Village of Northport, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Northport as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Board of Architectural and Historic Review — See Ch. 13.
Fees — See Ch. 147.
Taxation — See Ch. 267.
Zoning — See Ch. 306.
Board of Architectural and Historic Review Rules and Regulations — See Ch. A311.
[Adopted 6-5-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 3, Applicability, of this local law stated that its provisions "shall apply to all lands situated in whole or in part within the boundaries of the Central Business A and Central Business B Zoning Districts."

§ 14-1 Legislative intent.

It is the intention of the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Northport to enact legislation to preserve the Village's heritage and character by establishing a policy which will protect, enhance and perpetuate historic sites, structures and buildings in the Central Business A and Central Business B Zoning Districts. The Board finds that such regulation will enhance the cultural, educational, economic and general welfare of the public, and ensure the harmonious, orderly and efficient growth and development of the Village consistent with its unique heritage and character.

§ 14-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following phrases shall have the following meanings.
ALTERATION
Any work on a structure for which a building permit is required and any material change to the exterior appearance of a structure, excluding cleaning and minor repairs; includes the refacing or resurfacing of the exterior facade of a structure or building in any manner which would substantially and significantly affect its character and appearance, as well as an act or process which substantially and significantly changes one or more of the exterior architectural features of a building or structure. The term "alteration" shall include the attachment of gates, fences, bars or other such devices to the windows or exterior facade of a structure or building.
DEMOLITION
The destruction of an entire structure, whether or not the foundation is also destroyed pursuant to the requirements of a duly issued demolition permit.
HISTORIC PROPERTY OR SITE
The property, including any structures and/or buildings which are located on said property, which the Board of Architectural and Historic Review has determined is subject to historic review under this article.
HISTORIC REVIEW
The review of applications for demolition or alteration of structures within the Central Business A and Central Business B Zoning Districts which the Board of Architectural and Historic Review has determined meet the criteria for such review pursuant to this article.
HISTORIC STRUCTURE
Structures which the Board of Architectural and Historic Review has determined pursuant to this article to be subject to historic review.
PROPERTY OWNER
A person or business entity having an ownership interest in and to a parcel of land and/or structure.
SERIOUS STATE OF DISREPAIR
Deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports; deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members; deterioration of exterior chimneys; deterioration or crumbling of exterior facade, stucco, shingles or mortar; ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs or foundation, including broken windows or doors; deterioration of any feature so as to create a hazardous and unsafe condition, which may result in a claim that demolition, in whole or in part, is necessary to protect the public safety.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires permanent or temporary location on or in the ground, including but not limited to objects, buildings, outbuildings, fences, decks, statuary, pillars, columns, steps, stairways, gazebos, walls, sidewalks, walkways, pavements, signs, billboards, towers, swimming pools, and other objects or improvements.
TAX EXEMPTION
The application of partial tax exemption as provided for in Real Property Tax Law § 444-a, as approved by the Tax Assessor of the Village of Northport pursuant to § 14-9 herein.

§ 14-3 Restrictions on demolition, erection and alteration of structures.

