Village of Altamont, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 355-17 Traffic access management and traffic calming.

A. 
The Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals, as the case may be, is authorized to require a traffic impact analysis for any development that proposes to add 100 or more vehicles per day to the street.
B. 
There shall be no more than two access points into any commercial lot or major subdivision (see also Village of Altamont Subdivision Regulations, Local Law No. 4-2007).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 315, Subdivision of Land.
C. 
The Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals, during site plan review and special use permitting procedures, shall evaluate the proposed development for traffic impacts. The Boards are authorized to require, as needed, traffic calming features such as curb extensions, landscaped medians, use of variable surface textures, and creation of frontage or service roads to encourage slower traffic speeds and minimize traffic access issues.
D. 
The Boards shall consolidate access points into commercial lots wherever possible and encourage shared driveways or common access points off streets.
E. 
The Boards shall promote interconnection of parking lots and unified on-site circulation systems.

§ 355-18 Lighting.

A. 
Purpose. This section establishes standards for exterior lighting in order to accomplish the following:
(1) 
To provide safe roadways for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians;
(2) 
To prevent against direct glare and excessive lighting;
(3) 
To ensure that sufficient lighting can be provided where needed to promote safety and security;
(4) 
To prevent light trespass in all areas of the Village;
(5) 
To protect the ability to view the night sky;
(6) 
To allow for flexibility in style of lighting fixtures; and
(7) 
To provide lighting guidelines.
B. 
Applicability. For new lighting, all exterior lighting installed after the effective date of this article shall conform to the standards established in this article. For existing lighting, all existing exterior lighting installed prior to the effective date of this article shall be brought into compliance with this article within the following time frame:
(1) 
All existing lighting located on a subject property that is part of an application for design review, special use permit review, subdivision review or building permit is required to be brought into compliance prior to a certificate of occupancy being issued.
(2) 
All other existing exterior lighting on property used for commercial purposes and not in conformance with this article shall be brought into compliance within 36 months of the effective date of this article.
C. 
General.
(1) 
All exterior lighting shall be designed, located and operated in order to prevent:
(a) 
Overlighting.
(b) 
Energy waste.
(c) 
Glare.
(d) 
Light trespass.
(2) 
All nonessential exterior commercial and residential lighting is encouraged to be turned off after business hours and/or when not in use. Lights on a timer are encouraged.
(3) 
Canopy lights, such as service station lighting, shall be fully recessed or fully shielded so as to ensure that no light is visible from or causes glare on a public right-of-way or adjacent properties.
(4) 
Area lights shall be eighty-five-degree full-cutoff-type luminaires.
D. 
Criteria.
(1) 
Where used for security purposes or to illuminate walkways, roadways, and parking lots, only shielded light fixtures shall be used. On-site lighting should be located to avoid harsh glares which distract the motorist's line of sight. The luminaire shall emit no direct light above a horizontal plane through the lowest direct light emitting part of the luminaire. Fully shielded fixtures are required. The ratio of pole height to spacing shall be not more than 1:6 (for example, an eighteen-foot pole height and a pole-to-pole spacing of 108 feet). The maximum height of the luminaire may not exceed 18 feet.
(2) 
Light fixtures used to illuminate flags, statues, or any other objects mounted on a pole, pedestal or platform shall use a narrow cone beam of light that will not extend beyond the illuminated object.
(3) 
Direct light emissions shall not be visible above the building roofline for other upward directed architectural, landscape, and decorative lighting.
(4) 
Externally illuminated signs, including building identification signs, shall only use shielded light fixtures. No internally illuminated signs are permitted unless they are backlighted signs as follows: when signs are composed of individual backlit letters which are silhouetted against a softly illuminated wall or when signs have individual letters with translucent faces containing soft-lighting elements inside each letter. See also § 355-23, Signs.
(5) 
All reasonable measures, such as altering pole height, changing bulb type or using shielded fixtures, shall be taken to prevent the projection of a nuisance glare onto neighboring properties. Outdoor light fixtures properly installed and thereafter maintained shall be directed so that there will be no objectionable direct light emissions.
(6) 
At the property line of the subject property, illumination from light fixtures shall not exceed 0.1 footcandle on adjacent residential property or 0.5 footcandle on adjacent business property, measured in a vertical plane.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(7) 
The Planning Board shall use the following table as recommended footcandles for safety and security:
Location
Average Maintained Footcandles
Roadways, local residential
0.4
Roadways, local commercial
0.9
Parking lots, residential
Vehicular traffic
0.5
Pedestrian safety, security, orientation
0.8
Parking lots, commercial
Vehicular traffic, medium activity lots
1.0
Vehicular traffic, high activity lots
2.0
Pedestrian safety, security, orientation
Medium activity lots
2.4
High activity lots
3.6
Walkways and bikeways
0.5
Building entrances and exits
5.0
Material storage access
5.0
(8) 
The Planning Board may, as it deems appropriate, require that lighting be controlled by automatic timing devices to extinguish offending sources during specified periods to mitigate glare consequences. The Planning Board may also require that lighting, except for security lighting, be extinguished between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. for businesses that are not in operation during that time.
(9) 
Glare control shall be accomplished primarily through the proper selection and application of lighting equipment. Only after those means have been exhausted shall vegetation, fences, and similar screening methods be considered acceptable for reducing glare.
(10) 
Mercury vapor greater than 40 watts and quartz lamps are prohibited light sources.
(11) 
Poles and fixtures shall compliment the architectural character of the development and surrounding area. In the CBD, poles and fixtures matching those established along Main Street and Maple Street shall be utilized for any proposed fixtures within the street right-of-way.
(12) 
Electrical feeds to lighting standards shall be run underground not overhead.
(13) 
Lighting standards in parking areas shall be placed a minimum of five feet outside the paved lot area or five feet behind perimeter tire-stop locations or mounted on concrete pedestals at least 30 feet above the pavement or protected by other acceptable means.
(14) 
Directional lighting fixtures used for sign lighting shall be mounted so they are aimed directly at the sign and shall not cause light to shine outwards to cause glare that may be dangerous to vehicles.
(15) 
Lighting plans. Lighting plans shall be included in site plan review. Lighting plans submitted for review and approval for subdivision and land development and site plan review shall include a layout of proposed fixture locations, footcandle data that demonstrates conforming intensities and uniformities, and a description of the equipment, glare control devices, lamps, mounting heights and means, hours of operation, and maintenance methods proposed. Illumination intensities shall be plotted on a ten-foot by ten-foot grid.

§ 355-19 Landscaping.

A. 
Applicability and purpose. Existing vegetation and new plantings help integrate new development in with existing, help maintain visual quality, screen and buffer adjacent uses, and soften or mitigate negative impacts of new development. All new commercial, community uses and parking lots are required to meet landscape standards. Landscape standards as outlined in this section are also required for a change of use and major subdivisions.
B. 
Criteria.
(1) 
Buffers. Landscape buffers shall be provided between all residential and new commercial uses. Buffers may include planted trees and shrubs, berms, or existing vegetation. The width of such buffer areas will depend upon the topography, scale of the use and their location on the property and shall be determined by the Planning Board at the time of project review. Landscaping shall be an integral part of the entire project area and shall either buffer the site from or integrate the site with the surrounding area or both.
(2) 
Existing vegetation. Building placement and lot layout shall be designed to relate to and incorporate existing mature vegetation. Insofar as practical, existing trees and other desirable vegetation shall be conserved and integrated into the landscape design plan.
(3) 
Landscape components. Primary landscape treatment shall consist of shrubs, ground cover and shade trees and shall combine with appropriate walks and street surfaces to provide an attractive development pattern. Selected landscape plants should be native to the area to the extent practicable. Species identified as invasive, as defined by Albany County Cooperative Extension, shall not be allowed as new plantings.
(4) 
Screening. Open storage areas, exposed machinery, and areas used for storing and collecting rubbish shall be screened from roads and surrounding land uses. Suitable types of screening include wood fences and dense evergreen hedges of five feet or more in height. Where evergreen hedges are proposed, a temporary fence shall be built to provide screening until the evergreens are of sufficient height to screen the object alone.
(5) 
Parking lots shall be landscaped as per § 355-22.
(6) 
Streetscape standards. Streets shall be designed to serve as a public space that encourages social interaction and that balances the needs of all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles.
(a) 
Planting strips. Sidewalks shall be separated from street edges or curbs by a planting strip three to six feet wide and planted with grasses.
(b) 
Shade trees shall be provided along each side of all streets, public or private, existing or proposed, but not including alleys, and at the expense of the owner of the subdivision. In locations where healthy and mature shade trees currently exist, these should be maintained and the requirements for new trees may be waived or modified. Shade trees shall be not located in the planting strip between the street curb and the sidewalk but to the outside of the sidewalk away from the street where sidewalks are present. When a new street has a sidewalk on only one side, the shade tree shall be planted at the same distance from the street edge or curb on both sides of the street.
[1] 
Shade trees shall have a minimum caliper of two inches measured at chest height at the time of planting and shall be spaced a maximum of 30 feet on center, with exact spacing to be evaluated on a site-specific basis.
[2] 
No more than 40% of the street trees shall be of one species. The particular species of shade trees shall be determined upon specific location requirements. Species shall be selected to cast moderate to dense shade in the summer, survive more than 60 years, have a mature height of at least 50 feet, be tolerant of road salt, and be insect- and disease-resistant. The following urban tolerant street trees are recommended:
Green Ash
Hackberry
Little-leaf Linden
Pin Oak
Red Oak
Thomless Honey Locust
Village Green Zelkova
Sycamore
Red Maple
[3] 
Street trees shall be irrigated and fertilized for a minimum of two years after installation. Any tree that dies within two years of planting or any tree that is removed shall be replaced with the same species and size. The Planning Board may require establishment of an escrow account to cover costs of replanting.

§ 355-20 Commercial and residential design standards.

