[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton 5-8-2001 by L.L. No. 19-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board adopted Local Law No. 3 of 2000 that created a moratorium on subdivisions that began on April 5, 2000, and lasted a period of six months. Then that local law expired and the Town Board then extended the moratorium for an additional 120 days as stated in Local Law No. 14 of 2000. This second moratorium law expired on February 7, 2001 without any proposed Code amendments concerning subdivisions being adopted by the Town Board. Before this moratorium expired, there had been several hearings in December 2000 concerning draft Code amendments and a related draft environmental impact statement on the subdivision of land.
Currently the Town Board is still revising the draft law, and it is anticipated that a sixty-day moratorium on subdivisions of land within the Agricultural Overlay District will enable the Town Board to hold additional public hearings on the final legislation and complete the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process.
Also, it should be noted that by Resolution No. 0328, dated March 12, 1999, the Town Board adopted the 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update (the "plan"). The plan identifies and recommends a number of significant land use and zoning strategies focused on preservation of community character. In particular, a substantial number of strategies focus upon Code amendments related to the Planning Board's review of subdivisions. For example, the plan recommends revisions to the Code in years one through two to streamline the subdivision review process; clarify the assessment of parkland or parks fees; modify the planned residential development (clustering) requirements, including increasing the minimum open space percentages; and encourage greater farmland and open space preservation and use of TDRs.
The Strategic and Capital Improvement Plan portion of the plan establishes a one- to two-year timetable for the adoption of the recommended Code amendments. Although the Town Board has adopted many of the recommended Code amendments since March 1999, the Town Board now wishes to focus upon those recommendations specific to subdivision review. The plan's recommendations will undoubtedly affect the layout and design of several of the pending and yet-to-be-filed subdivision applications. Given the current level of development activity, the Town Board's consideration of amendments to implement the plan's recommendations will put the Planning Board at the forefront of a "race of diligence" by those applicants seeking to establish nonconforming subdivision designs prior to the adoption of such amendments. Accordingly, it is the Town Board's intent to impose a limited sixty-day moratorium on the acceptance of new subdivision applications of land within the Agricultural Overlay District and the review, processing and approval of certain pending subdivision applications within the Agricultural Overlay District to permit the preparation and adoption of the plan's recommended text amendments pertaining to subdivision review and design. In particular, the amendments will propose to address:
The planned residential development (clustering) requirements, including increasing flexibility in permitted land uses (i.e., carriage houses and zero-lot lines) and increasing the minimum open space percentages.
Encouraging greater farmland and open space preservation through open space and density incentives and the use of TDRs.
Other subdivision-related recommendations of the plan.
This moratorium is intended to apply to residentially zoned lands within the Agricultural Overlay District and will exclude certain applications that are consistent with the plan's recommendations. The moratorium also permits a landowner to apply for an exemption, which can be granted by the Town Board under certain circumstances.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law and the State Environmental Quality Review Act and its implementing regulations and expressly supersedes any provisions of Chapters 247, 292 and 330 of the Town Code of the Town of Southampton and § 276 of the Town Law of the State of New York. In particular, this chapter shall supersede those provisions of the Town Code and New York State law which requires the Planning Board to accept, process and approve subdivision applications within certain statutory time periods.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all lands within the Town of Southampton within the Agricultural Overlay District, outside of the incorporated villages, zoned CR-200, CR-120, CR-80, CR-60, CR-40, R-120, R-80, R-60, R-40 and R-20.
The Planning Board of the Town of Southampton shall not accept as complete any new applications for subdivisions, nor shall it continue to process or approve any application for subdivision during the period set forth in § 303-5.
This chapter shall apply for a period of 60 days from the effective date hereof. This chapter shall expire after said sixty-day period unless and until this time period is extended by the Town Board after adoption of a subsequent local law.
The following applications are excluded from this chapter:
Subdivision applications deemed by the Planning Board to be a transfer of property or resubdivision as defined in § 292-3 of the Subdivision Regulations;
Subdivision applications involved in a conservation opportunity plan within the Agricultural Overlay District that protects a minimum of 80% of the parcel and reduces the overall density by 50% in accordance with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan Update.
A subdivision application of a parcel consisting of 10 acres or less and the parcel is being subdivided into four lots or less where none of the lots can be further subdivided.
Subdivision applications that have received final conditional approval from the Planning Board prior to the effective date of this chapter.
Subdivision applications modifying the map or its conditions of approval, including legal instruments, in connection with a previously filed map or final conditional approval adopted prior to the effective date of this chapter.
Subdivision applications where a portion of the property is being preserved through acquisition and/or donation to the state, county or Town open space programs which is subject to approval by the Town Board.
Subdivision applications that previously received exemptions pursuant to § 302-6(B) of the Town Code.
Applications may be exempted from the provisions of this chapter, following a public hearing on notice before the Town Board. Upon such application, the Town Board shall consider:
The size of the subject parcel.
The presence and the proximity of the applicant's premises to natural resources, including prime agricultural soils, pine barrens, wetlands, endangered plant and animal species, wildlife and other similar environmental concerns.
The impact of the proposed subdivision on the applicant's premises and the surrounding neighborhood.
The environmental significance, if any, of the applicant's parcel and the proposed development's impact upon the environment, including existing transportation resources.
Compatibility of the proposed development with the aesthetic resources of the community or with the existing community or neighborhood character.
Compatibility of the proposed development with the recommendations of duly adopted planning studies, including the 1992 Special Groundwater Protection Plan and the 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update.
In making a determination under Subsection B(1), the Town Board shall obtain and consider written reports from the Planning Board and the Department of Land Management and such other sources as required in the discretion of the Town Board and consistent with the purpose of this chapter. A grant of an exemption to an applicant's subdivision application shall include a determination of unnecessary hardship and unique circumstances which do not generally apply throughout the study area set forth in § 303-3 and a finding that the grant of an exemption will be in harmony with and will be consistent with the recommendations of the 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update.
An application under Subsection B(1) shall be accompanied by a fee of $250, together with the applicant's written undertaking, in a form to be approved by the Town Attorney and, in substance, approved by the Town Board, to pay either in advance or by reimbursement, at the Town Board's on-going election, any out-of-pocket costs incurred by the Town in studies and/or by retainer of resource personnel and related to the hearing, review and determination of such application.