[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Monroe 8-16-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: The provisions of this local law were originally adopted as Ch. 50, but were redesignated to fit the organizational structure of the Code.
The Village Board of Trustees hereby finds and determines that in order to protect and safeguard the Village of Monroe, its residents and their property, with respect to certain land developments in the Village that should conform with the Village's Comprehensive Plan as it may be amended from time to time and be the subject of such environmental reviews as are required by law; landscaping installations and erosion and sediment control measures should be designed and installed in a competent and workmanlike manner and in conformity with approved plans and all applicable government codes, rules and regulations; and special improvement district extensions and establishments, outside user agreements and dedications and conveyances to the Village should be made in a legally sufficient manner. In order to assure the foregoing, it is essential for the Village to have competent professionals retained by the Village to review and make recommendations regarding plans and designs to the Village Board of Trustees and Planning Board; inspect landscaping and erosion and sediment control measures; inspect roadway, utility, drainage, park and/or any other post-approval construction improvements; obtain, review and approve deeds; easements, securities, insurance and other legal instruments to assure that the Village obtains good and proper title and is otherwise appropriately protected. The costs of retaining such competent professionals should ultimately be paid by those who seek to profit from such developments rather than from Village general or improvement district funds that are raised by assessments paid by the taxpayers of the Village.
In performing reviews of applications or petitions for site plan, subdivision approval, permits, special proceedings, variances and amendments to the Village Code, the Village Architectural Appearance Review Board, Planning Board, Building Department and Building Inspector, Zoning Board of Appeals and the Village Board of Trustees may refer such applications to such planning consultants, engineers and other professionals as they may deem reasonably necessary to review such applications.
[Amended 2-20-2018 by L.L. No. 2-2018]
The Village Board of Trustees does hereby declare that, pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law, a comprehensive schedule of fees to be paid to the Village of Monroe upon the filing of certain applications for permits or other certificates for activities taken or approved by the Village Board of Trustees, Village Architectural Appearance Review Board, Planning Board, Building Department and Building Inspector, and Zoning Board of Appeals or Village Engineer shall be established by resolution of the Village Board of Trustees.
[Amended 2-20-2018 by L.L. No. 2-2018]
No building permits or certificates of occupancy or use shall be issued unless all professional review fees charged in connection with the project have been paid and reimbursed.
The fees and expenses due and payable under this Chapter 98, if not paid within the time required, shall be a lien against the real property that is or was the subject of the land use or development application review. The amount of such fees and expenses, if not paid in the time required, may be assessed and levied against such real property and collected in the same manner as real property taxes.
A schedule of planning, zoning and building application and construction inspection fees shall be established by resolution of the Village Board of Trustees. All such fees in effect at the time of adoption of this chapter shall remain in effect until such time as those application fees are modified by resolution of the Village Board of Trustees.
The application fees established pursuant to Subsection C, above, shall be deemed to be the minimum fee to be charged, and any additional costs and expenses actually incurred by the Village for professional consultants, inspections and other non-ministerial expenses shall be paid by the applicant in accordance with §§ 98-3 and 98-4, and other laws, resolutions, provisions, regulations and codes of the Village.
All reimbursement payments required by § 98-3 shall be in addition to any application, inspection or other fees as may be required by any other laws, resolutions, provisions, regulations or codes of the Village and shall not be used to offset the Village's general expenses of engineering, legal and planning services for the several boards of the Village, nor to offset the Village's general expenses.
Any fee established elsewhere in the Village Code that is consistent with the provisions of this chapter shall remain in full force and effect. If any fee is established elsewhere in the Village Code that is inconsistent with this chapter, the fees established by this chapter shall control.
The owner of real property for which an application for an approval is made to any board of the Village shall be personally responsible to reimburse the Village for any unpaid fees of the applicant. Each board of the Village shall require the owner of real property to execute a written acknowledgement of this obligation before any matter is considered by the board.
This chapter and the schedule of application and other fees shall be filed with the Village Clerk. The failure to file any fee amount with the Village Clerk shall not affect the validity of the fee or the obligation to pay such fee.
