Town of Bethel, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Whenever any subdivision of land is proposed and before any contract for the sale or lease of or any offer to sell or lease any lots in such subdivision or any part thereof is made and before any permit for the erection of any structure in such proposed subdivision shall be granted, the subdivider or his duly authorized agent shall apply for and secure approval of such proposed subdivision in accordance with the plan submission and review requirements outlined in this chapter.
The property owner or his duly authorized representative shall initially schedule an appointment with the Town Building Department to informally discuss the proposed subdivision and become familiar with the requirements of this chapter, Chapter 345, Zoning, of the Code of the Town, and other laws, ordinances, rules, regulations or policies of the Town, county and state that may be pertinent to the proposed subdivision. Discussion at the preapplication conference shall include review of both procedural and submission requirements and the technical application of the standards provided within this chapter as related to lot layout and required improvements. Finally, the Town Building Department shall classify the proposed action as either a lot improvement, natural subdivision, minor subdivision or major subdivision at the conclusion of the preapplication conference.
Following the preapplication conference, the applicant shall submit a Town of Bethel subdivision application form along with applicable fees.
A. 
Application. The application shall contain the following:
(1) 
Name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
Name, address and authorization letter from the landowner (if different).
(3) 
Name and address of the surveyor or engineer preparing the plan.
(4) 
Copy of the most current deed for the subject property.
(5) 
Tax map number and street address of the subject premises.
(6) 
Names of owners of abutting properties.
(7) 
Such other pertinent information as may be required on a checklist to be developed and adopted by the Planning Board and updated from time to time by resolution.
(8) 
Signature of the applicant.
B. 
Applicable fees. In accordance with the provisions of § 300-18, the applicant shall pay to the Planning Board Secretary the following:
(1) 
Application fee.
(2) 
Estimate of professional comment fees, if any.
(3) 
Initial escrow deposit required, if any.
(4) 
Final inspection fees, if any.
At the preapplication conference and review, the Town Code Enforcement Officer may determine that the proposed action qualifies as a "lot improvement" or "natural subdivision." In this case, the Town Code Enforcement Officer shall use the following procedures instead of those set forth in § 300-14:
A. 
Lot improvements.
(1) 
Lot improvement exemption. Lot improvements, wherein a parcel of land is added to an existing lot for the purpose of increasing the size of the existing lot or a number of small lots are resubdivided or reallotted so as to make a lesser number of larger lots, shall be exempt from the review procedures established in this chapter, provided that:
(a) 
Any lot which would be reduced in size shall comply in all respects with the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 345, Zoning, of the Town Code; and
(b) 
Three copies of the proposed plan are submitted to the Town Code Enforcement Officer.
(2) 
Recording approval. The Town Code Enforcement Officer shall, within 30 days of the receipt of the lot improvement plans, determine whether they comply with the exemption criteria of Subsection A(1). After the Town Code Enforcement Officer shall have determined that the conditions for a lot improvement exemption have been met, he shall sign the plan with the following notation: "Approval is granted for recording purposes only in accordance with § 300-13A of the Town of Bethel Subdivision of Land Law." Should the Town Code Enforcement Officer fail to act in the time provided or determine that the proposal fails to qualify for the lot improvement exemption, such plan shall be deemed to not meet the exemption criteria and shall be forwarded by the Town Code Enforcement Officer to the Planning Board for review as a subdivision in accordance with § 300-14.
(3) 
Plan requirements; fees. Plans submitted as lot improvements shall meet the plan requirements for sketch plans set forth in § 300-14A and shall be subject to the same schedule of fees as minor subdivisions.
B. 
Natural subdivisions.
(1) 
Natural subdivision exemption. Natural subdivisions, wherein parcels of land are separated by a public road or by a private road depicted on a subdivision plan approved on or after January 1, 2008, shall be exempt from the review procedures established in this chapter, provided that three copies of a proposed natural subdivision plan are submitted to the Town Code Enforcement Officer.