A. 
Building design standards and guidelines.
(1) 
General. The Village is compact and buildings are relatively close together. These standards are in addition to all requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. It is not the intent of this section to discourage contemporary architectural expression but rather to preserve the integrity and authenticity of the given zoning district and to ensure the compatibility of new structures within the existing district zoning. The standards established in this section are for the purpose of promoting quality development that is attractive, convenient and compatible with surrounding uses and historic buildings in the Village. These standards are intended to be general in nature and not to restrict creativity, variety or innovation. During project development and review, attention should be given to the compatibility of adjoining developments when reviewing project proposals.
(2) 
Applicability. These standards apply to all development required to have site plan approval.
(3) 
Context and compatibility. These standards and guidelines establish an expectation that new development is similar in context and compatible with existing development. Context and compatibility with respect to neighborhood buildings can be judged by the following major points of comparison:
(a) 
Roof shapes, slopes and cornices are consistent with the prevalent types in the area.
(b) 
Rhythm of building spacing along the street and overall scale are not interrupted.
(c) 
Proportions for facades and window openings are in harmony with the traditional types within the district.
(d) 
Materials, textures, and colors are similar, with natural and traditional building materials preferred.
(e) 
Site details (porches, entrances, signs, landscaping, lighting, screened parking and mechanical systems) complement traditional examples in the area.
(4) 
Building placement.
(a) 
Buildings shall be designed so that entrance doors and windows, rather than blank walls, garages, side walls or storage areas, face the street. Blank walls for commercial applications are discouraged but may be allowed at the discretion of the Planning Board under certain circumstances such as when the structure is along an alley or when facing another blank wall.
(b) 
The front facade of the building shall be parallel to the main street unless traditional orientation of buildings on that street differs for the majority of buildings.
(c) 
No residential parking area shall be located in the front yard setback between a principal building and any public street. If necessary due to specific site conditions, one row of parking may be placed between the principal building and the public street only if topography or a year-round vegetative buffer of sufficient density to substantially limit the view of the parking lot screens the parking lot.
(d) 
Detached garages to the rear of buildings are encouraged. Front-facing garages shall be located a minimum distance in feet of 60% of the depth of the residence from the corner of the front facade at the garage side of the principal building or be side-loaded, if attached.
(e) 
Build-to line. Buildings shall define the streetscape through the use of setbacks along the build-to line for each block. The function of the build-to line is to form a distinct street edge and define the border between the public space of the street and the private space of the individual lot. The build-to line shall fall between the minimum and maximum front yard setbacks. In areas of existing development where existing buildings fall within the minimum and maximum front yard setbacks, the build-to line shall be designed to create the greatest uniformity on the block. In areas of existing development where existing buildings do not fall within the minimum and maximum front yard setbacks, the build-to line shall be designed as the closest line within the minimum and maximum front yard setbacks so as to create as much uniformity on the block as possible.
(5) 
Building scale.
(a) 
The scale and mass of buildings shall be reviewed by the Planning Board during site plan review and determined to be compatible with that of adjacent and nearby buildings as viewed from all exposed (public) vantage points.
(b) 
In order to minimize the apparent scale of buildings greater than 40 feet in width, facades facing the main street should be broken by periodic setbacks and facade breaks, and rooflines should include offsets and changes in pitch. Other design features such as porches or cupolas, window bays, separate entrance and entry treatments, or the use of sections that may project or be recessed may also be used.
(6) 
Building facades.
(a) 
Exterior materials of new construction shall be compatible with those traditionally used in the Village and may include wood or wood-simulated (clapboard, board and batten or shingles), vinyl, red common brick, natural stone, and man-made or processed masonry materials if they simulate brick or stone and have the texture and architectural features sufficiently similar to that of the natural material to be compatible. Primary facade materials such as stucco, sprayed-on textured surface finishes, modular metal panels, and concrete blocks are not permitted.
(b) 
The front facade of the principal building on any lot shall face onto a public street.
(c) 
A variety of architectural features and building materials is encouraged to give each building or group of buildings a distinct character.
(d) 
There shall be no blank walls. [See Subsection A(4)(a) also.]
(7) 
Roof types and materials.
(a) 
All roofs shall be pitched with a minimum pitch of five inches' vertical rise for each 12 inches' horizontal run and have a roof overhang of traditional proportions on all structures. Mansard roofs are not acceptable.
(b) 
Peaked or slope roof dormers and cupolas are encouraged.
(c) 
Roofing materials of slate, metal, asphalt or fiberglass shingles or cedar shakes or composites that have the same appearance as these materials are acceptable.
(d) 
Porches, pent roofs, roof overhangs, hooded front doors or other similar architectural elements that define the front entrance to all residences are encouraged.
(e) 
Multiple buildings within a development shall have a variety of different roof overhang profiles proportioned to replicate a traditional downtown street front rhythm.
(8) 
Windows.
(a) 
The spacing, pattern and detailing of windows and window openings shall be reviewed by the Planning Board during site plan review and determined to be compatible with adjacent buildings, including historic buildings, where possible.
(b) 
The relationship of the width of windows to the height of windows in a building shall be visually compatible with adjacent buildings.
(9) 
Accessory equipment.
(a) 
All roof-, wall- or ground-mounted mechanical equipment such as heating and air-conditioning units, exhaust fans, etc., shall be confined within the principal structure or within an area enclosed by a wall, screen, fence, berm or hedge of sufficient height and density to screen the equipment year round from view from adjacent streets, properties and parking lots. No equipment shall be located in front of a building, and the preferred location is to the rear of the building (see also § 355-19, Landscaping).
(b) 
All dumpsters or other trash containers shall be fully enclosed by a fence and screened by appropriate landscaping. No dumpster shall be located in front of a building, and the preferred location is to the rear of the building (see also § 355-19, Landscaping).

§ 355-21 Sustainability building incentive.

The Planning Board shall consider issuing a density bonus to developers willing to undertake utilization of green building methods as per the following:
A. 
Purpose. Pursuant to § 7-703 of the New York State Village Law, the Village of Altamont hereby establishes a program to encourage the use of sustainable building methods by providing incentive(s) to applicants seeking approval of a subdivision plat or site plan approval. The Planning Board may grant zoning incentives that are in compliance with the Village of Altamont Comprehensive Plan and with the provisions of this section. As set forth below, the Planning Board has established standards for the proper application of incentive zoning and the specific findings that shall be made prior to approving an adjustment to the maximum unit density requirements of this chapter.
B. 
Applicability. The incentives set forth herein shall be applicable within any zoning district and shall apply when an application for approval of a subdivision pursuant to the Village of Altamont Subdivision Law[1] or an application for approval of a site plan pursuant to this chapter has been made. Where an application seeks both subdivision and site plan approval, the project shall be considered in its entirety and incentives shall not be granted separately for both approvals. Incentives shall be granted only when the community benefits or amenities offered would not otherwise be required or likely to result from the applicable planning process before the Planning Board. Such benefits shall be in addition to any items that are or would be required under other provisions of this chapter or state law, including any mitigation measures required pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act.[2]
(1) 
Incentives. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of Village or state law or this chapter that limits or restricts the maximum unit density of a proposed project or subdivision, an applicant may apply for an incentive adjustment to the maximum unit density requirements of this chapter in exchange for building, siting, and construction of a "green" building as per the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Certification Program. An incentive of 20% may be given for eligible projects.
(2) 
Procedures and criteria for approval.
(a) 
Authorization of a zoning incentive is subject to the approval by the Planning Board prior to the grant of preliminary plat or preliminary site plan approval. Applicants may seek nonbinding input from the Planning Board as to whether the proposal is worthy of consideration prior to the preliminary plat or site plan application.
(b) 
Applications for incentives in exchange for sustainable amenities shall be submitted to the Planning Board. In order to preliminarily evaluate the adequacy of amenities to be accepted in exchange for the requested incentive, the following information shall be given by the applicant:
[1] 
The requested incentive.
[2] 
The proposed amenity.
[3] 
A narrative which describes the benefits to be provided to the community by the proposed amenity.
[4] 
A narrative which describes the method and adequacy of sewer, water, transportation, waste disposal and emergency service protection facilities in the zoning districts in which the proposal is located to handle the additional demands the incentive and amenity, if it is an on-site amenity, may place on these facilities beyond the demand that would be placed on them if the parcel were developed to its fullest potential under normal zoning within the district.
[5] 
A narrative that explains how the amenity helps implement the physical, social or cultural policies of the Village of Altamont Comprehensive Plan.
(c) 
Should the Planning Board decide to recommend issuance of an incentive, the application shall be forwarded within 45 days of receipt of the application to the Village Board for an advisory opinion. The Village Board shall review the incentive application and make an advisory opinion in writing to the Planning Board as to whether the incentive should be accepted within 30 days after receipt. The Village Board's report and the application will then be transferred back to the Planning Board for its final decision on the application. The Planning Board's referral to the Village Board shall include a report with the following information:
[1] 
The Planning Board's recommendations regarding the proposal, including an evaluation of the adequacy with which the benefit(s) and incentive(s) for the site and how they relate to adjacent uses and structures and that such benefit(s) would not otherwise result as provided in the Village of Altamont Subdivision Law or this chapter. The Planning Board's evaluation shall be limited to planning, design and layout considerations or such other issues as may be specifically referred to it by the Village Board. It is not intended to serve as a site or subdivision review, which would only occur after a decision by the Village Board on the incentive zoning request.
[2] 
A SEQRA determination as to whether the proposal will have a significant impact on the environment.
[3] 
An assessment that there are adequate resources, sewer, water, transportation, waste disposal and emergency service facilities to serve the proposed incentive development and that such development will not substantially and deleteriously impact upon the development prerogatives of neighboring lands pursuant to this chapter.
(d) 
The Planning Board may engage a consultant to assist in review of the application, the cost of which will be borne by the applicant. Suggested modifications to the proposal may also be provided by the Village Board.
(e) 
Compliance with SEQRA. All applicable requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act shall be compiled with as part of the review and hearing process.
[1] 
Every decision by the Planning Board concerning an application for use of incentive zoning on a particular project will fully comply with the provisions of SEQRA.
[2] 
The applicant will submit an environmental assessment form, Part 1, to the Planning Board.
[3] 
The Planning Board will establish itself as SEQRA lead agency for all applications submitted pursuant to this section.
[4] 
If a generic environmental impact statement has been prepared by the Village Board in enacting or amending this section, the applicant will pay a proportionate share of the cost of preparing such impact statement.
(f) 
Public hearing. Prior to its final decision and in conjunction with its SEQRA review, the Planning Board will conduct a public hearing in accordance with the standard procedures for adoption of an amendment to this chapter. At least five days' notice (14 days if a draft environmental impact statement or supplemental environmental impact statement was required) of the time and place of the hearing will be published in an official newspaper of the Village.
(g) 
The Planning Board shall, before taking action, refer the proposal for review and comment to other governmental agencies as may be required and may refer the proposal to other Village boards and officials for review and comment.
(h) 
Following the public hearing and completion of the SEQRA process, and within 45 days, the Planning Board will approve, approve with modifications or conditions, or deny the proposed incentive zoning application. A written statement of the findings will be prepared by the Planning Board documenting the basis of its decision. The findings will include, but not be limited to, the following:
[1] 
That the proposed adjustments would not have a significant adverse impact on the property, or on adjoining property, or on the neighborhood in which the property is situated.
[2] 
That proper easements, surety or performance guarantees, if necessary, between the applicant and the Village are or will be in existence as of the date the final plat map is signed by the Chairperson of the Planning Board.
[3] 
That the proposed amenity provides sufficient public benefit to provide the requested incentive.
[4] 
SEQRA. That all requirements of SEQRA have been met, including the required findings under that law.
[5] 
Development capacity. That the proposed project, including the incentive, can be adequately supported by the public facilities available or provided as a result of the project, including but not limited to sewer, water, transportation, waste disposal and fire protection, without reducing the availability of such facilities for projects permitted as of right under this chapter.
[6] 
Public benefit. That the public benefit realized by the amenity provided by the applicant is commensurate with the incentive granted by the Village Board.
[7] 
Project quality. That the project is in harmony with the purpose and intent of this chapter and with the stated objectives and will promote the purposes herein, that the project is sufficiently advantageous to render it appropriate for grant of an incentive and that the project will add to the long-term assets of the Village of Altamont.
[8] 
Comprehensive Plan. That the use of incentive zoning for the particular project is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
(i) 
The Planning Board may impose conditions on a project to ensure that the above findings are ensured through the subsequent plan review and construction phases of the project.
(j) 
In no circumstances shall the Planning Board be compelled to approve any amenity/incentive proposal, and it may deny any such proposal in its sole discretion.
(k) 
Upon approval, the applicant shall submit an updated plat or site plan showing the bonus lots approved under this section. Upon approval of the updated plat or site plan, the Planning Board is authorized to act on the application for preliminary and final approval pursuant to the Subdivision Regulations and/or § 355-36 (Site plan approval) of this chapter. The preliminary plat shall include bonus lots for consideration in the normal subdivision process.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 315, Subdivision of Land.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Art. 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law. Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 355-22 Off-street parking and loading requirements.

