[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Dover 11-28-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007; amended in its entirety 1-28-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCESAttachment 1 - Appendix A: Dover Design Guidelines
Building construction — See Ch. 47.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 125.
Zoning — See Ch. 145.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 37, Architectural Design Review, adopted 11-12-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997.
This chapter shall be known as the "Town of Dover Architectural Design Review Law."
This chapter is adopted pursuant to § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law.
The well-being of the Town of Dover's residents and businesses depend upon an attractively built environment, which contributes to the economic and social welfare of the community.
Maintaining and enhancing the appearance of buildings, especially those with architectural and/or historic significance, is of paramount importance to the community and is in furtherance of the Town of Dover Master Plan; which encourages high quality design. The Master Plan also supports the integration of new development into the existing buildings and natural environment to create a visually appealing community. The Town of Dover wishes to prevent the construction of buildings that detract from the Town's historic and scenic quality.
It is the purpose of this chapter to maintain attractive exterior appearance of buildings and signs and to prevent the construction of buildings that would detract from the Town's historic character and aesthetic beauty, thus promoting the health, safety and general welfare of the community and conserving and enhancing the value of land and buildings.
There is hereby created an Architectural Review Board (hereinafter the "ARB"). The membership of this ARB shall be selected by the Town Board. There shall be five positions on the ARB. The term of office shall be three years, except that the initial appointees shall be appointed to staggered terms of one, two, three, four and five years, respectively. The Chairman of the ARB shall be selected by the Town Board and shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Board. The ARB shall have the power to approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the architectural plans and elevations submitted by an applicant in accordance with this chapter. In issuing its decision, the ARB shall provide a written explanation of the reasons for its approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval. In the event that the Architectural Review Board does not have a necessary quorum to hold a meeting, the Planning Board shall have full authority and power to approve the conditions, or the architectural plans and elevations submitted by an applicant in accordance with this chapter.
The Chairman shall schedule meetings of the Architectural Review Board at such time as the Chairman may designate in accordance with the New York State Open Meetings Law. A majority of the ARB shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The ARB shall keep minutes of its proceedings. The ARB shall, when it deems necessary, solicit the advice of an architectural design consultant. In such a case, the applicant shall make an escrow deposit with the ARB Secretary for the expenses generated by said consultant in connection with any ARB review, in the same manner as provided in § 145-58 of the Zoning Law. The applicant shall also be responsible for costs incurred by the Town for mailing and public notice expenses relating directly to the administration of the application.
The applicant and/or the applicant's representative shall be given the opportunity to appear to review with the ARB any submission to it. A decision made by the ARB must have the approval of the majority of the ARB and shall be officially filed with the Town Clerk within 30 days. In the event the ARB fails to render a decision on an application it deems to be complete within 45 days of the meeting at which it was considered, said application shall be deemed to be approved. This time frame may be extended with the applicant's consent.
The Town Board shall, from time to time, set the application fee by resolution for the submission of plans to the ARB. Until such time as such fee is set in Chapter 73 of the Town of Dover Code, said fee shall be $150.
The ARB shall have the authority to appoint a Secretary to assist the ARB in an administrative capacity.
The review jurisdiction of the ARB shall be as follows:
Every application for a building permit for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of any building in excess of 2,000 square feet of gross floor area, other than an application for a single-family or two-family residence or residential accessory structure, and every application for a special permit or site plan approval for a building within the Town of Dover shall be referred to the ARB for review and approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval within seven days of the submission of the application. All applications to the Planning Board or Town Board which fall within the ARB's jurisdiction shall be deemed to be simultaneously referred to the ARB.
This chapter shall not apply to single-family or two-family residences or residential accessory structures or to applications which do not involve the construction of buildings or exterior alterations to existing buildings, including, but not limited to, applications for soil mining and timber harvesting. However, it shall apply to all multifamily and townhouse construction and to any other building requiring a special permit or site plan approval.
If the Planning Board ads that buildings shown in an application for an industrial, service business, or wholesale business use will not be visible in any season from publicly accessible places (including but not limited to public roads, parks, schools, and commercial and institutional uses open to the public), it shall treat the ARB's decision as an advisory, nonbinding recommendation, and the ARB shall have no independent authority to approve or disapprove such application. In such a case, the Planning Board shall insert conditions in any approval of such buildings to ensure that they will not become visible from publicly accessible places in the future. Such conditions may include requirements for vegetative screening, buffers, and/or maintaining natural topography or berms.
