[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Urbana 1-13-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of Urbana, Steuben County, New York, does hereby ordain the Town of Urbana Site Plan Review Law pursuant to the authority and provisions of § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law and § 274-a of the Town Law.
This chapter shall be known as the "Town of Urbana Site Plan Review Law." The Town Board of Urbana is hereinafter sometimes referred to as the "Town."
The Town Board of Urbana believes that a clean, wholesome, attractive environment is of paramount importance to the health, safety and general welfare of this community and that such an environment is deemed essential to the maintenance and continued orderly development of the Town and to the general welfare of its inhabitants. This legislation is designed to ensure the optimum overall conservation, protection, preservation, development, and use of its natural and man-made resources by regulating land use activities by means of the review and approval of proposed plans for land use activity within the Town. Accordingly, the stated purpose of this legislation is to ensure that any proposed development and land use within the incorporated area of the Town of Urbana will have a harmonious relationship with the existing or permitted use of contiguous land and of adjacent neighborhoods and to ensure that the health, safety, welfare, comfort and confidence of the public are fully considered as well as assure that necessary provisions are made for traffic generation, means of access, parking, building placement, protection of adjoining buildings and uses, screening, appropriate preservation of the Keuka Lake view corridor from Town roads and residences, general avoidance of unpleasant visual impacts, recreation, signs, sewage disposal systems, water supply, storm drainage, landscaping and architectural intent.
The Town Board hereby delegates to the Planning Board the authority to review, pursuant to this chapter, including any amendments and modifications thereof, all site plans for those land uses and activities within the Town of Urbana as set forth herein. Specifically, the Planning Board shall have the power to review and approve, approve with modification or disapprove site plans for residential, commercial, industrial and any other development or land use or lands and buildings and for open land uses and for any change in use or intensity of use which will or will be most likely to affect the characteristics of the site in terms of parking, means of access, loading and/or unloading of goods, equipment and/or persons, drainage, utilities or other municipal services.
Before application for any permit as required by the Town for the construction or reconstruction of, addition to or additional development or redevelopment of a residential building, commercial building, industrial building or other development of or use of land or land and buildings, signs as part of sites to be developed or redeveloped or open land uses, the owner shall submit a plan or map of the site to the Planning Board for its review. Each plan or map which is finally approved and which has been endorsed by the Chairman of the Planning Board shall be filed in the official Planning Board file and in the Town Clerk's Office, together with the required number of additional copies as required.
Whenever anyone proposes to erect, alter, extend or enlarge a building or structure or to change, enlarge, extend or increase the intensity of land use, he shall not commence doing so until such proposal has been submitted, in written form, to the Planning Board for its prior review and obtained its approval.
Any person who is uncertain as to the applicability of this chapter to a given land use may apply, in writing, to the Planning Board for a written jurisdictional determination.
[Amended 8-10-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
All land use activities within the Town are subject to site plan review and approval before being undertaken, except the following:
Any lawfully erected or placed structure or lawful use in existence as of the date when this chapter becomes effective shall not be subject to its provisions insofar as relates to its status and condition or to the extent of actual usage on said effective date. Specifically, it is the intent of this legislation that any proposed change, increase, enlargement or extension of the status and condition and/or any increase in the intensity of the usage of any buildings or land area, or land and buildings, beyond that which actually existed on the effective date of this chapter shall first require a review hereunder. Furthermore, any use otherwise subject to the chapter which has been discontinued for a period of two years or more shall be subject to review pursuant to the terms of this chapter before such use is resumed.
Existing nonconforming residential or commercial uses of land or of buildings or of land and buildings shall not be expanded, nor shall the intensity of their use be increased without first having received a use variance pursuant to Chapter 105, Zoning. It is, however, provided that no use of land or of buildings or of land and buildings which is contrary to the Town's land use regulation plan shall be permitted.
This chapter shall in no way affect the provisions of any other federal, state, county or local law or regulation. Whenever this chapter is in conflict with any other such law or regulation, the more restrictive shall apply.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- One or more persons occupying the premises and living as a single housekeeping unit, as distinguished from a group occupying a boardinghouse, lodging house, club, fraternity or hotel.
- LAND USE ACTIVITY
- Any construction of any other activity which changes the use or appearance of land or a structure or the intensity of use of land or a structure or land and structure in concert. "Land use activity" shall explicitly include but not be limited to the following: new structures, expansions to existing structures, new uses, changes in or expansions of existing uses, roads, driveways and excavations for the purpose of extracting soil or mineral deposits.
- ONE-FAMILY DWELLING
- A complete, self-contained, residential unit for permanent habitation by one family only and containing one or more rooms and facilities for living, including cooking, sleeping and sanitary needs.