No demolition or building permit may be issued for any structures located within the Central Business A or B zoning districts unless an application to demolish or to make alterations or to erect has first been approved by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review as follows:
A. 
Upon receipt of a written request for permission to erect a structure or demolish or make alterations to a structure in the Central Business A and Central Business B Zoning Districts made to any Village official, such request shall be referred to the Board of Architectural and Historic Review, which shall schedule a public hearing on the application to be held as soon as practicable but in no event later than 60 days from the time the application is complete. Upon conclusion of the public hearing, the Board shall make a written determination whether historic review is required within 45 days, applying the criteria set forth in § 14-4 of this article. If it finds that historic review is not required, then it shall grant authorization to demolish and/or make alterations, subject to such Code requirements that otherwise apply. Nothing contained in such authorization shall be construed to waive any other Code or other lawful requirements.
B. 
The determination of the Board of Architectural and Historic Review regarding whether historic review under this article is required shall be final and binding for all present and future applications to demolish or make alterations to the subject structure, unless this article is amended, in which case the provisions of such amendment shall apply, and subject to the right of the property owner to file a hardship application as provided for in § 14-7 herein.
C. 
A property owner may consent to historic review at the time he/she submits an application for a building or demolition permit. Such consent shall be made in a form as prescribed by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review. It will preclude the need for a public hearing to determine whether historic review is required and operate the same as if the Board had made a finding that historic review is required.
D. 
In making the determination whether historic review is required, the Board of Architectural and Historic Review shall receive such evidence as any interested party may wish to submit. In the event the Board determines that it requires independent expert review, it may authorize same. The fee of such expert shall be paid by the Village.
E. 
In the event the Board of Architectural and Historic Review finds that historic review pursuant to this article is required, it shall thereafter apply the standards set forth in § 14-5 to determine whether to grant, deny or conditionally grant an application for a permit to demolish or make alterations to the structure(s) and property which was the subject of such determination by the Board.
F. 
The Board of Architectural and Historic Review has discretion to combine any public hearings it may hold pursuant to a single building or demolition permit application, including hearings on the following:
(1) 
Whether historic review is required;
(2) 
Historic review under the procedures and criteria set forth in § 14-8;
(3) 
Architectural design review under the procedures and criteria set forth in Chapter 13 of the Village Code;
(4) 
Whether a hardship is present that warrants a waiver of historic and/or architectural review requirements.
G. 
The Village shall take such measures as appropriate to ensure that Village records note those structures or properties within the Central Business A and Central Business B Zoning Districts that have been determined by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review as requiring historic review. These measures may include, but shall not be limited to, maintaining an official list of such properties and structures, along with a copy of the Board's determination and a description of the structures to which this restriction applies, and updating assessment records, building cards and related records.

§ 14-4 Criteria to determine if historic review is required.

A. 
The Board of Architectural and Historic Review shall determine if historic review is required based upon the criteria set forth in this subsection. The Board may make such finding if any one of the following factors are applicable and furthers the purpose of this article. In making such determination, the Board must find that substantial evidence supports the finding that historic review is required with respect to the specific structure(s) in issue. To be the subject of historic review, the Board of Architectural and Historic Review must make findings based upon substantial evidence that the property and/or structure(s):
(1) 
Possesses special character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic or social history of the Village, region, state or nation; or
(2) 
Is identified with historic personages or is the site of an historic event in the Village, state or nation; or
(3) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of a type, period, style or method of architecture or engineering; or
(4) 
Is the work of an important builder, designer, artist or architect whose work has significantly influenced an age; or
(5) 
Because of its unique location or singular physical characteristics or landscape, represents an established and familiar visual or aesthetic feature of the neighborhood; or
(6) 
Is significant for containing elements of design, details, materials or craftsmanship which represent a significant innovation; or
(7) 
Has special historical significance to the Village of Northport, Town of Huntington, County of Suffolk, State of New York, or to the United States of America by reason of famous events or the antiquity or uniqueness of architectural construction or design; or
(8) 
Will promote the public health, safety and/or general welfare if determined to be subject to historic review under this article; or
(9) 
Will preserve and enhance Village property values, heritage, character and quality if determined to be subject to historic review.
B. 
In addition to the criteria set forth above, the following factors shall be considered and discussed by the Board in its decision providing findings regarding historic review of structures:
(1) 
The general condition of the proposed historic structure.
(2) 
The relationship of the proposed historic structure and the immediate surrounding area.
(3) 
The extent of the hardship historic review would create for the property owner(s), pursuant to § 14-7 herein.
C. 
Filing with Suffolk County Clerk. Within 30 days after the date on which the Board of Architectural and Historic Review finds that a structure or a property is subject to historic review or revokes or modifies such finding, the Village Attorney shall cause to be filed in the office of deeds of the Suffolk County Clerk a certificate evidencing this action.
D. 
A property and/or structure that has been determined to be subject to historic review under this article shall be entitled to a partial tax exemption as provided for in § 14-9 herein pursuant to Real Property Tax Law § 444-a. This partial tax exemption shall be effective only for so long as the subject property remains subject to historic review under this article, as may be amended by the Board of Trustees from time to time. Furthermore, in the event a court of competent jurisdiction finds that a violation of this article has occurred, then the Board of Trustees may reduce or eliminate the partial tax exemption based upon the degree and time period of the violation. At least 10 days' notice of action pursuant to this subsection shall be given to the affected property owner.

