Town of Amherst, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
3-1-1. 
Intent. These design standards are intended as a guide to sound land planning and are for typical development conditions. Should there be unusual topographic or physical development conditions, these standards may waived in accordance with §  4-7.
3-1-2. 
Conformity to Comprehensive Plan. Subdivisions shall be designed to be in agreement with objectives of the Comprehensive Plan and in general compliance with the plan for the area.
3-1-3. 
Conformity with Thoroughfare and Utilities Specifications. The arrangement, character, extent, size, grade and location of all streets and public utilities shall be consistent with the Thoroughfare and Public Utilities Plans and shall be considered in their relation to existing and planned streets and utilities. Proposed subdivisions shall be designed in such a way as to avoid casting an undue burden on the street system, drainage system, or other public facilities planned for the area. Subdivisions shall be designed in conformance with the Town of Amherst Standard Details and Specifications and are available at the Town of Amherst Engineering Department.
3-1-4. 
Conformity to the Zoning Ordinance. Subdivisions shall conform to the Zoning Ordinance regulations and Zoning Map for the area involved.
3-1-5. 
Suitability of Land and Relation to Natural Features. Land deemed by the Planning Board to be unsuitable for human habitation because of health, safety, public welfare, or sanitary problems shall not be platted for residential use, nor for such other uses as may involve danger to health, life, or property. Such land within a plat shall be set aside for uses appropriate to existing conditions. In subdividing any land, due regard shall be shown for all natural features, such as tree growth, water courses, historic locations, or similar conditions.
3-2-1. 
Hierarchy.
A. 
A street is a public way for purposes of vehicular travel and includes the entire area within the right-of-way. The street also serves pedestrian traffic and often accommodates public utility facilities within the right-of-way or on easements adjacent thereto. The improvement or development of streets is based on a functional street classification system which is part of the Comprehensive Plan.
B. 
A typical hierarchy of streets is shown below.
204 Typ Hierarchy of Streets.tif
3-2-2. 
General Design Guidelines. The following are general design guidelines for all public streets.
A. 
Street and pedestrian circulation patterns shall be compatible with objectives established by the Future Thoroughfare System in the Comprehensive Plan.
B. 
Planned layouts shall minimize overall length of local streets.
C. 
Driveway entrances shall be prohibited on arterial streets and shall be avoided wherever possible on collector streets.
D. 
Streets shall provide safe and convenient access to housing.
E. 
All dwellings shall be accessible by emergency and service vehicles.
F. 
Roadway networks shall improve efficiency and connectivity while preserving neighborhood character.
G. 
Traffic calming and access management measures shall be used in conjunction with a connected roadway network where needed.
H. 
Provide for looping of utilities, where appropriate and desirable.
I. 
Necessary lighting along streets and walkways shall be provided.
J. 
Use of signs shall be minimized and signposts shall be unobtrusive.
K. 
Informational signs shall not compete with traffic control signs for driver attention.
L. 
Use of break-away street furniture shall be considered wherever possible and shall be grouped for aesthetic as well as safety values.
M. 
Sight distances shall be consistent with probable traffic speed, terrain, alignments, and climatic extremes.
N. 
Pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic shall be separated to the extent feasible.
O. 
Parks, play areas, and interior block open spaces, shall be visible from the street.
P. 
Horizontal and vertical street alignments shall relate to the natural contours of the site insofar as is practical and shall be consistent with other design objectives.
Q. 
Horizontal and vertical alignment of streets shall be selected to minimize grading quantities.
R. 
Wherever possible, street layouts shall be planned to avoid excessive runoff concentration.
S. 
Streets crossing drainageways inevitably will function as dams, and shall be designed to minimize adverse backwater effects, scour, and erosion.
3-2-3. 
General Construction Principles.
A. 
Pavement designs should be appropriate for the specific traffic load, subgrade soil, surface drainage, ground water, and climatic conditions existing at the pavement's location.
B. 
The thickness of a pavement should be a function of both the assured load supporting value of the earth subgrade beneath the pavement and the wheel load distribution characteristics of the pavement materials.
C. 
Pavement edge treatments other than curb and gutter may be used where conditions permit adequate drainage and the roadway base will not be adversely affected, subject to approval by the Highway Superintendent.
3-2-4. 
Specific Design Standards.
A. 
Geometric and Pavement Standards.
(1) 
Local Streets.
(a) 
The following standards shall apply to all local streets.