The applicant, for approval of any land use or land development proposal, shall reimburse the Village for all of the Village's reasonable and necessary engineering, legal and planning fees and expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the review and/or approval of the application. Said fees and expenses are deemed application fees. Reimbursement shall be made in accordance with this chapter. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "land use or development" shall include, but not be limited to, a subdivision, lot line change, site plan, special permit, annexation, wetlands permit, variance, interpretation, appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals, or any modification or amendment of any of the foregoing; and compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
Any initial planning and zoning review escrow deposits pursuant to the fee schedule established by this chapter shall be delivered to the Village Clerk as part of the original application submission.
No matter shall be scheduled before the Planning Board, Zoning Board or Village Board of Trustees, nor shall any review be undertaken by the professional consultants until the initial escrow deposit, as set forth in this chapter or the incorporated fee schedule, is paid.
If the escrow account falls below 40% of the initial deposit, the applicant shall, unless waived by resolution of the applicable board, deposit additional funds into the escrow account to maintain that account at the level of 80% of the initial deposit to pay for fees and expenses rendered to the Village or anticipated to be rendered for such services. Such additional funds shall be delivered to the Village before the application is placed on the agenda and any further consideration of the applicant's application takes place.
The Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Architectural Appearance Review Board or Village Board of Trustees shall neither place the application on the agenda nor give further consideration to the applicant's application until all review fees imposed on the applicant have been paid to the Village.
In the event that an applicant shall withdraw his application at any stage of the proceedings or when the application review and approval process has been completed, the balance of funds in the applicant's account after all current outstanding fees are paid shall be either remitted to the applicant within 60 days of final action by the board or, if so directed by the applicant, shall remain on deposit as the applicant's initial payment toward post-approval inspection fees.
The applicant shall remain responsible for reimbursing the Village its costs and expenses in reviewing the applicant's land use application, notwithstanding that the escrow account may be insufficient to cover such costs and expenses.
In the event that the applicable board, in the course of reviewing an application, determines that the proposed action requires a positive declaration under SEQRA, all costs incurred by the board for the review of any environmental impact statements, whether of a professional or clerical nature, shall be borne by the applicant pursuant to 6 NYCRR 617. Such costs shall be covered by an escrow account to be established pursuant to this section within 15 days of issuance of said positive declaration in an amount to be set by the applicable board pursuant to the fee schedule made part of this chapter.
Editor's Note: Said schedule is on file in the Village offices.
All applicants with matters pending before the Planning Board, Zoning Board or Architectural Review Board, as of the effective date of this chapter, shall be required to comply with the new fees and escrow account maintenance provisions contained herein.
In cases where the complexity of an application (or lack thereof) or unusual circumstances surrounding the matter require that the initial fee or the percentage of that initial fee to be maintained in escrow be modified, the reviewing board is authorized to grant such modification within the following guidelines:
The amount of any initial fee modification shall be reasonably related to the costs attendant to the board's review of the application.
The amount of any escrow maintenance percentage shall be reasonably related to the complexity of the project as well as the stage to which the project has progressed as of the time of modification.
Each of the Village's engineering, legal and/or planning consultants who render services pertaining to a land use or development application shall submit monthly itemized vouchers to the Village Board of Trustees (through the Clerk to the Planning Board, Zoning Board or Architectural Appearance Review Board), reasonably setting forth the services performed and amounts charged for such services.
Copies of said itemized vouchers shall be transmitted to the applicant upon their delivery to the Village Board, together with a notice notifying the applicant that the failure to object to payment of the amount of the charges contained in said itemized voucher out of escrow funds within 15 days of the sending of said notice shall constitute an acknowledgement by the applicant as to the reasonableness of the charges.
