appeals from the County Official Map.
(3) 
Appeals to build on unimproved or unmapped street: same as Subsection C(1) above. See § 280-a, Subdivision 3, of the Town Law.
D. 
Form of notice. Such notice shall state the location of the building or lot, the general nature of the question involved, the date, time and place of the hearing and the nature of the relief sought.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
E. 
The order of business at a hearing shall be as follows:
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
(1) 
Rollcall.
(2) 
The Chairman shall give a statement of the case and read all correspondence and reports received thereon.
(3) 
The applicant shall present his case.
(4) 
Those opposed shall present their arguments.
(5) 
Rebuttal by both sides.
(6) 
Additional cases.
(7) 
Adjournment of hearings.
(8) 
Call to order of regular meetings, when applicable; see § 161-6E(4).
F. 
General rules. Any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
G. 
Administering oaths; witnesses. The Chairman or, in his absence, the Secretary may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
H. 
Rehearing.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
(1) 
Upon motion initiated by any member and adopted by unanimous vote of the members present, but not less than a majority of all the members, the Board shall review at a rehearing any order, decision or determination of the Board not previously reviewed. Notice shall be given as upon an original hearing. Upon such rehearing and provided that it shall appear that no vested rights, due to reliance on the original order, decision or determination, will be prejudiced thereby, the Board may, upon the concurrence of all the members present, reverse, modify or annual its original order, decision or determination.
(2) 
An application for a rehearing may be made in the same manner as provided for the original hearing. The application for rehearing may be denied by the Board if, from the record, it shall appear that there has been no substantial change in facts, evidence or conditions.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
A. 
Zoning referrals. All matters requiring referral as specified by any ordinance enacted under Article 16 of the Town Law shall be so referred to the proper agency for its recommendations. Within 30 days, or as specified in the particular ordinance, after receipt of a full statement of such referred matter, said agency shall report its recommendations thereon to the Board with a full statement of the reasons for such recommendations. If such agency fails to respond within the prescribed time, the Board may act without such report. The Board shall not act contrary to any said agency's recommendations without first fully setting forth in the Official Record the reasons for such contrary action. The Chairman shall read all such reports at the hearing on the matter under review.
B. 
County zoning referrals.
(1) 
Prior to taking action on any matter which would cause any change in the regulations or use of land or buildings on real property as specified in § 239-m of the General Municipal Law, the Board shall make referrals to the county planning agency or, in the absence of such agency, to a metropolitan or regional agency having jurisdiction in accordance with §§ 239-1 and 239-m of the General Municipal Law.
(2) 
Within 30 days after receipt of a full statement of such referred matter, the planning agency to which referral is made or an authorized agent of said agency shall report its recommendations thereon to the Board, accompanied by a full statement of the reasons for such recommendations. If such planning agency disapproves the proposal or recommends modification thereof, the Board shall not act contrary to such disapproval or recommendation except by a vote of a majority plus one of all the members thereof and after the adoption of a resolution fully setting forth the reasons for such contrary action. The Chairman shall read the report of the county planning agency at the public hearing on the matter under review.
(3) 
If such planning agency fails to report within such period of 30 days or such longer period as may have been agreed upon by it and the referring agency, the Board may act without such report.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
A. 
Time of decisions. Decisions by the Board shall be made not later than 60 days from the date of the final hearing.
B. 
Form of decision. The final decision on any matter before the Board shall be made by written order signed by the Chairman or Secretary. Such decision shall state the findings of fact which were the basis for the Board's determination. After such determination, the Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order or requirements of the administrative official appealed from. The decision shall also state any conditions and safeguards necessary to protect the public interest.
C. 
Basis for decisions. The Board, in reaching said decision, shall be guided by standards specified in the applicable ordinance as well as by the community goals and policies as specified in a Comprehensive Plan, if any, and by the findings of the Board in each case.
D. 
Finding of facts. The Board shall make the following findings prior to granting a variance for relief from the strict application of the Zoning Ordinance. The Board shall find that:
(1) 
Strict application of this chapter would produce undue hardship and that the hardship is not self-created.
(2) 
The hardship is unique and is not shared by all properties alike in the immediate vicinity of the property and in the use district.
(3) 
The variance would observe the spirit of this chapter and would not change the character of the district.
(4) 
The variance would observe the intent of the Comprehensive Plan, if any.
(5) 
The variance is the minimum necessary to grant relief.
E. 
Area variance. When the variance requested is an area variance (i.e., a request for a variance from the required yard, setback, height or area regulations), the Board may grant a said variance upon finding that:
(1) 
There are practical difficulties.
(2) 
Subsection D(3), (4) and (5) hereof is supported by the evidence submitted or by the personal knowledge of the Board. Area variance shall not include change in use or density.
F. 
Findings; contents.
(1) 
The findings of the Board and the supporting facts shall be spelled out in detail, regardless of whether they are based on evidence submitted or on the personal knowledge of the Board.
(2) 
The Board should show that:
(a) 
It has made an intelligent review of the question.
(b) 
It has considered all of the information or evidence.
(c) 
It has heard all parties in question.
(d) 
Any intimate knowledge it has of the subject under question has been taken into account.
(e) 
It has made a personal inspection of the parcel in question and from this examination certain findings were ascertained.
G. 
Conflicts with other laws or regulations. In reviewing an application on any matter, the standards in any applicable local law or ordinance or state statute shall take precedence over the standards of these rules whenever a conflict occurs. In all other instances, the more restrictive rule shall apply.
H. 
Expiration of permits. Unless otherwise specified, any order or decision of the Board for a permitted use shall expire if a building or occupancy permit for the use is not obtained by the applicant within 90 days from the date of the decision; however, the Board may extend this time an additional 90 days.
I. 
Decisions on rehearings. After a rehearing, other than one based on a substantial change in conditions, the original order may be changed only by a concurring vote of all the members then present, but not less than a majority of the Board, and in conformance with § 161-41H(1).
J. 
Filing of decisions. Decisions of the Board shall be immediately filed in the office of the Town Clerk and shall be a public record. The date of filing of each decision shall be entered in the official records and minutes of the Board.
K. 
Notice of decision. Copies of the decision shall be forwarded to the applicant, the Municipal Planning Board and the county planning agency when referral to the county planning agency was required in the particular case.
L. 
Certification of decision. A certified copy of the Board's decision, including all terms and conditions, shall be transmitted to the municipal administrative official and shall be binding upon and observed by him, and he shall fully incorporate such terms and conditions of the same in the permit to the applicant or appelant whenever a permit is authorized by the Board.