Town of Mount Pleasant, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Mount Pleasant 8-10-1976. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Conservation Advisory Council — See Ch. 14, Art. II.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 108.
Streams and watercourses — See Ch. 185.
Zoning — See Ch. 218.
Fees — See Ch. A224.
A. 
The Town Board hereby finds and declares that the public interest and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Mount Pleasant will be served through the creation of procedures for the preservation, proper maintenance and utilization of natural resources within the Town of Mount Pleasant and for the protection of said natural resources from encroachment upon, spoiling, pollution or elimination resulting from population growth attended by commercial development, housing, roads and other construction.
B. 
The preservation and maintenance of rivers, wetlands, water bodies and watercourses in an undisturbed and natural condition constitute important physical, ecological, social, aesthetic, recreational and economic assets necessary to promote the health, safety and general welfare of present and future residents of the town and of downstream drainage areas.
C. 
The loss of freshwater wetlands and watercourses deprives the people of the Town of Mount Pleasant of the many and multiple benefits derived from wetlands, as follows:
(1) 
Control of floods and storms by the hydrologic absorption and storage capacity of freshwater wetlands.
(2) 
Wildlife habitats by providing breeding, nesting and feeding grounds and predator escape cover for many forms of wildlife, wildfowl and shorebirds, including migratory wildfowl and rare species.
(3) 
Protecting subsurface water resources, providing valuable watersheds and recharging groundwater supplies.
(4) 
Recreation throughout the town by providing areas for fishing, boating, hiking, bird-watching, photography, camping and other uses.
(5) 
Pollution treatment by serving as biological and chemical oxidation basins.
(6) 
Erosion control by serving as sedimentation areas and filtering basins, absorbing silt and organic matter and protecting channels and harbors.
(7) 
Education and scientific research by providing readily accessible outdoor biophysical laboratories, living classrooms and education resources.
(8) 
Open space and aesthetic appreciation.
(9) 
Sources of nutrients in freshwater food cycles and the nursery ground and sanctuary for freshwater fish.
D. 
It is therefore the intent of this chapter to promote the public purposes identified in this section by providing for the protection, proper maintenance and use of the rivers, wetlands, water bodies and watercourses located within the town by preventing or minimizing erosion due to flooding and stormwater runoff, maintaining the natural groundwater supplies; protecting subsurface water resources and providing valuable watersheds; preserving and protecting the purity, utility, water-retention capability, ecological functions, recreational usefulness and natural beauty of all rivers, wetlands, water bodies, watercourses and other related natural features of the terrain; and establishing and protecting wildlife habitats by providing breeding, nesting and feeding grounds and predator escape cover for many forms of wildlife.
This chapter shall affect all land within the unincorporated areas of the Town of Mount Pleasant and activities conducted thereon which are set forth and defined hereafter and shall be binding upon all departments, boards and official acts of the Town of Mount Pleasant.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CONSERVATION ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Conservation Advisory Council of the Town of Mount Pleasant, New York (Local Law No. 1-1984, Chapter 14, Article II).[1]
DEPOSIT
To fill, place, eject discharge or dump any material, but not including stormwater.
MATERIAL
Soil, sand, gravel, clay, bog, peat, mud, debris and refuse or any other organic or inorganic substance, whether liquid, solid or gaseous or any combination thereof.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, association, trust, corporation, company, organization or legal entity of any kind, including municipal corporations, governmental agencies or subdivisions thereof.
PLANNING BOARD
The Planning Board of the Town of Mount Pleasant, New York (Article 16, § 271, of the Town Law, McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York).
TOWN ENGINEER
The Town Engineer of the Town of Mount Pleasant, New York (Article 3, § 20, Subdivision 2a, of the Town Law, McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York).
WATERCOURSES
Any water body, natural or artificial, such as but not limited to a pond, reservoir, lake, stream or brook.
A. 
All lands and submerged lands known as "bogs," "marshes," "swamps," "fresh meadows" and "estuarine areas" having types of soils such as alluvial land, Carlisle muck, Limerick and Sloan, including adjacent and peripheral land with vegetation evidencing the same habitat, whether inundated at any given time or not, and shall more specifically mean and include:
(1) 
Soils covered with water during variable seasonal periods.
(2) 
Waterlogged soil containing such vegetation as sedges, rushes, grasses and various broad-leaved plants.
(3) 
Areas bordering on lakes, ponds, deep marshes and wet areas of a depth to six inches, with vegetation such as cattails or hybrids thereof, bulrushes or hybrids thereof and arrowheads or other species of Sagittarius.
