[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of North Hills 11-23-1981 by L.L. No. 13-1981 (Ch. 8 of the 1982 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the purpose of this chapter to preserve and promote the character and appearance and conserve the property values of the Village of North Hills, the attractiveness of whose residential areas is the mainstay of the community, by providing procedures for an architectural review of structures henceforth erected, reconstructed or altered in the Village, and thereby:
To encourage good qualities of exterior building design and good appearances and to relate such design and appearances to the sites and surroundings of structures.
To permit originality and resourcefulness in building design and appearances which are appropriate to the sites and surroundings.
To prevent such design and appearances as are unnecessarily offensive to visual sensibilities.
The Board of Trustees hereby finds that structures which are visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design, monotonous similarity or striking visual discord in relation to their sites or surroundings mar the appearances of their areas, impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the values of properties, are detrimental to the characters of neighborhoods, prevent the most appropriate development and utilization of land and therefore adversely affect the functioning, economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.
[Amended 5-27-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
There is hereby created a Board of Architectural Review, which shall consist of five members. All members of the Board shall be residents of the Village and shall be specially qualified by reason of training or experience in architecture, land development, community planning, real estate, landscape architecture, engineering, building construction or other relevant business or profession, or by reason of civic interest and sound judgment to judge the effects of a proposed building upon the desirability, property values and development of surrounding areas. The members of the Board shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, and one of those members shall be designated as Chair and one as Deputy Chair in the same manner. The term of office of each member shall be three official years, except that the initial appointments of one member shall be for one official year, two members for two official years and two members for three official years. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term of any member whose place has become vacant in the same manner as provided for appointments of members. The members designated as Chair and Deputy Chair shall be so designated for a term of one official year. The Board of Architectural Review shall appoint a Secretary, who shall keep or cause to be kept in the Village office a comprehensive record of all meetings of the Board as well as a record of all transactions handled by said Board and shall prepare and file with the Board of Trustees on or before September 1 of each year a complete report of the business handled by the Board during the preceding year ending May 31.
[Amended 10-15-2014 by L.L. No. 6-2014]
Alternate members. Subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, the Mayor may appoint not more than three alternate members of the Architectural Review Board to serve in order of seniority in place of any members of the Architectural Review Board or senior alternate members who are unable for any reason to attend any particular meeting of the Board. The alternate members of the Board shall have all of the powers and duties of regular members at such times as the alternate members are serving. Such alternate members shall be appointed for terms of one official year each.
[Added 3-20-1996 by L.L. No. 5-1996]
[Amended 10-15-2014 by L.L. No. 6-2014]
Meetings of the Board of Architectural Review shall be held at the call of the Chair and at such other times as the Board shall determine. The Board may hold a public hearing when it deems the same to be in the public interest. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also maintain records of its examinations and other official actions, such records to be kept in the Village office. The Board may from time to time adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law or the provisions of this chapter, governing its procedure and the transactions of its business and for the purpose of carrying into effect the standards outlined in § 12-5 hereof. The adoption, amendment or repeal of such rules or regulations shall be taken only after a public hearing and shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.
As soon as practicable and in any event within three business days after determining that an application for a building permit for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of any building or structure complies with all provisions of the Code of the Village of North Hills other than this chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer shall transmit to each member of the Board of Architectural Review a copy of any such application which comes within either of the following categories:
Applications must be accompanied by plans showing all elevations of new structures and all affected elevations in the case of additions or alterations. When required by the Code Enforcement Officer or by the Board of Architectural Review, a site plan shall be submitted showing both existing and proposed contours at five-foot intervals, all existing trees with a trunk diameter of four inches or more at a point three feet above the ground level and whether such trees shall remain or be removed and/or other topographical features.
Any person who wishes to have a review by the Architectural Review Board of any proposed construction of, addition to or reconstruction or alteration of any building or structure may submit an application to the Architectural Review Board for such review. The Architectural Review Board may thereafter process and act upon the said application in the same manner as any other referral under this chapter.
[Added 4-24-1985 by L.L. No. 3-1985]
Exceptions. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any permit for construction, alteration or improvement of a building or structure performed under the direction and approval of the Board of Trustees on property or buildings owned or leased by the Village.
[Added 10-28-1998 by L.L. No. 6-1998]
Recommendation of any building permit shall be by a vote of at least a majority of the members of the Board of Architectural Review.
In considering an application for a permit, the Board shall take into account natural features of the site and surroundings, exterior design and appearances of existing structures and the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular purposes, with a view to conserving the values of property and encouraging the most appropriate use of land.
The Board may recommend approval of any application referred to it upon finding that the building or structure for which the permit was requested, if erected or altered in accordance with the submitted plan, would be in harmony with the purpose of this chapter; would not be visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design, monotonous similarity or striking visual discord in relation to the sites or surroundings; would not mar the appearance of the area; would not impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the values of properties in the area; would not be detrimental to the character of the neighborhood; would not prevent the most appropriate development and utilization of the site or of adjacent lands; and would not adversely affect the functioning, economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.
