Village of Lancaster, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Public Documents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Lancaster 3-22-1965 (Ch. 135 of the 1976 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 104.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 131.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 156.
Historic districts and landmarks — See Ch. 184.
Plumbing — See Ch. 244.
Sewers — See Ch. 263.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 292.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 297.
Zoning — See Ch. 350.

§ 301-1 Purpose and scope.

A. 
The regulations herein contained are adopted for the purpose of providing for the sound growth and development of the Village and of affording adequate sites and facilities for transportation and for the safety, health and welfare of its population and for providing reasonable and equitable requirements in the interests of developers, investors and homeowners so as to ensure stable property values, all pursuant to § 334 of the Real Property Law and Article 6-A of the Village Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Provisions are now covered in Article 7 of the new Village Law.
B. 
No subdivision of land shall be made, nor shall any contract be made for the sale of any part thereof and no permit for the erection of a structure in any proposed subdivision shall be granted and no street, sanitary sewer or water main shall be laid out, constructed, opened or dedicated except in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.

§ 301-2 Preapplication procedure.

A. 
Whenever any subdivision of land is proposed to be made, the subdivider thereof may submit general site information, a location map and sketch plan to the Planning Commission for informal consideration and advice. The purpose of this procedure is to afford the subdivider an opportunity to consult early and informally with the Planning Commission before preparation of a preliminary layout, in order to save time and money in the preparation thereof.
B. 
At the informal hearing the subdivider should be prepared to discuss the following items:
(1) 
Name of the proposed subdivision.
(2) 
Name of the owner, owners or corporate entity involved.
(3) 
Location of the premises with respect to existing highways or nearby streets.
(4) 
Number of acres in the entire proposed subdivision.
(5) 
Topography of the premises.
(6) 
Proposed location of any free area or recreational site.
(7) 
Anticipated method of marketing of lots; whether the subdivider intends to build and sell homes or lots singly or in multiples to prospective builders.
(8) 
General statement as to type of home to be erected and value of same.
(9) 
If proposed layout covers only a portion of entire parcel owned or controlled by the subdivider, a plan for the street layout of the entire parcel.
(10) 
Name and location of all adjoining parcels of property.
(11) 
Source of water supply.
(12) 
Provisions for stormwater and sewage disposal.
(13) 
Plans for the establishment of special improvement areas.
(14) 
Nearby land uses and structures.
(15) 
Contemplated and existing deed restrictions.
(16) 
Requirements for approval by Erie County Health Department.
(17) 
All other matters pertinent to the proposed subdivision.

§ 301-3 Application on preliminary layout.

[Amended 11-22-1976]
Whenever any subdivision of land is proposed to be made, the subdivider shall apply in writing to the Village Board for approval of such subdivision at least five days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting. The application shall be filed with the Village Clerk and shall be accompanied by three copies of the preliminary layout, a filing fee of $20 per lot or such other fee as may from time to time be designated by the Board of Trustees and evidence of ownership of the property.

§ 301-4 Preliminary layout requirements.

