Village of Haverstraw, NY
Rockland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Haverstraw 1-5-1987 by L.L. No. 1-1987. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 13-1 Purpose and legislative intent.

A. 
It is the purpose of this chapter to preserve and promote the character and appearances and conserve the property values of the village, the attractiveness of whose residential and business areas is the economic mainstay of the community, by providing procedures for an architectural review of structures henceforth erected, reconstructed or altered in the village and thereby.
(1) 
To encourage good qualities of exterior building design and appearances and to relate such design and appearances to the sites and surroundings of the structure.
(2) 
To permit originality and resourcefulness in building design and appearances which are appropriate to the sites and surroundings.
(3) 
To prevent such designs and appearances as are unnecessarily offensive to visual sensibilities.
B. 
The Board of Trustees hereby finds that structures which are visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design, excessive similarity or striking visual discord in relation to their sites or surroundings mar the appearances of their areas; impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the values of properties; are detrimental to the character of neighborhoods; prevent the most appropriate development and utilization of land; and therefore adversely affect the functioning, economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.

§ 13-2 Creation.

There is hereby created a Board of Architectural Review, which shall consist of five members appointed by the Board of Trustees. All members of the Board shall be residents of the village. At inception, the Board of Trustees shall appoint one member for a three-year term, two for two-year terms and two for one-year terms. Thereafter, terms of office shall be three years. The Board of Trustees shall choose from among its members, annually, one member to serve as Chairperson. It shall function pursuant to a budget provided by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall have the power to remove any member for cause after public hearing. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term of any member whose place has become vacant. The Code Enforcement Officer shall serve as the Secretary to the Board.

§ 13-3 Procedures.

Meetings of the Board of Architectural Review shall be held at the call of the Chairperson and at such other times as the Board shall determine. The Board may hold a public hearing when it deems the same to be in the public interest. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also keep copies of its examinations and other official actions. The Board shall have power, from time to time, to adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations not inconsistent with law or the provisions of this chapter governing its procedure and the transaction of its business and for the purpose of carrying into effect the standards outlined in § 13-5. Such action shall be taken after public hearing and shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.

§ 13-4 Referrals.

A. 
The Architectural Review Board shall review and advise on all applications for building permits in the following categories:
(1) 
All applications for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of any commercial, industrial or multiple-dwelling building or structure.
(2) 
Applications for new residential structures, subdivisions or proposed subdivisions filed with the Planning Board.
(3) 
Plans for exterior alterations or exterior additions to residential, commercial or industrial structures or facilities for which the Code Enforcement Officer estimates the cost to be in excess of $5,000.
(4) 
Plans for the erection or construction of signs (described in § 245-13 of Chapter 245, Zoning, of the Village of Haverstraw).
(5) 
All site development applications submitted to the Planning Board.
(6) 
Proposals by the Board of Trustees or Planning Board for revisions of the Master Plan, Zoning Map and zoning of specific land areas.
(7) 
Petitions for special permit uses, when Architectural Review Board advice on such a petition is requested by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(8) 
Plans or proposals which, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, violate the spirit and intent of this chapter.
B. 
Applications must be accompanied by plans showing all elevations of new structures and all affected elevations in the case of additions or alterations. When required by the Code Enforcement Officer or by the Board of Architectural Review, a site plan shall be submitted showing both existing and proposed contours at five-foot intervals, all existing trees with trunk diameters of four inches or more at a point six feet above the ground level and whether such trees shall remain or be removed and/or other topographical features.

§ 13-5 Standards for action.

A. 
Approval of any building permit referred to the Board shall be by a vote of at least a majority of the members of the Board of Architectural Review.
B. 
In considering an application for a permit, the Board shall take into account natural features of the site and surroundings, exterior design and appearances of existing structures and the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular purposes, with a view to conserving the values of property and encouraging the most appropriate use of land.
C. 
The Board may approve any application referred to it upon finding that the building or structure for which the permit was requested, if erected or altered in accordance with the submitted plan, would be in harmony with the purpose of this chapter; would not be visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design, excessive similarity or striking visual discord in relation to the sites or surroundings; would not mar the appearance of the area; would not impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the values of properties in the area; would not be detrimental to the character of the neighborhood; would not prevent the most appropriate development and utilization of the site or of adjacent lands; and would not adversely affect the functioning, economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.
D. 
In approving any application, the Board may impose appropriate conditions and safeguards designed to prevent the harmful effects set forth in § 13-1.
E. 
The Board may disapprove any application for a permit, provided that the Board has afforded the applicant an opportunity to confer upon suggestions for change of the plan, and provided that the Board finds and states that the structure for which the permit was requested would, if erected as indicated, provoke one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 13-1 by reason of:
(1) 
Excessive similarity to any other structure or structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or corner thereof and within 150 feet of the site of the structure for which a building permit is requested, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
(a) 
Substantially identical facade, disregarding color.
(b) 
Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticoes, porches or garages or other openings or breaks or extensions in the facade, including reverse arrangements.
(c) 
Other substantially identical features, such as but not limited to setbacks from street lines; heights, widths and lengths of elements of the building design; and exterior materials and treatments.
(2) 
Striking dissimilarity, visual discord or inappropriateness with respect to other structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or a corner thereof and within 150 feet of the site of the structures for which a building permit is requested, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
(a) 
Facade, disregarding color.
(b) 
Size and arrangement of doors, windows, porticoes, porches or garages or other openings, breaks or extensions in the facade.
(c) 
Other significant design features, such as but not limited to heights, widths and lengths of elements of design, exterior materials and treatments, roof structures, exposed mechanical equipment, service and storage areas, retaining walls, landscaping, signs, light posts, parking areas and fences and service and loading areas.
(3) 
Visual offensiveness or other poor qualities of exterior design, including, with respect to signs, considerations of the harmony or discord of colors, or incompatibility of the proposed structure with the terrain on which it is to be located, including but not limited to excessive divergences of the height or levels of any part of the structure from the grade of the terrain.

§ 13-6 Denial of building permit; effect of failure to act.

The Code Enforcement Officer shall refuse any building permit application disapproved as provided in § 13-5. If the Board of Architectural Review shall fail to approve or disapprove any application referred to it under § 13-4 within 30 days of the date of referral of such application to it, the application shall be considered to have been approved unless the applicant shall have agreed to an extension of time or shall have agreed to provide additional data, information or plans.

§ 13-7 Appeals.

A. 
Any applicant aggrieved by the action of the Board of Architectural Review in disapproving a building permit application, and of the Code Enforcement Officer in denying such permit because of such disapproval, may request the Board to make formal findings of fact. In the event of such a request, the Board shall make such findings of fact within 15 days after the request is filed in the office of the Village Clerk, shall thereafter provide the applicant with an opportunity to answer the findings by the submission of formal proof and shall reconsider the application on the basis of such answer. If the application is disapproved after such reconsideration, the applicant may appeal the decision of the Board of Architectural Review to the Board of Trustees of the Village of Haverstraw.
B. 
If the Board of Trustees upholds the disapproval, the applicant may bring a proceeding to review in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules in a court of record on the ground that such action is illegal, in whole or in part. Such proceeding must be commenced within 30 days after the filing in the office of the Village Clerk of the decision of the Board of Trustees.