Town of Bethel, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 345-12 Lot regulations.

A. 
Lot frontage. The minimum lot frontage of any lot shall be measured along the minimum building setback line as required for the district in which it is located.
B. 
Corner lots. At all street intersections, no obstruction to vision, other than an existing building, post, column or tree, exceeding 30 inches in height above the established grade of the street at the property line which is a hazard to vehicular movement shall be erected or maintained on any lot within the triangle formed by the street lot lines of such lot and a line drawn between points along such street lot lines 30 feet distant from their points of intersection.
C. 
Required area or space cannot be reduced. The area or dimension of any lot, yard, parking area or other space shall not be reduced to less than the minimum required by this chapter, and if already less than the minimum required by this chapter, said area or dimension may be continued and shall not be further reduced.
D. 
Minimum lot size for two or more family dwellings. Lots to be developed with private water supply and sewage disposal systems or private sewage disposal systems for two or more family dwelling structures shall require larger lot sizes and widths than are specified because of unusual subsoil or geological conditions found to exist on the particular location in question. In such cases, the minimum otherwise required shall be increased where necessary to the extent required to allow the proposed water and/or sewage installation to operate effectively in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Detailed plans for such water and/or sewage disposal systems shall be submitted to the Building Inspector and approved by him before a building permit shall be issued. The suitability of the proposed systems shall conform to the standards of the New York State Department of Health.
E. 
Dwelling on small lots. Notwithstanding the limitations imposed by any other provisions of this chapter, the Zoning Board of Appeals may permit the erection of a one-family dwelling on any lot in a residential district separately owned or under contract of sale and containing, at the time of passage of this chapter, an area or a width smaller than that required for a one-family dwelling. No such permit shall be granted if the applicant is the owner of adjoining vacant property so that he could comply with the requirements of this chapter or if the applicant does not meet the standards of the Department of Health.
F. 
Lot frontage and traffic plan. Where a building lot has frontage upon a street, which on the traffic plan or Official Map of the Town of Bethel is designated for right-of-way widening, the required front yard area shall be measured from such proposed future right-of-way line.
G. 
Lake access.
(1) 
Any single-family residence, residential development or subdivision hereafter offering lots or dwelling units with beach use or lake access shall be limited to providing a maximum of one such dwelling unit and one boat docking space per 50 lineal feet of waterfront at the high-water mark. This shall not require every lot to front on the water to use a beach, obtain lake rights or use a boat docking space, provided that the total length of waterfront at the high-water mark for the project as a whole is no less than 50 lineal feet multiplied by the number of dwelling units proposed.
(2) 
The term "boat" shall, for purposes of this chapter, include a personal watercraft as defined by New York State.[1] A personal watercraft shall be subject to the same limitations as any other boat. Any launching area for a personal watercraft shall be considered a dock space, and the usage of such launching areas shall be limited to one personal watercraft per dwelling.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Navigation Law § 2, Subdivision 30.
(3) 
Nothing herein shall limit the right of the owner of an existing parcel of land fronting on a lake to construct a beach or provide lake access for the use of the occupants of a single dwelling unit erected thereon. Likewise, nothing herein shall interfere with the continuation of an existing legal nonconforming use or the use of dock spaces previously approved by the Town of Bethel as part of a site plan or subdivision plan.
(4) 
Dock lengths shall meet New York State requirements.
(5) 
Marina docks shall be limited as provided in the Town of Bethel Boating Law.[2] Restaurant docks, where watercraft already placed on the lake are temporarily parked while the users of such watercraft dine, may be permitted subject to New York State dock length limits and provided that no boat launchings are permitted from such docks and further provided that no overnight parking of boats is permitted at such docks.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 104, Boating and Watercraft.

§ 345-13 Height and length regulations.