A. 
Purpose and requirements.
(1) 
Off-street parking requirements serve several purposes. The first is to ensure that adequate parking is provided on site so as not to interfere with traffic or the safety of pedestrians. The second is to ensure that the property on which the use is located is not overdeveloped. It is a finding of the Village Board that the construction of multilevel parking facilities may result in the overdevelopment and use of property, inappropriate to the nature of the Village, and shall not be allowed. Shared parking lots however are encouraged.
(2) 
No building or other permit shall be issued until plans and evidence are presented, reviewed and approved or conditionally approved by the Planning Board to show the off-street parking and loading requirements are to be fulfilled and that property is and will be available for exclusive use as off-street parking and loading space. The subsequent use of the property for which the permit is issued shall be conditional upon the unqualified continuance and availability of the amount of parking and loading space required by this chapter.
B. 
Off-street loading. Every institution, hotel, or commercial, office, or industrial building hereafter erected or established having a gross floor area of 10,000 square feet or more shall provide and maintain at least one off-street loading space. Any use requiring 1/2 or more of a loading space shall be deemed to require the full space. Each loading space shall not be less than 12 feet in width, 35 feet in length and 14 feet in height clearance. These requirements apply to each separate occupancy and are exclusive of driveways, aisles and other necessary circulation areas.
C. 
Off-street parking.
(1) 
Off-street parking spaces shall be provided and maintained as set forth in this section for all uses in all zoning districts. Such off-street parking spaces shall be provided at the time:
(a) 
A new building is hereafter erected or enlarged.
(b) 
A building existing on the effective date of this chapter is enlarged to the extent that the cost of construction exceeds 50% of the market value of the building as shown on the Town of Guilderland Assessor's record or to the extent that the building's capacity is increased by more than 50% in terms of units used in the "required parking spaces" column of Subsection D of this section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(c) 
The use is changed to another use with greater parking requirements.
(2) 
Up to 20% of a proposed use's parking requirements can be met by counting existing municipal parking lots or spaces that are within 1/4 mile of the proposal's location.
D. 
Number of spaces required.
(1) 
Off-street parking spaces shall be provided as listed below. In the case of a combination of uses, the total requirements for off-street parking shall be the sum of the requirements for the various uses, unless it is established that staggered hours of use would justify modification. If a portion of a space is required, a full space shall be provided. The Planning Board shall use the following table to guide and shall determine the total number of parking spaces at the time of application in consultation with the applicant in order to prevent overbuilt parking lots. Limited access to and shared use of parking lots are encouraged.[2]
Use
Requirement
Residential
Single-family dwellings
2 spaces
Two-family dwellings
4 spaces
Multiple-family dwellings
1 1/2 spaces per dwelling unit
Business-residential
Hotels and motels, clubs, lodges
1 space per guest room, plus 1 space per employee (maximum shift)
Bed-and-breakfast
2 spaces for the home, plus 1 space for each guest room
Institutions
Nursing care homes
1 space per 3 beds for patients or residents, plus 1 space per each staff member (maximum shift)
Places of public assembly
Churches
1 space per 4 seats or 8 feet of bench length in the main auditorium
Libraries, meeting rooms
1 space for every 200 square feet of gross floor area, plus 1 space for each employee (maximum shift)
Preschools, nurseries, day-care centers and adult day-care centers
1 space per teacher and 1 space per 3 students
Private colleges or schools, commercial schools, nonresidential
1 space per teacher and 2 spaces per 3 seats in classrooms
Business amusements
4.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area
Business uses
Business uses, 1,500 square feet or less
1 space per 250 square feet of gross floor area
Public garages
3 spaces for each service bay, plus 1 space for each employee (maximum shift)
Gasoline service stations
1 space for each gas pump nozzle and 1 space for each service bay, plus 1 space for each employee (maximum shift)
Supermarkets, grocery stores
1 space per 300 square feet of gross floor area, plus 2 spaces for each 3 employees
Convenience store
1 space per each 100 square feet of gross floor area.
Service or repair shops, retail stores and outlets selling furniture, automobiles or other bulky merchandise where the operator can show that bulky merchandise occupies the major area of the building
1 space per 200 square feet of gross floor area, plus 1 space for each employee (maximum shift), plus 1 space for each auto or piece of farm equipment available for sale
Retail stores not selling bulky merchandise and over 1,500 square feet
1 space per 150 square feet of gross floor area, plus 1 space for each employee (maximum shift)
Banks, offices, professional offices, medical/dental offices
1 space per 300 square feet of gross floor area, plus 1 space per employee (maximum shift)
Restaurants, sit-down
1 space per 3 seats, plus 1 space per each employee (maximum shift) or 1 space per 100 square feet gross floor area, plus 1 space per employee (maximum shift), whichever is greater
Bars or restaurants with bar
1 space per 2 seats, plus 1 space per employee (maximum shift) and 1 space per 20 square feet of standing room
Mortuaries, funeral homes
1 space for each 100 square feet of gross floor area up to 500 square feet, plus 1 additional space for each 100 square feet or fraction thereof in excess of 500 square feet
Public utilities
1 space for each employee (maximum shift)
Industrial storage, warehouse, manufacturing establishment, air, rail or trucking freight terminal
1 space per employee (maximum shift)
Research development laboratories
1 space for each employee (maximum shift), plus 1 visitor space for every 600 square feet of gross floor space
Wholesale establishments
1 space per employee (maximum shift), plus 1 space per 700 square feet of patron service area
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
Other uses not specifically listed above shall furnish parking as required by the Planning Board. The Planning Board shall use the list above as a guide for determining requirements for said other uses.
(3) 
The off-street parking requirements of two or more uses, structures or parcels of land may be satisfied by the same parking or loading space used jointly to the extent that it can be shown by the owners or operators of the uses, structures or parcels that their operations and parking needs do not overlap in point of time. If the uses, structures or parcels are under separate ownership, the right to joint use of the parking space must be evidenced by a deed, lease, contract or other appropriate written document to establish the joint use.
E. 
Location of parking facilities. Off-street parking for dwellings shall be located on the same lot as the dwelling. On-street parking spaces eligible to be counted towards parking requirements shall be within 1/4 mile of the proposed location. Not more than 20% of the required parking shall be satisfied with available municipally provided parking lots. The burden of proving the existence of such off-premises parking arrangements rests upon the person who has the responsibility of providing parking.
F. 
Use of parking facilities.
(1) 
Required parking space shall be available for the parking of operable passenger automobiles of residents, customers, patrons and employees only. Businesses that require parking lots for storage of vehicles, equipment, or materials or for the parking of vehicles used in conducting the business or use shall provide such parking lots in addition to the parking needed for customers and employees.
[Amended 1-5-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
(2) 
Automotive vehicles or trailers of any kind or type without current license plates shall not be parked or stored on any property other than in completely enclosed buildings. No trailer may be parked within the front or side yards at any time. However, one boat, utility or one travel trailer may be stored in the rear yard, only if it has a current license.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(3) 
Recreational vehicles (RV) with current license plates may be stored in the rear yard or in the side yard.
(4) 
In all residential districts, external storage of commercial vehicles, industrial equipment and materials is prohibited. In such districts, external parking of commercial vehicles between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. is prohibited except when such parking is incidental and reasonably necessary to the performance of service at the time of such parking.
G. 
Parking in front yards.
(1) 
Unless otherwise provided, required parking and loading spaces shall not be located in a required front yard, except in the case of a single- or two-family dwelling where such parking may be permitted only in a driveway.
(2) 
In all districts off-street parking spaces on corner lots shall be set back from one side street line a distance of not less than 20 feet.
H. 
Development and maintenance standards for off-street parking areas.
(1) 
Development standards. Every parcel of land hereafter used as a public or private parking area, including commercial parking lots, shall be developed as follows:
(a) 
A parking space shall have a minimum rectangular dimension of not less than nine feet in width and 18 feet in length for angle and ninety-degree parking and nine feet in width and 22 feet in length for parallel parking. Aisle widths shall be established as follows: twelve-foot aisle width for one-directional flow and twenty-four-foot aisle width for two-directional flow for parallel parking and twenty-six-foot aisle width for forty-five-degree, sixty-degree and ninety-degree parking. All dimensions shall be exclusive of driveway, aisles and other circulation area. With respect to existing commercial establishments operating prior to the effective date of this chapter, such establishments may comply with the parking space size requirements contained in this chapter without obtaining permission from the Planning Board.
(b) 
Any parking area which is intended to be used during nondaylight hours shall be properly illuminated to avoid accidents. Any lights used to illuminate a parking lot shall be so arranged as to reflect the light away from all adjoining property. All lighting standards of § 355-18 shall apply to parking lots.
(c) 
Except for single-family dwellings, any parking area shall be designed in such a manner that any vehicle leaving or entering the parking area from or into a public or private street shall be traveling in a forward motion. Access to driveways for parking areas or loading spaces shall be located in such a way that any vehicle entering or leaving such lot shall be clearly visible for a reasonable distance to any pedestrian or motorist approaching the access or driveway from a public or private street.
(d) 
Except for single-family dwellings, the required number of parking and loading spaces as set forth in this section, together with aisles and other circulation areas, shall be improved with acceptable impervious material to provide a durable and dust-free surface.
(e) 
All parking and loading areas shall provide for proper drainage of surface water to prevent the drainage of such water onto adjacent properties or walkways.
(f) 
Buffering of parking lots from adjacent residences shall be accomplished through generous landscaping [see Subsection H(1)(j) below]. Where site limitations necessitate that parking areas greater than 10 vehicles be located adjacent to a public road, a berm or hedge at least 30 inches in height above grade at the time of planting shall be installed to screen the view of parking areas from the road or street. Existing vegetation, which is proposed for preservation, may also be used to screen the view of parking areas.
(g) 
Cross-access easements for adjacent properties with interconnected parking lots shall be required, in language acceptable to the Village Attorney.
(h) 
No off-street parking shall be permitted in the front yards of buildings, nor shall off-street parking be permitted on corner lots except when screened.
(i) 
Any off-street parking space or parking lot in the main street area that abuts a sidewalk shall be buffered from the sidewalk by a landscaped area.
(j) 
Landscaping shall, to the extent practicable, be used to screen all parking lots and parking areas from all public roads, paths and private streets. Factors such as the size of the parking area, direction and elevation from which it can be viewed, the viewer's position, the season and the distance of the lot from the view must be considered when determining the type, height, width and density of the plant materials to be used. Existing vegetation may be incorporated into the parking lot landscape plan. Shade trees located within the parking lot in appropriate landscape islands shall be planted at the ratio of one tree per 10 parking spots.
(k) 
All landscaping must be maintained to be effective.
(2) 
Traffic and parking control standards. Owners of premises containing off-street parking and loading areas shall be ordered by the Planning Board to conform to any or all of the following standards relating to traffic and parking controls on said premises where such conformance is deemed necessary by the Planning Board, in its discretion, to promote the public health, safety and welfare and to ensure the safe and unhazardous use of such premises:
(a) 
As may be required pursuant to the New York State Building Code, fire lanes shall be established and maintained in the parking area at the front, side and rear of all buildings and structures on the site and properly painted and marked as such. Vehicular parking and standing is prohibited in a fire lane.
(b) 
Traffic lanes for the control and regulation of automobile, truck, bicycle, other vehicle and pedestrian flow in the parking area shall be established and maintained and properly delineated through the use of pavement markings, speed limit signs or median strips.
(c) 
Parking lanes for parking spaces shall be established and maintained in the parking area and shall be properly painted and marked as such.
(d) 
Provisions shall be made on the premises for the parking of bicycles.
(e) 
Parking spaces in the parking area shall be set aside and designated for handicapped persons and ramp facilities provided where necessary.
(f) 
Provision shall be made for the safe movement of pedestrians while in the parking area or accessory area through the use of walkways, medians and crosswalks.
(g) 
Curbing and traffic barriers or islands shall be built where necessary and maintained so as to enforce desired traffic patterns within the parking area. Where possible, traffic islands shall contain vegetation and landscaping conducive to growth in a parking area environment.
(h) 
Stop signs or yield signs shall be erected or painted on the pavement at entrance or exit locations of a parking area or at intersections within the parking area where required for traffic safety.
(3) 
Maintenance regulations. Any owner of premises containing an off-street parking and/or loading area shall comply with the following regulations:
(a) 
All roads, sidewalks, driveways and parking areas used in connection with the premises must be kept in proper repair, free of potholes where paved and free from refuse, snow and ice, except that snow may be piled on the premises so long as it does not interfere with the internal circulation and parking of the parking area and sidewalks and does not hinder driver vision where entering or leaving the premises.
(b) 
The premises must be kept free and clear of ashes, dirt, debris, rubbish, garbage, refuse and other obstructions and must be kept properly repaired and maintained.
(c) 
Fire lanes, traffic lanes and parking lines for parking spaces, where required, shall be maintained and properly painted and marked so that such lanes and lines will be clearly visible to vehicle operators and pedestrians.
(d) 
All lighting requirements of § 355-18 shall be met.
(e) 
All fences, signs, screening, curbing, traffic barriers and islands, trees, grass, shrubbery, landscaping, retaining walls, slopes and other space used in connection with the premises must be maintained and/or repaired.
(f) 
All water drains and water drainage systems used in conjunction with the premises must be kept clean and in proper working order.
(g) 
All stormwater retention ponds and systems related thereto used in connection with the premises shall be maintained in proper working condition.
(h) 
All exterior areas on subject premises must be kept free and clear of the storage of goods, wares and merchandise unless otherwise permitted by the Planning Board. Loading and unloading are to be done in designated zones only.
(i) 
There shall be, at convenient places for use by the public, proper trash receptacles to service the parking area, which shall be sufficiently serviced to prevent overflow.
(j) 
Where required, facilities for the parking of bicycles on the premises and parking spaces and related ramp facilities for handicapped persons shall be maintained and properly designated.
(k) 
Traffic and parking control standards to which owners of the premises have conformed under Subsection H(2) of this section must be maintained.
(l) 
Engineering requirements, landscape plans, parking and traffic control plans or any other criteria or requirements upon which the approval of a site plan or special permit for the premises is obtained from the Planning Board must be adhered to at all times.
I. 
Administration. The standards set forth in Subsection H(2) of this section shall be applied by the Planning Board on application by an owner of property for site plan approval or on application for a special use permit, where such property would contain off-street parking and loading areas.