- The mean high water mark of any lake, pond, river or permanent stream.
- Any object constructed, installed or placed on land to facilitate land use and development or subdivision of land, such as buildings, sheds, signs, tanks and any fixtures, additions and alterations thereto.
- STRUCTURE, ACCESSORY
- Any structure designed to accommodate an accessory use but detached from the principal structure, such as a freestanding garage, garden house or similar facility; also included in this definition is a dock, deck or other structure, with or without the presence of any principal structure, which is located on the land and leads to a place in the water where a boat is or may be moored or provides access for fishing or for any other use, recreational or otherwise.
- TWO-FAMILY DWELLING
- Two complete, but not separate, self-contained residential units, each intended for permanent habitation by one family only, in a single structure having a common roof, wall and ceiling and containing separate rooms and facilities for living, including cooking, sleeping and sanitary needs.
- WATERFRONT AREA
- That area bounded generally by the Inlet on the west and the north border of Champlain Beach on the east.
Any term used in this chapter which is not defined hereinabove shall carry its customary meaning unless the context otherwise dictates.
[Amended 8-10-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
Prior to undertaking any new land use activity, except uses specifically excepted in § 88-5 of this chapter, applicants for site plan approval should follow the recommended procedures related to the concept review conference as hereinafter set forth. Applicants must comply with all other procedures and requirements of this chapter.
All land use activities that propose to erect, alter, extend or enlarge a building or structure or to change, enlarge, extend or increase the intensity of land use are subject to the site plan review process.
[Amended 4-22-2014 by L.L. No. 5-2014]
Should the Code Enforcement Officer, upon review of any application or proposed site of any activity requiring a permit, determine that the proposed usage or activity may be in conflict with the existing or permitted use of contiguous land and/or of adjacent neighborhoods or to the health, safety and general welfare of this community or to the maintenance and continued orderly development of the Town, the Code Enforcement Officer may submit his summary findings to the Planning Board and recommend that a site plan review be initiated prior to the issuance of any requested permits.
Should the Planning Board be made aware by the Code Enforcement Officer, the Town Board, a Town official or any other person, group or organization or any other official of any proposed usage or activity that may be or that has the potential to be in conflict with the existing or permitted use of contiguous land and/or of any adjacent neighborhoods or to the health, safety and general welfare of this community or to the maintenance and continued orderly development of the Town, then the Planning Board may initiate a site plan review prior to the issuance of any requested permits.
[Amended 8-10-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
This concept review conference shall be held between the Planning Board and the applicant prior to the preparation and submission of a formal site plan. The intent of such a conference is to enable the applicant to inform the Planning Board of his proposal prior to the preparation of a detailed site plan and for the Planning Board to review the basic site design concept, advise the applicant as to potential problems and concerns and to generally determine the information to be required on the site plan. The Planning Board must schedule such a concept review conference within 30 days from the date of its receipt of a completed formal application or the site plan review is deemed waived. In order to accomplish these objectives, the applicant shall provide the following:
A statement and rough sketch showing the locations and dimensions of principal and accessory structures, parking areas, access signs (with descriptions), existing and proposed vegetation and other planned features; anticipated changes in existing topography and natural features and, where applicable, measures and features to comply with flood hazard and flood insurance regulations.
An area map showing the parcel number under consideration for site plan review and all properties, subdivisions, streets, rights-of-way, easements and other pertinent features within 200 feet of the boundaries of the parcel.
A reasonably specific written statement as to the proposed scope and extent of any proposed expansion or enlargement or of the increase in the intensity of use of any building or structure, land or buildings/structures and land area adjacent thereto.
Upon completion of the concept review, the Planning Board will, within 15 days, notify the applicant of its decision. If approved, the applicant will receive notification of the permits required. If a site plan review is required, the Planning Board will notify the applicant of its decision and supply the applicant with the following:
A list of additional information required, drawn from the list as outlined under § 88-11 of this chapter.
A list of any additional Code requirements that must be met prior to undertaking any new land use activity, as well as the itemized procedures for meeting such requirements.
The permit fee required in accordance with a schedule of fees to be adopted by the Town Board.
Failure on the part of the Planning Board to issue a decision within 15 days will constitute an approval of the site concept and result in a waiver of the site plan review procedure.
Should the Planning Board, upon completing its review of the basic site design concept, determine that additional information is required, it may, by majority vote, require a site plan review.
An application for a site plan approval shall be made in writing to the Chairman of the Planning Board and shall be accompanied by any of the requested information drawn from the following checklist. When the concept review conference is held, the accompanying information shall be drawn from the following checklist as determined necessary by the Planning Board at said concept review conference.
