City of Schenectady, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
In accordance with § 27-a of New York General City Law, the Planning Commission is authorized to review, approve, approve with modification or disapprove all site plans for uses as required by § 264-90 of this article. It is the purpose of this article to provide a means for the City review of the following elements:
A. 
Adequacy and arrangement of vehicular traffic access and circulation, including intersections, road widths, pavement surfaces, dividers and traffic controls.
B. 
Adequacy and arrangement of pedestrian traffic access and circulation, walkway structures, control of intersections with vehicular traffic and overall pedestrian convenience.
C. 
Location, arrangement, appearance and sufficiency of off-street parking and loading.
D. 
Location, arrangement, size, design and general site compatibility of buildings, lighting and signs.
E. 
Adequacy of stormwater and drainage facilities.
F. 
Adequacy of water supply and sewage disposal facilities.
G. 
Adequacy, type and arrangement of trees, shrubs and other landscaping constituting a visual and/or noise buffer between the applicant's and adjoining lands, including the maximum retention of existing vegetation.
H. 
In the case of an apartment complex or other multiple dwelling, the adequacy of usable common property or open space for play areas and informal recreation.
I. 
Protection of adjacent or neighboring properties against noise, glare, unsightliness or other objectionable features.
J. 
Adequacy of fire lanes and other emergency zones and the provision of fire hydrants.
K. 
Special attention to the adequacy of structures, roadways and landscaping in areas with susceptibility to ponding, flooding and/or erosion.
L. 
Conformance of the site plan with district bulk and design requirements, together with all other applicable provisions of this chapter.
M. 
Conformance of the site design with the purposes and intent of this chapter and the City subdivision regulations.
[Amended 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15; 11-12-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-28]
Site plan review and authorization in accordance with this article shall be required for one or more of the following uses:
A. 
Any development or substantial improvement for the establishment or expansion of a nonresidential principal use in any residential district.
B. 
Any development or redevelopment which results in the creation or addition of 10 or more parking spaces.
C. 
The conversion of any public or private school or other educational institution, library or religious institution facility to another use.
D. 
The conversion of any gas station or drive-in establishment to another use.
E. 
Any planned development zoning amendment and plan tentatively approved by City Council.
F. 
Any multiple-family development containing three or more dwelling units, or conversion or redevelopment creating three or more additional dwelling units.
G. 
Any new development, redevelopment or expansion in the bulk or cubic content of a building or structure which is used, designed or intended for a nonresidential principal use and which is wholly or partially located on a lot abutting any other lot located in a residential district.
H. 
Any development of a self-service storage warehouse on a site larger than one acre or within 100 feet of a residential district.
I. 
Any new construction or expansion of a nonresidential use which results in an addition of 1,000 square feet to the building footprint or increases the building footprint by more than 25%.
J. 
Any new construction, expansion, or renovation of a business which sells fuel for motor vehicles, is a motor vehicle or auto body repair establishment or is a convenience grocery store.
K. 
Any new establishment or expansion of a motor vehicle sales business.
L. 
Any change in tenancy for a nonresidential structure which is larger than 10,000 square feet.
M. 
Any change in tenancy of a building or structure which is used, designed, or intended for a nonresidential use, except where said building or structure of the same intended use has been granted site plan approval within the past 24 months.
(1) 
Exemptions: changes in tenancy.
(a) 
With respect to existing sites where a change of tenant is being proposed and where the applicant meets certain conditions, an application for exemption can be submitted to the Department of Development. The conditions for obtaining an exemption are:
[1] 
The new tenant and property are in compliance with the existing approved site plan for the property.
[2] 
The new tenant and property are in compliance with City Zoning Ordinance and Building Code.
(b) 
Any applicant requesting an exemption from the provisions of § 264-90M of this chapter must obtain a written verification of exemption from the Zoning Officer prior to obtaining any City permit.
(c) 
To obtain an exemption, the applicant must submit to the Zoning Officer a letter requesting a waiver from change in tenancy review, including a written description of the proposed tenant's operation, including the layout and floor area of the premises to be occupied, number of employees, hours of operation, proposed signage and number of parking spaces anticipated to be needed. The Zoning Officer will make a determination of exemption based on the submission and existing conditions of the property.
