Town of Ellicott, NY
Chautauqua County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ellicott 6-6-1990 as L.L. No. 1-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction and fire prevention — See Ch. 51.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 73.
Mobile homes — See Ch. 84.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 130.
Zoning — See Ch. 146.

§ 121-1 Enactment; statutory authority.

The Town Board of the Town of Ellicott, New York, does hereby ordain and enact the Town of Ellicott Site Plan Review Law pursuant to the authority and provisions of § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law and § 274-a of the Town Law, intending to overrule those sections of the Town Law which are in conflict herewith.

§ 121-2 Short title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Site Plan Review Law." The Town of Ellicott is hereinafter referred to as the "town."

§ 121-3 Intent.

A. 
Through site plan review, it is the intent of this chapter to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the town. A clean, wholesome and attractive environment is declared to be of importance to the health and safety of the inhabitants of the town, and, in addition, such an environment is deemed essential to the maintenance and continued development of the economy of the town and the general welfare of its inhabitants.
B. 
It is further the intent of this chapter to ensure the optimum overall conservation, protection, preservation, development and use of the natural and man-related resources of the Town by regulating land use activity within the Town through review and approval of site plans. It is not the intent of this chapter to prohibit per se any land use activity but to allow all land use activities which will meet the standards set forth in this chapter and standards set forth in any other local law.

§ 121-4 Authorization of Planning Board to review site plans.

The Planning Board is hereby authorized to review and approve or disapprove site plans for land development within the Town as hereinafter designated pursuant to and in accordance with the standards set forth in this chapter using the procedures set forth herein.

§ 121-5 Applicability of review requirements.

A. 
All land use activity occurring after the effective date of this chapter within the Town shall require site plan review and approval before being undertaken, except the following:
(1) 
Construction, alteration or placement of one-family dwelling and ordinary accessory structures and related land use activities.
(2) 
Minor landscaping or grading which is not intended to be used in connection with a land use reviewable under the provisions of this chapter and which involves less than two acres in size.
(3) 
Ordinary repair or maintenance or interior alterations of existing structures or uses.
(4) 
Exterior alterations or additions to existing structures which would not increase the square footage of the existing structure by more than 25% and having a cost value of less than $15,000.
(5) 
Nonstructural agricultural or gardening uses not involving clear-cutting timber or farm ponds.
[Amended 10-21-1998 by L.L. No. 7-1998]
(6) 
Signs under 10 square feet.
(7) 
The sale of agricultural produce and temporary structures related to sale of agricultural produce.
(8) 
Garage sales exceeding two per year, as defined in Chapter 122 of the Code of Town of Ellicott, will require site plan approval.
[Amended 10-21-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
B. 
Any persons uncertain of the applicability of this chapter to a given land use activity may apply in writing to the Planning Board for a written jurisdictional determination.

§ 121-6 Effect on existing uses.

This chapter does not apply to uses and structures which are lawfully in existence as of the date this chapter becomes effective. Any use which would otherwise be subject to this chapter that has been discontinued for a period of one year or more shall be subject to review pursuant to the terms of this chapter before such use is resumed. Any use or structure shall be considered to be in existence, provided that the same has been substantially commenced as of the effective date of this chapter and fully constructed and completed within one year from the effective date of this chapter.

§ 121-7 Conflict with other provisions.

This chapter in no way affects the provisions or requirements of other federal, state or local laws or applicable regulations. This chapter shall be considered the initial review procedure relative to other local laws and/or regulations. However, where this chapter is determined to be in conflict with any other such law or regulations, the more restrictive law shall apply. This includes but is not limited to subdivision regulations, sanitary codes and zoning ordinances or local laws.

§ 121-8 Definitions.

A. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CLEAR-CUTTING
Any cutting of an area greater than one acre of all or substantially all trees over six inches in diameter at breast height over any ten-year cutting cycle.
FAMILY
A person or persons related to each other by blood, marriage or adoption, [and/or not more than three individuals not so related], living together as a single housekeeping unit.
LAND USE ACTIVITY
Any construction or other activity which changes the use or appearance of land or a structure or the intensity of use of land or a structure. "Land use activity" shall explicitly include but not be limited to the following: new structures, expansions to existing structures, new uses, changes in or expansions of existing uses, roads, driveways and excavations for the purpose of extracting soil or mineral deposits.
ONE-FAMILY DWELLING
A complete self-contained residential unit for permanent habitation by one family only, and containing one or more rooms and facilities for living including cooking, sleeping and sanitary needs.
STRUCTURE
Any object constructed, installed or placed on land to facilitate land use and development or subdivision of land, such as buildings, sheds, signs, tanks and any fixtures, additions and alterations thereto.
STRUCTURE, ACCESSORY
Any structure designed to accommodate an accessory use but detached from the principal structure, such as a freestanding garage for vehicles accessory to the principal use, a storage shed, garden house or similar facility.
B. 
Any term used in this chapter which is not defined hereinabove shall carry its customary meaning unless the contract otherwise dictates.

§ 121-9 General provisions.

Prior to undertaking any new land use activity, except for uses specifically excepted in § 121-5 of this chapter, a site plan approval by the Planning Board is required. Applicants for site plan approval shall follow the recommended procedures related to the sketch plan conference as hereinafter set forth. Applicants must comply with all other procedures and requirements of this chapter.

§ 121-10 Sketch plan conference.

A sketch plan conference shall be held between the Planning Board and the applicant prior to the preparation and submission of a formal site plan application. The sketch plan conference shall be held within 30 days of a written request for such conference by the applicant. The intent of such a conference is to enable the applicant to inform the Planning Board of his proposal prior to the preparation of a detailed site plan; and for the Planning Board to review the basic site design concept, advise the applicant as to potential problems and concerns and to determine generally the information to be required on the site plan. In order to accomplish these objectives, the applicant shall provide the following items, unless deemed unnecessary by the Planning Board: a statement and rough sketch showing the locations and dimensions of principal and accessory structures, parking areas, access signs (with descriptions), existing and proposed vegetation, and other planned features; anticipated changes in the existing topography and natural features; and, where applicable, measures and features to comply with flood hazard and flood insurance regulations.

§ 121-11 Application requirements.