§ 14-5 Permit required.

No person shall carry on any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition or new construction or moving of structure(s) nor shall any person make any material change in the appearance of such property, its exterior light fixtures, signs, sidewalks, fences, steps, paving, or other exterior elements which affect the appearance and cohesiveness of the structures located on said properties, which the Board of Architectural and Historic Review has determined is required to submit to historic review under this article, without first obtaining a permit from the Board of Architectural and Historic Review:
A. 
No work shall be commenced and no Village official shall grant, issue or release a demolition permit or a building permit to erect, construct, reconstruct, repair, restore, renovate, rehabilitate or alter any building or structure where the Board of Architectural and Historic Review has determined that such structure(s) and/or property are subject to historic review under this article if it will change the exterior design or appearance thereof unless a permit has been granted by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review, and no improvement, building or structure on such a location shall be moved, demolished or razed, in whole or in part, unless such permit has been approved. The permit required in this article shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building or demolition permit or other approval required by all applicable local, state and federal laws, rules, regulations and ordinances.
B. 
Nothing contained in this section is intended to prohibit the construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, alteration, improvement or rehabilitation of public highways, streets, roads, walkways, sidewalks, bridges, culverts, sewer and drainage facilities, water facilities and other public property by Village, Town, County, state and/or federal agencies or utility companies.
C. 
Nothing contained in this section is intended to prevent changes to the interior of an improvement, building or structure; or intended to prevent the ordinary maintenance and such repairs as do not change an exterior architectural feature, the exterior design, material, or outward appearance of an improvement to a building or structure which has been determined to be required to submit to historic review under this article.
D. 
This section is not intended to prevent the erection, construction, reconstruction, restoration, rehabilitation, repair, alteration or demolition of any part of an existing exterior feature or facade which, in the opinion of the Building Inspector and/or the Fire Marshal presents an immediate safety hazard and requires an immediate emergency repair to preserve the structure or to safeguard the health and safety of its occupants or other persons. The term "emergency repair" shall not include major replacements/repairs and is limited to the work necessary to stabilize the structure or to protect the safety of occupants or the public. No additional work is to be performed until a required permit has been requested by the applicant and granted by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review and all other required approvals and permits are obtained.
E. 
Nothing in this article is intended to relieve a property owner from obtaining a building or demolition permit or other approvals required by local, state and/or federal law, rules, regulations and ordinances. The work performed shall be in compliance with all applicable requirements.
F. 
Following the procedures set forth below in § 14-8, the Board shall make written findings granting, denying or granting with conditions the application for a permit to demolish and/or make alterations to a structure or property subject to historic review under this article. Such determination shall be based upon a consideration of the following factors as they relate to the historic significance of the structure or property:
(1) 
The impact of the proposed changes on the special character or historic, architectural, engineering, cultural or aesthetic interest or value of the structure or site and/or the surrounding properties and/or structures, including other properties and structures within the Central Business A and Central Business B Zoning Districts;
(2) 
The general design, character and appropriateness to the property of the proposed action;
(3) 
The scale of the proposed construction or alteration in relation to the property itself, surrounding properties and the neighborhood;
(4) 
Whether the proposed construction or alteration is visually compatible with the textures, materials and colors of the facade and roof of the existing building or structure, and its proportion and configuration;
(5) 
The legally permitted use of the property and of the improvements, buildings and structures therein;
(6) 
Any other factor which in the opinion of the Board is relevant or necessary;
(7) 
In the event of an application to raze or demolish, in whole or in part, a structure subject to this article, the Board shall, in addition to the foregoing, consider the structural condition and the economic feasibility of alternatives to the proposal; and the importance to the Village and the extent to which its special character or architectural, engineering, cultural, historic or aesthetic interest or value is such that its removal would be detrimental to the public interest or its retention would benefit the community;
(8) 
The applicant shall use such materials in the erection or alteration of a structure as the Board determines are reasonable under all of the circumstances. The Board may allow the use of substitute, artificial materials, in accordance with the United States Secretary of the Interior's standards for rehabilitation and guidelines for rehabilitating historic buildings, in lieu of original, authentic style materials if the historic appearance and character of the structure can be maintained. The Board should also allow such substitute materials if the applicant demonstrates a substantial hardship if required to use original, authentic materials.

