[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Amenia as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town of Amenia Planning Board shall have the power to approve preliminary plats within the Town of Amenia outside the limits of any incorporated city or village in accordance with the requirements of §§ 276, 277 and 278 of Article 16 of the Town Law, as amended.
This authority supplements the authority to approve plats granted the Planning Board by the resolution of April 9, 1970.
The Town Clerk shall file with the Clerk of the County of Dutchess a certificate certifying that said Planning Board has been authorized to review and approve preliminary plats as well as final plats for new subdivisions of land in the Town of Amenia in accordance with §§ 276, 277 and 278 of Article 16, as amended, of the Town Law.
[Adopted 6-12-2014 by L.L. No. 1-2014]
The article shall be entitled "A Local Law Establishing Training Requirements and Attendance Requirements for Members and Alternate Members, If Any, of the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Amenia" ("the Town").
The Town Board of the Town of Amenia (hereinafter "the Town Board") finds that appropriate training and regular attendance of the Zoning Board of Appeals (hereinafter "the ZBA") and Planning Board members is essential to the proper functioning of said boards.
The Legislature of the State of New York has recognized the importance of training and has established training and attendance requirements in its recent amendments to the ZBA and Planning Board statutes as contained in §§ 267 and 271 of the Town Law.
It is the purpose of the article to assist the ZBA and Planning Board members in obtaining appropriate training to enhance their ability to carry out their duties under applicable provisions of law and to pay the reasonable costs of such training as a Town charge.
It is also the purpose of this article to establish minimum training and continuing education course requirements for such members in accordance with §§ 267 and 271 of the Town Law.
It is the further purpose of this article to establish minimum attendance requirements for such members at meetings to assist in the proper functioning of the Planning Board and the ZBA.
All members and alternate members, if any (hereinafter referred to as "member" or "members") of the ZBA and the Planning Board shall complete, in accordance with Town Law §§ 267 and 271, at a minimum, four hours of training each year designed to enable such members to more effectively carry out their duties.
Training received by a member in excess of four hours in any one year may be carried over by the member into succeeding years in order to meet these requirements.
Noncompliance with these minimum requirements relating to training shall result in the member's ineligibility for reappointment and shall also be deemed a proper cause for removal of a member from office by the Town Board.
The reasonable costs of such training courses, seminars, workshops or continuing education courses so designated shall be a Town charge. Members shall also be reimbursed for reasonable mileage expenses or other transportation expenses according to Town policies. Such training sessions shall be approved in advance by the Town Board.
Training sessions which relate to the duties of members of the ZBA and members of the Planning Board may include programs offered by the New York State Department of State, the New York State Association of Towns, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Planning Federation, the Dutchess County Department of Planning and/or Economic Development, the Dutchess County Cooperative Extension, and other such entities as approved by the Town Board, as well as in-house updates or training seminars or Municipal Law seminars conducted by the attorney(s) for the Town Board, or the attorney(s) for the Planning Board, or the attorney(s) for the ZBA, or by the law firms with which said attorneys are affiliated. Such training may be provided in a variety of formats, including but not limited to electronic media, video, distance learning, and traditional classroom training. The Town Board, after discussion with the Chairpersons of the ZBA and the Planning Board, shall annually designate such training courses, seminars, workshops, or continuing education courses which may be offered within a reasonable distance and which may be helpful to or of assistance to the ZBA and/or Planning Board members in carrying out their respective functions in a timely, fair and lawful manner.
In addition to the minimum training requirements set forth above, if any member or alternate member, if any, of the Planning Board or the ZBA shall be absent from three consecutive meetings or from a total of eight meetings of the Board on which such member sits in any given calendar year, said member shall be ineligible for reappointment and shall also be subject to removal for cause by the Town Board. Each member of the Planning Board or the ZBA shall notify the Chairperson of the respective Board or the Secretary thereof as soon as practicable that such member will be absent from any meeting.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the failure of a member of the Planning Board or the ZBA to obtain such minimum training or to maintain the foregoing minimum attendance at meetings shall not affect the validity of such member's actions or the validity of any decision, order or action of said Planning Board or ZBA.
The Chairperson of the ZBA and the Chairperson of the Planning Board shall notify the Town Board in writing on or about December 1 in any year of any member or alternate member, if any, who fails to comply with the minimum requirements for training in any calendar year. In the event a member or alternate member of the ZBA or the Planning Board has failed to complete the minimum training requirements set forth in § 24-5, then the Town Board may remove such member for cause as hereinafter provided. The Chairperson of the ZBA and the Chairperson of the Planning Board shall also promptly notify the Town Board in writing at any time that a member of the respective Board shall fail to maintain the foregoing minimum attendance at meetings, upon which event the Town Board may remove such member for cause as hereinafter provided.
Public hearing. Such notice shall specify a date, not less than 20 nor more than 30 days from the date of mailing such notice, when the Town Board shall convene and hold a public hearing on whether or not such member should be removed from service on such board. Such notice shall specify the time, date and place of such hearing.
Public notice. Public notice of such hearing shall be published in the official newspaper of the Town, at least three days prior to the date of the public hearing.
Conduct of hearing. The public hearing on the charges shall be conducted before the Town Board. The member shall be given an opportunity, within the foregoing time constraints, to retain an attorney, present evidence, call witnesses to refute the charges, and cross-examine witnesses. A record of such hearing shall be made. The decision of the Town Board shall be reduced to writing together with specific findings of the Town Board with respect to each charge against such member. A copy of such decision and such findings shall be filed in the Office of the Town Clerk and mailed to the member.
Action by the Town Board. Following the hearing and upon a finding that such member has not met the minimum training and/or attendance requirements established by this article, the Town Board may:
Remove such member from the ZBA or the Planning Board; or
Issue a written reprimand to such member without removing such member from such Board; or
If the Town Board shall find that the reasons for failing to meet the minimum training and/or attendance requirements are excusable because of illness, injury or other good and sufficient cause, the Town Board may elect to take no action or to impose a reasonable time for said member to complete the minimum training as herein set forth.
Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to limit or restrict the Town Board's authority to remove a member from the ZBA or the Planning Board for cause (i.e., for other than the reasons enumerated herein). The procedural provisions of § 24-9, Procedure for removal of member, of this article shall govern any hearing to remove a member for cause.
This article shall take effect immediately upon filing with the New York State Secretary of State in accordance with § 27 of the Municipal Home Rule Law.
This article shall apply to all members and alternate members, if any, of the ZBA and the Planning Board regardless of the dates of their appointment to such Boards.
Prospective members and alternate members, if any, of the ZBA and the Planning Board shall be notified of the requirements of this article prior to their appointment to such Board.