(4) 
Areas covered with water of depths from six inches to three feet, with such vegetation as cattails or hybrids thereof, reeds or other species of Sparganium, wild rice and bulrushes.
(5) 
Waterlogged soil with vegetation such as alders, buttonbush and dogwoods and up to six inches of water.
(6) 
Waterlogged soil with vegetation such as red maple, elm or cedar and up to one foot of water.
(7) 
Usually waterlogged, acid soil with both woody and herbaceous plants in the heath family, as well as sedges and sphagnum mosses.
B. 
Notwithstanding the definitions of "wetlands" based on vegetation [Subsection A(l) through (7) above], "wetlands," in general, shall be defined by types of soil, as exemplified by the Wetlands District Control Map.
C. 
"Wetlands" shall further include but not be limited to all those lands designated as "wetlands" by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under the authority granted by the Freshwater Wetlands Act.[2]
WETLANDS CONTROL DISTRICT
The areas within the Town of Mount Pleasant as defined in "wetlands" and "watercourses" above.
WETLANDS CONTROL DISTRICT MAP
The Wetlands Control District Map prepared from soil maps furnished by the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environmental Conservation of New York State. This map shall serve only as a guide to the general boundaries of wetlands control districts in the Town of Mount Pleasant and shall not, in itself, define the location of wetlands control districts, which are defined in "wetlands control district" above.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art I).
[2]
Editor's Note: See § 24-0101 et seq. of the Environmental Conservation Law.
Except as provided in § 111-5 of this chapter, the following activities shall be prohibited and unlawful:
A. 
To deposit, directly or indirectly, or permit to be deposited any material into, upon or within 50 feet of the edge of any river, wetlands water body or watercourse situated in an area that has been designated as a wetlands control district.
B. 
To construct or permit to be constructed any building or structure of any kind within, upon or within 50 feet of the edge of any river, wetlands water body or watercourse situated in an area that has been designated as a wetlands control district.
C. 
To remove or permit to be removed any material (other than debris, refuse or water) from any river, wetland, water body or watercourse which is situated in an area that has been designated as wetlands control district or from the land within 50 feet of the edge of any such wetlands water body or watercourse.
A. 
Activities allowed without permit. The following activities are permitted in, upon or within 50 feet of the edge of any river, wetlands water body or watercourse which is situated in an area designated as a wetlands control district, except where the town does determine that the activity violates or threatens to violate the purpose of this chapter.
(1) 
Outdoor recreation, including play and sporting areas; field trails for nature study, hiking or horseback riding; and swimming, skin diving, boating, trapping, hunting or fishing where otherwise legally permitted.
(2) 
Maintenance of lawns, grazing, farming, gardening and harvesting of crops where otherwise legally permitted, except for the use of chemicals as provided for in Subsection B.
(3) 
Operation and maintenance of such dams, retaining walls, terraces, sluices, culverts or other water-control structures or devices which were in existence on the effective date of this chapter.
(4) 
Incidental removal of brush and trees which would result in no appreciable effect upon the runoff or drainage into any river, wetland, water body or watercourse.
B. 
Activities requiring Engineer's approval. The following activities are permitted in, upon or within 50 feet of any river, wetland, water body or watercourse situated in an area designated as a wetlands control district only if conducted pursuant to terms and conditions approved by the Town Engineer, and upon application to the Town Engineer pursuant to the procedure set forth in § 111-6 of this chapter, except that Town Engineer approval shall not be required where the activity is conducted pursuant to terms and conditions of an application approved by the Planning Board.
(1) 
Removing water-deposited silt, sand or other material in order to restore the preexisting elevations, provided that the total quantity removed does not exceed 15 cubic yards of material.
(2) 
Restoring elevations that have been altered by erosion or storm drainage.
(3) 
The construction, expansion or improvement of private recreation facilities as otherwise legally permitted, provided that the amount of material deposited, removed or regraded does not exceed 15 cubic yards.
(4) 
The construction of driveways where alternative means of access are proven to be impractical, provided that the amount of material to be deposited or regraded in connection with such construction does not exceed 100 cubic yards and there is no restriction of flood flows.
(5) 
The use of chemicals, dyes, fertilizers, herbicides or other similar materials except those allowed by the United States Department of Agriculture without permit and used as set forth in Subsection A(2), provided that approval shall be given only after consultation with or pursuant to the guidelines of the Conservation Advisory Council.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art I).
(6) 
Any activity requiring Planning Board approval by the terms of this chapter which the Board refers to the Town Engineer for disposition.
C. 