§ 355-23 Signs.

A. 
Purpose and scope.
(1) 
The purpose of this section is to provide standards to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare by controlling the number, location, construction, installation, illumination and maintenance of all signs and sign structures in the Village of Altamont.
(2) 
It is the further purpose of this section to control the quality and quantity of signs so as to enhance the identification of the various business and professional enterprises in the Village and improve the visual quality of the community. It is the design of the Village that all persons concerned with the location, design and regulation of signs give full consideration as to the impact that signs have on the visual quality and character of Altamont.
B. 
Procedures for sign permits.
(1) 
After the effective date of this chapter and except as otherwise herein provided, no person shall erect, enlarge, change colors, cover or structurally alter any sign without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Planning Board.
(a) 
Applications for sign permits shall be made, in writing, upon forms provided by the Building Inspector, by the owner, lessee or erector and be accompanied by a scale drawing showing dimensions, proposed design, calculated signage area, the legend, color, materials, structural details and a tract or plat location map delineating the location of highway right-of-way lines, buildings, parking areas, other signs on the same property, frontage of each unit and/or any fences or other obstructions in relation to the designated location of the proposed sign. Lessee or erector applicants shall evidence approval of the owner for such erections.
[Amended 1-5-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010; 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(b) 
Before approving a sign permit, the Planning Board shall find that the applicant has demonstrated the following facts to be true:
[1] 
The proposed sign(s) is (are) in harmony with the standards for permitted signs and within the spirit of this chapter.
[2] 
The proposed sign shall be comparable with the neighborhood environment and character and shall not be detrimental to adjacent property.
[3] 
The proposed sign does not, by reason of its location, create a hazard of any nature to the public in general or to any adjacent owner or occupant.
[4] 
The proposed sign(s) does (do) not in any way interfere with the lawful and aesthetic enjoyment of the public highway or of adjacent property.
(c) 
Prior to the issuance of any permit for the erection, enlargement or structural alteration of a sign, a fee shall be paid in accordance with the schedule of fees established by the Village Board.
(d) 
No permit issued under the terms of this section shall be transferable to any person other than the original applicant without the consent of the Planning Board.
(e) 
A sign permit shall become null and void if the work for which the permit was issued has not been started within a period of six months after the date of issue of the permit.
(f) 
The Building Inspector shall require the proper maintenance of all signs. Such signs, together with their supports, shall be kept in good repair. The display surfaces shall be kept neatly painted at all times. The Building Inspector may order the removal of any sign that is not maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Painting, repainting, cleaning or repair maintenance shall not be considered an erection or alteration which requires a permit unless a structural change is made.
(g) 
The Building Inspector is authorized to issue a sign permit for any sign which replaces an existing sign and which is not different with respect to size, color and/or design and which is in compliance with existing zoning regulations.
(2) 
Where the Building Inspector finds that any sign no longer advertises an existing business conducted upon the premises on which such sign is located, he/she may direct the owner or occupant of the premises to remove such sign.
C. 
General provisions.
(1) 
Illuminated signs or lighting devices may be permitted, provided that such signs employ only lights emitting a constant intensity, and no sign shall be illuminated by, or contain, a flashing or moving light or lights.
(2) 
In no event shall an illuminated sign or lighting device be so placed or directed as to permit beams and illumination therefrom to be directed or beamed upon a public street, highway, sidewalk or adjacent premises so as to cause glare or reflection that may constitute a traffic hazard or nuisance to adjoining properties. A New York State Board of Fire Underwriters certificate shall be submitted for every electrically illuminated sign.
(3) 
Except as may be permitted by this chapter, the use of pennants, banners, spinners, streamers, moving signs or flashing, glittering or reflective, animated or rotating signs of similar eye-catching devices shall not be permitted. Preexisting signs in the above category shall conform to this revised regulation immediately upon the change of use request for an amendment to this sign permit.
(4) 
No bizarre, caricature, offensive or vulgar signs shall be permitted.
(5) 
No roof signs shall be permitted.
(6) 
No on- or off-premises billboard or commercial advertising signs shall be permitted.
(7) 
No sign shall be erected or maintained so as to prevent ingress or egress from any door, window or fire escape or so as to prevent free access from one part of a roof to any other part.
(8) 
No sign other than safety-related signs shall be attached to a fire escape.
(9) 
No painted wall signs shall be permitted.
(10) 
No sign shall be erected in such a manner as to confuse or obstruct the view of any traffic sign, signal or device.
(11) 
No sign of any size or description, except traffic signs placed by public agencies, may be erected, placed or maintained or overhung within the highway limits of any public way or within 30 feet of the center line of any public highway within the Village of Altamont.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
D. 
Signs in residential districts. No signs shall be permitted in any residential districts except the following:
(1) 
One nameplate sign not exceeding two square feet in area indicating the name and address of the occupant.
(2) 
Where a home occupation is permitted by this chapter, nameplate signs may be used to identify the home occupation. Such signs shall not exceed two square feet in area and shall be building-mounted. The sign shall only indicate the nature of the home occupation. No pictorial, graphic or representational media shall be permitted.
(3) 
For multiple-dwelling projects, one sign, building- or ground-mounted, indicating the name of the project may be permitted. Such sign shall not exceed 25 square feet in area or per side if double-faced.
(4) 
Ground- or building-mounted projection signs shall not obstruct the view of vehicles. Building-mounted projection signs shall not be located on the roof of any building or project above the roofline.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(5) 
Signs advertising the prospective sale of a single residence or apartments for rent may be placed on the premises to be sold or rented, with the name of the persons effecting the sale or rental, provided that:
(a) 
The size of any sign shall not exceed an area of six square feet per side of a two-faced sign.
(b) 
No more than one such sign shall be placed upon any property.
(c) 
Such signs shall not be closer than 10 feet to any lot line.
[Amended 1-5-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
(d) 
"For sale" signs shall be removed within 24 hours of such sale.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(6) 
Signs indicating the private nature of driveways or trespassing signs shall be permitted, provided that the size of any such sign shall not exceed two square feet. Such signs shall not be less than five feet from any street or property line.
(7) 
Signs accessory to parking areas, designating entrances and exits to and from a parking area and limited to one sign for each such exit and entrance and to a maximum size of two square feet each, shall be permitted.
(8) 
One sign per parking area, designating the conditions of use or identity of such parking area and limited to a maximum size of nine square feet, shall be permitted, provided that on a corner lot two such signs shall be permitted, one facing each street. No parking area sign shall be less than 10 feet from any street or property line.
(9) 
Signs of the type set forth in Subsection D(1), (2), (5), (6), (7) and (8) of this section shall not require a sign permit from the Planning Board.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
E. 
Signs in the B, RPO, and CBD Districts. Business signs may be permitted within commercial districts, provided that the following requirements are met:
(1) 
General requirements.
(a) 
Business sign(s) shall be located on the same premises as the business or profession to which it (they) refer(s).
(b) 
Business sign(s) shall be securely attached to the building or to structurally sound standards and shall not project above the roofline.
(c) 
Not more than two signs per business unit having a total face area of not more than one square foot per linear foot of width for each foot of principal storefront of the lot may be displayed, but not to exceed a total area of 25 square feet. Such signs shall not project more than five feet beyond the principal on the lot, and there shall be not more than one projecting sign per business unit; provided, further, that such signs shall not extend more than 20 feet above the ground level, measuring from the top of the sign.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(d) 
No representational sign shall be permitted in any district.
(e) 
Freestanding signs which exceed six square feet in area per side shall only be permitted on frontages of 100 feet or more and shall not be closer than 100 feet to any other freestanding sign which is greater than six square feet in area.
[Amended 12-4-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
(f) 
Suitable landscape planting shall be placed and maintained at the base of all freestanding signs. Such signs and adjacent grounds shall be kept neat, clean, inoffensive and in good repair.
(g) 
Freestanding signs shall be set back not less than five feet from the street right-of-way line, 15 feet from any adjacent commercial or industrial property and 25 feet from any adjacent residential property.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(h) 
Time and temperature devices may be permitted in all commercial districts subject to the requirements of this chapter regulating wall, freestanding and/or projecting signs.
(2) 
Other signs.
(a) 
Signs used in connection with the sale, rental or improvement of real property may only be located on the premises to be sold, rented or improved. Said signs shall not exceed one sign of 12 square feet or two signs of six square feet in area for each development.
(b) 
Signs accessory to parking areas, designating entrances and exits to and from a parking area and limited to one sign for each such exit and entrance and to a maximum size of two square feet each, shall be permitted.
[Amended 1-5-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
(c) 
Each business or industrial use shall prominently display property address numbers on the face of each structure in such a manner and made of such material that would easily facilitate the recognition of addresses from structure to structure from a moving vehicle. Such address numbers shall not exceed four square feet in area and one foot in height.
(d) 
One sign per parking area designating the conditions of use or identity of such parking areas and limited to a maximum size of nine square feet shall be permitted, provided that on a corner lot two such signs shall be permitted, one facing each street. No parking area sign shall be less than 10 feet from any street or property line.
(e) 
Sandwich signs, as defined in Article 11, shall be allowed only when displayed during regular operating hours of the business and shall be placed on the sidewalk in a location that does not impede pedestrian flow or sight distance or create a hazard.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(f) 
Signs of the type set forth in Subsection E(2)(a),(b),(c),(d) and (e) above shall not require a sign permit from the Planning Board.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
F. 
Temporary signs permitted in any district upon issuance of a temporary permit by the Building Inspector.
(1) 
Signs during construction or in connection with a real estate development may be permitted for a temporary period of not more than six months, provided that such signs do not exceed 32 square feet. Permits required for such signs may be renewed for an additional period of like duration under the same procedures and conditions as required for the original permit.
(2) 
Temporary signs up to 32 square feet in area advertising any educational, charitable, civic, professional, religious or like campaign or event may be erected on the issuance of a temporary permit for a period not to exceed 14 consecutive days prior to the event. No more than three such temporary permits shall be issued to an organization during any 12 consecutive months. Signs authorized under the provisions of this section shall be permitted to have banners, subject to approval of the Building Inspector, and all such temporary signs shall be removed within 48 hours after the event.
(3) 
Posters announcing candidates seeking public elected office and other data pertinent thereto shall be permitted. Such posters and/or signs shall not exceed 12 square feet in area or per side if double-faced. Such signs shall be erected not more than 21 days before the election and shall be removed within four days after the election.
(4) 
Temporary signs shall not be attached to fences, trees, utility poles, bridges or traffic signs and shall in no way obstruct or impair vision or traffic in any manner or create a hazard or disturbance to the health and welfare of the general public.
G. 
Exemptions. The following types of signs are exempted from the provisions of this chapter except for construction and safety regulations and the following requirements:
(1) 
Public signs. Signs of a noncommercial nature and in the public interest, erected by or on the order of a public officer in the performance of his/her public duty, such as safety signs, danger signs, trespassing signs, traffic signs, memorial plaques, signs of historical interest and the like, shall be permitted.
(2) 
Integral. Names of buildings, dates of erection, monumental citations, commemorative tablets and the like, when carved into stone, concrete or similar material or made of bronze, aluminum or other permanent-type construction and made an integral part of the structure, shall be permitted.