Site plan checklist. Any or all of the following may be required if determined necessary:
The title of the drawing, including the name and address of the applicant and the person responsible for the preparation of such drawing.
North arrow, scale and date.
The boundaries of the property plotted to scale.
A grading and drainage plan, showing existing and proposed contours, rock outcrops, depth to bedrock, soil characteristics and watercourses.
The location, design and type of construction and the proposed use and exterior dimensions of all buildings.
The location, design and type of construction of all parking and truck loading areas, showing access and egress.
Provision for pedestrian access.
The location of outdoor storage, if any.
The location, design and construction materials of all existing or proposed site improvements, including drains, culverts, retaining walls and fences.
A description of the method of sewage disposal and the location, design and construction materials of such facilities.
A description of the method of securing public water and the location, design and construction materials of such facilities.
The location of fire and other emergency zones, including the location of fire hydrants.
The location, design and construction materials of all energy distribution facilities, including electrical, gas and solar energy.
The location, design and type of construction of all signs.
The location and proposed development of all buffer areas, including existing vegetative cover.
The location and design of all outdoor lighting facilities.
Identification of the location and amount of building area proposed for retail sales or similar commercial activity.
A general landscaping plan and planting schedule.
An estimated project construction schedule.
A record of the application for and status of all necessary permits or variances from other governmental bodies.
Identification of any permits or variances from other governmental bodies required for the project's execution.
Other elements integral to the proposed development as may be considered necessary, in the particular case, by the Planning Board.
An application for site plan review shall be accompanied by a fee, payable to the Town Clerk, in accordance with a schedule of fees as adopted by the Town Board.
All costs incurred by the Planning Board for consultation fees in connection with the review of a proposed site plan shall be charged to the applicant and shall be determined in a manner consistent with the fees charged for these respective services which are prevailing in the general area of the community. Disbursements chargeable to the applicant shall be those actually, necessarily or reasonably incurred in connection with the particular application under consideration. The applicant shall be notified, in advance, of any such activities that may result in the incurring of such fees.
No final action shall be taken by the Planning Board or by any Town Official on any application to the requirements of this chapter unless and until all fees and deposits required hereunder shall have been paid. Any failure/omission to submit the full payment required shall render the application incomplete.
General standards and considerations for site plan review shall be as follows:
The location, arrangement, size, design and general site compatibility of buildings, lighting and signs.
The adequacy and arrangement of vehicular traffic access and circulation, including street widths, intersections, traffic problems on adjoining streets, pavement surfaces, dividers and traffic controls, as well as the proximity to places of public assembly.
The location, arrangement, appearance and sufficiency of off-street parking and loading.
The adequacy and arrangement of pedestrian traffic access and circulation, walkway structures, control of intersections with vehicular traffic and overall pedestrian convenience.
The adequacy of stormwater and drainage facilities.
The adequacy of water supply and sewage disposal facilities.
The adequacy, type and arrangement of trees, shrubs and other landscaping constituting a visual and/or noise buffer between the applicant's and adjoining lands, including the maximum retention of existing vegetation.
The adequacy of fire lanes and other emergency zones and the provision of fire hydrants.
Special attention to the adequacy and impact of structures, roadways and landscaping in areas susceptible to ponding, flooding and/or erosion.
The overall impact on the neighborhood, including the compatibility of design considerations and/or any actual or potential adverse aesthetic environmental impacts.
Documentation that the proposal is compatible with the objectives of the Town's land use regulation plan.
Any other factor found to be detrimental to the public health, safety or general welfare of the community as it relates to one of the specifically enumerated elements which the Planning Board is authorized, pursuant to Town Law § 274-a to consider in reviewing a site plan.
Appropriate review as may be required by the need to satisfactorily comply with the provisions and requirements of the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Until final SEQRA determinations have been made, no final site plan approval shall be granted.
Editor's Note: See Environmental Conservation Law § 8-0101 et seq.
At any stage in the review process when there appears to the Planning Board a situation which would not be in conflict with the purposes and policies set forth herein, then, to the extent permitted by law, the Planning Board may, by the affirmative majority vote, elect to waive its review jurisdiction. Also, an applicant may request the Planning Board to exercise this waiver process.
The following specific standards shall apply in conjunction with the subject uses or in the designated areas:
All construction on any shoreline lot shall be carried out in such a manner as to minimize interference with the natural course of such waterway, to avoid erosion of the shoreline, to minimize increased runoff of ground and surface water into the waterway, to remove only that vegetation which is necessary to the accomplishment of the project and to generally maintain the existing aesthetic and ecological character of the shoreline.