[Amended 3-24-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
A. 
Height: general application. No building or structure shall have a greater number of feet than is permitted in the district where such building is located, except for telecommunications facilities which shall be regulated in accordance with the requirements set forth in § 345-28 of this chapter.
B. 
Height: permitted exceptions. Height limitations stipulated elsewhere in this chapter shall not apply to open amusement uses, church spires, belfries, cupolas and domes, monuments, water towers, chimneys, smokestacks, flagpoles, radio and television towers, masts and aerials; nor to parapet walls, except that no parapet wall may extend more than four feet above the limiting height of the building; nor to farm buildings or structures on farms, provided that these farm buildings are at least 100 feet from every lot line; to tourist and vacation uses detailed in § 345-19A, provided that they are set back 50 feet from any adjacent property line for each 10 feet in height. Height limitations for telecommunications facilities shall be regulated in accordance with the requirements set forth in § 345-28 of this chapter.
C. 
Length regulations. No residential building or structure shall be longer than 160 feet in length and shall be provided with a minimum five-foot offset at a minimum of every 40 feet of length. This offset shall include the rooflines.

§ 345-14 Yard regulations.

A. 
Side yard of corner lot. The side street setback line of any corner lot shall not be less than 1/2 of the depth of the minimum front yard required on any adjoining lot fronting on a side street.
B. 
Additional yards required where nonresidential districts abut residential districts. All uses permitted in nonresidential districts which abut, at the lot line or on the same street, a residential district shall provide yards, where they abut, meeting at least the minimum yard requirements in accordance with such residential districts.
C. 
Side yard width may be varied. Where the side wall of a building is not parallel with the side lot line or is broken or otherwise irregular, the side yard may be varied. In such case, the average width of the side yard shall not be less than the otherwise required minimum width; provided, however, that such yard shall not be narrower at any point than 1/2 the otherwise required minimum width.
D. 
Front yard exception. When an unimproved lot is situated between two improved lots, each having a principal building within 25 feet of any side lot line of such unimproved lot, the front yard may be reduced to the greatest depth of the front yard of the two adjoining improved lots, but shall be not less than 10 feet.
E. 
Front yard of corner lot. The front yard of any corner lot shall be established on the wider of the two streets abutting said lot, except that where the widths of the two abutting streets are equal, then the front yard may be established on either street.
F. 
Provision of yard or other open space. No yard or other open space provided about any buildings for the purpose of complying with the provisions of the chapter shall be considered as providing a yard or open space for any other building, and no yard or other open space on another lot shall be considered as providing a yard or open space for a building on any other lot.
G. 
Setback from water. A minimum yard of 25 feet in depth shall be maintained from any water body, excepting for the construction of boathouses, docks and other accessory structures directly related to use of the water. No principal building or use shall be constructed within this yard.

§ 345-15 Accessory structures.

[Amended 3-24-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
The location, limitation and coverage of accessory buildings shall be as follows:
A. 
No accessory building permitted by this chapter shall be placed in any required side or front yard except as specified hereinafter in this article.
B. 
The aggregate ground area covered by any accessory buildings in any rear yards shall not exceed 50% of the rear yard area.
C. 
Accessory structures, which are not attached to a principal structure, may be erected in accordance with the following restrictions:
(1) 
In no instance shall an accessory structure be located closer than 10 feet from the side and rear lot lines.
[Amended 4-12-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
(2) 
No accessory structure shall be located closer to the street than the street wall of the principal structure, except in the case of farm buildings.
(3) 
No accessory structure shall be located closer to a principal structure than 10 feet, except for telecommunications facilities which shall be regulated in accordance with the requirements set forth in § 345-28 of this chapter.
(4) 
All accessory structures must meet the zoning requirements and setback requirements of the principal use of the property upon which they are sited, except this provision shall not apply to single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings and farm operations.
[Added 4-12-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
D. 
When an accessory structure is attached to the principal building, it shall comply in all respects with the requirements of this chapter applicable to the principal buildings.

§ 345-16 Landscaping standards.

