[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Kingston: Art. I, 8-7-1984 by L.L. No. 3-1984, approved 8-28-1984, as Ch. 62, Art. I, of the 1984 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Stockade Area
[Adopted 8-7-1984 by L.L. No. 3-1984, approved 8-28-1984, as Ch. 62, Art. I, of the 1984 Code]
The purpose of this article is to provide for the promotion of the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and preservation of an Historic and Architectural Design District to be known as the "Stockade Area." The legislative body declares that it is in the public interest to ensure that the distinctive and historical character of this Historic and Architectural Design District shall not be injuriously affected, that the value to the community of those buildings having architectural and historical worth shall not be impaired and that said Historic and Architectural Design District be maintained and preserved to promote its use of the education, pleasure and welfare of the citizens of the City of Kingston, New York, and others.
The Stockade Area of Kingston, New York, consisting of eight blocks bounded by Clinton Avenue, Main Street, Green Street and North Front Street, together with protective perimeter, is the site of the stockade built by Peter Stuyvesant in 1658 and successive extensions under English rule. In this area there were two Indian massacres, one in 1659 and one in 1664, as well as the location of the founding of the first government of the State of New York in 1777 and burned by the British that same year. This area contains the architecture of the past 300 years, and new development must not be allowed to erode the best of the architectural spaces and cultural association of the past.
The Common Council of the City of Kingston, New York, recognizes the unique and valuable resources which the Stockade Area represents. This article ensures that the Stockade and its environment is given adequate and immediate protection. The Stockade Area is hereby declared an historic site to represent an important heritage related to Dutch and English colonial periods.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Landmark Preservation Commission of the City of Kingston, New York, hereinafter referred to as the "Commission."
- Historical and Architectural Design District.
- EXTERIOR FEATURE
- The design and general arrangement of the exterior of a structure open to view from a public way, public property or any part of a public building including kind, color and texture of building materials, number, proportion, type and spacing of windows, doors, walls, roofs, murals, projections and signs. Exterior features shall also include all earthworks, sidewalks, driveways, fences, trees, landscaping and other features visible from a public way, public property or any part of a public building.
- HISTORIC AND ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN DISTRICT
- The area of the City of Kingston, New York, commonly referred to as the "Stockade Area," as specifically delineated on the Zoning Map in the Building Inspector's office in the City of Kingston, New York, and which:
- A. Has a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value; represents one or more areas in the history of the city; and causes such area, by reason of such factors, to constitute a Stockade Area and perimeter.
- B. Is designated as an Historic and Architectural Design District by proper amendment of Ch. 405, Zoning, so designating the area.
- HOLDER OF A BENEFICIAL INTEREST
- A lessee of record in possession for a term in excess of one year and any first or second mortgagee of record.
It shall be the duty of the Commission to exercise judgment in accord with the basis of decisions stated herein and maintain the desirable character of the Stockade Area and prevent construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition out of harmony with existing buildings insofar as character, material, color, line and detail are concerned; and thus to prevent degeneration of property, to safeguard public health, promote safety and preserve the beauty of character of the Stockade Area.
In addition to the aforementioned powers, the Commission shall have the power to retain or employ professional consultants, secretaries, clerks or other such personnel as may be necessary to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties, with such funds as may be made available to it by the Common Council, in its sole judgment and discretion.
The Stockade Area is characterized by a diversity of styles, designs and relationships of buildings and spaces, with many buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Though differing in style, there are only two or three surface materials used, with stone, wood or brick being the most common. Except for retail display windows, large plain surfaces, large glass areas and polished metals are absent.
In its consideration or review, the Commission may require such characteristics to be reflected in proposed designs.
All applications shall be considered by the Commission on at least the following points, these points to be used as a basis where relevant for establishing relationships to the external features of buildings in the immediate neighborhood:
The building height in relation to surrounding buildings.
The relationship to nearby roof shapes.
The relationship between the width and the height of the front elevation.
The size, proportion and spacing of openings within the facade and elevations exposed to view.
Rhythm of spacing of buildings and building elements on the street.
The design and placement of entrances and projections.
The relationship of materials, textures and colors.
The relationship of architectural details.
The continuity of walls.
The relationship of landscape elements.
The appropriateness of paving.
The effect on existing or historically significant spaces.
It shall be the duty of the Commission to determine whether or not the proposed construction, reconstruction or alteration of the exterior architectural feature or features involved shall be appropriate to the preservation of the Stockade Area.
Application. This article shall apply to all buildings, structures, outbuildings, walls, fences, steps, topographical fixtures, earthworks, landscaping, paving and signs. No changes in any exterior architectural feature, including, but not limited to, construction, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, removal, demolition or painting, shall be made except as hereinafter provided.