In recommending approval of any application, the Board may impose appropriate conditions and safeguards designed to prevent harmful effects.
The Board may disapprove any application for a permit, provided that the Board has afforded the applicant an opportunity to confer upon suggestions for change of the plan, and provided that the Board finds and states that the structure for which the permit was requested would, if erected or altered as indicated, provoke one or more of the harmful effects described in this chapter by reason of:
Monotonous similarity to any other structure or structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or a corner thereof and within 250 feet of the site of the structure for which a building permit is requested, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
Substantially identical facade, disregarding color.
Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticoes, 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.
Striking dissimilarity, visual discord or inappropriateness with respect to other structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or a corner thereof and within 250 feet of the site of the structure for which a building permit is requested, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
Facade, disregarding color.
Size and arrangement of doors, windows, porticoes, porches or garages or other openings, breaks or extensions in the facade.
Other significant design features, such as but not limited to heights, widths and lengths of elements of design, exterior materials and treatments, roof structures, exposed mechanical equipment, service and storage areas, retaining walls, landscaping, signs, lightposts, parking areas and fences, service and loading areas.
Visual offensiveness or other poor qualities of exterior design, including, with respect to signs, considerations of the harmony or discord of colors or incompatibility of the proposed structure with the terrain on which it is to be located, including but not limited to excessive divergences of the height or levels of any part of the structure from the grade of the terrain.
[Amended 10-27-1982 by L.L. No. 16-1982]
The Board of Architectural Review shall advise with respect to public buildings and such other matters as the Board of Trustees, the Board of Appeals, or the Planning Board may refer to it.
[Amended 9-18-2019 by L.L. No. 3-2019]
The members of the Board of Architectural Review shall be notified by the Village Clerk of all scheduled hearings and meetings of the Planning Board with respect to preliminary and/or final site plan applications and shall have the right to attend and be heard on such applications.
[Amended 1-19-2005 by L.L. No. 1-2005]
The Code Enforcement Officer shall refuse any building permit application disapproved as provided in § 12-5 hereof. If the Board of Architectural Review shall fail to approve or disapprove any application referred to it under § 12-4 hereof within 90 days of the date of referral of such application to it, the application is referred to the Board of Trustees.
[Amended 3-23-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988]
Any applicant aggrieved by the action of the Board of Architectural Review in disapproving a building permit application and/or of the Code Enforcement Officer in denying such permit because of such disapproval by the Board of Architectural Review may appeal in writing to the Board of Trustees. Such appeal shall be filed within 30 days after the date of the determination appealed from. The Board of Trustees shall consider such appeal at a meeting at which the applicant is entitled to notice and to appear and be heard. The Board of Trustees shall make its determination on the appeal within 75 days after the date of filing of the appeal. Any determination made by the Board of Trustees pursuant to this section may be reviewed by a proceeding instituted in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, commenced within 30 days after the date of the determination by the Board of Trustees.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon filing pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law and shall be applicable to all applications for building permits which are pending on the effective date hereof or which are filed after the effective date hereof.
[Added 8-9-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994]
Where a site located in an R-3 District has received authorization for incentive zoning or bonuses, as provided in § 215-12 of this Code, the following provisions shall be applicable notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter:
Notwithstanding any provision of this Code which may otherwise require review of such changes in plans by the Architectural Review Board or the Planning Board or otherwise limit or restrict the location of dwellings having particular designs, where the Architectural Review Board has approved the design and appearance of a particular model home to be constructed in the project, dwellings conforming to such approval and dwellings which do not contain substantial changes to the design, appearance and materials of an approved model may be located on any building lot within the site with a building permit issued by the Building Department and without the requirement for any further approval from the Architectural Review Board or any other board or agency of the Village, and modifications and amendments to such approved design and appearance may be approved by the Building Department, provided that, in the reasonable judgment of the Code Enforcement Officer, such modifications and amendments do not substantially change the appearance of the proposed structure or are substantially in conformity with the overall project design and appearance as intended by the Architectural Review Board. For the purposes of this subsection, where the architectural style, design and/or materials of a proposed building are substantially the same as those elements of an approved model or models, the design of the proposed building shall be deemed not to contain substantial changes in the design, appearance or materials. Variations in size, configuration and finish of a home and change in the number of windows shall not constitute a substantial change in a design. Where the approval of the Code Enforcement Officer is required by this subsection, the determination of the Code Enforcement Officer with respect to any request for such approval shall be made within seven business days after submission of a request for such approval. In the event that the applicant is aggrieved by any determination of the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to this subsection or in the event that the Code Enforcement Officer fails to issue a determination within the time provided in this subsection, such determination, or such failure to issue a determination, may be appealed to the Architectural Review Board, which Board shall have the same power with respect to such request for review as such Board would have with respect to an original application to such Board.