Overall Design Parameters
Minimum stopping sight distance
115'
Maximum grade
8%
Minimum curve radius
72'
Design speed
20 — 30 mph
Roadway Requirements
Minimum pavement width
28'
Minimum right-of-way width
52'
Geometric Parameters
Travel lane width and number
Two lanes 14' wide
Median width
None required; additional width required for development requesting medians.
Parking lane width
Two lanes, 7' wide
Sidewalk width
4'
Bike lane width
None required; share street
Planting strip/snow storage area
11'; additional width optional.
(b) 
The following figure illustrates the location and relationships between the parameters and requirements listed in the table.
204 Typ Section Loc Street.tif
(2) 
Local Collectors.
(a) 
The following standards shall apply to all local collectors.
Overall Design Parameters
Minimum stopping sight distance
235'
Maximum grade
7%
Minimum curve radius
200'
Design Speed
20 — 30 mph
Roadway Requirements
Minimum pavement width
28'
Minimum right-of-way width
60'
Geometric Parameters
Travel lane width and number
Two lanes 14' wide
Median width
None required; except where necessary to control access and/or to provide pedestrian refuge. Additional roadway and ROW width will be required.
Parking lane width
7 — 8' if required
Sidewalk width
4'
Bike lane width
None required; share street
Planting strip/snow storage area
15'; additional width optional.
(b) 
The following figure illustrates the location and relationships between the parameters and requirements listed in the table.
204 Typ Section Loc Collector Street.tif
(3) 
Collectors.
(a) 
The following standards shall apply to collectors.
Overall Design Parameters
Minimum stopping sight distance
275'
Maximum grade
7%
Minimum curve radius
285'
Design Speed
30 — 60 mph
Roadway Requirements
Minimum pavement width
32'
Minimum right-of-way width
70'
Geometric Parameters
Travel lane width and number
Two 12' wide lanes
Median width
None required, except where necessary to control access and/or to provide pedestrian refuge. Additional roadway and ROW width will be required.
Parking lane width
Min. one 8' wide parking lane required.
Sidewalk width
5'
Bike lane width
Optional; where provided, two one-way 5' wide lanes located on the outside of the travel lanes.
Planting strip/snow storage area
19'; additional width optional.
(b) 
The following figure illustrates the location and relationships between the parameters and requirements listed in the table.
204 Typ Section Collector Street.tif
(4) 
Minor Arterials.
(a) 
The following standards shall apply to all minor arterials.
Overall Design Parameters
Minimum stopping sight distance
275'
Maximum grade
7%
Minimum curve radius
443'
Design Speed
40 — 60 mph
Roadway Requirements
Minimum pavement width
24'
Minimum right-of-way width
90'
Geometric Parameters
Travel lane width and number
Two 12' wide lanes
Median/center turn lane width
13' where required
Parking lane width
8' where required
Sidewalk width
5'
Bike lane width
Optional; where provided, two one-way 5' wide lanes located on the outside of the travel lanes.
Planting strip/snow storage area
Distance from centerline to curb or outside of plowed area in feet x 0.6; additional width optional.
(b) 
The following figure illustrates the location and relationships between the parameters and requirements listed in the table.
204 Typ Section Min Arterial Street.tif
(5) 
Narrow Residential Streets.
(a) 
The following standards shall apply to all narrow residential streets. Narrow residential streets shall be used in conjunction with a private alley.
Overall Design Parameters
Minimum stopping sight distance
115'
Maximum grade
8%
Minimum curve radius
72'
Design Speed
20 mph
Roadway Requirements
Minimum pavement width
24'
Minimum right-of-way width
45'
Geometric Parameters
Travel lane width and number
One 17' lane
Median width
None required
Parking lane width
One 7' lane
Sidewalk width
4'
Bike lane width
None required
Planting strip/snow storage area
10.5'; additional width optional.
(b) 
The following figure illustrates the location and relationships between the parameters and requirements listed in the table.
204 Typ Section Narrow Res Street.tif
(6) 
Alleys.
(a) 
The following standards shall apply to all alleys.
Overall Design Parameters
Minimum stopping sight distance
50'
Maximum grade
8%
Minimum curve radius
72'
Design Speed
20 mph
Roadway Requirements
Minimum pavement width
12' — 20'
Minimum right-of-way width
12' — 20'
Geometric Parameters
Travel lane width and number
One 12-20' lane
Median width
None required
Parking lane width
None required
Sidewalk width
None required
Bike lane width
None required
Planting strip/snow storage area
Distance from centerline to curb or outside of plowed area in feet x 0.6; additional width optional.
(b) 
The following figure illustrates the location and relationships between the parameters and requirements listed in the table.
204 Typ Section Alley.tif
(7) 
Standards Applying to all Streets.