(2) 
Recording approval. The Town Code Enforcement Officer shall, within 30 days of the receipt of the natural subdivision plans, determine whether they comply with the exemption criteria of this Subsection B. After the Town Code Enforcement Officer shall have determined that the conditions for a natural subdivision exist, he shall sign the plan with the following notation: "Approval is granted for recording purposes only in accordance with § 300-13B of the Town of Bethel Subdivision of Land Law." Should the Town Code Enforcement Officer fail to act in the time provided or determine that the proposal fails to qualify for the natural subdivision exemption, such plan shall be deemed to not meet the exemption criteria and shall be forwarded by the Town Code Enforcement Officer to the Planning Board for review as a subdivision.
(3) 
Plan requirements; fees. Plans submitted as natural subdivisions shall meet the plan requirements for sketch plans set forth in § 300-14A and shall be subject to the same schedule of fees as minor subdivisions.
Applications for minor and major subdivisions shall require sketch plan approval. Preliminary plan approval shall only be required for major subdivisions since they require the installation of land improvements before final approvals.
A. 
Sketch plan.
(1) 
Submission of sketch plan. The property owner or his duly authorized representative shall submit to the Town Building Department a sketch plan showing existing site features, USGS topography and a tentative layout of the proposed subdivision for purposes of classification and preliminary discussion. A metes and bounds description of lots shall not be required for a sketch plan.
(2) 
Study of sketch plan. The Planning Board shall determine whether the sketch plan meets the objectives of this chapter and shall, where it deems necessary, make, in writing, specific recommendations to be incorporated by the applicant in the next submission to the Planning Board. In its review, the Planning Board may schedule a field visit to the site. To facilitate the inspection of the site, the subdivider shall have the corners of the property, proposed lot corners and the center line of any proposed streets marked by temporary stakes. The subdivider and/or his representatives may be requested to accompany the Planning Board during its site visit.
(3) 
Lot yield determination. The Planning Board shall use the sketch plan to determine the maximum number of dwellings or lots permitted under the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 345, Zoning, of the Code of the Town.
(4) 
SEQRA. The Planning Board shall classify the proposed action under the requirements of SEQRA, make a designation of lead agency status, notify (if necessary) other involved/concerned agencies and, finally, make a declaration as to potential environmental impact, following the procedures and time of SEQRA regulations as contained in the New York State Environmental Conservation Law.
(5) 
Decision. The Planning Board may request that the applicant modify the proposed sketch plan or it may grant sketch plan approval to allow the application to proceed to preliminary plan approval (major subdivisions only) or final plan approval (minor subdivisions).
B. 
Preliminary plan (for major subdivisions only).
(1) 
Preliminary plan application. After receipt of sketch plan approval, the applicant shall submit a preliminary plan based upon the concepts presented in the sketch plan for the Planning Board's review in accordance with § 300-15B.
(2) 
Review of the preliminary plan layout. The Planning Board shall study this layout for completeness and adequacy under the requirements of this chapter.
(3) 
Applicant to attend Planning Board meeting. The applicant or his authorized agent shall be prepared to attend a regular meeting of the Planning Board to discuss the preliminary plan layout and the Planning Board's tentative conclusions on its completeness, adequacy and suitability under this chapter.
(4) 
Public hearing and notice. When the preliminary layout is found to be acceptable and complete for further review, the Planning Board shall deem the submissions to constitute a proposed preliminary plan, filed as of that date, and shall schedule and hold a public hearing on the preliminary plan in accordance with § 276 of the Town Law, advertising such hearing at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least five days prior to the hearing and providing such other notice as it deems appropriate. All costs associated with providing such notice shall be borne by the subdivider. This same public hearing may serve as the required public hearing on SEQRA. The following additional notices shall be required, if applicable:
(a) 
Notice to property owners. Notices of public hearing(s) shall be provided to all adjacent property owners as identified in the latest tax assessment records of the Town, including those for properties on the opposite side of any public or private street. Such notice shall be given by the Town Building Department, using certified mail, at least five calendar days in advance of such hearing. The applicant shall provide preaddressed, stamped envelopes.
(b) 
Neighboring municipality notification. Notice shall, as required by § 239-nn of the General Municipal Law, be given to an adjacent municipality (town or village) whenever a public hearing is held by the Town Planning Board regarding a subdivision review and approval on property that is within 500 feet of such adjacent municipality. Such notice shall be given by mail to the clerk of the adjacent municipality at least 10 days prior to any such hearing. Such adjacent municipality may appear and be heard.