A. 
An application for site plan approval shall be made, in writing, to the Chairman of the Planning Board at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting and shall be accompanied by information contained on the following checklist. The information accompanying the application shall be drawn from the following checklist as determined to be necessary by the Planning Board at the sketch plan conference.
B. 
Landscape plan required data. A sketch plan shall contain all of the information mentioned herein in accordance with the standards prescribed herein. The landscaped area of a site plan as indicated in the sketch plan may include existing and new vegetation, berms, lighting, street furnishings and ornamental features which are integrated with the vegetation. A sketch plan should attempt to dissuade the unnecessary clearing and disturbing of land so as to preserve the natural and existing growth of flora and to replace removed flora or plant new flora indigenous to the Western New York region. It also should attempt to reduce the effects of wind and air turbulence, heat and noise and the glare of vehicular lights; provide unpaved areas for the absorption of surface waters; reduce the level of carbon dioxide and return pure oxygen to the atmosphere; prevent soil erosion; provide shade; relieve the blighted appearance of parking areas; and generally provide for an attractive, harmonious environment.
C. 
Site plan checklist.
(1) 
Title of drawing, including name and address of applicant and person responsible for preparation, identification of New York State licensed architect, landscape architect or engineer where appropriate of such drawing.
(2) 
North arrow, scale at one inch equals 200 feet or some agreed-upon scale as specified by the Town of Ellicott Planning Board.
(3) 
Boundaries of the property, plotted to scale.
(4) 
Existing buildings.
(5) 
Grading and drainage plan, showing existing and proposed contours, rock outcrops, depth to bedrock, soil characteristics and watercourses.
(6) 
All existing watercourses, tree masses and other significant natural features shall be plotted. Where drainage is to be to a natural watercourse or drainage ditch, the elevation of water in such watercourse or ditch at recognized flood stage should be noted.
(7) 
A stormwater management plan prepared by a professional engineer in accordance with § 121-14, Subsection B of this Code showing proposed finish elevations at the building and parking areas, with proposed storm receivers and storm sewers plotted, as well as, the engineering calculations attesting to the conformance of § 121-14, Subsection B of this Code. Size, slope and type of pipe shall be noted on the stormwater management plan. A copy of the Planning Board's appointed engineer's report on his/her review of said stormwater management plan shall be included when required.
[Amended 1-3-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
(8) 
Location, design, type of construction, proposed use and exterior dimensions of all buildings.
(9) 
Location, design and type of construction of all parking and truck loading areas, showing access and egress and showing paving, including typical cross sections and profiles of proposed streets, pedestrian walkways and bikeways. All entrance drives and parking areas shall be bituminous surfaced unless otherwise approved by the Planning Board.
(10) 
Provision for pedestrian access.
(11) 
Location of outdoor storage, if any.
(12) 
Location, design and construction materials of all existing or proposed site improvements, including drains, culverts, retaining walls and fences.
(13) 
Description of the method of sewage disposal and location, design and construction materials of such facilities.
(14) 
Description of the method of securing water and location, design and construction materials of such facilities with a proposed water supply plan, including location of fire hydrants, size of service line, and note indicating as backflow preventer will be provided.
(15) 
Location of fire and other emergency zones, including the location of fire hydrants.
(16) 
Location, design and construction materials of all energy distribution facilities, including electrical, gas and solar energy.
(17) 
Location, size and design and type of construction of all proposed signs.
(18) 
Location and proposed development of all buffer areas, including existing vegetative cover.
(19) 
Location and design of outdoor lighting facilities.
(20) 
Identification of the location and amount of building area proposed for retail sales or similar commercial activity.
(21) 
General landscaping plan and planting schedule.
(22) 
An estimated project construction schedule.
(23) 
Record of application for and/or status of all necessary permits from other governmental bodies.
(24) 
Identification of any permits from other governmental bodies required for the project's execution.
(25) 
Proposed easements, restrictions, covenants and provisions for any and all homeowners' associations and common ownerships.
(26) 
An aerial map showing the parcel under consideration for site plan review and all properties, subdivisions, streets, rights-of-way, easements and other pertinent features within 200 feet of the boundaries of the parcel.
(27) 
A map of site topography at no more than five feet contour intervals. If general site grades exceed 5% or portions of the site have susceptibility to erosion, flooding or ponding, a soils overlay and a topographic map showing contour intervals of not more than two feet of elevation should also be provided.
(28) 
Other elements integral to the proposed development as may be considered necessary in the particular case by the Planning Board.

§ 121-12 Fee.

[Amended 1-7-1998 by L.L. No. 3-1998]
An application for site plan review shall be accompanied by a fee as set forth in § 146-76L, Fees.

§ 121-13 Chargeable costs.

Cost incurred by the Planning Board for reasonable consultation fees or other extraordinary expenses in connection with the review of a proposed site plan may be charged to the applicant. This charge shall only be made after an estimate of the charge has been provided to the applicant and accepted by the applicant; provided, however, that the Planning Board need not proceed without such agreement.

§ 121-14 Review standards and criteria.