The Chairperson of the Planning Board, Architectural Appearance Review Board and/or the Zoning Board (as appropriate) shall review vouchers for services rendered to each and shall communicate its approval of same to the Village Board of Trustees. The Village Board of Trustees shall review and audit all such vouchers and shall determine, in its discretion, the engineering, legal and planning fees that are reasonable in amount and necessarily incurred by the Village in connection with the review and/or approval of the land use or development application. A fee or expense or part thereof is reasonable in amount if it bears a reasonable relationship to the customary fee charged by engineers, attorneys or planners within the region for services performed on behalf of applicants or reviewing boards in connection with applications for land use or development. The Village Board of Trustees may also take into account any special conditions for considerations as the Village Board of Trustees may deem relevant. A fee and expense or part thereof is necessarily incurred if it was charged by the engineer, attorney or planner for a service which was rendered in order to:
Assist in the protection or promotion of the health, safety or welfare of the Village or its residents;
Assist in the protection of public or private property or the environment from potential damage that otherwise may be caused by the proposed land use or development;
Assure or assist in compliance with laws, regulations, standards or codes which govern land use and development;
Assure or assist in the orderly development and sound planning of a land use or development;
Assure the proper and timely construction of public improvements, parks and other facilities which affect the public welfare;
Protect the legal interests of the Village;
Avoid claims against and liability of the Village; or
Promote such other interests that the Village Board may specify as relevant.
After review and audit of such voucher by the Village Board of Trustees, the Board shall authorize payment of same and shall provide to the applicant a copy of the voucher as audited.
The Planning Board, Architectural Appearance Review Board and Zoning Board are hereby authorized, at the time of action on any project, to make payment of any amount overdue a condition of approval. All time limitations for taking board action, conducting a public hearing or rendering any other determination related to the application, including time limitations which may relate to a default approval, shall be tolled until such time as all reimbursement of costs and expenses determined by the Village Board of Trustees to be due has been fully paid.
If the applicant fails to pay the full amount due within the time prescribed, the reviewing board may refuse:
Amounts paid pursuant to this chapter shall be placed in a non-interest-bearing escrow account to fund expenses incurred by the Village in processing the application as provided for in Subsection A above. The Village shall keep a record of the name of the applicant and project and of all such monies deposited and withdrawn. Monthly vouchers submitted by the Village's engineers, attorneys and/or planners shall be reviewed and audited by the Village Board of Trustees and provided to the applicant, and the applicant may appeal said audit amount as provided herein. The Village reserves the right to redact any voucher as deemed necessary.
All fee and expense reimbursement payments are due and payable within 15 days after delivery of a copy of an itemized voucher to the applicant as provided for in Subsection K above. Interest shall accrue on any unpaid itemized voucher at the rate of 12% per annum. The taking of an appeal under § 98-5 shall not affect the obligation to pay interest on any unpaid balance ultimately determined to be due.
Any applicant who installs landscaping or erosion and sediment control measures or constructs or proposes to construct roadway, drainage, utility, park and/or any other post-approval construction improvements, within or in conjunction with an approved subdivision or site plan in the Village shall reimburse the Village for all reasonable and necessary professional expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the inspection of the landscaping or erosion and sediment control measures, and the inspection of said roadway, drainage, utility, park and/or any other post-approval construction improvements.
No building permits or certificate of occupancy or use shall be issued unless all professional review fees charged in connection with the project have been paid and reimbursed.
The fees and expenses due and payable under this Chapter 98, if not paid in the time required, shall be a lien against the real property which is or was the subject of the land use or development application review. The amount of such fees and expenses, if not paid in the time required, may be assessed and levied against such real property and collected in the same manner as real property taxes.
An applicant may appeal, in writing, to the Village Board of Trustees for a reduction in the required reimbursement amount. An appeal must be filed with the Village Clerk no later than 15 days after mailing or other delivery to the applicant of a copy of the voucher challenged. The applicant in its written appeal shall set forth in detail the basis of the challenge of the voucher.
The failure to file an appeal within 15 days of the mailing of the voucher shall constitute waiver of any objection to the charge.
Upon such appeal, the Village Board of Trustees, in its discretion, may determine that an applicant is not required to reimburse the Village for that part of an engineering, legal or planning fee incurred by the Village for services performed in connection with an application matter for which the Village Board of Trustees determines the applicant bears no responsibility and which was beyond the reasonable control of the applicant.
The Village Board of Trustees' determination shall be made in writing and shall be made no later than 45 days after receipt of the applicant's appeal.
All fees shall be payable to the Village of Monroe by certified funds or bank check.