Town of Amherst, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
2-1-1. 
Words in this Local Law are normally used in their ordinary English usage. Certain terms shall have the meanings that follow, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning.
2-1-2. 
The word "shall" is mandatory; the word "may" is permissive; "should" is to be interpreted as expressing that which is desired and not specifically required.
2-1-3. 
All words used in the singular include the plural, and all words used in the present tense include the future tense.
FEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency — United States Department of Homeland Security
PE
Professional Engineer
ROW
Right of Way
SEQR
State Environmental Quality Review Act
BUILDING DEPARTMENT
The Building Department of the Town of Amherst, New York.
COMMISSIONER OF BUILDING
Commissioner of Building of the Town of Amherst, New York.
COUNTY
Erie County, New York.
HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Highway Superintendent of the Town of Amherst, New York.
LAW
Law, ordinance, rule or regulation of the federal, state, county or town governments, as appropriate.
PERSON
Includes a firm, association, organization, partnership, company or corporation as well as an individual.
PETITIONER
Any person who (1) having an interest in land, causes it, directly or indirectly, to be divided into a subdivision or who (2) directly or indirectly, sells, leases or develops or offers to sell, lease or develop, or advertises for sale, lease or development, any interest, lot, parcel site, unit or plot in a subdivision, or who (3) constructs or contracts to construct improvements on subdivided land or who (4) is directly or indirectly controlled by, or under direct or indirect common control with any of the foregoing.
PLANNING BOARD
Planning Board of the Town of Amherst, New York.
PLANNING DIRECTOR
Planning Director of the Town of Amherst, New York.
TOWN
Town of Amherst, Erie County, New York, outside the Village of Williamsville, New York.
TOWN BOARD
Elected legislative body, Town of Amherst, New York.
TOWN ENGINEER
Town Engineer of the Town of Amherst, New York.
ZONING ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Zoning Enforcement Officer of the Town of Amherst, New York.
[Added 3-4-2019 by L.L. No. 7-2019]
ZONING ORDINANCE
The officially adopted Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map of the Town of Amherst, together with any and all amendments and conditions adopted by the Town Board thereto.
ACCESS MANAGEMENT
The process of locating and designing vehicular access connections to preserve the flow of traffic in terms of safety, capacity and speed.
ARCHITECT
A New York State licensed professional authorized to practice architecture as defined by New York State laws.
BUILDING LINE (OR FRONT SETBACK)
A line parallel to the street right-of-way line, or edge of pavement for a private road, between which line and the street right-of-way no structure may be built.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Materials, written and graphic, including maps, charts, studies, resolutions, reports and other descriptive material that identify the goals, objectives, principles, guidelines, policies, standards, devices and instruments for the immediate and long-range protection, enhancement, growth and development which have been adopted and may be amended by the Amherst Town Board in accordance with NYS Town Law §  272-a.
CONSTRUCTION DETAILS PLAN
See Public and Private Improvement Permit.
CURB CUT
A curb break, or a place or way provided for the purpose of gaining vehicular access between a street and abutting property.
DEVELOPMENT
The act of building structures or installing site improvements.
EASEMENT
An authorization by a property owner for the use by another, and for a specified purpose, of any designated part of the property.
ENGINEER
A New York State licensed professional engineer (P.E.) authorized to practice engineering as defined by New York State laws.
EXCEPTION
See Reserve.
1. 
STREET GRADE. 1) The elevation of the street as measured at its crown; or 2) the slope of the street as measured between two points.
2. 
NATURAL GRADE. The elevation above North American Vertical Datum of 1988, of the surface of the ground prior to any development. Within special flood hazard areas, the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 shall also be used.
3. 
FINISHED GRADE. The elevation of the finished surface of the ground adjoining the building after final grading and normal settlement.
HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
An incorporated non-profit organization operating under recorded land agreements through which each lot owner of a developed area is a member and each lot is subject to charges for a proportionate share of the expenses for the organization's activities such as maintaining common property.
IMPROVEMENTS (PRIVATE)
Any facility or service together with its associated site necessary to provide street pavements, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, crosswalks, water mains, sanitary and storm sewers, street trees, utilities, and other appropriate items provided in the development installed privately, and to be owned, maintained or operated by a private entity, such as an individual, corporation or homeowners association.