[Amended 1-3-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
A. 
Landscape characteristics.
(1) 
A minimum ground area of not less than 12% of the total site area shall be landscaped.
(2) 
The arrangement and location of landscaped area shall be dispersed throughout the development site so as to prevent unsightliness and monotony of parked vehicles.
(3) 
Not less than 5% of the interior of a parking area designed for 10 or more motor vehicles shall be devoted to the minimum landscaped area requirement as stipulated in Subsection A above.
(4) 
Landscaping shall provide privacy and screening for adjacent land uses, with visual, noise and air quality factors considered.
(5) 
Landscape treatments shall be designate as an integral part of the entire development.
(6) 
Vegetation shall be compatible with soil conditions on the development site and the regional climate.
(7) 
Existing natural features and vegetation shall be preserved and incorporated in the landscaped portion of the development site whenever possible.
(8) 
The primary emphasis of the landscape treatment shall be on the trees, and efforts shall be made to preserve trees consistent with this priority. Shrubbery, hedges, grass and other vegetation may be used to complement the use of trees, but shall not be the sole contribution to the landscape treatment.
(9) 
The interior dimensions of any area or median shall protect the plant materials planted therein and ensure proper growth.
(10) 
All deciduous trees planted shall have a minimum caliper of 2 1/2 inches, measured six inches above the ground. All conifer trees shall have a minimum height of five feet above finished grade.
(11) 
Plastic or other types of artificial plantings or vegetation shall not be permitted.
B. 
Stormwater management. A stormwater management plan shall be prepared by a professional engineer for each proposed development activity and be submitted to the Town Planning Board at least 10 days prior to the scheduled site plan review. The plan must demonstrate that the proposed development activity has been planned and designed and shall be implemented and maintained to meet the performance criteria described herein. All prevailing state, federal and local codes shall be complied with, and all permits required shall be procured by the applicant. A professional engineer may be retained by the Town Planning Board to review the submitted stormwater management plan for compliance and submit a report to the Planning Board which will become a part of the site plan review process. The expense of the engineer and review will be borne by the applicant.
[Amended 9-16-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002]
C. 
Site illumination. All permanent exterior site lighting, entrance lighting, security lighting and aesthetic feature lighting shall be designed in accordance with the following criteria:
(1) 
Illumination of parking facilities.
(a) 
Where provided, the illumination for parking and drive areas shall emit a minimum of one footcandle and a maximum of two footcandles on the parking surface, with an average uniformity ratio of 3:1.
(b) 
"Sharp cut-off" fixtures shall be utilized for the perimeter lighting fixtures so as to emit no more than 0.5 footcandle of washover onto neighboring properties and shall be directed so as to avoid causing a hazard to motorists and pedestrians.
(c) 
The photometrics and light distribution characteristics of the proposed fixtures shall be furnished to the Code Enforcement Officer, if requested.
(d) 
Other than facilities operating 24 hours per day, parking lot and site lighting shall be controlled to reduce the illumination thereof by 50% at 11:00 p.m. and to be shut off 1/2 hour after the close of business. For facilities operating 24 hours per day, parking lot and site lighting shall be controlled to reduce the illumination thereof by 50% from 11:00 p.m. until dawn.
(2) 
Building exterior lighting (other than security lighting).
(a) 
The illumination of building exteriors, including entrances, shall not exceed five footcandles on the surface to which such lighting is directed.
(b) 
"Sharp cut-off" fixtures shall be utilized for building exterior lighting so as to emit no more than 0.5 footcandle of washover onto neighboring properties and shall be directed so as to avoid causing a hazard to motorists and pedestrians.
(c) 
Other than facilities operating 24 hours per day, exterior building lighting shall be controlled to reduce the illumination thereof by 50% at 11:00 p.m. and to be shut off one 1/2 hour after the close of business. For facilities operating 24 hours per day, such lighting shall be controlled to reduce the illumination thereof by 50% from 11:00 p.m. until dawn.
(3) 
Exterior building security lighting.
(a) 
Building security lighting shall not exceed 0.75 of one footcandle at a distance of 20 feet from the building.
(b) 
"Sharp cut-off" fixtures shall be utilized for building security lighting so as to emit no more than 0.5 footcandle of washover onto neighboring properties and shall be directed so as to avoid causing a hazard to motorists and pedestrians.

§ 121-15 Maintenance of landscaped areas.

All landscaped areas required and/or provided in the sketch plan shall be maintained and preserved according to the plans as originally approved by the Planning Board or as subsequently approved for any modification by said body.

§ 121-16 Considerations for review.

A. 
The Planning Board's review of the site plan shall include, as appropriate, but is not limited to the following general considerations:
(1) 
Location, arrangement, size, design and general site compatibility of buildings, lighting and signs.
(2) 
Adequacy and arrangement of the vehicular traffic access and circulation, including intersections, road widths, pavement surfaces, dividers and traffic controls.
(3) 
Location, arrangement, appearance and sufficiency of off-street parking and loading.
(4) 
Adequacy and arrangement of pedestrian traffic access and circulation, walkway structures, control of intersections with vehicular traffic and overall pedestrian convenience.
(5) 
Adequacy of stormwater and drainage facilities. Consideration for such may include input of the Town Highway Superintendent in making the decision.
[Amended 9-16-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002]
(6) 
Adequacy of water supply and sewage disposal facilities.
(7) 
Adequacy, type and arrangement of trees, shrubs and other landscaping constituting a visual and/or noise buffer between the applicant's and adjoining lands, including the maximum retention of existing vegetation.
(8) 
Adequacy of fire lanes and other emergency zones and the provision of fire hydrants.
(9) 
Special attention to the adequacy and impact of structures, roadways and landscaping in areas with susceptibility to ponding, flooding and/or erosion.
(10) 
Overall impact on the neighborhood, including compatibility of design considerations.
(11) 
Overall compatibility with natural resource characteristics of site in accordance with Future Land Use Plan, a report dated December 1974.
B. 
All landscaped areas required and/or provided for in the sketch plan shall be maintained and preserved according to the plans as originally approved by the Planning Board or as subsequently approved for any modification by said body.