(d) 
Approved exemption shall be until the next tenancy change.
Applications for site plan approval shall be submitted in 18 duplicate copies. An application fee and required information shall accompany every application. Unless expressly excused in writing by the Zoning Officer, each application shall contain at least the following information:
A. 
The applicant's name and address and his interest in the subject property.
B. 
The owner's name and address, if different from the applicant, and the owner's signed consent to the filing of the application.
C. 
The street address or legal description of the property.
D. 
The zoning classification and present use of the subject property.
E. 
The proposed use or uses and a general description of the proposed development.
F. 
A site plan drawn to a scale of not less than 50 feet to the inch on one or more sheets, illustrating the proposed development and use and including the following:
(1) 
The boundary lines and dimensions of the subject property; existing subdivision lots; available utilities; and easements, roadways, railroads, rail lines and public rights-of-way crossing and adjacent to the subject property.
(2) 
Any proposed regrading of the subject property and any significant natural, topographical or physical features of the property, including, at least, watercourses, marshes, trees in excess of six inches in diameter and existing contours in excess of four feet in 100 feet.
(3) 
The location, size, use and arrangement (including height in stories and feet, floor area ratio, total floor area, total square feet of ground area coverage and number and size of dwelling units by number of bedrooms) of proposed buildings and existing buildings which will remain, if any.
(4) 
Minimum yard dimensions and, where relevant, relation of yard dimensions to the height of any building or structure.
(5) 
Location, dimensions and number of all vehicular and pedestrian circulation elements, including streets and roadways, driveways, entrances, curbs, curb cuts, parking spaces, loading spaces and access aisles, sidewalks, walkways and pathways.
(6) 
All existing and proposed surface and subsurface drainage facilities.
(7) 
Location, size and arrangement of all outdoor signs and lighting.
(8) 
Proposed landscaping, including the type, location and quantity of all plant materials, location and height of fences or screen plantings and the type or kind of building materials or plantings to be used for fencing or screening.
(9) 
Location, designation and total area of all usable open space or common property and the extent to which it is to be improved.
(10) 
In the case of any use requiring a special permit pursuant to Article XIV of this chapter, any information necessary to demonstrate compliance with all conditions imposed on the proposed special use permit by this chapter.
G. 
Such other and further information or documentation as the Zoning Officer and/or Planning Commission may deem to be necessary and appropriate to a full and proper consideration and disposition of the particular application.
A. 
Review of site plan applications shall be governed by § 27-a of New York State General City Law.
B. 
Factors for review. The Planning Commission's review of the site plan application shall be guided by the elements listed in § 264-89 of this article.
No site plan approval shall be valid for a period longer than one year from the date of issue unless:
A. 
A building permit is issued and construction is actually begun within that period and is thereafter diligently pursued to completion;
B. 
An occupancy permit is obtained and a use commenced within that period; or
C. 
An additional one-year extension of site plan approval has been requested in writing and granted by the Planning Commission within one year of original issuance in its discretion and upon such further conditions as it may find appropriate at that time.
A. 
Prior to the issue of building permits or zoning certification, the applicant may be required to post performance bond(s) pursuant to and in accordance with the same procedures as provided for in § 33 of New York General City Law, in sufficient amounts and duration to assure that all street or other public places shown on the site plan shall be suitably graded and paved and that street signs, sidewalks, streetlighting standards, curbs, gutters, street trees, water mains, fire alarm signal devices, including necessary ducts and cables or other connecting facilities, sanitary sewers and storm drains shall all be installed in accordance with standards, specifications and procedure acceptable to the appropriate City departments.
B. 
Alternatively, such improvements may be installed by the applicant in accordance with standards, specifications and procedures acceptable to the appropriate City departments.
Whenever the particular circumstances of a proposed development or redevelopment require compliance with either the zoning amendment review procedures or the requirements of the City Land Subdivision Code, the Planning Commission may integrate, as appropriate, site plan review as required by this article with the procedural and submission requirements for such other compliance.