(a) 
In order to provide for proper drainage, the minimum grade shall be 0.4 percent for streets with outer curbs. A grade of 0.35 percent may be used where there is a high type pavement, accurately crowned and supported on firm subgrade.
(b) 
An easement, when required, shall be a minimum of 15 feet for local streets and local collectors.
(c) 
Private streets shall be designed in accordance with the applicable standards in the tables above.
B. 
Layout. The arrangement, character, extent, width and location of all streets shall be considered in their relation to existing and planned streets, to topographical conditions, to public convenience and safety, and in appropriate relation to the proposed uses of the land to be served by such streets. Where such streets are not shown on the Comprehensive Plan, the arrangement of streets in a subdivision shall either:
(1) 
Provide for the continuation or appropriate projection of existing streets in surrounding areas; or
(2) 
Conform to a plan for the neighborhood approved or adopted by the Planning Board.
C. 
Alignment.
(1) 
Streets shall be laid out so as to intersect as nearly as possible at right angles and no streets shall intersect any other street at less than 80 degrees.
(2) 
The edge of pavement at street intersections shall be rounded with a radius of 20 feet, or of a greater radius where the Planning Board, Highway Superintendent, or Traffic and Safety Board deem it necessary.
(3) 
In the case of dead-end streets, where needed, the Board may require the reservation of a 50-foot wide easement or dedication, to provide for continuation of pedestrian traffic and utilities to the next street.
(4) 
Local streets shall connect with surrounding streets where necessary to permit the convenient movement of traffic, or to facilitate access to neighborhoods by emergency service vehicles, or for other sufficient reasons, but connections shall be designed to avoid the use of such streets by substantial through traffic.
(5) 
Whenever connections to anticipated or proposed surrounding streets are required, the right-of-way shall be extended and the street developed to the property line of the subdivided property (or to the edge of the remaining undeveloped portion of a single tract) at the point where the connection to the anticipated or proposed street is expected. No lot shall take access from the terminal end of such streets. The Planning Board may also require temporary turn-arounds to be constructed at the end of such streets pending their extension when such turn-arounds appear necessary to facilitate the flow of traffic or accommodate emergency or service vehicles.
(6) 
Street jogs with centerline offsets of less than 150 feet shall not be permitted.
(7) 
A tangent at least 100 feet long shall be introduced between reverse curves on major arterial and collector streets.
(8) 
An intersection of more than two streets shall be avoided unless specific conditions of design indicate otherwise.
(9) 
In general, street lines within a block, deflecting from each other at any one point by more than 10 degrees, shall be connected with a curve, the radius of which for the centerline of street shall not be less than 400 feet on major streets and collector streets and 200 feet on local streets.
(10) 
Minor or secondary street openings into collector or major arterial roads shall, in general, be at least 500 feet apart.
(11) 
Where a tract is subdivided into lots substantially larger than the minimum size required in the zoning district in which a subdivision is located, the Board may require that streets and lots be laid out so as to permit future re-subdivision in accordance with the requirements contained in these Regulations.
(12) 
Alignment in residential areas shall fit closely the existing topography so as to minimize the need for cuts or fills. There is advantage in residential areas in purposely making the alignment of such nature as to discourage high speed through traffic. Caution shall be taken in the design of the alignment that the safety of the facility is not reduced.
(13) 
Where curves are superelevated lower values apply, but the radius shall never be less than 115 feet for local streets and 275 feet for collector streets.
D. 
Intersections.
(1) 
Design Principles.
(a) 
Paved areas within intersections shall be minimized.
(b) 
Oblique intersections and large corner radii shall be avoided.
(c) 
Wherever possible, intersections on curves should be avoided.
(2) 
Intersection Design.
(a) 
Intersections, including median openings, shall be designed with adequate corner sight distance and the area kept free of obstacles.
(i) 
The corner sight distance for collector streets shall be a minimum of 300 feet.
(ii) 
For local streets the corner sight distance shall be a minimum of 200 feet.
(b) 
Intersecting streets shall meet at approximately a 90 degree angle.
(c) 
The minimum off-set for "T" intersections shall be 125 feet centerline to centerline.
(d) 
Intersections and stacking areas shall be designed with a flat grade; the maximum grade on the approach leg shall be less than five percent.
(e) 
At street intersections in residential areas and elsewhere where there are heavy pedestrian movements, the minimum radius of curb return where curbs are used or the outside edge of pavement where curbs are not used, shall be a minimum radius of 30 feet.
E. 