§ 355-24 Fences, hedges and screen plantings.

A. 
Purpose. Fences, hedges, and plantings used as screening serve properties by providing privacy and security, defining private space and enhancing the design of individual sites. Fences also affect the public by impacting the visual image of the streetscape and the overall character of neighborhoods. This chapter regulates the design and siting of fences, hedges and plantings used as screening to achieve a balance between the private concerns for privacy and site design and the public concerns for enhancement of the community appearance and to ensure the provision of adequate light, air and public safety.
B. 
Fences, hedges and screen plantings shall be permitted or, alternatively, shall be required as provided in this section.
C. 
Fences. No fence more than three feet high shall be permitted within the front yard; no fence more than four feet high shall be permitted in the side yard, between the front and the rear building lines; and no fence more than six feet high shall be permitted behind the rear building line in any residential district, except that a fence of no more than six feet high may be erected on the surface of a deck behind the rear building line in any residential district, provided that the deck does not project beyond the side yard foundation walls of the dwelling erected on the lot. A fence or other buffer, up to eight feet, shall be required along the boundary line between a residential and a business or light industry district. The finished side of the fence shall face outwardly from the property being fenced. A building permit is required for all fencing. A special use permit from the Planning Board is required for fencing the front yard of a property or within 35 feet of a road intersection to ensure sight clearance for safety purposes.
[Amended 1-5-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
D. 
Buffers, berms and screen plantings. Buffers, berms and screen plantings shall be provided as set forth below:
(1) 
A buffer area of at least 20 feet shall be provided along the boundary line between any residential district and any business district (RPO, B or CBD).
(2) 
Such buffer areas shall contain screen plantings of trees, hedges, shrubs, etc., to provide a visual and sound buffer between the different districts.

§ 355-25 Protection of stream banks and water bodies.

A. 
There shall be a one-hundred-foot buffer between the stream bank of the Bozenkill Creek or Black Creek or their tributaries and any site disturbance. All wooded or other natural vegetation shall remain undisturbed within this buffer.
B. 
There shall be a one-hundred-foot undisturbed buffer between the shoreline of the reservoir and any development.

§ 355-26 General erosion and stormwater control. [1]

A. 
All land development activities subject to review and approval by the Planning Board of the Village of Altamont under subdivision, site plan, and/or special permit regulations resulting in a disturbance of greater than one acre shall be reviewed subject to the standards contained in this section.
B. 
The reviewing board shall require development of a stormwater management and erosion control plan for construction activities pursuant to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Construction Activities GP-O2-01 or as amended or revised.
C. 
This section shall be applicable to all commercial development projects proposing equal to or greater than one acre of disturbance and all residential development projects proposing equal to or greater than five acres of disturbance. This section shall also be applicable to all projects that are proposed to be constructed in phases.
D. 
The municipality shall designate the Building Inspector to accept all erosion and sediment control plans (E&SC) and stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPP) and shall forward such plans to the Village-designated engineer. The Village engineer may review the plans, specifications and related documents at a cost not to exceed a fee schedule established by the Village Board which shall be paid for by the applicant.
E. 
All land development activities not subject to site plan review, special use permits, or subdivision approval shall also be required to submit a SWPPP to the Building Inspector, who shall approve the SWPPP if it complies with the requirements of this chapter.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
F. 
Exemptions. The following activities may be exempt from review under this section:
(1) 
Agricultural activity as defined in this chapter.
(2) 
Forestry activity, except that landing areas and log haul roads are subject to this section.
(3) 
Routine maintenance activities that disturb less than five acres and are performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity or original purpose of a facility (i.e., mowing).
(4) 
Repairs to any stormwater management practice or facility deemed necessary by the Building Inspector.
(5) 
Any part of a subdivision if a plat for the subdivision has been approved by the Village of Altamont on or before the effective date of this section.
(6) 
Land development activities for which a building permit has been approved on or before the effective date of this section.
(7) 
Cemetery graves.
(8) 
Installation of fence, sign, telephone, and electric poles and other types of posts or poles.
(9) 
Emergency activity immediately necessary to protect life, property or natural resources.
(10) 
Activities of an individual engaging in home gardening by growing flowers, vegetables and other plants primarily for use by that person and his or her family.
(11) 
Landscaping and horticultural activities in connection with an existing structure.
G. 
Stormwater pollution prevention plan. All stormwater pollution prevention plans shall be prepared as per the New York Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control (Empire State Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, 2004, most current version or its successor, hereafter referred to as the "Erosion Control Manual"), as per the New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) most current version or its successor, and as per the Instruction Manual for Stormwater Construction Permit (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation), most current version or its successor.
H. 
Maintenance agreements. The Village of Altamont shall approve a formal maintenance agreement for stormwater management facilities binding on all subsequent landowners and recorded in the office of the County Clerk as a deed restriction on the property prior to any final plan approval. The maintenance agreement shall be in a form acceptable to the Village Attorney. The Village of Altamont, in lieu of a maintenance agreement, at its sole discretion, may accept dedication of any existing or future stormwater management facility, provided that such facility meets all the requirements of this chapter and includes adequate and perpetual access and sufficient area, by easement or otherwise, for inspection and regular maintenance.
I. 
The Planning Board (for subdivision, special use and site plan review) and the Zoning Board of Appeals (for variances) shall, to the maximum extent practical, require use of low-impact development techniques to manage stormwater within the Village as follows:
(1) 
The reviewing board shall:
(a) 
Permit the location of bioretention areas, rain gardens, filter strips, swales, and constructed wetlands in required setback areas and in buffer strips.
(b) 
Permit and encourage use of filter strips, grass swales, bioretention cells, use of permeable surfaces, and soil amendments to the maximum extent practical.
(c) 
Permit use of permeable paving for parking stalls and spillover parking areas.
(d) 
Permit utilization of shared parking for uses with different peak demand periods (e.g., office peak demand period 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; housing peak demand period 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.) and allow reduction of parking requirements if shared parking is proposed.
(e) 
Permit the use of common driveways to serve up to four houses.
(f) 
Allow bioretention areas, filter strips, swales, and constructed wetlands to count towards the fulfillment of site landscaping/open space requirements.
(g) 
Require driveway width to be no more than nine feet.
(h) 
Permit use of pervious material for single-family driveways (porous pavers, paving stones, pervious asphalt or concrete) and/or use of two-track design for residential driveways.
(i) 
Encourage developer to limit clearing within the right-of-way to the minimum necessary to construct roadway, drainage, sidewalk, and utilities and to maintain sight lines; do not require clearing and grubbing of entire right-of-way.
(j) 
Require contractors to reestablish permeability of soils that have been compacted by construction vehicles. For example, contractor can rototill lawn areas prior to seeding to reestablish void space (hence permeability and infiltration) of the soils.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Provisions relating to erosion and sediment control plans were repealed 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016; see now Ch. 315, Art. VI; Ch. 355, Art. VII; and Ch. 308.

§ 355-27 Residential cluster development and open space.