Any boat pump-out or other connection to provide for the accommodation of sanitary wastes shall be connected to an approved disposal system.
Any paved or otherwise improved parking, loading or service area within 100 feet of any shoreline shall be designed and constructed so as to minimize surface runoff and the entrance of any chemical pollutants or earthen siltation into the waterway.
For projects within the Critical Slope Overlay District, the Planning Board shall conduct a review using the following criteria. For projects not in the Critical Slope Overlay District that contain slopes greater than 15%, the Planning Board, upon making a determination that the proposed project may have a negative effect on aesthetic view corridors, affect runoff and/or soil retention, or result in erosion both during and after such project, such review may be required.
Critical Slope Overlay District intent and purpose. The purpose of this subsection is to control construction on steep slopes. This subsection is intended to regulate individual and subdivided lots to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public by maintaining and protecting the natural terrain, waterways, wetlands and vegetative features and provide safe building sites by preventing surface erosion, creep and sudden slope failure, preserve farmland and open space, prevent flooding, stormwater runoff and preserving areas of wildlife habitat.
Critical Slope Overlay district definitions. As used in this subsection, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
- CERTIFIED FORESTER
- A professional forester certified by the Society of American Foresters [has a certification program (SAFCF)] or a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Cooperating Consulting Forester.
- CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL
- Licensed professional engineer, CPESC-certified professional in erosion and sediment control or certified landscape architect.
- CRITICAL SLOPE OVERLAY DISTRICT (OVERLAY DISTRICT)
- The Critical Slope Overlay District is any area within the Town of Urbana as shown on the Keuka Lake Watershed Map, now and as hereinafter amended, to contain a slope of 15% or greater.
- SOIL DISTURBANCE
- Preparing land for construction or reconstruction, such as, but not limited to, clearing, grading and filling, and/or the building of structures, driveways, retaining walls and/or drainage systems.
- STEEP SLOPES
- Ground areas with a slope of 15% or greater.
- TIMBER HARVESTING
- The removal of 20% or more of existing trees with a breast height diameter in excess of six inches from any parcel or tract of land greater than 43,560 square feet (one acre).
Site plan approval required; exempt activities.
It shall be unlawful to create any soil disturbance, other than an exempt activity as set forth in this subsection, in the Critical Slope Overlay District in the Town of Urbana or outside the Overlay District upon determination of the Planning Board unless and until a site plan review application is approved by the Planning Board pursuant to the requirements of this subsection.
It shall be unlawful to conduct commercial or private timber harvesting in the Critical Slope Overlay District in the Town of Urbana unless and until a site plan review containing a timber harvesting plan from a certified forester is granted by the Planning Board pursuant to the requirements of this subsection. Such a plan shall be prepared in a manner as to protect aesthetic view corridors, prevent runoff and erosion and insure soil retention both during and after timber harvesting.
Exempt activities. The following activities on steep slopes do not require a site plan review.
Any planting or installation of landscape materials which does not require disturbance of existing terrain.
Emergency situations, as determined by the Town Code Enforcement Officer, where the disturbance on steep slopes is necessary to protect persons or property from imminent danger.
Farming activities using sound management practices as defined by the Sound Agricultural Practices Guidelines of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, now and as hereinafter amended.
If the slope of the site can be documented as less than 15%, no review is required.
Routine and emergency construction, maintenance or repair of public highways by authorized municipal personnel.
Town water and sewer installations.
Installation of approved septic system(s) with erosion control plans.
Construction, maintenance or repair of public utilities.
Routine repair and maintenance of an existing driveway, but not to include reconstruction.
Critical slope review procedure.
Minor soil disturbance(s). The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby designated to administer and implement this subsection for minor soil disturbances. The Code Enforcement Officer, at his or her discretion, with the advice of the Highway Superintendent, where needed, may determine that a site plan review should be required.
Major soil disturbance(s). The Planning Board is hereby designated to administer and implement this subsection by granting or denying a site plan for all residential, commercial or agricultural construction, whether on a single lot or in connection with a subdivision application.
An application for a site plan review for projects subject to these plan review requirements shall be made on forms furnished by the Town Clerk and shall include the following information:
Six copies of a site plan drawn at a scale of not less than one inch equals 30 feet, prepared by a licensed professional engineer, certified landscape architect or licensed surveyor, or CPESC-certified professional in erosion and sediment control or equivalent, showing the lot or lots containing steep slopes and the following:
All existing and proposed natural or artificial drainage courses.
The proposed location of all structures, including drainage, septic systems, wells, waterlines, and driveways.
The location of the proposed area of soil disturbance and its relation to adjacent properties, together with buildings, structures, roads, affected trees and affected wetlands, if any, within 100 feet of the boundaries of said area.