§ 14-6 Maintenance and repair required.

A. 
No owner or person with an interest in any building or structure on a property within the Central Business A or Central Business B Zoning District shall permit the same to fall into a serious state of disrepair so as to result in the deterioration of any exterior historic or scenic features, including but not limited to:
(1) 
Deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports;
(2) 
Deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members;
(3) 
Deterioration of exterior chimneys;
(4) 
Deterioration or crumbling of exterior facade, stucco, shingles or mortar;
(5) 
Deterioration of exterior building ornamentation and facade projections, including awnings, gingerbread, and moulding;
(6) 
Ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs or foundation, including broken windows or doors;
(7) 
Deterioration of any feature so as to create a hazardous and unsafe condition, which may result in a claim that demolition, in whole or in part, is necessary to protect the public safety;
(8) 
Deterioration of appearance, which has resulted in a worn, shabby or dilapidated facade or overgrown site.
B. 
An owner or person with an interest in any building or structure within the Central Business A and Central Business B Zoning Districts who causes, permits and/or allows the same to fall into a serious state of disrepair shall be in violation of this section and shall be required to restore the open space, place, improvement, building or structure to its appearance prior to the violation.

§ 14-7 Relief based upon hardship.

A. 
The Board of Architectural and Historic Review must consider the hardship to a property owner in making all determinations under this article, including but not limited to imposing the historic review requirement; denying in whole or in part a request to demolish or make alterations to a structure subject to historic review; and revoking or modifying a prior determination made by the Board under this article. The Board must conduct a public hearing on notice as provided for in § 14-8 on all requests for relief based upon hardship. A separate public hearing on a request for this relief does not have to be held if this request is considered at a duly noticed public hearing regarding the subject structure.
B. 
With respect to a request to revoke or modify a determination made by the Board under this article, the petitioner shall demonstrate that there has been a substantial change in one or more of the factors set forth in §§ 14-4 and 14-5 and/or that the requirement that the structure undergo historic review under this article has created an unreasonable hardship as set forth in § 14-8. Revocation and/or modification of a determination, in whole or in part, shall be reserved for rare instances where change, not attributable to any deliberate conduct on the part of the owner or purchaser, has made continued historic review inconsistent with the purposes of this article and has worked an unreasonable hardship upon such owner or purchaser.
C. 
A property owner may claim hardship to oppose a finding that historic review under this article is required for one or more of the structures on a property. A property owner may also claim hardship with respect to a request to demolish or make alterations to any structures on property located within the Central Business A or Central Business B Zoning Districts. The hardship claim can be made regarding an entire application or with respect to specific features of a proposal to alter the premises. The burden is upon the property owner to establish the existence of hardship by providing evidence of the following to the satisfaction of the Board of Architectural and Historic Review:
(1) 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether the return represents the most profitable return possible. The property owner shall provide dollars and cents proof to demonstrate that the claim of hardship is well founded; and
(2) 
The property cannot be adapted for any other use permitted by the Zoning Ordinance in the zoning district in which the property is located, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, which would result in a reasonable return; and
(3) 
Good-faith efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring and preserving the property and its structure(s) have failed.