To assist in the conservation action, several specific guidelines are included. Because of the visual importance of the Old Dutch Church Steeple, no new structure may rise within the Stockade Area above the base of the steeple, which is 62 feet above curb level. Many of the most important buildings in the Stockade Area are stone, wood or brick with only two or three surface materials used on any one building. These are almost no large areas of glass or polished metal. For this reason, limited design criteria to match this condition are placed on all restoration and construction. New construction may be required to be set back from the building line formed by the adjacent buildings where this modest setback will not change the overall character of the street. Landscaping may be required.
Site design. In determining building setback for new construction, the Commission may require new buildings to be set behind existing building lines to give emphasis to existing structures of historic or aesthetic merit, or to allow for suitable landscaping.
Landscaping and paving. Landscaping may be required by the Commission and is deemed an important element of site development.
Evergreen materials may be required for screening functions.
Recommendations may be made to the Commission by a landscape architect or designer approved by the Commission.
Bluestone, slate or brick may be prescribed for sidewalks.
Maintenance of plant material shall be the responsibility of the owner, including the responsibility to keep growth trimmed and trained to meet the Commission's requirement.
Parking. Parking areas shall be partially screened from public view with appropriate walls, structures, fences or landscaping. The area allotted for the planting of all parking lots shall be at least 5% of the amount allotted to the parking surface.
Preventive maintenance. In order to assure that these buildings, spaces, elements and details are preserved, the Stockade Area Plan may require maintenance to prevent loss by neglect or deterioration. Failure to provide this preventive maintenance shall be a violation of this article.
Notwithstanding any inconsistent ordinance, local law, code, rule or regulation concerning the issuance of building permits, no change in any exterior architectural feature in the Stockade Area shall be commenced without a certificate of recommendation from the Commission, nor shall any building permits for such change be issued without a certificate of recommendation having first been issued. The certificate of recommendation required by this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit that may be required by any other ordinance of the City of Kingston, New York.
Application for a certificate of recommendation shall be made in writing, in duplicate, to the Commission and shall contain the following:
Name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
Location of the building, structure or land.
The exterior architectural features which are proposed to be changed.
Elevations of the proposed change.
Samples of color or materials to be used in the proposed change.
Where the proposed change includes signs or lettering, all dimensions and colors, a description of materials to be used and the method of illumination, if any, and showing the location on the building or property.
A photograph of existing conditions may be required.
Prior to submitting a formal application, the applicant or his representative may meet with the Commission to informally discuss plans for alteration of exterior features. In order to avoid unnecessary expense and delay, a sketch or schematic design for the construction, alteration or repair of any regulated activity may be presented to the Commission. A preliminary design should show the relation to adjacent structures and spaces. The Commission may advise or recommend alteration and changes in the application. The applicant shall have the right to resubmit his application at any time.
Any and all applications shall be considered and decided by the majority vote of the total membership of the Commission at a duly called meeting of the Commission.
The Commission shall establish its own rules of procedure; provided, however, that all regular or special meetings and public hearings of the Commission shall be open to the public, and any person or his duly constituted representative shall be entitled to appear and be heard on any matter before the Commission prior to the time at which it reaches its decision.
Within a reasonable time after an application is filed, but in any event within 32 days after such filing, or within such further time as the applicant may, in writing, allow, the Landmarks Commission shall either approve the application or, in the alternative, determine that a hearing is to be held and issue notice of a public hearing within 10 days after such determination. The failure of the Commission to approve such plans within 32 days from the date of the filing of the application or the failure of the Commission to issue a notice of a public hearing within 10 days after the determination to conduct a public hearing, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the Commission, shall be deemed to constitute approval.
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall be deemed a violation, and the violator shall be liable to a fine of not more than $25, and each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
The Zoning Ordinance of the City of Kingston, New York, shall apply within the Stockade Area as follows:
The Zoning Ordinance shall not apply except to serve as a guide within the Stockade Area with respect to limitations on height, building spacing and yard and parking requirements. These determinations shall be made pursuant to this article.
Other provisions of the Zoning Ordinance related to land use shall remain in force; and all other controls shall remain in force to the extent that they do not conflict with the intent and purpose of this article.
Appeals from action of the Commission under this article shall proceed in accordance with Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Nothing herein shall be deemed to empower the Commission to obligate the City of Kingston, New York, to the expenditure of funds unless specifically authorized by law. The Commission may use funds allocated to it by federal, state or local agencies and from private donations, grants and bequests, in carrying out its purpose.
This article shall take effect immediately following final passage, public hearing and approval by the Mayor of the City of Kingston, New York, as provided by law.