(5) 
County review. Applications for preliminary approval shall, where the county has assumed such review authority, be subject to referral to the county pursuant to §§ 239-f and 239-n of the General Municipal Law, and to adjoining municipalities pursuant to § 239-nn of said law.
(6) 
Action on preliminary plan. The Planning Board shall, by resolution, conditionally approve with or without modification, disapprove or grant final approval and authorize signing of the preliminary plan within the time limits specified in § 276 of the Town Law, provided that it has first acted upon the SEQRA environmental assessment form. The grounds for action shall be stated upon the record of the Planning Board.
(7) 
Preliminary plan certification. Within five business days of the approval of any preliminary plan, such plan shall be certified by the Secretary as approved and a copy of the plan and approval resolution shall be filed in the Secretary's office with a copy of the resolution provided to the subdivider and also filed in the office of the Town Clerk. Disapproval resolutions shall be filed and mailed in the same manner. The grounds for modification, if any, or the grounds for disapproval shall be stated upon the records of the Planning Board. When so approving a preliminary plan the Planning Board shall state in writing any modifications it deems necessary for submission of the final plan.
(8) 
Time to submit final plan. The subdivider, within six months of the approval of the preliminary plan, shall submit the plan in final form as provided herein. Preliminary plan approval shall expire if a final plan is not submitted within six months; provided, however, that the Planning Board may extend such period if, in its opinion, the circumstances warrant an extension for up to two three-month periods beyond the initial six months. The Planning Board may permit any subdivision that received preliminary plan approval to be submitted in sections for final plan approval. However, phasing plans may be required.
C. 
Final plan.
(1) 
Final plan application. After receipt of sketch plan approval (minor subdivision) or preliminary plan approval (major subdivision), the applicant shall submit a final plan and required supplementary data for the proposed subdivision as outlined in § 300-15C.
(2) 
Applicant to attend Planning Board meeting. The applicant or his authorized agent shall be prepared to attend a regular meeting of the Planning Board to discuss the final plan application and the Board's tentative conclusions on its completeness, adequacy and suitability under this chapter.
(3) 
Public hearing and notice. Following receipt of a complete final plan by the Secretary of the Planning Board, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing on the final plan in accordance with § 276 of the Town Law, advertising such hearing at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least five days prior to the hearing and providing such other notice as it deems appropriate. All costs associated with providing such notice shall be borne by the subdivider. This same public hearing may serve as the required public hearing on SEQRA.
(a) 
Notice to property owners. Notices of public hearing(s) shall be provided to all adjacent property owners as identified in the latest tax assessment records of the Town, including those for properties on the opposite side of any public or private street. Such notice shall be given by the Town Building Department, using certified mail, at least five calendar days in advance of such hearing. The applicant shall provide preaddressed, stamped envelopes for this purpose.
(b) 
Neighboring municipality notification. Notice shall, as required by § 239-nn of the General Municipal Law, be given to an adjacent municipality (town or village) whenever a public hearing is held by the Town Planning Board regarding a subdivision review and approval on property that is within 500 feet of such adjacent municipality. Such notice shall be given by mail to the clerk of the adjacent municipality at least 10 days prior to any such hearing. Such adjacent municipality may appear and be heard.
(4) 
Action on final plan. The Planning Board shall, by resolution, conditionally approve with or without modification, disapprove or grant final approval and authorize signing of such plan within the time limits specified in § 276 of the Town Law.
A. 
Sketch plan.
(1) 
Map. Sketch plans shall be on a survey map drawn to scale, with a scale not smaller than one inch equaling 200 feet. For properties that are less than 10 acres, the scale should be at one inch equaling 100 feet or greater.
(2) 
Plan requirements. Sketch plans shall contain the following:
(a) 
A map showing subdivision boundaries.
(b) 
A title, scale, the date prepared, name of preparer, North arrow, name of property owner and subdivider and location map. The location map shall not be to a scale smaller than one inch equaling 2,000 feet.
(c) 
The location of existing property lines, easements, structures, utilities, water bodies, wetlands or other relevant natural or man-made features, and width and location of streets, easements or rights-of-way, along with locations of any proposed new features or modifications to existing features.