IMPROVEMENTS (PUBLIC)
Any public facility or service together with its associated public site or right-of-way necessary to provide street pavements, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, crosswalks, water mains, sanitary and storm sewers, street trees, utilities, and other appropriate items as installed or provided in the development and to be owned, maintained, and operated by the municipality or special district.
LAND SURVEYOR
A New York State licensed professional authorized to practice land surveying as defined by New York State Laws.
LOT
A parcel of land for a structure, use and the accessory structures or uses customarily incident to it, including such yards as are required by ordinance and such yards as are arranged and designed to be used in connection with such structure.
LOT LINE
Any boundary line of a lot.
1. 
DEPTH. The mean horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines.
2. 
WIDTH. The horizontal distance of a lot measured along the building line at right angles to the mean lot depth line.
1. 
CORNER LOT. A parcel of land having lot lines at the junction of two or more streets or having lot lines on the same street forming an interior angle of intersection not more than 135 degrees.
2. 
FLAG LOT. A lot so shaped that the main building site area is set back from the street on which it fronts and includes only a long narrow access strip connecting the main building site with the frontage street.
3. 
INTERIOR LOT. A lot other than a corner lot.
4. 
THROUGH LOT. An interior lot which has frontage on more than one street.
5. 
REVERSE FRONTAGE LOT. A lot on which the frontage is at right angles or approximately right angles to the general pattern in the area. A reverse frontage lot may also be a corner lot, an interior lot or a through lot.
204 Rev Frontage Lot.tif
LOT OF RECORD
Land designated as a separate parcel on a plat map or deed filed or recorded in the office of the Clerk of Erie County, New York.
MARGINAL ACCESS STREET
A local street or alley that provides access to abutting properties parallel and adjacent to an arterial street.
OPEN SPACE
An area unobstructed by buildings from the ground upward, except for walks, paths, landscaping or other site features in public, common or other private ownership. Yards of individual lots occupied by dwellings shall not constitute open space.
OPEN SPACE-COMMON
A parcel or parcels of land or an area of water, or a combination of land and water within the site, privately owned and designed and intended for the use and enjoyment of two or more households residing in the site or in specified portions thereof, or other users if permitted by the owners of the common open space. Common open space may contain such structures and improvements as are necessary and appropriate for the benefit and enjoyment of persons served by such common open space.
OWNER
Shall include, in addition to its usual meaning, tenant, lessee, occupant, or other user.
PEDESTRIAN WALK
A public or private right-of-way intended solely for pedestrian circulation which may be located within a street right-of-way.
PERFORMANCE BOND
An agreement by and between a petitioner and a bonding company or personal fidelity or property bond in favor of the Town for the amount of the estimated construction cost, and guaranteeing the completion of physical improvements according to approved plans and specifications within the time prescribed by the petitioner's agreement.
PLAT
A drawing showing the proposed plan of the subdivision and supplementary information which is submitted for approval to the Planning Board.
PLAT, PRELIMINARY
A map and related material submitted to the Planning Board in order to obtain approval for a proposed subdivision of land. If approved by the Planning Board, it provides the basis for proceeding with the preparation of the final plat of a subdivision.
PLAT, FINAL
A survey record of the subdivision, or part thereof, showing location of lots, street right-of-way, easements, and other pertinent data as required in these Regulations.
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE IMPROVEMENT PERMIT
Permit to build a public or private improvement approved by the Town Board and issued by the Town Engineer.
PRIVATE UTILITY
A utility whose ownership is not fixed in a public body as electrical, gas and phone lines and supporting apparatus, structures or markers.
RESERVE
A parcel of land within a subdivision that is intended for future use, or interim continued existing use.
RESERVE STRIP
A strip of land not dedicated to public use located between a private parcel and a public right-of-way that prevents access to the public right-of-way.
RESUBDIVISION
A change in a map of an approved or recorded subdivision plat if such change affects any street layout shown on such map, or area reserved thereon for public use, or any lot line, or if it affects any map or plan legally recorded prior to the adoption of any regulations controlling subdivision. This process is also referred to as replatting.
RIGHT-OF-WAY
The width, between property lines, of a street, alley, or easement (measured at right angles to the center line of a street).
RURAL SUBDIVISION
Residential subdivisions in the AG, Agricultural, or R-R, Rural Residential Districts, or on land which is outside the utility service area for wastewater services and for which the provision of these services will be accommodated through the use of individual, privately owned systems.