§ 14-8 Applications; procedure.

A. 
A written request as required under this article, including for a determination of whether historic review is required, for a permit to demolish or make alterations to a structure or property subject to historic review, to revoke or modify any prior determinations made by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review under this article, and/or for relief based upon hardship, shall be filed in the office of the Village Clerk. Ten copies of each of the following shall be filed: the written request; the current deed to the property; all rental agreements concerning the property in effect within three years prior to the application date; a survey with all existing structures on the property certified by a licensed surveyor; and, with respect to proposed renovations: architectural plans; schedule of proposed materials and colors; color rendering; samples of materials; photographs of existing structures and site; photographs of properties and structures located within 500 feet of the subject; and such other reports and information as is specifically relevant to the application, together with any other items as the Board may require. The Village Clerk shall retain one copy and shall forthwith forward all other copies to the Board of Architectural and Historic Review, which shall schedule a public hearing to be held within 45 days of receipt of a completed application and thereafter issue a determination in compliance with the relevant requirements of this article. The property owner shall have the right to present evidence in support of the request.
B. 
Notice of any public hearing required under this article shall be published in the issue of the official newspaper of the Village preceding the date of such hearing. The cost of said publication shall be borne by the applicant, which shall be paid in full prior to publication in accordance with the procedures set forth in Northport Code § 147-4. The failure to pay the required fee shall toll the time period for the scheduling of the public hearing. Applicants shall serve, personally or by mail, a written notice, setting forth the nature and substance of the application and the time and place of the hearing at which the application shall be heard by the Board, upon all owners of property shown on the current assessment rolls of the Village of Northport any part of which is located within 500 feet of the structure to which the application relates. A second distribution of said notice shall be addressed to "Occupants" of said properties. Such notice shall be served by mail not less than 10 days or by personal service not less than seven days prior to the date of the hearing, and proof of proper service, in affidavit form, shall be submitted to the Board by the applicant at or prior to the hearing. The subject property shall be posted with a notice of the public hearing within five days of the public hearing.
C. 
Within 60 days of a filing of a determination of the Board of Architectural and Historic Review made pursuant to this article, an aggrieved party may file a written appeal to the Board of Trustees by filing same with the Village Clerk. This appeal is limited to the record made before the Board of Architectural and Historic Review. No new evidence shall be permitted to be submitted to or considered by the Board of Trustees, which may affirm or remand the determination to the Board of Architectural and Historic Review to reconsider based upon the written determination of the Board of Trustees. This appeal shall be by submission only, except that an aggrieved party may request permission to make an oral argument to the Board of Trustees, which has discretion to grant or deny this request, which request shall be made in writing at the time of the filing of the appeal. All written submissions to the Board of Trustees must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of filing of the determination of the Board of Architectural and Historic Review appealed from. Upon filing of a written determination by the Board of Trustees which affirms the determination appealed from, an aggrieved party may commence an Article 78 proceeding in accordance with the Civil Practice Law and Rules. In the event the Board of Trustees remands the determination, then the aggrieved party must exhaust administrative remedies and appeals prior to commencement of an Article 78 proceeding.
D. 
In recognition of the separate jurisdictions of the Board of Architectural and Historic Review, the Planning Board and the Board of Zoning Appeals, as defined by state and local law, a determination by one of these boards to grant or approve an application may not be considered as evidence in support of an application regarding the same premises and same project to any other board.
E. 
Where a proposed erection, demolition or alteration requires approvals from more than one board, the applicant shall first obtain approval from the Board of Architectural and Historic Review and may thereafter apply for appropriate relief to the Board of Zoning Appeals and/or Planning Board.

§ 14-9 Partial tax exemption for altered and rehabilitated historic real property.