Applications for subdivisions of laud into nine or more lots and applications for special permits for communication towers shall be referred to the ARB simultaneously with their submission to the Planning Board or Town Board for an advisory, nonbinding recommendation. The ARB shall have no independent authority to approve or disapprove such applications. The ARB shall submit its recommendations to the Planning Board or Town Board within 45 days of the referral. If such recommendations are not received within the forty-five-day period, the Planning Board or Town Board may act without receiving them.
Every application referred to the ARB shall include such number of copies as the ARB may require in its application forms. Such applications shall include the following:
In the case of any buildings which are constructed pursuant to a comprehensive development plan approved under § 145-16C(2) of the Town of Dover Zoning Law, the ARB shall review proposed architectural standards submitted by the applicant to the Town Board for approval of the comprehensive development plan and shall make nonbinding recommendations to the Town Board with respect to such proposed standards. Upon Town Board approval of a comprehensive development plan, including the architectural standards contained therein, the ARB's role shall be limited to applying the approved architectural standards to buildings that fall within its jurisdiction as described in § 37-5A above. The ARB shall not review signs that are constructed pursuant to a comprehensive development plan's approved sign code.
The ARB shall base its decision on the following criteria:
Compatibility of any proposed change to an existing building with the architectural character of the existing building and with neighboring buildings.
Compatibility of any new building with neighboring buildings.
The compatibility of roof structures, chimneys, dividing walls, fences, and lighting equipment with the building and surrounding buildings.
Proper screening from view of mechanical equipment, loading docks, and waste storage facilities.
For purposes of this Subsection A, "compatibility" shall mean that the scale, massing, height, building materials, building proportions, window arrangement and proportions, roof designs, architectural style, and other architectural elements shall be harmonious with existing buildings on adjoining properties and in the surrounding neighborhood, and with buildings typically built in rural New York towns and villages before 1950. Architectural styles of more recent origin may be approved if the ARB finds that they are of outstanding design and do not detract from existing buildings in the vicinity.
In addition, the ARB shall apply the design criteria contained in the Town of Dover Zoning Law, including but not limited to the following:
Structures that are visible from public roads shall be compatible with each other and with traditional structures in the surrounding area in architecture, design, massing, materials, and placement, and shall harmonize with traditional elements in the architectural fabric of the area.
Architectural design shall be in keeping with the small-town architectural character of Dover. In general, the design shall avoid flat roofs, large expanses of undifferentiated facades, and long, plain wall sections.
Trademarked architecture which identifies a specific company by building design features shall be prohibited, unless the applicant can demonstrate that the design is compatible with the historic architecture of Dover or the Building Form Guidelines.
Impacts on historic and cultural resources shall be minimized.
The ARB shall consult the Building Form Guidelines published in October 1994 by the New York Planning Federation for guidance when making its decision and applying the above criteria. The ARB may also recommend its own set of design guidelines to the Town Board for adoption by the Town Board, which shall then serve as criteria for its decisions, superseding the criteria in this § 37-6.
With respect to buildings, the ARB shall not disapprove any application or impose any conditions on an approval on the basis of proposed colors. The ARB may make suggestions that are purely advisory with respect to color selection, bearing in mind the appropriateness of particular colors to the architectural style of the building.
If the ARB reviews a building alteration that is not otherwise subject to review by the Planning Board, the ARB may require landscaping it deems necessary to complement or soften the impact of the proposed building alteration. Such required landscaping shall be reasonable in cost, not to exceed the cost of the proposed building alteration.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer or Building Inspector in the same manner, using the same procedures, enforcement mechanisms, and penalties as provided for zoning enforcement in Chapter 145 of the Town Code.
Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the ARB shall have the right to review said decision by a public hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals. Such an appeal shall be taken within 60 days of filing the ARB's decision in the office of the Town Clerk, in the same manner as an appeal of a decision of an administrative official, as provided in § 145-59F of the Zoning Law. In the event the appeal is denied by the Zoning Board of Appeals, the applicant may commence a proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, which proceeding must be commenced within 30 days of the filing of such Zoning Board of Appeals decision with the Town Clerk.