Town of Fort Edward, NY
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
In considering applications for subdivision of land, the Planning Board shall be guided by the standards set forth hereinafter. Said standards shall be considered to be minimum requirements and shall be waived by the Board only under circumstances set forth in Article X herein.
Land to be subdivided shall be of such character that it can be used safely for building purposes without danger to health or peril from fire, flood or other menace.
Subdivisions shall conform to the Official Map of the town and shall be in harmony with the Comprehensive Plan.
All required improvements shall be constructed or installed to conform to the town specifications, which may be obtained from the Town Engineer.
Existing features which would add value to residential development, such as large trees, watercourses, historic spots and similar irreplaceable assets, should be preserved, insofar as possible, through harmonious design of the subdivision. Development shall cause minimum disturbance to existing landscaping. Topsoil shall not be removed from the site except with the approval of the Planning Board.
A. 
Width, location and construction. Streets shall be of sufficient width, suitably located and adequately constructed to conform to the Master Plan, if such exists, and to accommodate the prospective traffic and afford access for fire-fighting, snow removal and other road-maintenance equipment. The arrangement of streets shall be such as to cause no undue hardship to adjoining properties and shall be coordinated so as to compose a convenient system.
B. 
Relation to topography. Streets shall be logically related and conform insofar as possible to original topography. They shall be arranged so as to obtain as many as possible of the building sites at or above the grades of the streets. A combination of steep grades and sharp curves shall be avoided.
C. 
Block size. Block dimensions shall be at least twice the minimum lot depth and generally not more than 12 times the minimum lot width. In long blocks, the Planning Board may require the dedication through the block of a twenty-five-foot-wide easement to accommodate utilities or pedestrian traffic.
D. 
Intersections. Intersections of major streets by other streets shall be at least 800 feet apart, if possible. Cross (four-cornered) street intersections shall be avoided, except at important traffic intersections. A distance of at least 150 feet shall be maintained between offset intersections. Within 40 feet of an intersection, streets shall be approximately at right angles, but in no instance shall the angle be less than seventy degrees (70°), and grades shall be limited to 1%. All street intersection corners shall be rounded by curves of at least 25 feet in radius at the property line.
E. 
Visibility at intersections. Within the triangular area formed at corners by the intersecting street lines, for a distance of 40 feet from their intersection and the diagonal connecting the end points of these lines, visibility for traffic safety shall be provided by excavating, if necessary. Nothing in the way of fences, walls, hedges or other landscaping shall be permitted to obstruct such visibility.
F. 
Design and construction standards. Streets shall meet standards which will be established by Town Highway Superintendent and Town Engineer, unless otherwise indicated on the Master Plan (if enacted).
G. 
Dedication. The Town Board shall, in consideration of an offer of dedication of roadway, have the right to reject the same if all other municipal improvements concerning the lots fronting on the said roadway are not also complete. No street shall be accepted between November 1 and May 1. In making said offer of dedication, the subdivider shall submit the following documents to the Town Attorney:
(1) 
An abstract of title continued to recent date showing marketable title to the premises offered for dedication or, in the alternate, a policy of title insurance insuring the fee interest of said roadway to the Town of Fort Edward in an amount to be determined by the Town Board.
(2) 
A copy of the survey of the subject roadway, certified to the Town of Fort Edward by the person preparing the same, acceptable to the Town Engineer.
(3) 
A continued tax search of subject premises.
(4) 
A written review by the Highway Superintendent and Town Engineer.
(5) 
If surfacing material has not been applied, then a certified check, bond or letter of credit in an amount recommended by the Town Highway Superintendent and Town Engineer to cover the cost of satisfactorily completing construction of said roadway.
(6) 
An affidavit signed by the subdivider agreeing to complete surfacing of the roadway within two years or when 90% of the units are completed, whichever is less. Said subdivider shall bear the expense of any paving cost overruns if the certified check, bond or letter of credit on deposit with the town, with accrued interest, should be an insufficient amount. The letter of credit shall be an irrevocable letter of credit, and the town shall require that the letter of credit be presented to a local confirming bank. The draft demand for payment shall be accompanied by a sworn statement, signed by the appropriate official of the town (Town Supervisor), stating the developer is in default. In addition, should any amount of moneys remain after surfacing is satisfactorily completed, said moneys, plus accrued interest, shall be refunded to the subdivider.
