[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Bellerose 1-23-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Historic districts and landmarks — See Ch. 25.
Site plan review — See Ch. 45.
Building construction — See Ch. 68.
Zoning — See Ch. 210.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 6, Board of Architectural Review, adopted 12-28-1970 by L.L. No. 1-1970, as amended.
This chapter shall be known as "The Architectural Review Committee Law of the Village of Bellerose."
It is the legislative intent of this chapter to establish an Architectural Review Committee, replacing the former Board of Architectural Review, in order to establish a coordinated and streamlined permit application process; to promote the comfort, well-being and general welfare of the community; and to preserve and promote the character and appearance and conserve the property values of the Incorporated Village of Bellerose by providing procedures for an architectural review of the exterior of all structures henceforth erected, reconstructed, altered, or remodeled pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. This Committee, which shall serve as a committee of the Building Department of the Village of Bellerose, shall be established on April 1, 2012. During the period between the passage of this chapter and April 1, 2012, there shall exist a Transitional Architecture Review Committee, created in accordance with the provisions of § 6-4B of this chapter.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Bellerose hereby finds that excessive uniformity, dissimilarity, or poor quality of design in the exterior appearance of buildings or other structures erected or altered can adversely affect the desirability of the immediate and neighboring areas and, by so doing, impair the benefits of occupancy of existing property in such areas; impair the stability in value of real property in such areas; prevent the most appropriate development and use of such areas; produce degeneration of property in such areas with attendant deterioration or conditions affecting the health, safety, comfort, and general welfare of the inhabitants thereof; and contribute to the diminution of the taxable value of real property in such areas and their ability to support municipal services provided therefor.
It is the purpose of this Committee to make objective determinations of the esthetic suitability of projects listed in permit applications submitted for review by the Building Department of the Village of Bellerose so as to prevent these and other potentially harmful effects resulting from such unattractive exterior appearance of buildings and other structures erected or altered, and thus to promote the public health, safety and, welfare; to conserve the value of buildings; to encourage the most appropriate use of land; and to improve the physical and visual appearance of the Village of Bellerose.
There is hereby created an Architectural Review Committee, a committee of the Building Department, which shall consist of six members. This Committee shall commence service on April 1, 2012. One of the six members shall be the Building Inspector, who shall serve as the Chairperson of this committee. The Building Inspector may participate in the discussions of the Architectural Review Committee, but shall not vote on matters under consideration by the Architectural Review Committee. The other members of the Committee shall be residents of the Incorporated Village of Bellerose, who shall serve without compensation, and who shall be qualified by reason of training or experience in architecture, land development, municipal planning, real estate, landscape architecture, or other relevant business or profession, or by reason of civic interest and sound judgment to judge the effects of a proposed building or alteration or remodeling upon the desirability thereof. The members of such Committee shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Trustees and shall commence service on April 1, 2012. All the powers granted hereunder and all the functions and duties to be performed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be carried out by the Transitional Architectural Review Committee from the date of passage of this chapter until March 31, 2012.
Transitional Architectural Review Committee. The Mayor, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, shall select members of the disbanded Board of Architectural Review to serve as members of the Transitional Architectural Review Committee to perform the duties of the Architectural Review Committee as enumerated in this chapter. The term of the Transitional Architectural Review Committee shall commence with the passage of this chapter and shall continue until March 31, 2012.
Of the first appointed members, three shall hold office for the term of one year, the other two for the term of two years. The Building Inspector shall hold office for the duration of his term as Building Inspector. The Board of Trustees shall have power to remove any voting member of the Architectural Review Committee for cause and after public hearing.
The Mayor, with the approval of the Trustees, may appoint a member of the Board of Trustees to serve as a liaison with the Architectural Review Committee. This liaison shall serve as the communication link between the Architectural Review Committee and the Board of Trustees. The liaison may attend the meetings of the Architectural Review Committee, but shall not enter into the Committee's deliberations or decisions.