Existing topography of the proposed area of soil disturbance at a contour interval of not more than two feet. Contours shall be shown for a distance of 50 feet or greater beyond the limits of the proposed area of soil disturbance if determined necessary by the Planning Board, in order to fully evaluate the application.
Proposed final contours and proposed surface materials or treatment at a maximum contour interval of two feet.
An erosion control plan showing the proposed area of soil disturbance and temporary and permanent erosion control measures. (All erosion control practices must comply with New York State standards and specifications of erosion and sediment control.)
Stormwater management providing the detail of any surface or subsurface runoff for sizing of drainage structures (i.e., culverts and diversions).
Any special reports deemed necessary by the Planning Board to evaluate the application, including but not limited to, geologic or hydrologic studies or capacity evaluation.
A written narrative explaining the nature of the project, including any future development proposals for the property and whether alternative locations exist for the proposed activity.
New York State SEQR law will be followed as required by Part 617, State Environmental Quality Review, of the regulations of the Department of Environmental Conservation.
All requirements of New York State Phase II stormwater regulations will be met if the project exceeds one acre of construction disturbance.
The application shall be accompanied by:
Fees for engineers' and attorneys' services, if required by the Planning Board, in an amount determined by the Planning Board as sufficient to defray the estimated costs of such services rendered to the Town in connection with the application. The applicant shall deposit with the Town Clerk the amount estimated to reimburse the Town for such costs. Any amount remaining after payment to the Town for the services rendered shall be returned to the applicant upon final approval or upon withdrawal if the application is withdrawn.
The Planning Board may refer each application to the Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District or other certified professional for review, who may submit a written report to the Planning Board. This report may contain the following items:
In a building lot or development situation that requires material removed from the site or hauled in over Town roads, the Highway Superintendent shall review the engineered plan before work commences. In some cases it may be necessary to haul material in or out during certain times of day or.
The Planning Board shall conduct a public hearing on the site plan. Such a hearing shall be held within 60 days of the receipt of a completed application for site plan review and shall be advertised in the Town's official newspaper at least 10 days before the public hearing.
Within 60 days after the conclusion of the public hearing, the Planning Board shall render a decision. In its decision, the Planning Board may approve, approve with modification or disapprove the site plan, as follows. The time period in which the Planning Board must render its decision can be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the Planning Board.
Approval. Upon approval of the site plan and payment by the applicant of all fees and reimbursable costs due the Town, the Planning Board shall endorse its approval on a copy of the site plan and shall immediately file it and a written statement of approval with the Town Clerk. A copy of the written statement of approval shall be mailed to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Approval with modifications. The Planning Board may conditionally approve the final site plan. A copy of the written statement containing the modifications required by the conditional approval shall be mailed to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested. After adequate demonstration to the Planning Board that all conditions have been met and payment of all fees and reimbursable costs due the Town, the Planning Board shall endorse its approval on a copy of the site plan and shall immediately file it and a written statement of approval with the Town Clerk. A copy of the written statement of approval shall be mailed to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Disapproval. Upon disapproval of the site plan, the decision of the Planning Board shall be filed with the Town Clerk and a copy thereof mailed to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested, together with the Planning Board's reasons for disapproval.
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Planning Board may apply to the Supreme Court for a review by a proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. Such proceedings shall be instituted within 30 days after the filing of a decision in the office of the Town Clerk.
The Town Board shall appoint an Enforcement Officer to carry out the duties assigned by this chapter or any additional regulations adopted hereafter. The Enforcement Officer shall be responsible for the overall inspection of site improvements, including coordination with the Planning Board and other officials and agencies, as appropriate.
The Town Board may on its own motion or on a petition or on recommendations of the Planning Board, after public notice and public hearing, amend this chapter pursuant to all applicable requirements of law.
All proposed amendments originating by petition or by motion of the Town Board shall be referred to the Planning Board for a report and recommendation thereon. The Planning Board shall submit its report within 60 days after receiving such referral. Failure of the Planning Board to report within the required time shall be deemed to constitute a recommendation for approval of the proposed amendment.
Whenever the circumstances of a proposed development require compliance with this Site Plan Review Law and with any other local law, ordinance or requirement of the Town, the Planning Board shall attempt to integrate, as appropriate, site plan review as required by this chapter with the procedural and substantive requirements for such other compliance.
Any person, corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any conditions imposed by a permit pursuant hereto shall be guilty of an offense and subject to a fine not to exceed $250 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, and/or both such fine and imprisonment. Every such person or entity shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each week such violation, disobedience, omission, neglect or refusal shall continue.