Street Connectivity Requirements. An interconnected street system is necessary in order to promote orderly and safe development by ensuring that streets function in an interdependent manner, provide adequate access for emergency and service vehicles, enhance access by ensuring connected transportation routes, and provide continuous and comprehensible traffic routes.
(1) 
Connectivity Defined.
(a) 
Connectivity is defined by the ratio of links to nodes in any subdivision.
(b) 
Connectivity ratio is the number of street links divided by the number of nodes or end links, including cul-de-sac heads.
(c) 
A link is any portion of a public or private street meeting Town specifications and is legally accessible defined by a node at each end or at one end. Stubs to adjacent property shall be considered links. Alleys shall not be considered links.
(d) 
A node is the terminus of a street or the intersection of two or more streets.
(e) 
Any location where a street name changes shall be considered a node.
(f) 
Any curve or bend of a street that exceeds 75 degrees shall receive credit as a node. Any curve or bend of a street that does not exceed 75 degrees shall not be considered a node.
(2) 
Required Ratio.
(a) 
The street network for a subdivision of 30 or more lots with internal roads or access to any public road shall achieve a connectivity ratio of not less than 1.40, measured within the subdivision.
(b) 
Street links and nodes along a local collector, collector or arterial street providing access to a proposed subdivision shall not be considered in computing the connectivity ratio.
(c) 
A higher connectivity ratio in a surrounding area shall not provide justification to reduce the required connectivity of a proposed subdivision.
(d) 
The Planning Board may permit a lower connectivity ratio based upon site constraints.
(3) 
Sample Calculation. The following sample calculation and figures show how the street connectivity ratio for a subdivision shall be calculated.
EXAMPLE 1: Does not meet ratio
EXAMPLE 2: Modified to meet ratio
204 Example 1.tif 204 Example 2.tif
Number = Link
♦ = Node
(4) 
External Access Required.
(a) 
All subdivisions shall provide the appropriate number of fire apparatus access roads, as described in §  7-6-7(c) of the Zoning Ordinance, Fire Apparatus Access Road Requirements.
F. 
Cul-de-sac Streets.
(1) 
A curbed permanent turnaround shall be provided at the end of any permanent dead-end street. This turnaround may be T- or circular-shaped. The commonly used circular form shall have the following dimensions.
Standard
Without Island
With Island
Minimum Cul-de-Sac Radii (including R-O-W)
62 ft
66 ft
Minimum Cul-de-Sac Radii (to inside of curb)
52 ft
56 ft
Minimum pavement width
28 ft
36 ft
Right-of-way width, minimum
50 ft
50 ft
Utility Easement Width
15 ft
15 ft*
Maximum island radii
20 ft
* May be modified by the Planning Board or Director.
(2) 
An unpaved island may be provided at the center of the turnaround in accordance with the standards in the table above and provided that:
(a) 
The island shall be surrounded by an island curb;
(b) 
The surface of the island shall be landscaped;
(c) 
Landscaping or other elements located in the island shall not interfere with the sight distance standards in §  3-2-4D(2).
(d) 
The island shall have a minimum diameter of 20 feet measured to the back of the curb.
(e) 
The petitioner shall provide for perpetual maintenance of the unpaved island through a homeowners association or other acceptable organization.
204 Unpaved Island.tif
(3) 
The T-shaped turnaround shall have the dimensions required in the figures below.
204 Typ Turn-around Perm.tif 204 Typ Turn-around Temp.tif
(4) 
No lot shall take access to a temporary or permanent turnaround unless permission is granted at the discretion of the Highway Superintendent.
(5) 
All turnarounds shall contain adequate space for snow storage and for the maneuvering of emergency vehicles.
G. 
Curbs. Minimum curb specifications and the measurement at pavement width are shown in the figure below. There are three types of curbing which shall be permitted. However, it is the policy of the Town of Amherst that "A" Type curbing shall be used wherever possible. The final selection of curbing shall be dependent on the site conditions, design character of the proposed subdivision and the anticipated traffic.
Type "A" Curbing
204 Type A Curbing.tif
Type "B" Curbing
Poured in Place
204 Type B Curbing.tif
Type "C" Curbing
Poured in Place
204 Type C Curbing.tif
H. 
Sidewalks and Pedestrian Circulation. A plan for safe and convenient pedestrian circulation within the subdivision and between the subdivision and surrounding areas shall be provided. Such plan may provide for walks along the streets, along rear property lines or in some other location acceptable to the Planning Board. The pedestrian circulation plan as approved by the Planning Board shall be based on expected use and function consistent with the following standards. A list of roads and their functional classifications is available from the Town of Amherst Planning Department.
(1) 
Pedestrians shall have convenient access to schools, shopping, and existing or possible public transportation load points.
(2) 
Pedestrian and bicycle-way alignments shall have a reasonable relationship to foreseeable movement, parking, and community facilities, and shall be safe, secure, and attractive.
(3) 
Potential pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular conflicts shall be minimized.
(4) 
Pedestrian and bicycle travel routes shall be selected to have minimum practical change in grade (elevation) throughout their lengths.
(5) 
Sidewalks shall be installed on existing and proposed streets unless waived by the Planning Board as a part of an approved site plan or by the Town Board in which event they shall be constructed in accordance with Chapter 83, Building Construction Administration, of the Town Code and located in accordance with §  3-2-4A.
(6) 
Sidewalks shall be installed on all collector streets and arterials on all road frontages, as applicable, and shall be located in accordance with §  3-2-4A.
(7) 
Sidewalks shall be of a width as required in the specifications for sidewalk construction available from the Town of Amherst Engineering Department, Town of Amherst Standard Details and Specifications and Chapter 83, Building Construction Administration, of the Town Code.
(8) 
All required ramps and curb cuts shall be constructed to be in compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and be included and constructed with the P.I.P. for the roadway.
(9) 
The Planning Board may require that sidewalks on existing or proposed streets be included and constructed with the P.I.P. for the roadway.
I. 
Roadway Width for Bridges. The minimum clear width for all new bridges on streets with curbed approaches shall be the same as the curb-to-curb width of the approaches. For streets with shoulders and no curbs, the bridge width shall be the same as the approach roadway including shoulders. Sidewalks on the approaches shall be carried across all new structures and shall be considered an additional width to the bridge. There shall be at least one sidewalk on all sidewalk bridges.
J. 
Pavement.
(1) 
The design of the pavement and subbase shall be consistent with the specifications in the Town of Amherst Standard Details and Specifications, available at the Town of Amherst Engineering Department.
(2) 
Due to the variables inherent in any design there can be no minimal standard. Each design shall be reviewed on its own merits.
(3) 
Pavement cross slope shall be adequate to provide proper drainage. The recommended standard is 0.020 feet per foot.
K. 
Superelevation.
(1) 
Superelevation is advantageous for street traffic operation, but in built up areas the combination of wide pavement areas, proximity of adjacent development, control of cross slope and profile for drainage, the frequency of cross streets and other urban features combine to make its use impractical or undesirable. Usually superelevation is not provided on local streets in residential and commercial areas; it should be considered on those in industrial areas. Superelevation shall be provided on collector streets wherever operating speeds will not be low.
(2) 
Where superelevation is used, street curves shall be designed for a maximum superelevation rate of 0.04 to 0.06 feet per foot.
L. 
Paved Shoulders. Paved shoulders are permitted on arterial or collector roads. Such shoulders shall be a minimum of six feet in width and shall be designed as an integral part of the road, and shall be constructed according to the Town's minimum specifications as detailed in the Town of Amherst Standard Details and Specifications, available at the Town of Amherst Engineering Department.
M. 
Railroad-Street Grade Crossings.
(1) 
Appropriate grade crossing protection devices shall be installed at all railroad-street grade crossings.
(2) 
The minimum stopping sight distance for any street that intersects a railroad track shall be 200 feet.
N. 
Clearance to Above-Grade Obstructions. A minimum clearance of two feet shall be provided between the face of curb or edge of shoulder and above-grade obstructions, such as utility poles, lighting poles, and fire hydrants. On all streets these obstructions shall be located at or near the right-of-way line and outside of sidewalks.
O. 
Street Lighting.
(1) 
Street lighting should be considered at all intersections and continuous lighting should be considered in heavily built up areas, particularly on collector streets. Determinations on lighting should be coordinated with crime protection and other community needs.
(2) 
Factors that should be taken into consideration in determining whether or not lighting should be provided are the ratio of night to day accidents, pedestrian and vehicular volumes, type of marginal development and previous experience at other locations having similar geometric design.
P. 
Traffic Control Devices.
(1) 
It is important that there be consistent and uniform application of traffic control devices. Details of the standard devices and warrants for many conditions are found in the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices" prepared by the Federal Highway Administration and supplemented by the New York State D.O.T.
(2) 
Geometric design of streets should include full consideration of the types of traffic control to be used, especially at intersections where multiphase or actuated traffic signals are likely to be needed.
Q. 
Landscaping, Erosion Control, and Street Trees.
(1) 
Landscaping and Erosion Control.