A. 
Purposes. The purposes of this section are to:
(1) 
Provide for the preservation of green space as a nonstructural stormwater runoff and watershed protection measure and retention and/or development of low-impact recreational opportunities as established in the Village of Altamont's adopted Comprehensive Plan.
(2) 
Provide residential development which permits flexibility of design in order to promote environmentally sensitive and efficient uses of the land as established in the Village of Altamont's adopted Comprehensive Plan.
(3) 
Preserve in perpetuity unique or sensitive natural resources such as floodplains, wetlands, streams, steep slopes, and woodlands as established in the Village of Altamont's adopted Comprehensive Plan.
(4) 
Permit clustering of houses and structures on less environmentally sensitive lands.
(5) 
Reduce erosion and sedimentation by minimizing land disturbance and removal of vegetation in residential development.
(6) 
Promote construction of convenient landscaped walking trails and bike paths both within the subdivision and connected to neighboring communities, businesses, and facilities to reduce reliance on automobiles as established in the Village of Altamont's adopted Comprehensive Plan.
(7) 
Reduce infrastructure costs, both to the developer and to the municipality.
B. 
General regulations:
(1) 
Applicability of regulations. A conservation subdivision or cluster development shall be required in all locations in the R-40, R-20, and PUD Districts for all major subdivisions. The applicant shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter and all other applicable laws, except those that are incompatible with the provisions contained herein.
(2) 
Ownership of development site. The tract of land to be subdivided may be held in single and separate ownership or multiple ownership. If held in multiple ownership, however, the site shall be developed according to a single plan with common authority and common responsibility (see Subdivision Law, Local Law No. 4-2007 also).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 315, Subdivision of Land.
(3) 
Housing density determination. The maximum number of lots in the conservation or clustered subdivision shall be determined pursuant to § 355-15, Density and dimensional requirements.
(4) 
The Planning Board shall allow variations of the dimensional, but not density, requirements when approving a clustered subdivision. However, no clustered subdivision shall have lot and other bulk dimensions smaller than that allowed in the R-10 District.
[Added 7-1-2008 by L.L. No. 2-2008]
C. 
Application requirements.
(1) 
Site analysis map required. Concurrent with the submission of a sketch plan as required in the Village of Altamont Subdivision Law,[2] the applicant shall prepare and submit a site analysis map. The purpose of the site analysis map is to ensure that the important site features have been adequately identified prior to the creation of the site design and that the proposed open space will meet the requirements of this section. This analysis map shall include an identification of primary and secondary conservation lands within a parcel(s), which includes those elements most highly valued by the community. The purpose of a sketch plan is to facilitate an expedient review of proposed new subdivisions in conformance with this chapter and the Comprehensive Plan. The sketch plan is not intended to be a highly engineered or exact document but a general sketch illustrating the location and type of environmental features that are present on the site. The preliminary sketch plan shall identify the following features:
(a) 
Area having slopes of 15% or greater.
(b) 
Wetlands, aquifer and aquifer recharge areas, if known, municipal water supply areas, flood-prone areas as shown on Federal Emergency Management Agency maps, lakes, and streams, if any.
(c) 
Sites where expanded community sewer, community water, or community water and sewer are available or planned, if any.
(d) 
Lands contiguous to publicly owned or designated open space areas or privately owned and designated natural areas, if any.
(e) 
Historic structures or areas of national, state or local importance, if any.
(f) 
Areas with rare vegetation, significant habitats, or habitats of endangered, threatened or special concern species or unique natural or geological formations, if any.
(g) 
General locations of vegetative cover conditions on the property according to general cover type, including cultivated land, grassland, old field, woodland and wetland, and the actual canopy line of existing trees and woodlands.
(h) 
Existing trails, bikeways, and pedestrian routes of Village, state or county significance that are through or near the property, if any.
(i) 
Location of all existing streets, roads, buildings, utilities and other man-made improvements.
(j) 
All easements and other encumbrances of property which are or have been filed of record with the Albany County Clerk's office.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 315, Subdivision of Land.
(2) 
Open space management plan required. An open space management plan, as described in Subsection D below, shall be prepared and submitted along with the preliminary subdivision plat.
(3) 
Instrument of permanent protection required. An example of an instrument of permanent protection, such as a conservation easement or permanent restrictive covenant and as described in Subsection D below, shall be placed on the open space concurrent with the issuance of a subdivision approval.
(4) 
Other requirements. The applicant shall adhere to all other applicable requirements of this chapter and the Subdivision Law.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 315, Subdivision of Land.
D. 
Open space.
(1) 
Definition. "Open space" is the undeveloped and unimproved portion of the conservation subdivision that has been set aside for permanent protection. Activities within the open space are restricted in perpetuity through the use of an approved legal instrument.
(2) 
Standards to determine open space.
(a) 
The minimum restricted open space shall comprise at least 50% of the gross tract area.
(b) 
To constitute this 50%, the primary and secondary conservation areas, as defined below, together constitute open space areas to be preserved together with other buildable areas to constitute at least 50% of the parcel. The following are considered primary conservation areas and are required to be included within the open space:
[1] 
Lands within a regulatory one-hundred-year floodplain;
[2] 
Slopes above 15%;
[3] 
Department of Environmental Conservation regulated wetlands and those wetlands that meet the definition used by the Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to the Clean Water Act;
[4] 
Populations of endangered or threatened species or habitat for such species;
[5] 
Archaeological sites, cemeteries and burial grounds; and
[6] 
Important historic sites and structures.
(c) 
The following are considered secondary conservation areas and should be included within the open space to the maximum extent feasible:
[1] 
Existing woodlands;
[2] 
Other significant natural features; and
[3] 
Existing trails that connect the tract to neighboring areas.
(d) 
Aboveground utility rights-of-way and small areas of impervious surface (such as equipment pads, sidewalks, and work platforms) may be included within the protected open space but cannot be counted towards the fifty-percent minimum area requirement. Large areas of impervious surface shall be excluded from the open space.
(e) 
At least 75% of the open space shall be in a contiguous tract. The open space should adjoin any neighboring areas of open space, other protected areas, and nonprotected natural areas that would be candidates for inclusion as part of a future area of protected open space.
(f) 
The open space shall be directly accessible to the largest practicable number of lots within the subdivision. Nonadjoining lots shall be provided with safe, convenient access to the open space.
(3) 
Permitted uses of open space. Uses of open space may include the following:
(a) 
Conservation of natural, archaeological or historical resources;
(b) 
Meadows, woodlands, wetlands, wildlife corridors, game preserves, or similar conservation-oriented areas;
(c) 
Walking or bicycle trails, provided that they are constructed of porous paving materials;
(d) 
Passive recreation areas;
(e) 
Active recreation areas, provided that they are limited to no more than 10% of the total open space and are not located within primary conservation areas. Active recreation areas may include impervious surfaces. Active recreation areas in excess of this limit must be located outside of the protected open space;
(f) 
Nonstructural stormwater management practices;
(g) 
Easements for drainage, access, and underground utility lines; or
(h) 
Other conservation-oriented uses compatible with the purposes of this section.
(4) 
Prohibited uses of open space:
(a) 
Golf courses.
(b) 
Roads, parking lots and impervious surfaces, except as specifically authorized in the previous subsections.
(5) 
Ownership and management of open space.
(a) 
Ownership of open space. The applicant must identify the owner of the open space who is responsible for maintaining the open space and facilities located thereon. The responsibility for maintaining the open space and any facilities located thereon shall be borne by the owner. A homeowner or a homeowners' association may own and manage the open space. If a homeowners' association is the owner, membership in the association shall be mandatory and automatic for all homeowners of the subdivision and their successors. If a homeowners' association is the owner, the homeowners' association shall have lien authority to ensure the collection of dues from all members. All open space owned by a homeowners' association shall comply with the applicable provisions of § 352-e of the New York State General Business Law and file an offering plan approved by the New York State Department of Law or obtain from the New York State Department of Law one of the following: approval of an offering plan for the sale of the real property, a letter granting the applicant an exemption from the filing of an offering plan pursuant to Cooperative Policy Statement 7 (CPS-7), or a "no-action" letter advising that the Department of Law will not take any action against the applicant for failure to file an offering plan. In the event that the New York State Department of Law grants CPS-7 treatment or issues a "no-action" letter, the applicant shall impose an open space obligation on all properties served by the open space for maintenance in a form which shall be approved by the Village Attorney and which agreement, when executed by all parties, shall be recorded in the Albany County Clerk's office.
(b) 
Management plan. The applicant shall submit a "Plan for Management of Open Space and Common Facilities" ("plan") that shall include all of the following:
[1] 
Allocation of responsibility and guidelines for the maintenance and operation of the open space and any facilities located thereon, including provisions for ongoing maintenance and for long-term capital improvements;
[2] 
Estimation of the costs and staffing requirements needed for maintenance and operation of, and insurance for, the open space and outline of the means by which such funding will be obtained or provided;
[3] 
Provision that any changes to the plan be approved by the Village Board;
[4] 
Provision for enforcement of the plan; and
[5] 
Binding the responsibility on the homeowners' association members by requiring them to obligate themselves to sign and carry out the management plan or by a declaration of covenants and maintenance agreement recorded in the Albany County Clerk's office.
(c) 
In the event that the party responsible for maintenance of the open space fails to maintain all or any portion in reasonable order and condition, the Village of Altamont may assume responsibility for its maintenance and may enter the premises and take corrective action, including the provision of extended maintenance. The costs of such maintenance may be charged to the owner, homeowners' association (HOA), or to the individual property owners that make up the homeowners' association and may include administrative costs and penalties. Such costs shall become a lien on all subdivision properties.
(6) 
Legal instrument for permanent protection.
(a) 
The open space shall be protected in perpetuity by a binding legal instrument that is recorded with the deed. The instrument shall be one of the following:
[1] 
A permanent conservation easement in favor of either:
[a] 
A land trust or similar conservation-oriented nonprofit organization with legal authority to accept such easements. The organization shall be bona fide and in perpetual existence and the conveyance instruments shall contain an appropriate provision for retransfer in the event the organization becomes unable to carry out its functions; or
[b] 
A governmental entity with an interest in pursuing goals compatible with the purposes of this chapter. If the entity accepting the easement is not the Village of Altamont, then a third right of enforcement favoring the Village of Altamont shall be included in the easement;
[2] 
A permanent restrictive covenant for conservation purposes in favor of a governmental entity; or
[3] 
An equivalent legal tool that provides permanent protection, if approved by the Village of Altamont Board of Trustees.
(b) 
The instrument for permanent protection shall include clear restrictions on the use of the open space. These restrictions shall include all restrictions contained in this section, as well as any further restrictions the applicant chooses to place on the use of the open space.
(7) 
Other open space standards.
(a) 
The required open space land consists of a combination of primary conservation areas and secondary conservation areas. The proposed subdivision design shall strictly minimize disturbance of these environmentally sensitive areas, both during all phases of development and for subsequent open space maintenance.
(b) 
Open space lands shall be laid out in general accordance with the Village's Comprehensive Plan as may be adopted to better enable an interconnected network of open spaces.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(c) 
Open space land shall be contiguous to create a critical mass of land available for agriculture or recreation or left in a natural state. Open space lands shall be designated as a conservation lot owned in common or designated and included as part of one or more lots. No individual parcel of common open space shall be less than one acre except as to roadway median strips, traffic islands, walkways, trails, courtyards, play areas, recreation facilities, drainageways leading directly to streams, historic sites or unique natural features requiring common ownership protection.
(d) 
No portion of any house lot may be used for meeting the minimum required open space land unless encumbered with a permanent restriction that prevents destruction or development of that portion of the lot.
(e) 
The setting aside of open space shall in no case preclude the Planning Board from requiring the dedication of parks, playgrounds or recreation lands within a subdivision pursuant to the Village of Altamont Subdivision Regulations.
(f) 
Lands set aside in a cluster or conservation subdivision development for parks, playgrounds or recreation purposes shall be provided in such a manner that the lands are usable for recreation or other activities and are accessible to all residents of the subdivision or, where such lands have been conveyed to the Village, accessible to the public.
E. 
Design process for cluster/conservation subdivisions.
(1) 
Determine lot count as per § 355-15 of this chapter.
(2) 
Step 1: Delineation of open space lands. Proposed open space lands shall be designated as follows:
(a) 
Delineate primary conservation areas.
(b) 
Delineate secondary conservation areas.
(3) 
Step 2: Location of house sites. Building envelopes shall be tentatively located within the potential development areas. House sites should generally be located not closer than 100 feet to primary conservation areas and 50 feet to secondary conservation areas, taking into consideration the potential negative impacts of residential development on such areas.
(4) 
Step 3: Align streets and trails. After designating the building envelopes, a street plan shall be designed to provide vehicular access to each house, complying with the standards identified herein and bearing a logical relationship to topographic conditions. Impacts of the street plan on proposed open space lands shall be minimized, particularly with respect to crossing environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands and traversing slopes exceeding 15%. Existing and future street connections are encouraged to eliminate the number of new culs-de-sac to be developed and maintained and to facilitate access to and from homes in different parts of the tract and adjoining parcels. Culs-de-sac are appropriate only when they support greater open space conservation or provide extensive pedestrian linkages. All road standards of the Village shall be met.
(5) 
Step 4: Draw lot lines. Upon completion of the preceding three steps, lot lines are drawn as required to delineate the boundaries of individual residential lots.
F. 
Site design criteria.
(1) 
Other layout criteria.
(a) 
Views of house lots from exterior within the open space area(s) shall be minimized by the use of changes in topography, existing vegetation, or additional landscaping.
(b) 
House lots shall generally be accessed from interior streets rather than from roads bordering the tract. New intersections with existing public roads shall be minimized. Although two accessways into and out of subdivisions containing 20 or more dwellings are generally required for safety, proposals for more than two entrances onto public roads shall be discouraged if they would unnecessarily disrupt traffic flow or unduly impact the environment.
(c) 
Open space shall be directly accessible or viewable from as many home sites as possible.
(d) 
The layout shall leave scenic views and vistas unblocked or uninterrupted, particularly as seen from public thoroughfares.
(e) 
The layout shall maintain or create a buffer of natural native species vegetation of at least 100 feet in depth adjacent to wetlands and surface waters, including creeks, streams, springs and ponds.
(2) 
Streets and driveways.
(a) 
Common driveway access may be provided. This is where two or more driveways share one curb cut.
(b) 
Whenever appropriate, street systems should produce terminal vistas of open space in accordance with the conservation emphasis of the subdivision design and to positively contribute to the Village's open space goals.
(c) 
Single-loaded streets are encouraged alongside conservation areas to provide views of the conservation lands for residents and visitors.
(d) 
Landscape common areas and both sides of new streets with native species of shade trees and shrubs.
(e) 
A pedestrian circulation and/or trail system may be designated and installed sufficient for the needs of residents, at the discretion of the Planning Board.