H. 
Continuation of streets into adjacent property. Streets shall be arranged to provide for the continuation of principal streets between adjacent properties where such continuation is necessary for convenient movement of traffic, effective fire protection, efficient provision of utilities, and particularly where such continuation is in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan. If the adjacent property is undeveloped and the street must be a dead-end street temporarily, the right-of-way and improvements shall be extended to the property line. A temporary circular turnaround, a minimum of 50 feet in radius, shall be provided on all temporary dead-end streets with the notation on the plat that land outside the street right-of-way shall revert to abutters whenever the street is continued.
I. 
Inspection of improvements. If the Town Engineer shall find, upon inspection of the improvements performed before the expiration date of the performance bond, that any of the required improvements have not been constructed in accordance with plans and specifications filed by the subdivider, he shall so report to the Town Board and the Planning Board. The Town Board then shall notify the subdivider and, if necessary, the bonding company, and take all necessary steps to preserve the town's rights under the bond. No plat shall be approved by the Planning Board as long as the subdivider is in default on the previously approved plat.
J. 
Permanent dead-end streets (culs-de-sac). Where a street does not extend to the boundary of the subdivision and its continuation is not needed for access to adjoining property, it shall be separated from such boundary a distance of not less than 100 feet. Reserve strips of land shall not be left between the end of a proposed street and adjacent pieces of property. However, the Planning Board may require the dedication of a twenty-foot-wide easement to accommodate pedestrian traffic or utilities. A circular turnaround with a minimum right-of-way radius of 65 feet shall be provided at the end of a permanent dead-end street. For greater convenience to traffic and more effective police and fire protection, permanent dead-end streets should, in general, be limited in length to 800 feet.
K. 
Street names. All streets shall be named, and such names shall be subject to the approval of the Town Board. Names shall be sufficiently different in sound and spelling from other street names in the town so as not to cause confusion. A street which is a continuation of an existing street shall bear the same name.
L. 
Improvements. Streets shall be graded and improved with pavement, street signs, sidewalks, streetlighting standards, curbs, gutters, trees, water mains, sanitary sewers, storm drains and fire hydrants and underground electric cable television and telephone services, except where the Planning Board may waive, subject to appropriate conditions, such improvements as it considers are not requisite to the interest of public health, safety and general welfare.
M. 
Underground utilities. Underground utilities required by the Planning Board shall be placed between the paved roadway and street line to simplify location and repair of the lines, and the subdivider shall install underground service connections to the property line of each lot before the street is paved.
N. 
Grading and improvements shall conform to the town minimum road specifications and other town standards and shall be approved as to design and specifications by the Town Engineer or other duly designated Town Official.
A. 
Arrangement. The arrangement of lots shall be such that there will be no foreseeable difficulties for reasons of topography or other conditions in locating a building on each lot and in providing access to buildings on such lots from an approved street. All lots shall be numbered by the system used by the Assessor of the Town of Fort Edward.
B. 
Access across watercourses. Where a watercourse separates the buildable area of a lot from the access street, provisions shall be made for the installation of a culvert or other structure, of a design approved by the Town Engineer or a duly designated town official. Nothing in this section shall conflict or supersede provisions of the New York State Freshwater Wetlands Act,[1] if applicable.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 24-0101 et seq. of the Environmental Conservation Law.
C. 
Side lot lines. Side lot lines shall be at right angles or radial to the street lines unless a variation from this rule will give a better street or lot plan.
D. 
Access from major streets. Lots shall not, in general, derive access exclusively from a major street Where driveway access from a major street may be necessary for several adjoining lots, the Planning Board may require that such lots be served by a combined access drive in order to limit possible traffic hazard on such street.
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide an equitable and effective development standard for securing adequate land for parks, playgrounds and open space recreation uses in subdivisions throughout the town.
B. 