All meetings of the Architectural Review Committee shall be held monthly or at such other times as the Building Inspector may determine. The date, time, and location of the meeting and the address of any property whose permit application is being considered by the Architectural Review Committee shall be posted on the Village bulletin board and on the Village website at least five business days before the scheduled meeting. The Architectural Review Committee shall adopt written rules and procedures for its meetings and shall keep written minutes of its proceedings showing the names of attendees, the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also maintain records and exhibits of its examinations and other official actions, and file such minutes, records, and exhibits with the Clerk of the Village within five business days of any meeting.
Four members of the Architectural Review Committee, one of whom shall be the Building Inspector, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Permit determinations. The Architectural Review Committee shall issue written reports to the Building Department directing approval, conditional approval subject to specific modifications, or disapproval of any matter which may be referred to it by the Building Department of the Village of Bellerose.
Annual report. The Architectural Review Committee shall report annually to the Board of Trustees in the month of January. The annual report shall review the decisions rendered during the year and outline the rationale for those decisions. The report may include a survey of the appearance and condition of buildings in the village, an analysis of community trends in design methods that might be employed to improve the quality of new building and prevent the deterioration of existing structures, and recommendations that might be enacted to make the design review process more objective.
Except as provided in Subsection A(l) below, it is the duty of the Building Inspector to determine whether to submit to the Architectural Review Committee any application for a building permit for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, or remodeling of any exterior structure, or the demolition of an existing structure, within any district as identified on the Zoning Map of the Village of Bellerose, or for a sign permit submitted pursuant to other provisions of the Code of the Village of Bellerose. Within five business days of receipt of the permit application by the Building Department, the Building Inspector shall make a determination whether the application, submitted pursuant to § 68-19A of the Code of the Village of Bellerose, conforms in all other respects to all other applicable laws or regulations. If the application so conforms, the Building Inspector shall determine whether the application requires review by the Architectural Review Committee. In connection with the full or partial reconstruction or replacement of any structure, no demolition of all or part of such structure shall be permitted until the Building Department has approved such replacement. Decisions as to whether or not the application conforms in all other respects to all other applicable laws and regulations shall be made by the person, persons, or agencies responsible therefore and shall not be made by the Architectural Review Committee, which shall confine itself to its responsibilities pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
Applications must conform with the requirements and specification stated in § 68-16 of the Code the Village of Bellerose. When required by the Building Inspector or by the Architectural Review Committee, a site plan shall be submitted showing both existing and proposed contours at two-foot intervals, all existing trees with a trunk diameter of four inches or more at a point of three feet above the ground level, and whether such trees shall remain or be removed, and/or other topographical features. The Committee may also require photographs of all buildings within 250 feet of the proposed structure, addition, alteration or remodeling.
The requirements of this chapter shall also apply to any building or structure requiring a building permit application for exterior alterations or additions which change the existing shape or design of any structure in the village or changes to the design of a building or structure previously approved by the Building Department. The Building Inspector shall determine whether such situations require referral by the Building Department to the Architectural Review Committee.
Referral to Architectural Review Committee. For matters pursuant to § 6-8 of this chapter, the Building Department shall determine whether to submit the permit application to the Architectural Review Committee for consideration. The Architectural Review Committee shall then determine by a majority vote of the entire Committee whether to direct the Building Department to issue a permit. A tie vote or by a lesser number than the required majority shall be considered a rejection of the application consideration. After the Building Inspector issues or denies a permit application, the Building Department shall inform the Board of Trustees of the determination of the Architectural Review Committee in writing.
Committee action. The Architectural Review Committee shall make its determinations on all referrals under § 6-8 of this chapter within 25 business days of the date of referral to it by the Building Department. The Building Department may extend such time period upon request of the Committee. Such recommendations shall be made in writing. If the Architectural Review Committee fails to request an extension of the time period for consideration of the application and shall fail to approve or disapprove any application referred to it by the Building Inspector under § 6-8 within 35 days of the date of its meeting to review such application, said application shall be deemed to have been approved.
[Amended 7-23-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012]
In examining plans or proposals, the Architectural Review Committee shall direct the disapproval of any installation or construction which would cause or contribute to one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 6-3 of this chapter by reason of:
Excessive dissimilarity or inappropriateness in relation to any other structure existing or for which a permit has been issued, or to any other structure included in the same permit application, facing upon the same or intersecting street and within 250 feet of the proposed new structure, in respect to one or more of the following features: cubical content; gross floor area; building area or height of roof; or other significant design features, such as materials or style of architectural design.
