The Town Board hereby finds that excessive uniformity, dissimilarity, inappropriateness 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 both improved and unimproved 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 of 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 Article 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 Town.
The Architectural Review Board shall consist of five members. Three of such members shall be specially qualified, by reason of training or experience in art, architecture, landscape architecture, community planning, real estate or other relevant business or profession, to judge the effects of a proposed building or structure or the alteration thereof upon the desirability, property values and development of surrounding areas. No more than one member of the Board shall be from the real estate business or profession. At least one member of such Board should be a registered architect. The members of such Board shall be appointed for specific overlapping terms, and the Chairman thereof shall be designated by the Town Board. Their successors shall be appointed for a term of three years from and after the expiration of the terms of their predecessors in office. If a vacancy shall occur otherwise than by expiration of term, it shall be filled by the Town Board for the unexpired term. The Town Board shall have power to remove any member of the Architectural Review Board for cause and after public hearing. The Town Board shall designate a Secretary of the Board, who need not be a member of the Board and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Board. The Board may officially designate a registered architect to advise and take part in its deliberations, but without vote, unless a registered architect be a member of the Board.
All meetings of the Architectural Review Board shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as such Board may determine, but a meeting shall be held within 30 days of the date of any application or referral to it. Such Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member upon every question or, if any member is absent or fails to vote, indicating such fact and shall also keep records of its examinations and other official actions. The Board shall have the power from time to time to adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations, consistent with this chapter, governing its procedure and the transaction of its business. Every rule and regulation, every amendment or appeal thereof and every recommendation of the Board shall be filed in the office of the Board.
Three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Board may recommend disapproval of construction pursuant to this chapter only by a vote of no fewer than four members.
Municipal buildings and works of art. The Town Board shall refer to the Architectural Review Board, for review and advisory report, plans for construction or installation of all municipal structures and uses, and exterior changes thereto, and all work of art or other objects to be used in a decorative manner or for the purposes of beautification, to be erected upon or over property owned, leased or otherwise occupied by the Town. The Architectural Review Board shall advise the Town Board with respect to any changes thereto which will improve the appearance and design of the exterior of such structures and uses and the appearance and design of such works of art to the end that the beauty and appearance of the Town in general will be improved. The Board shall also consider the proposed location of such works of art and shall make recommendations with respect to the proposed location or recommend such other locations the Board may deem suitable and appropriate.
Building permit applications. Every application cited in § 250-85 for the construction or reconstruction of a building or structure within the Town, that is subject to site development plan approval, in accordance with § 250-45 of this chapter, shall be referred by the Building Inspector to the Architectural Review Board within seven days of the date of the receipt of the application, provided that it conforms in all respects with all other applicable laws and ordinances and other provisions of this chapter.
In examining plans or proposals, the Architectural Review Board shall recommend disapproval of any installation or construction which would cause or contribute to one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 250-98 of this chapter by reason of:
Excessive dissimilarity of 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 500 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 and within 500 feet of 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, porticos 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.
The Board 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. The Board shall not design or assist in the design of any buildings or structures submitted for recommendations.
The Board's recommendation shall not reflect undue restrictions on new or innovative building types, materials or methods; individual initiative and experimentation are to be encouraged.
In its endeavor to improve the quality of design, the Board shall consider cost as one factor along with design in its efforts to achieve the objectives of this chapter.
The Architectural Review Board shall have 30 days in which to act upon a matter before it. Such time limit shall be measured from the date of receipt of referral by the Town Board or the Building Inspector. Such time limit may be extended by mutual agreement with the applicant. Failure to act on the part of the Board within the time limit specified, or as may be extended, shall be deemed to constitute recommendation for approval.
For any matter referred to it for review and recommendation pursuant to § 250-102A and B, the Architectural Review Board shall act upon the application in the form as referred to it by the Town Board. For matters pursuant to § 250-102A and B, the applicant shall submit preliminary architectural plans showing at least location and dimensions of proposed structures, as well as exterior elevations and materials to be used and any other materials required by the Board in its rules and regulations, as adopted.