Activities requiring Planning Board approval. The following activities are permitted in, upon or within 50 feet of any river, wetland, water body or watercourse situated in an area that has been designated as a wetlands control district only after approval by and subject to the terms and conditions specified by the Planning Board as a part of a subdivision application, a site development plan application or an application submitted pursuant to the procedure set forth in § 111-6 of this chapter. Such Planning Board approval, terms and conditions are to be given and imposed so as to enhance or cause the least possible damage, encroachment or interference with the natural resources or functions of the river, wetland, water body or watercourse, consistent, with the purpose of this chapter.
(1) 
Any activity listed in Subsection B, but involving a scale of operation beyond that which the Town Engineer is empowered to approve.
(2) 
Any activity normally allowed without a permit or normally requiring Town Engineer approval, as set forth in Subsections A and B of this section, where the town does determine that the activity violates or threatens to violate the purpose of this chapter.
(3) 
The construction of roads where alternative means of access are proven to be impractical, provided that they do not impede flood flows.
(4) 
The construction of municipal or utility uses, such as water supply facilities, park and recreation facilities, sewage treatment facilities or other installations, which involve any alteration of existing natural conditions.
A. 
Applications. Applications for permits to conduct any of the activities listed in § 111-5B or C shall be submitted in triplicate to the Town Engineer for approval or for referral to the Planning Board. The Town Engineer shall file one copy of the application with the Town Clerk, except that if the wetland in question is located partially outside of Mount Pleasant, then one copy of the application shall be filed with the Clerk of Westchester County. Applications shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name and address of the owner and name and address of the applicant and whether the applicant is the owner, lessee, licensee, etc., shall be included. If the applicant is not the owner of record, the written consent of the owner must be attached. The application should state the purpose of the application and the relief sought and should include a detailed description of the proposed activity and a map showing the area of the wetland directly affected, with the location of the proposed activity thereon.
(2) 
It may be required that the applicant furnish any topographical and perimeter surveys, hydrological computations, engineering studies and other factual or scientific data and reports as deemed necessary by the approving authority (Planning Board or Town Engineer) to permit it to arrive at a proper determination.
(3) 
Applications affecting water-retention capability, water flow or other drainage characteristics of any wetland, water body or watercourse shall include a statement of the area of upstream and downstream watersheds, impact analysis and information as to rainfall intensity in the vicinity for not less than a ten-year return frequency, together with approximate runoff coefficients to determine the capacity and size of any channel sections, pipes or waterway openings, together with plans for necessary bridges, culverts, stormwater or pipe drains that, in the opinion of the approving authority, are needed to arrive at a proper determination on the application, consistent with the purpose of this chapter.
B. 
Referral to Conservation Advisory Council. The Planning Board or Town Engineer shall refer any application submitted pursuant to this chapter to the Conservation Advisory Council for its review and report. The Conservation Advisory Council shall report back to the Planning Board or to the Town Engineer, as the case may be, within 30 days of the date of receipt or within such other period as may be specified by the Planning Board at the time of receipt by the Conservation Advisory Council, but in no event sooner than 30 days therefrom. All such time periods may be extended by consent of the applicant and the Conservation Advisory Council or the Planning Board.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art I).
C. 
Public hearings and time periods. The Planning Board shall schedule a public hearing on any applications for activities under § 111-5C which involve a significant impact or major effect on a wetland, water body or watercourse, in a manner similar to that required by the New York State Wetlands Act, but as specifically set forth in this section. The Planning Board may, at its discretion, dispense with such hearing for activities not involving a significant impact or major effect on a wetland, water body or watercourse. When the Planning Board finds that a hearing is not necessary, it shall publish this decision, setting forth reasons therefor, which shall be a matter of public record and shall be mailed to all adjacent local governments where any part of the proposed work is located. Notice of waiver of a hearing shall be carried out in the same manner as a notice of a public hearing.
(1) 
All public hearings to be held by the Planning Board shall commence not sooner than 30 days nor later than 60 days after receipt of a complete application, including the report of the Conservation Advisory Council.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art I).
(2) 
The Planning Board shall cause a notice of the hearing to be published in a newspaper not fewer than 15 days before the date set for the hearing.
(3) 
All applications, maps and documents relating to this hearing shall be open for public inspection in the office of the Town Engineer.
(4) 
Notices of the hearing shall be sent by the applicant to adjacent property owners, known claimants to water rights and other adjacent parties by certified mail. The applicant shall file receipts and an affidavit of service by mail not less than 14 days before the hearing.
