[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Manlius 5-28-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town of Manlius Town Board hereby finds and determines that in order to protect and safeguard the Town, its residents and their property, with respect to land, and improvements within the Town, the development and construction thereon and the uses, operations, businesses, trades, professions and industries conducted thereon, all should be designed and constructed in a competent and workmanlike manner and developed, constructed and utilized in conformity with all applicable governmental laws, codes, rules and regulations, and where applicable to development, dedicated and conveyed to the Town in a legally sufficient manner. In order to ensure the foregoing, it is essential that the Town have available to it all necessary professional expertise to assist with inspections of the foregoing, any required legal opinion(s) or actions, including relative to violations and enforcement of such applicable law, codes, rules and regulations, the review of legal documents and instruments, plans, designs, applications, and to make recommendations to the Code Enforcement Officer, Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Attorney for the Town and Building Inspector. The Town takes great pride in the skill and professionalism of its land use and zoning boards, Code enforcement and administrative staff; however, from time to time, such boards and staff are called upon to review and evaluate matters and to consider and take actions outside the range of their training and/or expertise and/or requiring legal assistance and expertise. These situations may require the Town to seek out skills not possessed by such Town boards and Town officials but which are not required frequently enough to justify the full or part-time hiring of such specialized staff. At the same time, the cost of retaining such expertise should not be borne by the taxpayers of the Town, but rather by those who seek to benefit or profit from the decisions of the Town, its boards, administrative staff and/or those who are legally responsible relative to efforts, actions and proceedings addressing violations and enforcement of such governmental laws, codes, rules and regulations. Therefore, it is the intent of this chapter to establish a mechanism whereby the Town may utilize necessary expertise for such matters without imposing the cost on its taxpayers.
This chapter is enacted under the authority of Municipal Home Rule Law § 10, Subdivisions 1(ii)a(12) and d(3), and the Municipal Home Rule Law § 22. To the extent that Town Law §§ 274-a, 276 and 277 do not authorize the Town Board, Town Planning Board and/or Town Zoning Board of Appeals to require the reimbursement to the Town of legal, engineering and other professional consulting fees, expenses and costs incurred by the Town in connection with the review and consideration of applications for site plan review, subdivision approval, for the approval, amendment or extension of a district and for the review and consideration of applications for variances, and special permit uses under the Code of the Town of Manlius, Chapter 155, Zoning, it is the expressed intent of the Town Board to change and supersede such statutes. More particularly, to the extent that such statutes authorize the deferral or withholding of such approvals in the event that such fees, expenses and costs are not paid to the Town, it is the expressed intent of the Town Board to change and supersede Town Law §§ 274-a, 276 and 277 to empower the Town to require such payments as a condition to such approvals.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind who or which requests the Code Enforcement Officer, Zoning Officer, or other issuer of building permits, certificates of completion, occupancy and compliance, or the Town Board, the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals to approve a municipal application.
- The Code of the Town of Manlius.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind who or which:
- A. Constructs or proposes to construct one or more highways, drainage facilities, utilities or parks within or in conjunction with a development with the intent to convey or dedicate the same to the Town.
- B. Requests the Town to create a district.
- C. Requests the Town to approve an application for subdivision or site plan review.
- D. Requests the Town to approve an application for a variance or special permit use.
- Includes, but is not limited to, a subdivision or a district.
- Any special district under the Town Law.
- DRAINAGE FACILITY
- All surface water drainage facilities, including but not limited to detention and retention basins, storm sewers and their appurtenances, drainage swales and ditches and any easements through or over which such facilities may be constructed or installed within or in conjunction with a development.
- ENFORCEMENT/VIOLATION EFFORTS
- Any efforts, actions or proceedings pursuant to, and intending to address the enforcement or violations of any federal, New York State, or Onondaga County law or the Town of Manlius Code commenced or initiated by, at the request of or under policies established by the Town of Manlius Town Board.
- Includes, but is not limited to, a street, avenue, road, square, place, alley, lane, boulevard, concourse, parkway, driveway, overpass or underpass and also includes all items appurtenant thereto, including but not limited to bridges, culverts, ditches, shoulders and sidewalks within or in conjunction with a development.
- MUNICIPAL APPLICATION
- An application or request, formal, informal, or otherwise relative to proposed development, construction, renovation, related and/or similar within the Town, including without limitation, application or requests for subdivision approval, site plan approval, area variance, use variance, special permit, zone change(s), utility availability, capacity or connection, storm drainage or erosion and sedimentation control, building permit, certificate of compliance, occupancy or completion (or similar permit) and any additional review for those as needed to comply with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, Environmental Conservation Law, Article 8, and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and the Town Code, as amended. The foregoing notwithstanding, professional fees incurred or to be incurred for routine applications for utility connections or building permits specifically covered under the Town Code shall not be considered municipal applications unless the same involve special, unusual or extraordinary conditions or circumstances as solely determined initially by the Town Supervisor, or Code Enforcement Officer, and affirmed by the Town Board.
- An area of land located within a development which is open to the public and devoted to active or passive recreation.
- PLANNING BOARD
- The Planning Board of the Town of Manlius
- The Town of Manlius
- TOWN BOARD
- The Town Board of the Town of Manlius
- All water, sanitary sewer, gas, electric, telephone and cable television facilities and any easements through or over which said facilities may be constructed or installed within or in conjunction with a development.
- ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
- The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Manlius.
The Town may hire any consultant and/or expert necessary to assist the Town in reviewing or otherwise a municipal application or conducting enforcement/violation efforts, including, but not limited to, scientific, technical, architectural or engineering consultants or legal counsel.
Except as may otherwise be expressly provided in the Town Code, if, prior to the completion of a review of a municipal application, the Town discovers the need to retain consultant and/or expert services, the applicant shall deposit with the Town funds sufficient to reimburse the Town for the reasonable costs of consultation and/or evaluation in connection with review of the application.
The amount of the initial deposit for a municipal application covered by this chapter shall be as determined by resolution of the Town Board. The schedule shall remain in effect and shall apply to all applicants and Developers until amended or revised by subsequent resolution of the Town Board.
Upon receipt of such funds, the Town Clerk shall cause the money to be placed in an account in the name of the Town and shall keep a separate record of all money so deposited and the name of the applicant and the project for which the sums were deposited.
The Town's consultants and experts shall invoice the Town for services rendered in reviewing the application. The Town shall furnish a copy of each invoice received to the applicant upon receipt of the invoice by the Town.
The Town shall review and audit all invoices received and shall approve payment only of such fees as are reasonable in amount and necessarily incurred by the Town in connection with a review of a municipal application or conduct of enforcement/violation efforts. For purposes of this chapter, a fee is reasonable in amount if it bears a reasonable relationship to the average charge by such an expert to the Town or others for services performed in connection with the review of a project similar to that involved in the municipal application or the conduct of enforcement proceedings or actions similar to those intended in the enforcement/violation efforts. In this regard, the Town may take into consideration size and type of property use(s) or project involved and any special conditions or considerations as the Town may deem relevant in connection with the particular municipal application or enforcement/violation effort.
Contracts for the retention of experts shall be let pursuant to any applicable policy of the Town (if any) unless the contract is one that must be competitively bid or the service is performed by a retained Attorney or Engineer of the Town or other retained expert under a general fee for service or hourly charge retainer agreement with the Town.
If at any time during or after the processing of the municipal application there shall be insufficient monies on hand to the credit of such applicant or Developer to pay the approved vouchers in full, or if it shall reasonably appear to the Town Board that such monies will be insufficient to meet vouchers yet to be submitted, the Town Board shall cause the applicant or developer to deposit additional sums as the Town Board deems reasonably necessary or advisable in order to meet such fees, expenses and costs or anticipated fees, expenses and costs. In the event that the applicant or Developer fails to deposit such funds or such additional funds, the Town Clerk shall notify, as applicable, the Chair of the Planning Board, the Chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Town Board and/or the Town Supervisor of such failure, and a review, approval, building permit or certificate of occupancy shall be withheld by the appropriate board, officer or employee of the Town until such monies are deposited.
After payment of all outstanding invoices, any funds held by the Town upon completion of a review of a municipal application shall be returned to the applicant.
The Town shall be entitled to recover reasonable expenses, attorney's fees, costs and disbursements incurred or in the enforcement of any rights hereunder, including without limitation, the collection of professional fees owing to the Town.
Upon resolution duly adopted by the Town Board following a prior written notice of not less than 30 days (addressed to the applicant, individual(s) or entities subject of a municipal application or against whom enforcement/violation efforts have been conducted and the owner of the property subject of a municipal application or enforcement/violation efforts) advising such persons or entities of amounts owing to the Town for professional fees incurred hereunder, and providing such person(s) an opportunity to be heard at the Town Board meeting whereat such resolution is adopted, the Town may consider and make the determination(s) required at § 96-3F hereof (if not previously made) and assess the property subject thereof with such costs in the same manner as with respect to property taxes, such that same may be collected and the lien of same enforced, in the same manner as liens for such taxes and charges.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter in relation to a municipal application, an applicant or developer shall not be required to reimburse the Town for any part of a fee incurred by the Town for services performed in connection with matters, including but not limited to those resulting from complaints by third parties, as to which the Town Board determined the applicant had no responsibility or were beyond the reasonable control of the applicant, such determination to be solely within the Town Board's discretion.
The deposit required by this chapter shall be in addition to any other fee as may be required by other laws, rules, regulations or ordinances of the Town, the County of Onondaga, the State of New York or of any other body having jurisdiction with respect to municipal applications and shall not be used to defray either the Town's general expenses for legal, engineering or professional consulting fees for the several boards of the Town or its general administration expense. Any such other provisions shall in addition be deemed to have incorporated therein by reference, subject to § 96-4 hereof, the provisions of § 96-4 hereof providing for the assessment of such charges on the property subject of the municipal application or enforcement/violation efforts.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this chapter or the application thereof to any person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity or circumstances is adjudged invalid, illegal or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such order or judgment shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this chapter or in its application directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered and shall not affect or impair the validity of the remainder of this chapter or the application thereof to other persons or circumstances. Further, in adjudging such invalid, illegal or unconstitutional provision, the court shall attempt to modify same to a provision which is not invalid, illegal or unconstitutional and which best achieves the intent of the invalid provision.