(d) 
Existing drainage features such as culverts, ditches or swales, along with any proposed new drainage features.
(e) 
For proposed lot improvements, survey showing the original lot line as "lot line to be deleted" and the proposed lot line as "new lot line."
(f) 
For natural, minor and major subdivisions, the number of lots proposed, dimensions of such lots and appropriate acreage.
B. 
Preliminary plan. The preliminary plan shall be based on the concepts presented in the sketch plan and contain the following information:
(1) 
Location map. A key map for the purpose of locating the site to be subdivided at a scale of not less than 2,000 feet to one inch, showing the relation of the property to adjoining property and to all streets, roads and municipal boundaries existing within 4,000 feet or any part of the property proposed to be subdivided. USGS quadrangle maps may suffice as a basis for the key map.
(2) 
Plan. Plan drawn to a scale containing the proposed name of subdivision; location by Town, county and state; North arrow; scale; map date and date(s) of any revisions to the map; name, license number, original seal and signature of licensed professional surveyor or engineer who prepared the map; and name of property owner/subdivider.
(3) 
Plan scale. The scale shall not be greater than one inch equaling 100 feet with a sheet size that is not less than 24 inches by 36 inches or greater than 36 inches by 48 inches showing the boundary of the entire tract and total acreage on one sheet, when possible.
(4) 
Affected properties. Tax map numbers for affected and adjacent parcels, denoting lines indicating where they intersect, along with the names of all abutting property owners.
(5) 
Topography. Existing contours at intervals of at least every five feet. USGS maps may suffice for the basis of this item. The Planning Board shall have the right to request greater detail when the nature of the development demands the same.
(6) 
Zoning compliance. All applicable zoning data for each lot contained in a zoning compliance table.
(7) 
Environmental constraints. Environmental features including Soil Conservation Service Classification soil types found on the site (unless the lots contain existing sewage systems), water bodies, one-hundred-year floodplains, federal and state wetlands and slopes over 20% grade.
(8) 
Utilities and easements. The location of existing and proposed utilities, sanitary sewers, public water mains and storm sewers with direction of flow, along with the location and description of all easements such as electric transmission lines or rights-of-way.
(9) 
Lot layout. The proposed layout, numbering, approximate dimensions, setback envelope and acreage of lots, along with tentative sites for houses, driveways, on-site sewage systems and reserve fields.
(10) 
Street layout. Proposed layout of streets, alleys and other public rights-of-way, including widths and proposed names that shall not duplicate existing names by spelling or pronunciation. The street proposals shall be accompanied by a submission of plans as required by Chapter 294, Streets and Sidewalks, of the Code of the Town, including profiles, cross-sections, and preliminary designs for bridges and culverts.
(11) 
Evidence of water supply. In cases where no public water supply is planned as part of the subdivision, the subdivider shall supply acceptable evidence of the availability of other potable water source. This evidence may be in the form of logs from existing wells established by professional well drillers. A hydrogeological study shall be submitted to document the supply and address impacts on aquifers in the case of all subdivisions of 25 lots or more of less than five acres in size.
(12) 
Erosion and sediment control. An erosion and sedimentation control plan indicating those measures to be employed during construction and as may be necessary to prevent loss of soil from erosion and to prevent resulting property damage, siltation and contamination of watercourses or impoundments (see "New York State Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control").
(13) 
Stormwater management. A stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP), prepared in accordance with the specifications of the New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual and New York Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control, shall accompany the preliminary plan.
(14) 
Planning Board checklist. Such other pertinent information as may be required on a checklist to be adopted by the Planning Board and updated from time to time by resolution.
C. 
Final plan. The final plan shall conform in all respects to the sketch plan as approved for a minor subdivision or the preliminary plan as approved by the Planning Board for a major subdivision showing or accompanied by the following:
(1) 
Preliminary plan. All information as required for the preliminary subdivision plan together with all new submissions of preliminary plan data in any instance where there has been a change in the plan or the circumstances surrounding them.