Excessive similarity to any other structure existing or for which a permit has been issued, or to any other structure included in the same permit application, facing upon the same or intersecting street within 250 feet to the proposed new structure, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance: apparently identical front, side or other elevations visible from a street; substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticoes or other openings or breaks in the elevation facing the street, including reverse arrangement; or other significant identical features of design, such as, but not limited to material, roofline, height or other design elements.
Incompatibility of the building with the site with respect to the amount of grading required, treatment of exposed foundations, and loss of existing vegetation.
Substantially identical facade, disregarding color.
Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticos, porches, or garages or other openings or breaks or extensions in the facade, including reverse arrangements.
Other substantially identical features, such as, but not limited to setbacks from street lines; heights, widths and lengths of elements of the building design; and exterior materials and treatments.
The Architectural Review Committee shall restrict its considerations to a reasonable and professional review of the proposal and plans, leaving full responsibility for the design and development to the applicant. Such Committee shall not design or assist in the design of any buildings or structures submitted for approval.
The Architectural Review Committee shall comply with the conditions set forth in § 6-3 and not unduly restrict or advocate new or innovative building types, materials, and methods.
In its endeavor to improve the quality of design, the Architectural Review Committee shall consider costs as one factor along with design in its efforts to achieve the objectives of this chapter.
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Building Department and the decisions of the Architectural Review Committee in disapproving a building permit application and of the Building Inspector in denying such permit because of such disapproval may take an appeal therefrom to the Zoning Board of Appeals pursuant to the Village Law of the State of New York in the same manner as is provided for other zoning appeals, and such Zoning Board of Appeals, after proceeding in the same manner as is provided for other zoning appeals and with the same power and authority therein vested in passing upon appeals before it under the provisions of law and this chapter and in the exercise thereof, may reverse or affirm or modify and affirm the actions of the Building Inspector or the Building Department.
Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable for the first offense by a Class E fine and by a Class E fine for each subsequent offense. In addition thereto, such person shall be declared to be and prosecuted as a disorderly person.
The Building Inspector shall serve or mail notice of any violation of this chapter to the last known address of the owner of such property as shown on the official assessment rolls or to the person or corporation committing or permitting the same. In addition, the Inspector shall report all violations to the Board of Trustees.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and terms used herein are defined as follows:
- ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE
- The Architectural Review Committee of the Village of Bellerose.
- ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE, TRANSITIONAL
- The interim acting committee which shall carry out the duties of the Architectural Review Committee in the period between the passage of this chapter and March 31, 2012.
- BOARD OF APPEALS
- The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Bellerose.
- BOARD OF TRUSTEES
- The Board of Trustees of the Village of Bellerose.
- Any structure, or extension thereof or addition thereto, having a roof supported by such things as columns, posts, piers or walls and intended for the shelter, business, housing, or enclosing of persons, animals or property.
- BUILDING, ACCESSORY
- The term applied to a building, structure or use which is clearly incidental or subordinate to, and customarily in connection with, the principal building, structure or use and which is located on the same lot with the principal building, structure or use. Any accessory building or structure attached to a principal building or structure is deemed to be part of such principal building or structure in applying the bulk requirements to such building or structure. No use shall be considered "accessory" where such use requires a greater area of a lot or larger setbacks or yards or for which greater restrictions than for the principal use on the lots are imposed by this chapter.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector of the Village of Bellerose.
- A building providing complete housekeeping facilities for one family, including independent cooking, sanitary, and sleeping facilities.
- Ordinary repairs and maintenance to buildings and structures that involve no structural or externally visual alterations and no change in materials, design, or colors.
- A combination of materials constructed, assembled, or erected on, above or below the ground attached to something having location on, above, or below the ground, including but not limited to buildings, fences, tanks, towers, and swimming pools.
- ZONING DISTRICT
- A zoning district as specified in Chapter 210, Zoning, of the Code of the Village of Bellerose.
The fee for any application which requires architectural review pursuant to this chapter shall be set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees.