City of Cohoes, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The purpose of site plan review is to implement the City's long-term planning goals. Specifically, site plan review is intended to determine compliance with the objectives of this chapter where inappropriate development may cause a conflict between uses in the same or adjoining zoning district by creating conditions which could adversely affect the public health, safety or general welfare.
Prior to the issuance of a building permit, special use permit, variance or other discretionary approval required from the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals for construction, alteration or change of use in any district, except for a single-family or two-family dwelling and related accessory uses, the Zoning Officer shall require the preparation of a site plan. The Zoning Officer shall refer the site plan to the Planning Board for its review and approval in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth in this article.
A. 
Applicants shall meet with the Zoning Officer and/or the Planning Board to review the basic site design concept and determine the information to be required on the preliminary site plan. The purpose of the sketch plan conference is to discuss with the applicant the project's conformity with the City's long-term planning goals, to determine whether the activity is subject to the performance standards of § 285-71, and to advise the applicant of other issues or concerns. The sketch plan conference provides an opportunity to indicate whether the proposal, in its major features, is acceptable or whether it should be modified before expenditures for more detail plans are made.
B. 
Required data. Information to be included on the sketch plan is as follows:
(1) 
An area map showing the parcel under consideration for site plan review and all parcels, structures, subdivisions, streets, driveways, easements and permanent open space within 200 feet of the boundaries thereof or at the discretion of the Zoning Officer.
(2) 
A map of site topography at no more than five-foot contour intervals or at the discretion of the Zoning Officer. If general site grades exceed 5% or if portions of the site have susceptibility to erosion, flooding or ponding, a soils overlay and topographic map showing contour intervals of not more than two feet of elevation should also be provided.
(3) 
General identification of all existing natural features and utilities on the site and in the area.
(4) 
The location of all existing and proposed structures on the site and designated uses for each.
(5) 
Identification of existing zoning classification(s) of the property and all adjacent properties and any restrictions on land use of the site.
A. 
Application for preliminary site plan approval. An application for preliminary site plan approval shall be made in writing to the Zoning Officer and shall be accompanied by information drawn from the following checklist, as determined necessary by the Zoning Officer at the sketch plan conference. All site plan information and building designs shall be prepared by a licensed architect or engineer.
B. 
Preliminary site plan checklist. Additional design standards and directions regarding the items to be shown on specific plan sheets may be found in the administrative checklist available from the Zoning Officer. The preliminary site plan shall include:
[Amended 2-10-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
(1) 
Title of drawing, including name and address of applicant and person responsible for preparation of such drawing.
(2) 
North arrow, graphic scale and date.
(3) 
Boundaries of the property, plotted to scale.
(4) 
The location of existing property lines, easements, structures, streets, driveways and natural features within 200 feet of the proposed site or at the discretion of the Planning Board; natural features subject to other state or federal regulations which may restrict development.
(5) 
Grading and drainage plan, showing existing and proposed contours. The drainage plan shall also clearly explain the methodology used to project stormwater quantities and the resultant peak flow conditions. The grading plan shall be in accordance with the provisions specified in § 285-122A(6).
(6) 
Green infrastructure stormwater treatment devices designed in accordance with the most recent New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual, which may include bioretention, tree pits, vegetated swales, dry or wet swales, or sunken stormwater planters.
(7) 
A rooftop stormwater conveyance system in accordance with the provisions specified in § 285-121F(3).
(8) 
Soil protection plan, identifying the areas of various soil types on the property, hydrologic soil groups, and soil erosion factors. The plan shall be in accordance with the provisions specified in § 285-121A(2).
(9) 
Location, proposed use, hours of operation and height of all buildings; summary of the amount of square footage devoted to each use requiring off-street parking or loading.
(10) 
Number, location, design and construction materials of all parking and loading areas, showing ingress and egress; location of reserved parking areas as required by the off-street parking regulations of Article X, § 285-88.
(11) 
Provisions for pedestrian access, including, but not limited to, sidewalks designed in accordance with the provisions specified in § 285-121B(4).
(12) 
Size, type, location and screening of all facilities used for recycling and disposal of solid waste.
(13) 
Location, dimensions and vehicle capacity of drive-in facilities and related queuing lanes.
(14) 
Building elevation(s) showing building massing, window and door spacing and treatments and other architectural features; and indication of building materials suitable to evaluate architectural compatibility.
(15) 
Location, purpose and holder of all proposed easements or dedications for utilities, recreation, conservation or other purposes.
(16) 
Location, size, screening and type of material for any proposed outdoor storage.
(17) 
Location, design and construction materials of all existing or proposed site improvements, including drains, culverts, retaining walls and fences.
(18) 
Description of the type and quantity of sewage expected, the method of sewage disposal and the location, design and construction materials of such facilities.
(19) 
Description of the type and quantity of water supply needed, the method of securing water supply, and the location, design and construction materials of such facilities.
(20) 
Location of fire and other emergency zones, including the location of fire hydrants.
(21) 
Location, design and construction material of all energy-distribution facilities, including electrical, gas, wind power, solar energy and other public utility facilities, such as cable or phone service.
(22) 
Location, size, design and construction materials of all proposed signs.
(23) 
Location of proposed buffer areas, including existing vegetative cover. Existing natural buffer areas shall be preserved and maintained in accordance with the provisions specified in § 285-121A(3).
(24) 
Location, type, height, brightness and control of outdoor lighting facilities.
(25) 
Size, location and use of recreation areas for multifamily dwellings as required by § 285-64.
(26) 
Identification of permanent open space or other amenities provided in conjunction with cluster or incentive zoning provisions.
(27) 
A table summarizing each building footprint, total size in square feet and number of stories; the number of dwelling units and the amount of square feet devoted to each use type; size, in square feet or acres, of access, parking and circulation areas and the number of loading, queuing and parking spaces; size in square feet of landscaped and natural open space; and size in square feet and text of all signs.
(28) 
A landscaping plan and planting schedule in accordance with Article IX. The landscaping plan should also identify and account for the preservation of major vegetation and mature trees in accordance with the provisions specified in § 285-121A(4).
(29) 
Other elements integral to the proposed development as considered necessary by the Planning Board, to include showing railroads or any other type of transportation facilities not specified.
(30) 
All forms and information pursuant to New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
(31) 
For all developments disturbing more than one acre, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) requires that municipalities receive a copy of the stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) prior to plan approval. The owner is required to comply with the NYSDEC's SPEDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharge from Construction Activity Permit # G-P-02-01 or the latest effective SPEDES General Permit on record with NYSDEC.
(32) 
The owner shall not include any curbing along any roadways which may interfere with stormwater flows unless it is demonstrated that such curbs are necessary for engineering or safety reasons.
(33) 
All forms and information pursuant to the complete streets requirements under § 285-48.1 of this chapter are sufficient to establish compliance with the same.
[Added 2-28-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
C. 
Required fee. The application submitted to the Planning Board shall be accompanied by a receipt stating that payment has been made in full to the Treasurer, City of Cohoes. The fee schedule is provided in Chapter A290 of the City's Code, and is available at the City Clerk's office.
[Amended 1-13-2009 by Ord. No. 2-2009]
The Planning Board's review of a preliminary site plan shall include, as appropriate, but is not limited to, the following:
A. 
General considerations as to:
(1) 
Adequacy and arrangement of vehicular traffic access and circulation, including intersections, road widths, pavement surfaces, dividers and traffic controls for parking, loading and drive-in facilities.
(2) 
Adequacy and arrangement of pedestrian traffic access and circulation, walkway structures, control of intersections with vehicular traffic and overall pedestrian convenience. In general, sidewalks shall be required along all dedicated roads on lots within 1,000 feet of a school, park or residential concentration.
(3) 
Location, arrangement, appearance and sufficiency of off-street parking and loading.
(4) 
Location, arrangement, size, design and general architectural and site compatibility of buildings, lighting, signs and landscaping.
(5) 
Adequacy of stormwater calculation methodology and stormwater and drainage facilities to eliminate off-site runoff and maintain water quality.
(6) 
Adequacy of water supply and sewage disposal facilities.
(7) 
Size, location, arrangement and use of required open space and adequacy of such open space to preserve scenic views and other natural features, to provide wildlife corridors and habitats, to provide suitable screening and buffering; and to provide required recreation areas.
(8) 
Suitability of proposed hours of operation.
(9) 
Protection of adjacent or neighboring properties against noise, glare, unsightliness or other similar nuisances.
(10) 
Adequacy of community services, including fire, ambulance and police protection, and on-site provisions for emergency services, including fire lanes and other emergency zones, fire hydrants and water pressure.
(11) 
Adequacy and unobtrusiveness of public utility distribution facilities, including those for gas, electricity, cable television and phone service. In general, all such utility distribution facilities shall be required to be located underground.
(12) 
Making provision for, so far as conditions may permit, the accommodation of solar energy systems and equipment and access to sunlight necessary therefor.
(13) 
Conformance with the City of Cohoes' long-term planning goals.
(14) 
Conformance with density, lot size, height, yard and lot coverage and all other requirements of district regulations.
B. 
Applicant to attend Planning Board meeting. The applicant and/or a duly authorized representative shall attend the meeting of the Planning Board.
C. 
Site plans shall also provide conformance with the performance standards of section § 285-71.
D. 
