ARTICLE IReimbursement of Expert Fees (§ 61A-1 — § 61A-4)
§ 61A-3Retention of expert assistant; reimbursement by applicant.
The purpose of this article is to amend the Potsdam Town Code.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind who or which requests the Town Board, the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals to approve a land use application.
- LAND USE APPLICATION
- An application for subdivision approval, site plan approval, open development area site plan approval, an area variance, use variance, special use permit and any additional review for those as needed to comply with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, Environmental Conservation Law, Article 8, and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and the Town Code, as amended.
The Town may hire any consultant and/or expert necessary to assist the Town in reviewing a land use application, including, but not limited to, technical or engineering consultants or special legal counsel.
Except as otherwise provided in the Town Code, if, prior to the completion of a review of a land use application, the Town discovers the need to retain consultant and/or expert services, the applicant shall deposit with the Town funds sufficient to reimburse the Town for the reasonable costs of consultation and/or evaluation in connection with review of the application. The Town will maintain a separate escrow account for such funds.
Upon receipt of such funds, the Supervisor's Clerk shall cause the money to be placed in an account in the name of the Town and shall keep a separate record of all money so deposited and the name of the applicant and the project for which the sums were deposited.
The Town's consultants and experts shall invoice the Town for services rendered in reviewing the application. The Town shall furnish a copy of each invoice received to the applicant upon receipt of the invoice by the Town.
The Town shall review and audit all invoices received and shall approve payment only if such fees are reasonable in amount and necessarily incurred by the Town in connection with a review of a land use application. For purposes of this article, a fee is reasonable in amount if it bears a reasonable relationship to the average charge by such an expert to the Town or others for services performed in connection with the review of a project similar to that involved in the land use application. In this regard, the Town may take into consideration the size and type of project involved in the land use application and any special conditions or considerations as the Town may deem relevant in connection with review of the particular land use applications.
Contracts for the retention of experts shall be let pursuant to the purchasing policy of the Town unless the contract is one that must be competitively bid.
After payment of all outstanding invoices, any funds held by the Town upon completion of a review of a land use application shall be returned to the applicant.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this article, an applicant or developer shall not be required to reimburse the Town for any part of a fee incurred by the Town for services performed in connection with matters, including but not limited to those resulting from complaints by third parties, as to which the Town determines the applicant had no responsibility or were beyond the reasonable control of the applicant.