(2) 
Boundaries. The total tract boundary lines of the area being subdivided, with accurate distances to hundredths of a foot and bearings to one minute. These boundaries shall be determined by accurate survey in the field; provided, however, that the boundary(ies) adjoining additional land of the subdivider (for example, between separately submitted final plan sections) are not required to be based upon field survey, and may be calculated. The location of all boundary line (perimeter) monuments shall be indicated, along with a statement of the total area of the property being subdivided. In addition, the licensed professional engineer or surveyor shall certify the placement of the monuments.
(3) 
Lot lines. Lot or parcel lines drawn to scale with dimensions given in feet and hundredths of a foot. Lot areas shall be shown in acres or square feet. The plan shall depict the proposed subdivision as a part of the contiguous holdings of the subdivider, and show adjacent lots already taken from the parcel.
(4) 
Easement legal descriptions. Exact descriptions of all easements being provided for services or utilities in the subdivision, and any limitations placed on the use of such easements.
(5) 
Street locations. Exact locations, widths and names of all streets within the subdivision.
(6) 
Reservations. Accurate outlines of any lots or areas to be reserved or dedicated for common use by residents of the subdivision, or for general public use, with the purpose indicated thereon, including all open space, conservation areas or drainage easements.
(7) 
Offers of dedication. Offers of dedication, in a form satisfactory to the Town Attorney, of any land to be dedicated to the Town for streets, parks, easements or any other public facilities. However, final plan approval and tendering of offers of dedication shall not constitute an acceptance by the Town Board of the proposed dedication.
(8) 
Covenants and restrictions. A final version of all restrictions and covenants, if any, the subdivider intends to place in the deeds to the lots in the subdivision. If no such restrictions or covenants are to be imposed, a statement to that effect shall be included. A final management plan for the homeowners' association ("HOA") shall also be submitted, setting forth all relevant details of its proposed operation, as determined by the Planning Board.
(9) 
On-site wastewater treatment law. Documentation as required by Chapter 257, Article IV, On-Site Individual Wastewater Treatment, of the Code of the Town, if necessary.
(10) 
Engineer certification. The final plan shall contain a certificate signed by the project's licensed professional engineer indicating that all improvements have either been installed and approved by the proper officials or agencies, or that a performance guarantee (§ 300-17) in an amount satisfactory to the Town Engineer and sufficient to ensure their installation has been submitted to the Town.
(11) 
As-built plans. Complete final construction (as-built) plans and profiles of installed on-site sewage systems, with grades and pipe sizes, central water supply systems with pipe sizes and locations off valves and fire hydrants and storm drains.
(12) 
Utilities. Documentation of actual arrangements made with utility companies or agencies for supplying each lot in the subdivision.
(13) 
Approval blocks. Blank approval blocks for the Town Planning Board stamp and signatures shall appear on every sheet of the set of plans.
(14) 
Street encroachment; highway permits. Copies of street encroachment or highway occupancy permits and complete final construction plans, including agreements as may be required to ensure maintenance of private streets.
(15) 
Planning Board checklist. Such other pertinent information as may be required on a checklist to be developed and adopted by the Planning Board and updated from time to time by resolution.
A. 
Time limits on conditional approvals. A conditional approval of a final plan shall expire within 180 days unless all conditions are satisfied and certified as completed. This period may be extended in the amount of time to be determined and as deemed appropriate in the sole discretion of the Planning Board, having evaluated the specific circumstances of the particular project and the current economic climate. No plan shall be signed by a duly authorized officer of the Planning Board until such time as all conditions are documented as satisfied.
[Amended 10-12-2011 by L.L. No. 2-2011[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This local law also stated that it is intended to supersede the provisions of New York Town Law § 276(7)(c), regarding the duration of extensions for final subdivision approvals.
B. 
Certification, filing and signing of final plan. Within five business days of the adoption of the resolution granting conditional or final approval of the final plan, such plan shall be certified by the Secretary of the Planning Board as having been granted conditional or final approval and a copy of such resolution and plan shall be filed in such Secretary's office and with the Town Clerk and shall be mailed to the subdivider. In the case of a conditionally approved plan, such resolution shall include the requirements which, when completed, will authorize the signing thereof. Upon completion of such requirements, the plan shall be signed by a duly authorized officer of the Planning Board and filed with the Secretary.
C. 
Recording of final plans. All final plans shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk in accordance with § 276 of the Town Law.