§ 355-28 Easements.

A. 
Drainage easements and sedimentation controls. The following provisions regarding drainage easements and sedimentation controls shall apply to all new development:
(1) 
Drainage easements of sufficient width shall be provided along both sides of open drainage courses. The width of the easement shall be based on the recommendation of the Village Engineer or designated engineer. The easement shall be used for the maintenance of the open drain, remain free of obstructions, be of natural topography and contain no permanent or temporary buildings, plantings, gardens or dumpings.
(2) 
Temporary sedimentation or catch basins shall be required for all new construction during site preparation and construction in order to minimize sedimentation of nearby watercourses. The size and location of such sedimentation basins shall be based on recommendations of the Village Engineer or designated engineer. Seeding and cover planting shall be required at the earliest possible time during site preparation.
(3) 
Permanent retention or detention ponds may be required in larger developments by the Village Engineer or designated engineer to slow down the rate of stormwater runoff and prevent downstream flooding. The location, size and design of such ponds shall be based on recommendations of the Village Engineer or designated engineer.
B. 
Sidewalk and bikeway easements. New development shall provide the necessary easements and/or construct sidewalks or bikeways as specified by the Planning Board and/or Zoning Board of Appeals. In determining where such easements shall be provided, their site, and the manner in which sidewalks or bikeways shall be constructed, the Planning Board and/or Zoning Board of Appeals shall be guided by the Comprehensive Plan of the Village of Altamont, as well as any specific sidewalk or bikeway plans or policies adopted by the Village Board and the Town of Guilderland and in keeping with the Town of Guilderland Pathways Plan.

§ 355-29 Nonconforming uses, structures and lots.

[Amended 1-5-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010; 12-4-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
A. 
Continuation of nonconforming buildings, lots and uses. Any building, structure, lot or use of property lawfully existing at the time of enactment or amendment of this chapter may be continued although such building, structure, lot or use of property does not confirm to the provisions hereof. The term "lawfully existing" shall mean "in compliance with all applicable ordinances, local laws, rules, regulations or orders."
B. 
Restrictions on property containing nonconforming buildings and uses.
(1) 
Increase in intensity or volume prohibited. No change of a nonconforming building or use shall be allowed that increases the intensity or volume of the nonconformity on the property, including but not limited to changes in the existing means of access or egress, increases in or changes to parking or loading facilities, changes to drainage or utilities, addition of building-mounted or pole-mounted outdoor lighting, changes to the exterior facade, addition of a sign, addition of accessory structures, increased hours of operation, or increases in the percentage of the property used. Notwithstanding the forgoing, the Zoning Board of Appeals may allow one change in intensity or volume at the subject property if it shall find, based on competent proof submitted by the owner/occupant, that such change will produce greater compliance with this chapter; and is generally in harmony with existing lawful uses in the neighborhood.
(2) 
Change of use prohibited. A nonconforming use may not be changed to another nonconforming use, but only to a conforming use. Change of ownership shall not be construed as a change of use.
(3) 
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of any building, structure, or part thereof, declared to be unsafe by an official charged with providing for the public safety and where strengthening or restoration is ordered by such official; or the maintenance, renovation or repair of nonstructural members of a nonconforming structure made necessary by ordinary wear and tear.
(4) 
Minor architectural improvements to nonconforming uses, buildings or structures shall not be considered a change of intensity or volume provided the improvement does not encroach on any applicable setback. "Minor architectural improvements" are defined as and limited to bay windows, eaves, chimneys and architectural detail such as cornices, medallions and decorative trim.
(5) 
Destruction. If any building or structure containing a nonconforming use is destroyed by any cause to an extent exceeding 75% of its fair market value as indicated on the latest assessment records of the Village of Altamont, the nonconforming use status shall be lost and a future use of the property shall conform to this chapter.
(6) 
Any nonconforming commercial use in a residential zoning district shall not operate before 7:00 a.m. nor later than 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and not at all on Sunday. Any such use shall implement changes to comply with these hours of operation within two months from the date of adoption of this section.
C. 
Cessation.
(1) 
Any nonconforming auto wrecking yard, junkyard, or billboard in existence at the date of enactment of this chapter shall, at the expiration of four years from such date, become a prohibited and unlawful use and shall be discontinued. Nonconforming used car lots and nonconforming exterior storage of commercial vehicles, machinery and other equipment shall, at the expiration of two years from such date, become a prohibited and unlawful use and shall be discontinued.
(2) 
No time period granted under any prior ordinance, local law, rule, regulation or court order for the termination or cessation of the above uses shall be deemed extended by Subsection C(1) above.
(3) 
A nonconforming use of land or a nonconforming building or structure shall not be reestablished if it has been discontinued for any reason, whether through vacancy or cessation of use, for a period of one calendar year or longer, or has been changed to or replaced by a conforming use for any period of time.
D. 
Displacement. No nonconforming use shall be extended to displace a conforming use.
E. 
Existing undersized lots.
(1) 
Any residential lot held in single, separate ownership prior to the adoption of this chapter whose area and/or width and/or depth is less than the specified minimum lot requirements for the district may be considered as complying with such minimum lot requirements and no variance shall be required, provided that:
(a) 
Such residential lot does not adjoin any other lot or lots held by the same owner where the aggregate area of these lots meets the minimum lot requirements for that district; and
(b) 
Such residential lot has an area of at least 5,000 square feet and a minimum width of at least 50 feet at the required setback line.
(2) 
In any district where residences are permitted, such undersized nonconforming lots may be used for not more than one single-family dwelling.
(3) 
A lot of nonconforming size may be subdivided only if each and every division of such lot is purchased by the owner or owners of the adjoining properties to increase the size of said adjoining properties.
F. 
Exemption of lots shown on approved subdivision plats. The provisions of New York State Village Law § 7-709 (Exemption of lots shown on approved subdivision plats) are hereby made expressly applicable to this chapter with respect to lots shown on approved subdivision plats duly filed in the office of the Albany County Clerk prior to the enactment of this chapter.

§ 355-30 Essential services; temporary uses.

A. 
Essential services. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the provisions of essential services, provided that the installation of such service does not violate any other applicable provision of this chapter. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the erection, construction or enlargement of any aboveground structures except utility poles and wires, except as otherwise permitted in this chapter.
B. 
Temporary use. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the Building Inspector from issuing a temporary permit for the use of a travel trailer, a mobile home or other similar structure, in any district except a floodplain district, as a temporary construction field office for a period not to exceed one year. The period of validity of such temporary permit shall be further limited in the case of a public works construction project by the life of such project and in the case of a non-public works construction project by the remaining life of any unexpired building permit which shall have been issued for construction on the site if it occurs sooner. Subject to the foregoing limitations, the Building Inspector may, for good cause, extend such permit for field office use an additional period not to exceed six months. Such structure shall not be used for overnight sleeping accommodations. Adequate arrangements for sanitary facilities shall be made.

§ 355-31 Accessory structures and swimming pools.

A. 
Accessory structures in residential zones. All accessory structures in any residential zone shall be subject to the same location requirements affecting the principal structure on a lot; except, however, that such accessory structure may be placed not less than five feet from any rear lot line or the rear yard portion of any side lot line. In a residential district, no accessory building shall have a height in excess of 15 feet except as provided in § 355-16A. Nothing in this section or this chapter shall permit the occupancy of a basement without a complete residential structure thereon.
B. 
Accessory structures in all other districts. All accessory structures in nonresidential districts shall be subject to the same locational requirements as are required for all principal structures within such districts. No accessory building shall have a height in excess of 20 feet except as provided in § 355-16A.
C. 
Swimming pools. A swimming pool shall be permitted by right, in the rear yard, as an accessory use, subject to the provisions of this section. A swimming pool shall be prohibited in the front yard but shall be permitted, by special use permit from the Planning Board, elsewhere on the lot, provided that it is suitably screened. All provisions of the New York State Building Code shall apply to swimming pools. In addition, the following provisions shall also apply:
(1) 
The pool shall be chemically treated in a manner sufficient to maintain the bacterial standards established by the provisions of the New York State Sanitary Code relating to public swimming pools.
(2) 
If the water for such pool is supplied from a private well, there shall be no cross-connection with the public water supply.
(3) 
Where such pool is located within the service area of the Village of Altamont water supply, the Building Inspector shall be provided with evidence of no objection from the Village Public Works Department to a connection to the public water supply or evidence that the water will be provided by a private contractor.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(4) 
No loudspeaker or other device which can be heard beyond the property lines of the premises on which such pool is located may be operated in connection with such pool.
(5) 
No lighting shall be operated in connection with such pool which reflects beyond the property lines of the premises.
(6) 
Swimming pools without fencing existing prior to the effective date of this chapter shall, within 60 days after such date, be enclosed by a fence, as required by the New York State Building Code.

§ 355-32 Keyhole lots.