§ 121-17 Public hearing.

The Planning Board may conduct a public hearing on the site plan if considered desirable by a majority of its members. Such hearing shall be held within 60 days of the receipt of a complete application for site plan review and shall be advertised in the town's official newspaper or, if there is none, in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least five days before the public hearing.

§ 121-18 Planning Board decision.

Within 60 days of receipt of the application for site plan approval or if a public hearing is held within 60 days of public hearing, the Planning Board shall render a decision. The Planning Board may approve, approve with modifications or disapprove the site plan. The time period in which the Planning Board must render its decision can be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the Planning Board.
A. 
Approval. Upon approval of the site plan and the payment by the applicant of all fees and reimbursable costs due the town, the Planning Board shall endorse its approval on a copy of the site plan and shall immediately file it and a written statement of approval with the Town Clerk. A copy of the written statement of approval shall be mailed to the applicant.
B. 
Approval with modifications. The Planning Board may conditionally approve the final site plan. A copy of the written statement containing the modifications required by the conditional approval will be mailed to the applicant. After adequate demonstration to the Planning Board that all conditions will be met and payment by the applicant of all fees and reimbursable costs due the town, the Planning Board shall endorse its approval on a copy of the site plan and shall immediately file it and a written statement of approval, with the necessary modifications, with the Town Clerk. A copy of the written statement of approval shall be mailed to the applicant.
C. 
Disapproval. Upon disapproval of the site plan, the decision of the Planning Board shall immediately be filed with the Town Clerk and a copy thereof mailed to the applicant, along with the Planning Board's reasons for disapproval.

§ 121-19 Appeal procedure.

Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Planning Board may appeal to the Town Board for a review. To appeal the Town Board's determination, such person may apply to the Supreme Court for a review by a proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. Such proceedings shall be instituted within 30 days after the filing of a decision in the office of the Town Clerk.

§ 121-20 Enforcement officer.

The Town Board shall appoint an enforcement officer to carry out the duties assigned by this chapter or by any additional regulations adopted pursuant to § 121-21 hereof. The enforcement officer shall be responsible for the overall inspection of site improvements, including coordination with the Planning Board and other officials and agencies, as appropriate.

§ 121-21 Additional regulations.

The Planning Board may, after a public hearing, adopt such further rules and regulations as it deems reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

§ 121-22 Amendments.

A. 
The Town Board may, on its own motion, on petition or on recommendation of the Planning Board, after public notice and hearing, amend this chapter pursuant to all applicable requirements of law.
B. 
All proposed amendments originating by petition or by motion of the Town Board shall be referred to the Planning Board for a report and recommendation thereon. The Planning Board shall submit its report within 30 days after receiving such referral. Failure of the Planning Board to report within the required time shall be deemed to constitute a recommendation for approval of the proposed amendment.

§ 121-23 Integration of procedures.

Whenever the circumstances of proposed development require compliance with site Plan Review Law and with any other local law, ordinance or requirement of the town, the Planning Board shall attempt to integrate, as appropriate, site plan review as required by this chapter with the procedural and submission requirements for such other compliance.

§ 121-24 Penalties for offenses.

Any person, corporation, partnership or other legal entity that shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any conditions imposed by a permit pursuant hereto shall be guilty of an offense and subject to a fine of not more than $500 to be recovered by the town in a civil action. Every such person or entity shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each week such violation, disobedience, omission, neglect or refusal shall continue.