SALE OR LEASE
Any immediate or future transfer of ownership, including contract of sale or transfer, or an interest in a subdivision or part thereof.
SKETCH PLAN
A simple sketch of the proposed layout of streets, lots, and other features of a proposed subdivision in relation to existing conditions, including topography, prepared by the petitioner and submitted to the Planning Board for the purpose of obtaining the advice and assistance of the Planning Department Staff and approval of the Planning Board before preparation of the preliminary plat.
SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA
As defined by §  7-7-4 of the Zoning Code of the Town of Amherst.
STREET
A public or private way which permits conducting of vehicular travel and/or affords a primary means of access by vehicles and pedestrians to abutting properties including the entire area within the right-of-way. The term includes those ways as shown on plats filed in the Office of the Erie County Clerk, whether improved or not.
1. 
EXPRESSWAY. A divided arterial highway for through traffic to which access from the abutting properties is prohibited and all street crossings are made by grade-separated intersections.
2. 
MAJOR ARTERIAL. A high volume roadway that carries the major portion of daily trips to centers of activity in the metropolitan area. Major arterials (also called principal arterials) place a greater emphasis on mobility rather than access to land and include fully and partially controlled access facilities in three categories: Interstates, Expressways, and Streets. A major arterial serves major through movements between important centers of activities in a metropolitan area, and a substantial portion of trips entering and leaving the area. It also connects freeways with major traffic generators.
3. 
MINOR ARTERIAL. A street that connects and augments the major arterial system. Although its main function is still traffic mobility, a minor arterial performs this function at a somewhat lower level and places more emphasis on land access than does a major arterial. A system of minor arterials serves trips of moderate length and distributes travel to geographical areas smaller than those served by a major arterial.
4. 
COLLECTOR. Street that distributes trips from and channels trips to arterials. Additionally, these roadways provide access and circulation within residential neighborhoods. Collector streets provide for both access and circulation within residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Their access function is more important than that of arterials, and unlike arterials, their operation is not always dominated by traffic signals.
5. 
LOCAL COLLECTOR. A street that distributes lower volumes of traffic from predominantly residential developments to collector streets and arterials. Local collectors carry through traffic, but at lower volumes than collectors.
6. 
LOCAL STREETS. A street that provides for local traffic and the lowest level of mobility. Through traffic movement is discouraged on local streets.
STREET GRADE
The slope of the street as measured between two adjacent points located on the street centerline.
STREET LINE
The right-of-way line associated with: 1) a public street; or 2) edge of pavement abutting a private street.
STREET PAVEMENT
The wearing or exposed surface of the roadway used by vehicular traffic excluding gutters, shoulders, and curbing.
SUBDIVISION
The division of any parcel of land into five or more lots, blocks or sites in any three year period, with or without streets or highways, for sale or for rent for residential lots or residential building plots. Such division shall include resubdivision of parcels of land for which an approved plat has already been filed in the office of the County Clerk and which is entirely or partially undeveloped.
SUBDIVISION, RURAL CLUSTER
A residential development in accordance with §  278 of NYS Town Law in the R-R District that helps retain viable agriculture and open space; minimizes land use conflicts; provides for recreational and habitat corridors through linked open space networks; achieves flexibility, efficiency and cost reduction in the provision of services and infrastructure; and does not rely on central sewer facilities.
SUBDIVISION, MAJOR
See §  4-3-2.
SUBDIVISION, MINOR
See §  4-3-1.
SUBMISSION DATE
Date upon which the sketch plan, preliminary plat, or final subdivision plat, complete and accompanied by a fee, if required, and all supporting data required, has been received by the Planning Department.
SUPERELEVATION
The banking of a roadway along a horizontal curve so that motorists can safely and comfortably maneuver the curve at reasonable speeds.
THOROUGHFARE PLAN
The plan and recommendations adopted by the Planning Board or Town Board indicating existing and proposed freeways and streets.
TRAFFIC CALMING
The combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users. Examples of traffic calming devices include speed tables, diverters, neck-downs, chicanes, bump-outs, and roundabouts.
UTILITIES
All lines and facilities related to the provision, distribution, collection, transmission or disposal of water, sanitary and storm sewage, oil, gas, power, information, telecommunication and telephone cable.
WETLAND
Areas regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or applicable Federal agencies as Fresh Water Wetlands as prescribed by law.