Land dedication. The subdivider proposing land dedication shall file with the Town Board a plat detailing the sites for the development of a park, playground or other recreational facility. Recreation space shall be provided by the subdivision on the basis of at least 1,000 square feet per lot but in no case shall the amount be more than 10% of the total area of the subdivision. Such area or areas may be dedicated to the town by the developer if the Town Board approves such dedication. All lands designated on the plat as park, playground or other recreation area not in town ownership shall be subject to such conditions as the Planning Board may establish, such as hours of operation, access to the general public, use and maintenance of such lands as deemed necessary to assure the preservation of such land for their intended purposes. Such conditions shall be shown on the plat prior to plat approval and recording. The Planning Board shall consider the following in determining the suitability of the served land for recreational purposes:
(1) 
The size and shape of the reserved land.
(2) 
Whether the land is usable land, which, for purposes of these regulations, shall be taken to mean land that is relatively level and dry.
(3) 
The location of the reserved land, i.e., whether the land is:
(a) 
Located in an area which is heavily populated.
(b) 
Near other recreation areas.
(c) 
Near other recreation areas providing the same type of recreation.
(d) 
In a location which will provide a safe and accessible recreation area for town residents.
C. 
Fee in lieu of land. When requested by the subdivider, or in cases where the Board finds that, due to the size, shape, topography or location of the subdivision, land for park, playground or other recreation purpose cannot be properly located therein, the Town Board may waive the requirement that the plat show land for such purposes. The Board shall then require as a condition of approval of the plat a payment of recreation fees in lieu of land, such amount shall be in the amount adopted by the Town Board pursuant to Town Code § 50-1 and listed on the Fee Schedule.[1] Such amount shall be paid to the Town Board at the time of final plat approval, and no plat shall be approved by the authorized officer of the Planning Board until such payment is made. Such payments shall be held in a special fund for acquisition and development of recreation land, All money in this fund is to be used only for:
[Amended 6-13-2005 by L.L. No. 6-2005]
(1) 
The purchase of land that is suitable for new or enlarged parks, playgrounds or open spaces and located so as to serve the inhabitants of the town's residential neighborhoods; and
(2) 
The improvement of new or existing park, playground and open space lands which serve the Town's residential neighborhoods.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Fee Schedule is on file in the Town offices. See § 50-1.
D. 
In any case, the Planning Board shall be satisfied that required recreation land will be maintained and will not be used for other than recreation purposes.
E. 
Nothing in this section will be construed as prohibiting a developer from reserving other land for recreation purposes in addition to the requirements of this section.
F. 
The Planning Board shall not at any time authorize the waiver of both the land dedication and fee-in-lieu-thereof requirements.
Where the subdivision borders an existing street and the Official Map or Comprehensive Plan or Master Plan (if enacted) indicates plans for realignment or widening of the streets that would require reservation of some land of the subdivision, the Planning Board may require that such areas be shown and marked on the plan "reserved for street alignment (or widening) purposes."
Where topography or other conditions are such as to make impractical the inclusion of utilities or drainage facilities within street rights-of-way, perpetual unobstructed easements at least 20 feet in width for such utilities shall be provided across property outside the street lines and with satisfactory access to the street.
The Planning Board may require, in order to facilitate pedestrian access from street to schools, parks, playground or other nearby streets, perpetual unobstructed easements at least eight feet in width.
A. 
All components of the water system shall meet the requirements of the Water Department and the Rural Water Supply Manual of the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health Regulations for Realty Subdivisions. Hydrants shall meet town standards.
B. 
Supply. A source of supply shall be developed which yield 100 gallons per resident in approximately 16 hours over a prolonged period of time without disturbing the normal groundwater reserve.
C. 
Quality. Water supplies for community water systems shall meet all requirements of the New York State Public Drinking Water Standards.
A. 
Where an existing sanitary sewer is within 500 feet of the subdivision and within the sewer district, the developer shall extend it to accommodate the proposed subdivision. All elements of the system must be approved by the sewer districts of Washington County and the Town of Fort Edward, the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the State Department of Health.
B. 
Individual septic systems. Where the daily discharge of sanitary sewage into an individual system for an individual residential structure is less than 1,000 gallons per day per structure, the waste treatment (septic) system shall be designed and constructed according to the provisions and standards of the Waste Treatment Handbook, Individual Household Systems (bluebook), New York State Department of Health, Division of Sanitary Engineering, as amended.
C. 
Combined septic systems. Where the daily discharge from a structure, group of structures or units into a single sewage treatment system exceeds 1,000 gallons per day, the standard and approval of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will be required.