A. 
The Planning Board shall, to assure an acceptable buffer between adjacent residential and nonresidential uses and create a healthy, safe and aesthetically pleasing environment in the Town, require a landscape plan be prepared as part of any special use application. Such a plan shall also be required whenever any nonresidential use is proposed in any district, so as to buffer parking areas and buildings from the highway, each other and other uses.
B. 
The landscape plan shall specify locations of all mature shade trees or other species of a six-inch caliper or greater and indicate existing vegetation to be removed or preserved. It shall also include visual depictions of the proposed landscape from the perspective of persons who will view the site from the highway or adjoining properties. Specific locations, varieties, sizes, winter hardiness, and schedules for all proposed plantings shall, too, be provided as part of the plan.
C. 
The Planning Board may, in the case of substantial projects (7,500 square feet of area) require that such landscape plans be prepared by a licensed landscape architect or other design professional qualified to perform such services.
D. 
The Planning Board, in reviewing a landscape plan, may seek the nonbinding advice of interested civic organizations concerned with community beautification. The Board shall also specifically consider the following before approving, approving with modifications or disapproving the special use:
(1) 
The plan should promote attractive development, preserve existing vegetation to the maximum extent possible, enhance the appearance of the property and complement the character of the surrounding area.
(2) 
The plan should use landscaping to delineate or define vehicular and pedestrian ways and open space.
(3) 
The plant material selected should be of complementary character to buildings, structures and native plant species and be of sufficient size and quality to accomplish its intended purposes.
(4) 
The plan should effectively buffer the activity from adjoining land uses as may be necessary and soften the impact of other site development as contrasted with the natural environment.
(5) 
The plan should be realistic in terms of maintenance and use materials, which, as a minimum, are winter-hardy to climate planting Zone 4 as the designation is used in the nursery industry.
E. 
Landscaping standards. The Planning Board, in reviewing landscape plans, may employ the following guidelines:
(1) 
The minimum branching height for all shade trees should be six feet.
(2) 
Shade trees should have a minimum caliper of 2 1/2 inches (measured one foot above grade) and be at least 12 feet in height when planted.
(3) 
Evergreen trees should be a minimum of three feet in height when planted.
(4) 
Shrubs should be a minimum of 24 inches in height when planted. Hedges should form a continuous visual screen within two years after planting.
(5) 
A buffer screen at least 15 feet in width along any residential lot line should be provided. It should include, at a minimum, an opaque wooden stockade fence six feet in height and one evergreen tree for every 15 linear feet of property line. An additional row of evergreens meeting these standards and offset such that each row serves to place trees between the gaps of the other shall be permitted as a substitute for the stockade fence. No stockade or similar fence, however, should exceed eight feet in height or be placed in such a way as to purposely interfere with the views from or admission of light and air to an adjoining residential property. Other yards should be landscaped in accord with Subsection E(6) below.
(6) 
A landscape strip at least 15 feet in width that includes at least one deciduous tree for every 35 linear feet of perimeter lot line should be required for any nonresidential use. Such deciduous trees should also be accompanied by smaller shrubs and ground cover as may be required to effectively separate and buffer the activity from the highway but still allow for visibility of the use. The width of this buffer may be reduced along the rear and side lot lines for good cause, but not along the front lot line.
(7) 
All lot area, except where existing vegetation is preserved, should be landscaped with grass, ground cover, shrubs, or other appropriate cover.
(8) 
The preservation of mature shade trees shall be required unless there is no alternative but to remove them. These may be used to meet requirements of this section, provided that the Code Enforcement Officer or Planning Board, as the case may be, determines the purpose of this section is achieved.
F. 
Where it is determined that a proposed special use would not have a significant impact on the natural environment, adjoining landowners or the view from a public highway, these requirements may be appropriately modified.
G. 
Fences and walls. Fences and walls between residences shall not exceed eight feet in height from ground level, except where a greater height is specifically required or authorized elsewhere in this chapter, and shall conform to corner lot requirements where applicable.
H. 
A performance guarantee may be required to assure that all landscaping survives in a healthy condition one full year and any required fencing is properly maintained. The Planning Board shall determine the amount of the guarantee, which shall not exceed the original materials and installations costs, and consider financial impacts of this requirement on the project. The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the right to enter upon the property to inspect the landscaping and, after notifying the owner of any deficiencies, to require that the guarantee be used to pay for the replacement of any dead, dying, diseased, stunned or infested plant materials. The requirement to maintain such fencing and landscaping shall continue beyond the period of the guarantee, and the Code Enforcement Officer may proceed as provided herein to remedy any deficiencies in this regard.
I. 
All applicable requirements of these landscaping regulations shall be fully met prior to the Code Enforcement Officer granting a certificate of occupancy for a new building or use subject to these regulations.
J. 
Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, the Planning Board may waive application of the requirements of this § 345-16 to farm operations.