Consultant review. The Planning Board may consult with the Zoning Officer, Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board, Fire Chief and other appropriate local and county officials and departments and its designated private consultants, in addition to representatives of federal and state agencies, including but not limited to the Soil Conservation Service, the State Department of Transportation and the State Department of Environmental Conservation.
E. 
Public hearing. The Planning Board shall conduct a public hearing on the preliminary site plan. Such public hearing shall be conducted within 62 days of the receipt of the application for preliminary site plan approval. Notice of said hearing shall be mailed to the applicant not less than 10 days before the hearing date and shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Cohoes at least five days but not more than 30 days before the public hearing.
A. 
Within 62 days after the public hearing the Planning Board shall act on the application for preliminary site plan approval. The Planning Board's action shall be in the form of a written statement to the applicant stating whether or not the preliminary site plan is approved, disapproved or approved with modifications and shall be filed with the City Clerk within five days of the decision and mailed to the applicant.
B. 
The Planning Board's statement may include recommendations of desirable modifications to be incorporated in the final site plan, and conformance with said modifications shall be considered a condition of approval. If the preliminary site plan is disapproved, the Planning Board's statement will contain the reasons for such findings. In such a case, the Planning Board may recommend further study of the site plan and resubmission to the Planning Board after it has been revised or redesigned.
A. 
After receiving approval, with or without modifications, from the Planning Board on a preliminary site plan, the applicant shall submit a final detailed site plan to the Planning Board for approval. If more than six months have elapsed since the time of the Planning Board's action on the preliminary site plan and if the Planning Board finds that conditions have changed significantly in the interim, the Planning Board may require a resubmission of the preliminary site plan for further review and possible revision prior to accepting the proposed final site plan for review. The Planning Board may also require a new public hearing. The final site plan shall conform substantially to the approved preliminary site plan. It should incorporate any modifications that may have been recommended by the Planning Board in its preliminary review. All such compliance shall be clearly indicated by the applicant on the appropriate submission.
B. 
The following additional information shall accompany an application for final site plan approval:
(1) 
Record of application for and approval status of all necessary permits from local, state and county officials.
(2) 
An estimated project construction schedule.
(3) 
A legal description of all areas proposed for municipal dedication.
(4) 
An easement or other recordable instrument executed by the owner for any permanent open spaces created and whether such open space is the result of site plan review or incentive zoning provisions.
C. 
If no building permit is issued within one calendar year from the date of final site plan approval, the final site plan approval shall become null and void.
Prior to taking action on the final site development plan, the Planning Board shall refer the plan to the County Planning Board for advisory review and a report in accordance with § 239-m of General Municipal Law.
A. 
Within the next day of receipt of the application for final site plan approval, or within 62 days if a public hearing is held, the Planning Board shall notify the Zoning Officer, in writing, of its decision. The Planning Board shall file its decision with the City Clerk within five days of the final Planning Board decision. The time within which the Planning Board must render its decision may be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the Planning Board.
B. 
Upon approval of the final site plan and payment by the applicant of all fees and reimbursable costs due and letter of credit if required, the Planning Board shall endorse its approval on a copy of the final site plan. A copy of the approved final site plan shall be filed with the Zoning Officer and may be provided to the applicant.
C. 
Upon disapproval of a final site plan, the Planning Board shall so inform the Zoning Officer, and the Zoning Officer shall deny a building permit to the applicant. The Planning Board shall also notify the applicant in writing of its decision and its reasons for disapproval. The Planning Board shall file its decision with the City Clerk within five days of the final Planning Board decision.
Costs incurred by the Planning Board for consultation fees or other extraordinary expense in connection with the review of a proposed site plan or inspection of required improvements shall be charged to the applicant. Estimated review fees shall be deposited into an escrow account when making application for preliminary site plan approval. Estimated inspection fees shall be deposited into an escrow account prior to Planning Board endorsement of final site plan approval.
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued until all improvements shown on the site plan are installed or an irrevocable letter of credit has been posted for improvements not yet completed. The letter of credit shall be approved as to form by the Municipal Attorney and as to amount by the Municipal Engineer. The member of the Planning Board designated to sign site plans shall not sign until a letter of credit, if required, has been received by the Zoning Officer and approved by the Common Council.
The Zoning Officer shall be responsible for the overall inspection of site improvements. The applicant shall be responsible for advance notice for inspection coordination with officials and agencies, as appropriate. The Zoning Officer may retain the services of a qualified private consultant to assist with inspection of site improvement.
Whenever the particular circumstances of a proposed development require compliance with either the special use permit procedure pursuant to § 285-10B of this chapter, or the requirements for the subdivision of land in Article XIII, the Planning Board shall attempt to integrate, as appropriate, site plan review as required by this article with the procedural and submission requirements for such other compliance.