(a) 
The Planning Board shall carefully consider all landscaping elements within the right-of-way especially in culs-de-sac, islands, and other areas where public ownership and maintenance will be required. A detailed planting and landscaping plan shall be submitted for all such areas and approved by the Planning Board, after receiving a recommendation from the Town's Planning Director, as a part of the preliminary platting process.
(b) 
A Landscape Plan for the area within ten feet form the edge of pavement along private streets shall be submitted with the preliminary plat. The owner shall be responsible for all planting, maintenance, and necessary replacement.
(2) 
Street Trees.
(a) 
Tree Removal Permit. No trees shall be removed from an area in anticipation of development unless a Tree Removal Permit has been obtained under the Tree Local Law, Town Code Chapter 179.
(b) 
Trees Required.
(i) 
The issuance of each building permit for buildings adjacent to a public street shall be subject to planting one tree per forty feet of street frontage.
(ii) 
At the time of filing the building permit, the Town Clerk shall collect the cost of planting the required trees which cost shall be determined by the Town Board from time to time.
(c) 
Specifications for Planting.
(i) 
All trees shall be guaranteed for one year from the date of planting and shall be handled and transported in a manner conducive to good nursery practices at all times. All trees shall be pruned and planted and refilled with soil acceptable to the Highway Superintendent in a tree pit two times the ball diameter and one and one-half times the ball depth, or twelve inches greater than the spread of the bare root stock and six inches greater in depth. Each planting shall be well watered at the time of planting. Stakes shall be hard wood, eight-foot minimum height, and will be placed at time of planting outside the tree placement cavity with a minimum of two stakes per tree.
(ii) 
The top four inches to six inches of each stake shall be painted a color as specified by the Superintendent of Highways. In addition, all trees will be wrapped with tree wrap-up to the first branch. Fertilizer should be one-half pound per inch of caliper, worked into the trees' pit soil.
(iii) 
All trees shall be local or northern grown and will be subject to inspection at time of planting. All trees shall be supplied with well developed root systems. All trees are to have straight trunks with well developed heads. The caliper of trees shall be measured at a point six inches above ground level with a minimum caliper of one and three-quarters inches.
(iv) 
All trees shall be planted in accordance with §  179 of the Local Tree Law, Planting distance requirements.
R. 
Yard Drainage — General.
(1) 
Yards and areas shall be properly drained and connected to a storm sewer or other approved outfall.
(2) 
See the Town of Amherst Standard Details and Specifications, available at the Town of Amherst Chapter 83, Building Construction Administration, of the Town Code for details, including rear yard drainage and Sump Pump and Downspout Pipe Discharge.
S. 
Rural Residential Subdivision Streets. Each lot in a rural residential subdivision shall be provided with access to a durable and maintainable public or private street with adequate capacity, while retaining rural aesthetics and cost effectiveness, and without compromise to the Thoroughfare Plan.
(1) 
Exceptions to Street Standards for Rural Residential Subdivisions. The subdivision may contain roadside ditches in lieu of curb and gutter.
3-2-5. 
Grading and Topography. The street plan of a proposed subdivision shall bear a logical relationship to the topography of the property, and all streets shall be arranged so as to obtain as many building sites as possible at or above the grade of the streets. Grades of streets shall conform as closely as possible to the original topography and shall be in accordance with the Town Specifications for Public Improvements.
3-2-6. 
Marginal Access Streets.
A. 
Where a subdivision abuts or contains an existing or proposed arterial street as specified in the Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Board may require the following:
(1) 
Marginal access streets, and controlled access points;
(2) 
Reverse frontage with screen planting contained in a non-access reservation along the rear property line;
(3) 
Deep lots with rear service access; or
(4) 
Such other treatment as may be necessary for adequate protection of residential properties and to afford separation of through and local traffic.
B. 
Where a subdivision borders on or contains a railroad right-of-way or limited access thoroughfare right-of-way, the Planning Board may require a street approximately parallel to and on each side of the right-of-way at a distance suitable for the appropriate use of the intervening land as for the following purposes:
(1) 
Parks;
(2) 
Deep residential lots backing to railroad or arterial street with planting screen in a no-access area at rear property lines of lots; or
(3) 
Motor vehicle parking, business or industry in appropriate districts.
C. 
Such distances shall be determined with due regard for the requirements of approach grades and future grade separations.
3-2-7. 
Other Street Improvements. Design standards for other required improvements such as fire hydrants, water main, and the location of sanitary and storm sewers are also available within the Town of Amherst Standard Details and Specifications on file at the Town's Engineering Department. Street lighting, traffic control signs, and street signs are found within Town Specifications for Public Improvements. Public and Private Improvement Permits are issued on the basis of compliance with these specifications.