(5) 
Within 75 days of the date of the Planning Board meeting at which a completed application made pursuant to § 111-6A is received by the Planning Board, or within 45 days of the date of any public hearing which may be conducted on said application, whichever period is shorter, the Planning Board shall render a decision to approve, approve with modification or disapprove the issuance of a permit for the proposed activity.
(6) 
The time period for consideration of and requirements for public hearings to be conducted in connection with any application for permission to carry on any activity under § 111-5C of this chapter which is made in conjunction with a subdivision application or site development plan application shall be the same as the time period for consideration of and requirements for a public hearing of the subdivision or site development plan application with which it is associated (Subdivision Regulations, Article II).[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A227, Subdivision Regulations.
D. 
Conditions and time limit. In approving any application submitted pursuant to the requirements of this chapter, the approving authority may impose such conditions on the proposed activity as are necessary to assure compliance with this chapter. The approving authority may fix a reasonable time within which any operations must be completed and may also require the filing with the Town Board of cash or surety company performance bond in such amount and form as determined necessary by the approving authority to ensure compliance with the approved permit.
A. 
Where the Planning Board finds that because of the special circumstances of a particular case hardship may result from strict compliance with the provisions of this chapter, it may adjust, upon request of the applicant, the provisions of §§ 111-4 and 111-5, provided that any such adjustment will implement the spirit and intent of this chapter, the Mount Pleasant Town Zoning Ordinance,[1] the Town Development Plan and other local regulations as they may be adopted and amended from time to time. In permitting any such adjustment, the Planning Board shall attach such conditions as are, in its judgment, necessary to secure substantially the objective of the standard or requirement so adjusted.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 218, Zoning.
B. 
Notwithstanding this section, only the Zoning Board of Appeals is empowered to grant variances to the stipulations of the Zoning Ordinance. In all cases where a wetland or watercourse is the basis for considering the granting of a variance, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall refer the matter to the Conservation Advisory Council and other agencies it deems appropriate for review and report.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art I).
A. 
General boundaries of wetlands control districts are shown on the Mount Pleasant Wetlands Control District Map. Finite boundaries will be interpreted by the Planning Board when necessary, according to the definitions established in § 111-3. Finite boundaries shall be interpreted after appropriate field survey work by qualified staff members of the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service assigned to the Westchester County Soil and Water Conservation District or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, subject to recommendations submitted by the Conservation Advisory Council of the Town of Mount Pleasant.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art I).
B. 
Notwithstanding the above, wetlands as shown on the official map of wetlands prepared by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under the authority of the Freshwater Wetlands Act shall be considered as wetlands control districts.
A. 
Upon application for a permit to conduct any activity requiring approval of the Town Engineer (§ 111-5B), the applicant shall pay a fee as set forth in Chapter A224, Fees, to the Town of Mount Pleasant.
B. 
Upon application for a permit to conduct any activity requiring approval of the Planning Board (§ 111-5C), the applicant shall pay a fee as set forth in Chapter A224, Fees, to the Town of Mount Pleasant, except that no fee shall be required when the application is made in conjunction with a subdivision application or a site plan development application.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art I).
A. 
Any person, as defined herein in § 111-3, who violates or is an accessory to the violation of any provision of this chapter, or who fails to comply with any of the requirements thereof, shall be guilty of a violation, as defined in the Penal Law, and shall be liable for a fine not to exceed $250 or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both, and such other punishment as may be permitted. Each week's violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
B. 
Whenever a violation of this chapter is alleged, any person may file a complaint in regard thereto. All such complaints must be in writing and shall be filed with the Town Engineer, who shall record such complaints and immediately investigate and report thereon to the Town Board, who shall refer such complaints to the Town Legal Department.
In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be the requirements adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety, general welfare and economic benefit and for the preservation, proper maintenance and utilization of natural resources, so as to be beneficial to the community.
This chapter or any part thereof, including the Wetlands Control District Map, may be amended, supplemented or repealed from time to time by the Town Board on its own motion or on petition as provided in the Town Law. Every such proposed amendment shall be referred by the Town Board to the Planning Board and the Conservation Advisory Council for written reports before any public hearing which may be held by the Town Board pursuant to Town Law. The Town Board shall not take action on any such amendment without such reports from the Planning Board and Conservation Advisory Council unless such Board or Commission shall fail to report within 30 days after its regularly scheduled meeting next following the receipt of such referral, but in no case later than within 45 days after the receipt of such referral by the Town Board.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art I).
All appeals shall be carried out according to the provisions of Title 11 of the New York State Freshwater Wetlands Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 24-1101 et seq. of the Environmental Conservation Law.