A. 
Pursuant to § 444-a of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Northport, after due consideration, has provided for a partial real property tax exemption for qualified alterations and rehabilitation of certain historic real property not to exceed the amounts specified therein.
B. 
No exemption shall be granted for such alterations or rehabilitation unless:
(1) 
Such property has been found to be subject to historic review by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review;
(2) 
Alterations or rehabilitation must be made for means of historic preservation;
(3) 
Such alterations or rehabilitation of historic property are approved by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review prior to commencement of work;
(4) 
The alterations or rehabilitation must otherwise result in an increase in the assessed valuation of the real property; and
(5) 
Alterations or rehabilitation are commenced subsequent to the effective date of this article.
C. 
Such historic property shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of any increase in value attributable to such alteration or rehabilitation pursuant to the following schedule:
Year of Exemption
Percent of Exemption
1
100%
2
100%
3
100%
4
100%
5
100%
6
80%
7
60%
8
40%
9
20%
10
0%
D. 
Application for exemption; approval.
(1) 
The exemption may be granted only upon application of the owner or owners of such historic real property on a form prescribed by the New York State Office of Real Property Services, or any successor agency.
(2) 
The application must be filed with the Assessor on or before the appropriate taxable status date.
(3) 
The exemption shall be granted where the Assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an exemption pursuant to this section.
E. 
All of the terms, conditions and exceptions as set forth in § 444-a of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York, as amended, are adopted herein unless otherwise specified, as though fully set forth within this article.

§ 14-10 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
No person, firm or corporation, including but not limited to owner(s), occupant(s), contractor(s) or agents, employees or representatives of same, shall demolish, construct, reconstruct or alter any building or structure within the Central Business A and Central Business B Zoning Districts of the Village of Northport if the demolition or building permit application for such work has been referred to the Board of Architectural and Historic Review for its approval unless and until said Board has approved such application and a building permit has been issued by the Code Compliance Director and all other legal requirements have been satisfied.
B. 
All work performed pursuant to a permit issued under this article shall conform to any requirements included therein. It shall be the duty of the Building Code Enforcement Officer(s) to inspect periodically any such work to assure compliance. In the event work is found that is not being performed in accordance with the permit, the Building Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a stop-work order and all work shall immediately cease. No further work shall be undertaken in the project so long as a stop-work order is in effect.
C. 
Each violation of this article shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, 15 days' imprisonment, or both, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues. In addition to such fine, the violator shall pay all costs and expenses incurred by the Village in proving such violation.
D. 
The Building Inspector or any other enforcement officer of the Village of Northport may place a stop-work order on any violation discovered during the demolition, construction/building process. The Building Inspector or any other enforcement officer of the Village may at any time refuse to issue, or revoke, a certificate of occupancy for the building or other improvements constructed or being constructed on the site in violation of this article until the applicant or other responsible person has taken the remedial measures set forth in the notice of violation or has otherwise cured the violations described therein.

§ 14-11 Civil remedy.

The owner of the property and any person who demolishes, alters, constructs, or permits a property subject to this article to fall into a serious state of disrepair in violation of this article shall be required to restore the property and its site to its appearance prior to the violation, if directed to do so by the Board of Trustees, which shall make such determination at a public hearing where substantial evidence establishes that a violation as described herein occurred. Ten days' notice of the public hearing shall be made by written notice to the property owner and occupant and by publication in the official newspaper of the Village. Any action to enforce this subsection shall be brought by the Village Attorney. The Village shall be entitled to recover the costs of such civil action, including reasonable attorney's fees, if it prevails in such action by settlement or court determination. This civil remedy shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any criminal prosecution and penalty.

§ 14-12 Fees.

All applications to the Board shall be accompanied by a fee as established by the Village Board and set forth from time to time by resolution in Chapter 147, Fees. The Board shall assess fees to the applicant in compliance with § 147-4.

§ 14-13 Supersession of inconsistent code provisions.

The provisions of this article shall supersede any inconsistent Code provisions with respect to the subject matter hereof.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 14-14, Sunset provision, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 6-2-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009.