A. 
Methods to be followed. After approval of the preliminary plan and before final approval or conditional final approval, the subdivider shall provide for the installation of the required improvements (those physical additions and changes which may be necessary to provide usable and desirable lots). Before final plan approval or conditional final approval, the subdivider must:
(1) 
Install all required improvements; or
(2) 
File with the Town Board a performance guarantee to ensure installation and construction of all required improvements. Such performance guarantee shall comply with Subsections B and C of this section as to form and procedure.
B. 
Performance guarantee. This § 300-17 is designed to supersede § 277 of the Town Law.
(1) 
Schedule. The subdivider shall meet with the Town Engineer to develop a schedule so that, at the time each improvement is to be installed and upon its completion, adequate inspections can be made.
(2) 
Posting. The performance guarantee must be provided pursuant to a written security agreement approved by the Town Board and also approved by the Town Attorney as to form and manner of execution and the Town Engineer as to sufficiency, and shall:
(a) 
Be limited to an irrevocable letter of credit or certified check from a bank authorized to do business in the state;
(b) 
Be payable to the Town and if in the form of a certified check be held in an escrow fund in the name of the Town;
(c) 
Be in an amount sufficient to complete the required improvements plus expected cost increases over the period of the performance guarantee; costs shall be assumed to escalate a minimum of 10% per year for purposes of determining the amount of a performance guarantee; and
(d) 
Specify a satisfactory completion date for improvements which shall be not more than six months from the date of the final plan approval, provided that the Town Board may extend such period if, in its opinion, the circumstances warrant an extension for up to two three-month periods beyond the initial six months. Should an extension be granted the amount of the performance guarantee shall be increased as may be required to cover further cost increases as provided in Subsection B(2)(c) above.
C. 
Return. When the improvements have been completed and approved by the Planning Board and Town Engineer or other qualified individual designated by the Town and accepted by the Town Board, the performance guarantee shall be released and returned. When any of the required improvements have been completed and approved or materials for the same have been secured on-site, a portion of the security commensurate with the cost of these improvements may be released and returned at the discretion of the Town Board. Prior to the release of the performance guarantee or certification of any improvements, the subdivider shall pay all inspection and related costs (for professional services, meetings, advertisements and expenses) associated with the improvements or guarantees. These costs will be assessed as a special fee apart from the regular fees provided for in this chapter. Said payment shall be made to the Town.
D. 
Default. In the event that any required improvements have not been installed within the term of such performance guarantee, the Town Board may thereupon declare the performance guarantee to be in default and collect the sum remaining payable thereunder; and upon the receipt of the proceeds thereof, the Town shall install such improvements as are covered by such performance guarantee as are commensurate with the extent of building development that shall taken place in the subdivision. The obligor and surety shall be liable thereon to the Town for the cost of the improvements or parts thereof not installed. If proceeds of such performance guarantee are insufficient to pay the cost of installing or making repairs or corrections to all the improvements covered by said security, the Town Board may, at its option, install part of such improvements in all or part of the subdivision or land development and may institute appropriate legal or equitable action to recover the moneys necessary to complete the remainder of the improvements. All of the proceeds, whether resulting from the security or from any legal or equitable action brought against the subdivider, or both, shall be used solely for the installation of the improvements covered by such security, and not for any other municipal purpose.
E. 
Maintenance. Where improvements are being dedicated to the Town, the subdivider shall comply with the applicable requirements of any other Town ordinances, laws and regulations governing dedication of improvements and submit a performance guarantee to guarantee maintenance and repair of those improvements for 18 months from the date of dedication. The performance guarantee for maintenance shall generally be a maximum of 15% of the costs of improvements, subject to approval of the Town Board. Similar maintenance agreements may be required for private streets and nothing herein shall be deemed to require acceptance of dedication by the Town under any circumstances.
At the time an application for subdivision approval is filed, the subdivider shall pay a fee to the Town, such fee to be determined from a schedule of fees as adopted by the Town Board by resolution. Additional fees may be imposed to cover the costs of inspections, professional reviews and SEQRA compliance, as well as the expenses connected with notices and hearings, as provided by Chapter 345, Zoning, of the Code of the Town.