Drainage shall meet a ten-year- or twenty-five-year-storm maximum velocity of water; maximum runoff cannot exceed predevelopment stage.
A. 
General. A storm drainage plan must be approved by the Planning Board encompassing all drainage elements for the drainage of the subdivision, areas feeding the subdivision and areas downstream from the subdivision. In designing for storm drainage, the Water Pollution Control Federation Manual of Practice on Design and Construction of Sanitary and Storm Sewers (MOP-9) shall be used as a guide. The procedures of the manual are not binding, and other good engineering practices may be accepted as approved by the Town Engineer.
B. 
Removal of spring and surface water. The subdivider may be required by the Planning Board to carry away by pipe or open ditch any spring or surface water that may exist either previous to or as a result of the subdivision. Such drainage facilities shall be located in the street right-of-way, where feasible, or in perpetual unobstructed easements of appropriate width.
C. 
Drainage structure to accommodate potential development upstream. A culvert or other drainage facility shall, in each case, be large enough to accommodate potential runoff from its entire upstream drainage area, whether inside or outside the subdivision. The Town Engineer shall approve the design and size of facility based on anticipated runoff from a ten-year storm under conditions of total potential development permitted by the Zoning Ordinance[1] in the watershed.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 108, Zoning.
D. 
Responsibility from drainage downstream. The subdivider's engineer may also study the effect of each subdivision on the existing downstream drainage facilities outside the area of the subdivision; this study shall be reviewed by the Town Engineer. Where it is anticipated that the additional runoff incident to the development of the subdivision will overload an existing downstream drainage facility during a five-year storm, the Planning Board shall notify the Town Board of such potential condition. In such case, the Planning Board shall not approve the subdivision until provision has been made for the improvement of said condition.
E. 
Land subject to flooding. Land subject to flooding or land deemed by the Planning Board to be uninhabitable shall not be platted for residential occupancy, nor for such other uses as may increase danger to health, life or property or aggravate the flood hazard, but such land within the plat shall be set aside for such uses as shall not be endangered by periodic or occasional inundation or improved in a manner satisfactory to the Planning Board to remedy said hazardous conditions.
When the Planning Board renders final approval of a subdivision, the Board shall issue a permit authorizing the subdivision to undertake terms and conditions for control therein.
A landscape plan shall be prepared by a licensed landscape architect for subdivisions of 20 lots or more. Such landscape plan shall include:
A. 
The location and species of street trees, if retained within the right-of-way or proposed to be planted by the subdivider.
B. 
Details of methods of tree protection and tree planting.
C. 
Plans and details of any site improvements related to park or recreation planning, including layout, grading, planting and details of any improvements.
D. 
Plans and details of any other public amenities provided in the subdivision.
E. 
The date and scale.
F. 
The title under which the proposed subdivision is to be recorded with the names of the owner and landscape architect who prepared the landscape plan; the license number and seal of the landscape architect shall be affixed to the drawing.
In order to enable and encourage flexibility of design and development of land in such a manner as to promote the most appropriate use of land to facilitate the adequate and economic use of streets and utilities and to preserve the natural and scenic qualities of open lands, the following shall be the standards and procedures:
A. 
Standards.
(1) 
No such modification by the Planning Board shall result in a greater overall density of lots or dwelling units than is permitted in the zoning district wherein such lands lie, as specified in the Zoning Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 108, Zoning.
(2) 
The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to authorize a change in the permissible use of such lands as provided in the Zoning Ordinance.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 108, Zoning.
(3) 
The minimum acreage to which this section may be applicable shall be five times the minimum lot area for the zoning district involved.
(4) 
In the event that the utilization of this section results in a plat showing lands available for park, recreation or other municipal purposes directly related to the plat or in a plat showing lands to be retained in open space in order to comply with the average density of lots, the Planning Board may establish, in the case of lands for park, recreation or other municipal purposes, such conditions on the ownership, use and maintenance of such lands as it deems necessary to assure the reservation of such lands for their intended purposes, and, further, in the case of lands to be retained in open space, it may require that such lands be restricted by deed restriction, restrictive covenant, conveyance of a scenic easement or other conservation restriction to the town, or other appropriate means against development of land use inconsistent with their retention.
Ownership shall be clearly marked on the plat for all reservations.