3-2-8. 
Reserve Strips. Reserve strips controlling access to streets shall be prohibited except where their control is definitely placed with the Town under conditions approved by the Planning Board, Town Engineer, and Town Attorney.
3-2-9. 
Street Designation. Street names for a proposed subdivision shall be proposed by the owner which shall not duplicate or be confused with the names of existing streets in Erie County irrespective of modifying terms such as street, avenue, boulevard, etc. Streets that are or will eventually be continuations of existing or platted streets shall be of the same name. Street names shall be subject to the policies established by the Town Board and the approval of the Planning Director.
3-3-1. 
Underground Utilities. Utilities, to the extent practicable, are to be placed underground throughout a subdivision area and in conformance with Town Specifications for Public and Private Improvements.
3-3-2. 
Utility Easements. Suitable easements shall be provided for any utility service, including storm water drainage, as determined by the Town Engineer. They shall be established at sanitary sewers and applicable lot lines so as to provide continuity of alignment from block to block.
3-3-3. 
Storm Drainage Easements. Where a subdivision is traversed by an existing or proposed watercourse, storm sewer, drainage way, channel or stream, there shall be provided a permanent public or private drainage easement conforming substantially with the limits of such watercourse, which may include additional area adjoining such watercourse as determined by the Town Engineer and/or Highway Superintendent.
3-3-4. 
Pipes for Ditches. Street side ditch piping for stormwater along an existing street shall be the responsibility of the lot owner (or petitioner) and construction, removal, or replacement shall be in accordance with Town Specifications. Maintenance of a public facility shall be the responsibility of the Town.
3-3-5. 
Sewers.
A. 
Any building that has sanitary facilities, or is used by human occupants for living or sleeping, must be connected to a sanitary sewer system approved by the Erie County Health Department, if such sewer is available.
B. 
All sanitary sewers and laterals must be installed before a street is improved and construction shall be in accordance with Town Specifications for Public Improvements.
C. 
The Town reserves the rights to require the installation of improvements necessary for non-rural subdivisions when the site is within a sewer district but public wastewater utility services are not currently available.
3-3-6. 
Water Distribution and Fire Hydrants.
A. 
Waterline types and installation shall be in accordance with Town of Amherst Engineering Department specifications.
B. 
Waterline size shall be a minimum of eight inches and on a grid system or interconnected wherever possible, based on generally accepted engineering practices for required fire flow.
C. 
Fire hydrant type and installation shall be in accordance with Town of Amherst Engineering Department specifications.
D. 
Fire hydrants shall be located a maximum of 500 feet apart.
3-4-1. 
Shape. No specific rule concerning the shape of blocks is made, but blocks shall fit readily into the overall plan of the subdivision, and their design shall evidence consideration of topographical conditions, lot planning, traffic flow and public open space areas.
3-4-2. 
Block Dimensions.
A. 
The maximum lengths of blocks containing a majority of lots seventy-five feet and over in width shall be 1,800 feet, and the maximum length of blocks containing a majority of lots less than seventy-five feet in width shall be 1,200 feet.
B. 
Blocks over 900 feet long may, at the discretion of the Planning Board, require pedestrian ways at their approximate centers. The provision of additional access ways to schools, parks or other destinations may be required by the Planning Board.
C. 
Blocks shall have sufficient width to accommodate two tiers of lots including any additional allowance for natural features in between such as an existing watercourse. This standard shall not apply where single tier lots are required to separate residential development from arterial traffic, to separate lots from an incompatible use, to accommodate a requirement for single loaded streets, to allow for unusual topographical conditions or when adjacent to the outer perimeter of the subdivision.
3-5-1. 
Buildable. All lots shall meet the minimum area and lot dimensions required by the Zoning Ordinance for the zoning district in which the lot is located.
3-5-2. 
Shape.
A. 
Generally, side lines of lots shall be at right angles to straight street lines and radial to curved street lines.
B. 
The average depth of a lot shall not generally exceed three and one-half times its average width.
C. 
Flag lots shall be discouraged in non-rural subdivisions, except where environmental, design or other constraints render subdividing otherwise unreasonable.
3-5-3. 
Access.
A. 
All lots shall have adequate access to the public thoroughfare system, and lots shall abut a public dedicated street or private drive or have access to such street or drive via a public alley. See NYS Town Law §  280-a(4) for streets not having frontage on a public street.
B. 
No lot shall take access from the turnaround areas described in §  3-2-4F.
C. 
In an effort to minimize the number of curb cuts and maximize green space, the Planning Board may require the sharing of curb cuts by adjacent lots.
3-5-4. 
Corner Lots. Corner lots shall be increased in width over the width of typical interior lots, in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance.
3-5-5. 
Through Lots. Through lots shall not be permitted except under the following circumstances:
A. 
Where lots back upon an arterial, local collector or collector street. In such instances, vehicular access between the lots and the arterial or collector street is prohibited.
B. 
Where topographic or other conditions render subdividing otherwise unreasonable. Such through lots shall have an additional depth, as determined by the Planning Board, in order to allow for a protective screen planting on one frontage.
3-5-6. 
Lots Abutting a Watercourse.
A. 
Riparian Buffer.
(1) 
Lots abutting upon or extending into a watercourse, drainage way, channel or stream shall be required to provide additional depth in the form of a riparian buffer to assure an acceptable building site.
(2) 
Riparian buffers shall be clearly indicated on all sketch plans, preliminary plats and final plats. Where maps show a difference in stream type for a particular reach of stream, the map that shows the greater level of stream protection shall apply.
B. 
Buffer Width. Riparian buffers shall apply on each side of the watercourse and shall begin at the most landward limit of the top of the bank perpendicular to the direction of stream flow. Riparian buffers shall be a minimum of 50 feet in total width.
C. 
Buffer Limitations.
(1) 
Buildings and other features that require grading and construction shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from the edge of the buffer.
(2) 
Crossings by streets, driveways, bridges, utilities, culverts, recreational features or other facilities shall be allowed provided that they are designed to minimize intrusion into the riparian buffer. Such facilities may run generally within and parallel to the buffer only where no other access to the property is practical and when their design minimizes intrusion into the buffer.
(3) 
Riparian buffers may be used for passive recreational activities, provided that service facilities for such activities, including but not limited to parking, picnicking and sanitary facilities, shall be located outside of the stream buffer.
3-5-7. 
Lots in a Floodway or Flood Plain District. All structures and uses in the Special Flood Hazard Areas are subject to the Flood Damage Prevention provisions of §  7-7 of the Zoning Ordinance.
3-6-1. 
Permanent concrete monuments shall be made of concrete four inches by six inches by 24 inches, or six-inch diameter by 24 inches, or an approved equal, with 1/2-inch or larger iron pipe or iron rod cast in the center.
3-6-2. 
At least one permanent concrete monument shall be in each subdivision in accordance with Local Law No. 6, Chapter 119 and the Rules and Regulations 119-5.A, Town of Amherst Geodetic Survey Maintenance Network. The monument's location shall be approved by the Town Engineer.
3-6-3. 
Pipe monuments 3/4-inch in diameter, or steel rods 1/2-inch in diameter by 18 inches in length, shall be placed at the corners of each lot, block, at each intersection, of street center lines at angle points and at the ends and at suitable intervals along curbs. A suitable nail may be used should any of these locations fall within the street pavement.
3-6-4. 
All U.S., State, County, Town or other official benchmarks, monuments or triangulation stations in or adjacent to the property shall be preserved in precise position and identified on the final plat.
3-7-1. 
Vehicular Movement. The location for vehicular movements between commercial and industrial areas and adjacent streets shall be indicated, and restrictions shall be recorded upon the plat which shall restrict such vehicular movements to the location shown on the plat.
3-7-2. 
Easements. Easements may be required providing for vehicular movements through parking areas and to and from service areas, as well as easements which can be improved as buffer areas wherever the area adjoins property zoned for residential use. The installation of planting, walls, fences or other improvements that assure a satisfactory buffer or protective screen within said easement may be required by the Planning Board.
A. 
General. Dedication of open space shall be in accordance with Chapter 155, Recreation and Open Space, of the Town Code.
B. 
Cluster Subdivision.
(1) 
Ownership of open space created as part of a cluster subdivision shall be retained by or transferred to any of the following third-party organizations, including any combination of such organizations:
(a) 
The owner of the property to be developed;
(b) 
A homeowners association;
(c) 
An established land trust, created as a not-for-profit agency in accordance with §  501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
(d) 
A non-profit conservation organization created in accordance with §  501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
(e) 
The Town of Amherst; or
(f) 
Another public agency responsible for natural resource preservation.
(2) 
A conservation easement limiting the use of the open space in perpetuity shall be required. The easement shall provide for third party enforcement of the limits placed on the open space area.
A. 
Streets. Streets shall be dedicated according to all applicable State and local laws.
B. 
Parkland Sites.
(1) 
Acceptance of dedications for parkland shall be by resolution of the Amherst Town Board.