Town of Wheatfield, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wheatfield 2-9-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 69.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 101.
Junkyards — See Ch. 109.
Mobile home parks — See Ch. 114.
Sewers — See Ch. 146.
Storm sewer system — See Ch. 163.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 164.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 169.
Wind energy conversion systems — See Ch. 198.
Zoning — See Ch. 200.
[1]
Editor's Note: This chapter repealed former Ch. 44, Zoning and Planning Boards, which consisted of Art. I, Member Requirements, adopted 9-20-1993 by L.L. No. 6-1993.

§ 44-1 Purpose.

The Town of Wheatfield believes that it would be beneficial to set certain minimum training requirements and minimum meeting requirements for the members of the Town of Wheatfield Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals and to provide for a mechanism for the removal of members who do not meet the minimum training requirements or minimum attendance requirements. The purpose of this chapter is to set forth certain minimum training and attendance requirements and to establish a mechanism for the removal of members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals who do not meet such minimum requirements.

§ 44-2 Officers and duties.

A. 
The officers to the Town of Wheatfield Planning Board shall be a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson and Secretary.
B. 
The Town Board shall appoint the Chairperson of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals from among the members on an annual basis at the Town Board organization meeting. The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall elect the Vice Chairperson and Secretary from among its members. In the event of death or resignation of any officer, the Town Board shall appoint a successor as soon as practical.
C. 
The Chairperson shall supervise the affairs of the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals, shall preside at all meetings of the Board and shall appoint such committees and subcommittees of such size as may be necessary, to carry out the purposes of the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Chairperson shall be an ex officio member of all committees and subcommittees so appointed.
D. 
The Vice Chairperson shall perform such duties as may be delegated by the Chairperson; in the absence or disability of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall perform the duties and exercise all the powers of the Chairperson.
E. 
There shall be a Secretary to the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall make the appointment of the Secretary by majority vote. When approved by majority vote, the Vice Chairperson may assume the Secretary's responsibilities.
(1) 
The Secretary shall record and maintain permanent minutes of the meetings of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, which minutes shall be a public record; shall keep a record of attendance of members at such meetings; shall inform applicants in writing of the Board's decisions; shall perform such other duties as shall be delegated by the Chairperson. A copy of the approved minutes shall be provided to the Town Board, Town Clerk and the Chairperson within two weeks of the Board meeting.
(2) 
In the absence of the Secretary, the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall select a temporary Secretary to perform the duties of Secretary.
F. 
The Town Board appoints the five members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals for a five-year term. Members appointed to fill a vacancy shall be appointed only for the unexpired term. All members shall become familiar with the general governing rules contained herein and any other references referred to by the Chairperson concerning specific issues under discussion.
(1) 
Attendance. All Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals members shall attend not less than 80% of all regularly and specially scheduled meetings each year, unless excused by written medical authorization or by the Chairperson for a death in the family. The Chairperson shall notify the Town Board of any such excused absence.
(2) 
Site visits. All members shall make every effort to take part in site visits when necessary as dictated by deliberations during meetings. Site visits by Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals members does not constitute a meeting subject to the Open Meetings Law so long as its purpose is not for anything other than to "observe and acquire information."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Article 7 of Public Officers Law § 100 et seq.

§ 44-3 Meetings.

A. 
Regular meetings shall be held as set by the respective boards at their first meeting in each calendar year, in the Town Hall, 2800 Church Road, North Tonawanda, N.Y. 14120, unless such day shall be a recognized holiday. Alternate dates for holidays, when necessary because of pending business, will be agreed to by a majority vote of the members present at least one month in advance of the change of date.
B. 
Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson or by any three members with five days' written notice to all members.

§ 44-4 Voting.

A. 
A quorum shall be required to conduct business at any regular or special meeting and shall consist of at least three members of the Board. No hearing or meeting of the Board shall be held, nor any action taken, in the absence of a quorum. Members present shall be entitled to request the Chairperson to call a special meeting for a subsequent date. Subsequent hearings shall be re-advertised in accordance with the requirements of the applicable law.
B. 
All members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall have equal voting rights.
C. 
All matters shall be decided by a roll-call vote. A concurring vote of three of the appointed Board members shall be required to act on any matter before the Board. A tie vote or favorable vote by a lesser number shall be considered a rejection of the application under consideration.
D. 
Conflict of interest. No member of the Board shall sit in hearing or vote on any matter in which he/she is personally or financially interested. The Board in establishing a quorum for such matter shall not count said member.
E. 
Should a member have a question concerning the appropriateness of his/her participation in a hearing or vote, after discussion with the Chairperson, the matter may be referred to the Town Attorney for advice. This referral should occur prior to the meeting to avoid a delay for the applicant.

§ 44-5 Order of business.

A. 
Roll call.
B. 
Reading and approval of minutes of previous meeting.
C. 
Communications.
D. 
Reports of committees.
E. 
Unfinished business.
(1) 
Public hearing of previously discussed subdivisions (Planning Board).
(2) 
Other previously discussed subdivisions, site plans, etc. (Planning Board).
F. 
New business.
(1) 
Public hearings.
(2) 
Review of sketch plans, site plans, subdivision plats, etc. (Planning Board).
(3) 
Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals request for comment.
(4) 
Miscellaneous business.
G. 
Adjournment.

§ 44-6 Compensation.

Members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall be entitled to compensation on an annual basis, to be paid quarterly, at a rate to be set by the Wheatfield Town Board.

§ 44-7 Minimum training requirements.

All members of the Town Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall be required to attend a minimum of eight hours in relevant training courses within 12 months from the date of their initial appointment and thereafter attend training sessions of not less than eight hours every three years thereafter. Such training sessions shall be approved in advance by the Wheatfield Town Board, and the Town of Wheatfield shall reimburse the member for the cost incurred in connection with any such training, e.g., mileage, tuition, lodging and meals. Training sessions may include any programs offered by New York State, other municipalities, governmental associations, education institutions, or in-house updates or seminars. Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals approval is required when the training is offered at no charge within reasonable travel distance.

§ 44-8 Removal of members.

The Chairperson of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall notify the Town Board, in writing, on or before December 1 in any year of any member who fails to comply with the minimum requirements for training or the minimum attendance requirements in any calendar year. The Town Board shall then conduct a hearing upon 15 days' written notice to the member to determine whether good cause exists for the removal of any such member, and if good cause exist, then the Town Board shall remove such member. Failure to obtain the training required by this chapter or failure to meet the minimum attendance requirements set forth in this chapter shall be prima facie evidence of good cause for removal. At any such hearing, the member whose removal is sought shall be entitled to be represented by counsel at his or her expense. The hearing shall be held as required by the New York State Open Meetings Law. In the event that the a member is removed from office, the Town Board shall appoint a successor member to serve the remainder of the term of the member so removed.