City of Glens Falls, NY
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Glens Falls 12-30-1997 by L.L. No. 10-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 220.

§ 181-1 Short title.

A. 
This chapter shall be known, and may be cited as the "City of Glens Falls Site Alteration Regulation." This regulation will apply only to vacant land that is one acre or greater.
B. 
This chapter shall become Chapter 181 of the Code of the City of Glens Falls.

§ 181-2 Purpose.

A. 
It is the purpose of these regulations to ensure that adequate and reasonable consideration, planning and design of proposed site alterations be undertaken prior to the commencement of site construction work or operations, in order to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the City of Glens Falls; maintain the visual and environmental qualities of the City of Glens Falls and its neighborhoods; protect property within the City of Glens Falls from negative impacts resulting from site alterations; prevent ground surface erosion; prevent undesirable changes in surface water run-off patterns and quantities; prevent undesirable changes to existing subgrade soil and ground water conditions; and ensure that the City of Glens Falls Planning Board's jurisdiction over development of land in the city is not circumvented by unregulated actions.

§ 181-3 Definitions.

A. 
To facilitate public understanding of this chapter and to enhance its administration, all words used in this chapter shall carry their customary meanings, except as they may be defined in Chapter 220 of the Code of the City of Glens Falls.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PERMIT
For the purpose of this chapter, "permit" shall be defined as a site construction permit.
SOIL
Shall include naturally occurring or induced soils containing or comprised of organic-, sand- or clay-based soil materials.
VEGETATION
Shall include naturally occurring or induced grasses, ground covers, plants, shrubs and trees.

§ 181-4 Regulation of site construction work and operations.

A. 
The alteration of existing vegetation, the disturbance, excavation, removal, filling or depositing of any type of soil or rock material and the filling or depositing of any garbage, rubbish or waste material is hereby prohibited in any zoning district within the City of Glens Falls, except upon prior approval by the City Planning Board, as contained herein or as otherwise provided in this chapter.
B. 
Any person or entity considering or proposing to alter any site in this manner shall first obtain a permit from the City of Glens Falls before commencing such work or operation.
C. 
No solid or liquid waste, construction or demolition debris shall be used as fill on a site.
D. 
In the event that the property owner does not complete all site construction work or operations associated with the issuance of a site construction permit within six months following the issuance of a permit, and if the Building Inspector of the City of Glens Falls determines that the work or operations, complete or not, result in a visual eyesore and/or constitute a safety or health hazard, the Building Inspector may issue written notice to the property owner citing such concerns. Upon receipt of the Inspector's notice, and within a thirty-day period, the property owner shall take any and all actions necessary to satisfy the Inspector's concerns. In the event that the property owner fails to satisfy the Inspector's concerns within the thirty-day period, the Building Inspector, following written notice to the property owner, shall, with the approval of the Planning Board, direct an independent party to complete the site work, to the extent that the Inspector's concerns are addressed. Upon such actions, the city shall assess any and all costs associated with addressing the Inspector's concerns to the property owner:
E. 
A buffer zone of 10 feet on the perimeter of the land must be left undisturbed except for creation of accessways to the property. Access roads must be buffered visually.
F. 
Nothing contained in this chapter shall preclude a property owner from undertaking site work described in this chapter, in the event that:
(1) 
A governmental agency determines that site work should be undertaken to address certain health or safety concerns.
(2) 
The property owner desires to perform normal pruning and trimming of individual vegetation specimens, to maintain their health or appearance, or to add vegetation specimens to enhance the appearance of his/her property.
(3) 
The property owner desires to remove vegetation that the City of Glens Falls Building Inspector has verified to be diseased, damaged, broken or rotten.
(4) 
The property owner wishes to prepare an area for the planting of a family vegetable garden, a flower garden or similar site enhancements.
(5) 
The property owner desires to remove trees that the City of Glens Falls Forester has verified to be diseased or hazardous.

§ 181-5 Application for site construction permit.

A. 
Prior to a property owner commencing any site construction work or operation, as defined in this chapter, the property owner shall be responsible for preparing and submitting an application for a site construction permit, together with related documents, as follows:
(1) 
Application form. Using forms available from the City of Glens Falls Building Inspector's office, the property owner shall prepare and submit an application for a site construction permit to the City Building Inspector.
(2) 
Plans and details. The applicant shall prepare and submit a site plan showing the entire property, drawn to a scale of not more than 50 feet to an inch, and illustrating the following information:
(a) 
Location, distances, bearings and markers of the property boundary lines.
(b) 
Topographic contours indicating existing and proposed surface slopes.
(c) 
Location, type, quantity and extent of existing vegetation.
(d) 
Proposed changes to existing vegetation.
(e) 
Measures proposed to protect vegetation to remain.
(f) 
Location, type, quantity and extent of proposed vegetation.
(g) 
Soil erosion control measures.
(h) 
Location of existing and proposed roadways, sidewalks, above- or below-ground utilities, grading limits, buildings, septic systems, wells and other improvements.
(i) 
Location of existing drainage ditches, channels or conduits that control flow of surface water and runoff of stormwater and proposed changes in any of these features.
(3) 
Time schedule for performance of the work.
(4) 
Drainage report: if changes in existing drainage features are indicated in § 181-5A(2), Plans and details, a drainage report prepared by a licensed civil engineer or landscape architect which describes the proposed design of surface water flow control, and on-site and off-site disposal, and demonstrates that site disposal quantities will not exceed preconstruction quantities.
(5) 
Full environmental assessment form: using the form published by New York State under Section 617.21, Appendix A, of the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) standards. This form is available from the City Building Inspector's office.
(6) 
Storm water pollution prevention plan. A stormwater pollution prevention plan consistent with the requirements of §§ 220-50 through and including 220-57 of this City Code shall be required. The SWPPP shall meet the performance and design criteria and standards set forth in the above-mentioned sections. The approved erosion control permit shall be consistent with the provisions of said Code provisions.
[Added 8-28-2007 by L.L. No. 9-2007]
B. 
Prior to issuing a site construction permit, the City of Glens Falls Building Inspector shall forward all permit applications and related documents to the City of Glens Falls Planning Board for its review and disposition. The City Planning Board will be required to hold a public hearing with notification sent to adjacent property owners. The City Planning Board may require the applicant to submit additional documents and information pertinent to the application.
C. 
Issuance of a permit shall be subject to approval of the City Planning Board.

§ 181-6 Fees.

A. 
Permit fee. The application for a site Construction Permit shall be accompanied by a fee payment as listed on the correct schedule of fees for the City of Glens Falls, as dictated by applicable provisions of the Code of the City of Glens Falls.
B. 
Processing fees. In addition to the scheduled permit fee, the City of Glens Falls may charge the applicant for the cost of legal, professional and technical time required to review and process the application, regardless of whether or not the application is approved and a permit issued.

§ 181-7 Surety bond.

Upon approval of an application for a site construction permit by the City Planning Board, the City of Glens Falls may require the applicant to provide a surety bond, executed by an insurance company currently licensed to do business in New York State. The amount of such bond shall be determined by the City Planning Board, based on advice from the city's Attorney and Building Inspector, and shall be sufficient to rehabilitate the subject property upon failure of the property owner to complete the site work or address the Building Inspector's concerns pursuant to § 181-4D.

§ 181-8 Litigation costs.

In the event that claims and/or litigation occurs due to a property owner undertaking site construction work or operations, whether such work or operations are performed under a permit issued by the city or not, the City of Glens Falls shall be entitled to recover any and all of its claim and litigation costs from the property owner, including but not limited to court, legal, professional, technical, expense costs and fees.