Any subdivision in the R-15 and R-20 Districts that proposes keyhole lots accessing a street must conform to the following:
A. 
Area requirements.
(1) 
That portion of the keyhole lot comprising the keyhole access shall not be counted for the purpose of determining minimum lot area compliance.
(2) 
The front yard setback of a keyhole lot shall be measured from the rear lot line of the front lot, unless otherwise requested by the Planning Board during subdivision approval.
(3) 
The minimum width at the building line for a keyhole lot shall be measured parallel to the street line, unless otherwise requested by the Planning Board during subdivision approval.
(4) 
The minimum area of a keyhole lot shall be 50% greater than the requirements prescribed for the zoning district in which it is located.
B. 
Supplementary requirements.
(1) 
No structure or off-street parking shall be allowed within the area comprising the keyhole access except mailboxes, address signage or other minimal accessories commonly found within the neighborhood.
(2) 
The street number of a dwelling situated on a keyhole lot shall be permanently and conspicuously displayed on a sign, with lettering no less than three inches in height, and placed no more that 25 feet from the road pavement. The sign shall be displayed for both directions of travel and be visible at night.
C. 
Exclusions. These regulations do not pertain to any existing lot of record.

§ 355-33 Telecommunications towers.

A. 
Enabling authority. The Planning Board is hereby authorized to review and approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove site plans and special use permits consistent with this section and the zoning laws and regulations of the Village of Altamont.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY FACILITY
A facility that serves the principal use, is subordinate in area, extent and purpose to the principal use and is located on the same lot as the principal use. Examples of such facilities include transmission equipment and storage sheds.
ANTENNA
A system of electrical conductors that transmit or receive radio frequency waves. Such waves shall include but not be limited to radio navigation, radio, television, wireless and microwave communications. The frequency of these waves generally ranges from 10 hertz to 300,000 megahertz.
SPECIAL USE
A use which is deemed allowable within a given zoning district but which is potentially incompatible with other uses and, therefore, is subject to special standards and conditions set forth for such use subject to approval by the Planning Board.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER
A structure on which transmitting and/or receiving antennas are located.
C. 
Purpose. The purpose of these supplemental regulations is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Village, to provide standards for the safe provision of telecommunications consistent with applicable federal and state regulations and to protect the natural features and aesthetic character of the Village. These regulations are not intended to prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services, nor shall they be used to unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services consistent with current federal regulations.
D. 
Application of special use regulations.
(1) 
No telecommunications tower shall hereafter be used, erected, moved, reconstructed, changed or altered except after approval of a special use permit and in conformity with these regulations. No existing structure shall be modified to serve as a telecommunications tower unless in conformity with these regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(2) 
These regulations shall apply to all property within the Village. Telecommunications towers and their accessory facilities are prohibited and shall not be erected in the Central Business District unless co-located on an existing structure as per the standards below.
(3) 
Exceptions to these regulations are limited to new uses which are accessory to residential uses and lawful or approved uses existing prior to the effective date of these regulations.
(4) 
Where these regulations conflict with other laws and regulations of the Village of Altamont, the more restrictive shall apply, except for tower height restrictions which are governed by these special use standards.
E. 
Site plan submission requirements for sharing existing facilities. An applicant proposing to share use of an existing tall structure shall submit a site plan as described in § 355-37 of this chapter. The site plan and supporting documentation shall include:
(1) 
A completed application for a special permit.
(2) 
Documentation of intent from the owner of the existing facility to allow a shared use. The applicant shall pay all reasonable fees and costs of adapting an existing tower or structure to a new shared use. Those costs include but are not limited to structural reinforcement, preventing transmission or receiver interference, additional site screening and other changes, including real property acquisition or lease required to accommodate shared use.
(3) 
A site plan. The site plan shall show all existing and proposed structures and improvements, including antennas, roads, buildings, guy wires and anchors, parking and landscaping, and shall include grading plans for new facilities and roads. Any methods used to conceal the modification of the existing facility shall be indicated on the site plan.
(4) 
An engineer's report certifying that the proposed shared use will not diminish the structural integrity and safety of the existing tall structure and will not hamper existing emergency networks and explaining what modifications, if any, will be required in order to certify to the above.
(5) 
A completed short EAF and a completed visual EAF addendum, including mitigation measures of the visual impacts.
(6) 
A copy of its Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license.
(7) 
A copy of the lease agreement.
F. 
Site plan submission requirements for new towers. An applicant proposing to construct a new tower shall submit a site plan as described in § 355-36 of this chapter. The site plan and supporting documentation shall include:
(1) 
A completed application for a special permit.
(2) 
A site plan. The site plan shall show all existing and proposed structures and improvements, including antennas, roads, buildings, guy wires and anchors, parking and landscaping, and shall include grading plans for new facilities and roads. Any methods used to conceal the modification of the existing facility shall be indicated on the site plan.
(3) 
Documentation on the proposed intent and capacity of use.
(4) 
Justification for the height of any tower or antennas and justification for any land or vegetation clearing required.
(5) 
A completed visual environmental assessment form (visual EAF) and a landscaping plan addressing other standards listed within this section, with particular attention to visibility from key viewpoints within and outside the municipality as identified in the visual EAF. The Planning Board may require submittal of a more detailed visual analysis based on the results of the visual EAF.
(6) 
A report inventorying existing towers within a reasonable distance of the proposed site and outlining opportunities for shared uses of existing facilities and use of other preexisting structures as an alternative to a new construction.
(7) 
A report demonstrating good faith efforts to secure shared uses from existing towers as well as documenting capacity for future shared uses of the proposed tower. Written requests and responses for shared uses shall be provided.
(8) 
Proof of certified announcements to all other telecommunications providers in the area declaring the applicant's sharing capabilities and/or siting needs.
(9) 
A report detailing the compatibility of proposed construction with existing emergency networks.
(10) 
A report detailing the long-range plans for additional towers within the area.
(11) 
A copy of its Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license.
(12) 
A copy of any proposed lease agreement.
G. 
Special use standards.
(1) 
Shared uses. At all times, shared uses of existing towers shall be preferred to the construction of new towers. Additionally, where such shared use is unavailable, location of antenna on preexisting structures shall be considered.
(2) 
Setbacks. Towers and antennas shall comply with all existing setbacks within the affected zone. Additional setbacks may be required by the Planning Board to contain on site substantially all icefall or debris from tower failure and/or to preserve privacy of adjoining residential and public property. Setbacks shall apply to all tower parts, including guy wire anchors, and to any accessory facilities.
(3) 
Visibility.
(a) 
All towers and accessory facilities shall be sited to have the least practical adverse visual effect on the environment.
(b) 
Towers shall not be artificially lighted except to assure human safety as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Towers shall be a galvanized finish or painted gray above the surrounding treeline and painted gray, green, black or similar colors designed to blend in with natural surroundings below the surrounding treeline unless other standards are required by the FAA. In all cases, structures offering slender silhouettes (i.e., monopoles or guyed towers) shall be preferable to freestanding structures except where such freestanding structures offer capacity for future shared use. Towers should be designed and sited so as to avoid, whenever possible, application of FAA lighting and painting requirements.
(c) 
Accessory facilities shall maximize use of building materials, colors and textures designed to blend with the natural surroundings.
(4) 
Existing vegetation. Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible, and no cutting of trees exceeding four inches in diameter (measured at a height of four feet off the ground) shall take place prior to approval of the special permit use. Clear-cutting of all trees in a single contiguous area exceeding 20,000 square feet shall be prohibited.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(5) 
Screening. Deciduous or evergreen tree plantings may be required to screen portions of the tower from nearby residential property as well as from public sites known to include important views or vistas. Where the site abuts residential or public property, including streets, the following vegetative screening shall be required: for all towers, at least one row of native evergreen shrubs or trees capable of forming a continuous hedge at least 10 feet in height within two years of planting shall be provided to effectively screen the tower base and accessory facilities. In the case of poor soil conditions, planting may be required on soil berms to assure plant survival. Plant height in these cases shall include the height of the berm.
(6) 
Access and parking. A road and parking will be provided to assure adequate emergency and service access. Maximum use of existing roads, public or private, shall be made. Road construction shall be consistent with standards for private roads and shall at all times minimize ground disturbance and vegetation cutting to within the top of fill, the top of cuts, or no more than 10 feet beyond the edge of any pavement. Road grades shall closely follow natural contour potential. Public road standards may be waived in meeting the objectives of this subsection.
H. 
Authority to impose conditions. The authorized board shall have the authority to impose such reasonable conditions and restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to the proposed telecommunications tower special use or site plan.
I. 
Removal. The applicant shall submit to the Planning Board a letter of intent committing the tower owner, and his/her successors in interest, to notify the Building Inspector within 30 days of the discontinuance of use of the tower. This letter shall be filed with the Building Inspector prior to issuance of a building permit (assuming the telecommunications tower is approved according to this section). Obsolete or unused towers and accessory structures shall be removed from any site within four months of such notification. The Planning Board is hereby authorized to require the applicant, as a condition of approval, to post an escrow deposit with the Village in an amount sufficient to ensure compliance with this subsection.
J. 
The Planning Board is hereby authorized to retain a consultant or Village-designated engineer, to be paid for by the applicant, to aid it in reviewing the application, site plan submission and other materials and data submitted by the applicant.

§ 355-34 Damaged and vacant buildings; demolition.

A. 
Damaged buildings. Any building which is damaged by fire or other accidental cause or by flood, wind, lightning, or other natural cause to the extent that it is no longer considered safe to utilize for its regular or former purpose shall be repaired, rebuilt or razed within 120 days after the damage is sustained. The Planning Board may grant a special use permit for a period not to exceed one year after the expiration of the one-hundred-twenty-day period to permit repair, razing, or rebuilding.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
If an applicant is proposing a new use that requires demolition of an existing building in part or whole, then demolition shall require a site plan review and approval by the Planning Board.
C. 
Abandoned and vacant buildings. When a structure has been abandoned and vacant and determined by the Building Inspector to be not structurally sound or unsafe, the Village of Altamont can initiate demolition procedures in accordance with New York State laws and in a manner acceptable to the Village Attorney. When demolition occurs under these conditions, Subsections D and E shall be required.
D. 
When demolition is proposed without a proposal for redevelopment, the Planning Board shall conduct a demolition review of the proposed demolition and landscape plans. If approved, the parcel shall be seeded with grass and landscaped with trees. Deciduous trees are preferred and shall have at least a two-inch caliper at the time of planting. Trees shall be provided within the lot at a minimum density of one tree per 1,000 square feet of lot and along the side of the street with a maximum spacing of 30 feet on center. If a sidewalk is present prior to demolition, such sidewalk shall be maintained or restored after demolition so that the sidewalk is safe for pedestrians and free of rubble and cracks. The Planning Board may require additional landscaping to maintain a pedestrian atmosphere at the site.
E. 
When demolition occurs, water, sewer and all other utility lines shall be located, marked, capped and inspected and approved by the appropriate department prior to final site treatment.
F. 
If a building permit is for or includes demolition of an existing structure, demolition, including site restoration, shall be completed within 90 days. If demolition occurs during the months of November through March, seeding and landscaping shall take place by May 31.
G. 
In regard to an application to demolish an historic landmark or any improvement within the National Historic District, the following matters shall be considered:
(1) 
Its historic, architectural, cultural or scenic significance.
(2) 
Its importance to the municipality and the extent to which its historical or architectural value is such that its removal would be detrimental to the public interest and the extent to which it is of such old, unusual or uncommon design, craftsmanship, texture or material that it could be reproduced only with great difficulty and expense.
(3) 
The extent to which its retention would promote the general welfare by maintaining and increasing the real estate values, generating business, attracting tourists, attracting new residents, stimulating interest and study in architecture and design or making the municipality an attractive and desirable place in which to live.
(4) 
If it is within an historic district, the probable impact of its removal upon the ambience of the historic district.