A. 
The preliminary layout shall show existing data as follows:
(1) 
Key plan showing location and boundaries of tract.
(2) 
Mapped area shall include the proposed subdivision and sufficient margin on all sides to indicate the entire tract owned or controlled by the subdivider, as well as property ownerships bounding the proposed subdivision. If the tract owned or controlled by the subdivider is larger than the proposed subdivision, the layout shall show plans for the prospective development of the entire tract.
(3) 
Boundary lines and ownership shall be taken from official deed description or as surveyed by a professional engineer or licensed land surveyor.
(4) 
The scale of such map shall be not more than 200 feet to the inch [preferred scale: one inch equals 100 feet.]
(5) 
In resubdividing a plat recorded in the office of the County Clerk, the map shall indicate the name of the original subdivision and shall indicate clearly in what manner the lots have been subdivided.
(6) 
Location, width and purpose of easements.
(7) 
Streets on and adjacent to the tract, including all streets shown on the Official Map, with name and right-of-way width and location, type, width and elevation of surfacing; walks; curbs; gutters; bridges; culverts; etc.
(8) 
Location, size and invert elevation of sanitary sewers, storm sewers, culverts, ditches or other facilities for drainage; location and size of water mains; location of gas lines, fire hydrants, electric and telephone poles and streetlights. If water mains or sewers are not on or adjacent to the tract, indicate the direction and approximate distance to and size of nearest ones showing invert elevation of sewers or culverts. Where drainage is to be a natural watercourse or drainage ditch, the elevation of water in such watercourse at recognized flood stage shall be shown.
(9) 
Ground elevations on the tract, United States Geological Survey recommended; for land that slopes less than approximately 2%, show spot elevation at all breaks in grade, along all drainage channels or swales and at selected points not more than 100 feet apart in all directions; for land that slopes more than approximately 2%, either show contours with an interval of not more than five feet if ground slope is regular and such information is sufficient for planning purposes, or show contours with an interval of not more than two feet if necessary because of irregular land or need for preparing plans and construction drawings.
(10) 
Other existing conditions such as buildings, marshes, rock outcrop and wooded areas where applicable.
B. 
The preliminary layout shall show proposals, including the following:
(1) 
Streets with names, right-of-way and roadway widths, approximate grades.
(2) 
Other rights-of-way or easements with location, width and purpose.
(3) 
Location of utilities if not shown on other exhibits.
(4) 
Lot lines, lot numbers.
(5) 
Sites to be reserved or dedicated for parks, playgrounds or other public uses, if any. (See § 301-9.)
(6) 
Sites, if any, for uses other than single-family dwellings.
(7) 
Topography or any major alterations to the land configuration.
(8) 
Location of temporary turnaround space if application is made for approval of part of a larger subdivision and if the portion for which approval is sought results in a dead-end street or streets. [See § 301-11A(13).]

§ 301-5 Preliminary layout procedure.

A. 
The Village Board shall elicit such information on and give such instructions to the subdivider as it deems necessary and shall refer three copies of the preliminary layout to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall make such studies as it shall deem necessary, including consultations with the subdivider, the Village Engineer and other Village officials and employees.
B. 
Within 90 days of receipt of the preliminary layout from the Village Board, the Planning Commission shall report back to the Village Board its recommendations pertaining to the proposed subdivision. One copy of the preliminary layout and report shall be sent to the Village Board; one copy of each shall be sent to the Department of Public Works; one copy of each shall be retained by the Planning Commission; and a copy of the recommendations shall be sent to the subdivider.
C. 
The Village Board shall hold such hearing or hearings as it deems necessary concerning the proposed subdivision, following receipt of the report of the Planning Commission. Such hearings need not be advertised, and no notice of same need be given to any person except the subdivider and the Chairman of the Planning Commission.
D. 
Following such hearing or hearings the Village Board shall approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the preliminary layout. Notice of such decision shall be promptly sent to the subdivider. If modifications are required, the notice shall state that approval is conditional on the making of the modifications set forth in the notice. If the proposed subdivision is disapproved, the reasons for such action shall be set forth in the notice. Approval or conditional approval shall expire within one year of transmittal of notice to the subdivider unless an application for final approval shall be made within such period.

§ 301-6 Application for final approval.

The subdivider shall file with the Village Clerk a final subdivision plat meeting all requirements of the Village Board, as set forth in the notice pertaining to the preliminary layout. As soon thereafter as practicable a public hearing shall be held by the Village Board, with written notice to the subdivider and Chairman of the Planning Commission and any other notice deemed desirable by the Village Board.

§ 301-7 Subdivision plat requirements.

A. 
The final subdivision plat shall conform substantially to the preliminary layout as approved and shall show only that portion of the approved preliminary layout which the subdivider proposes to record and develop at the time.
B. 
Such plat shall be accompanied by an offer of cession of all streets and parks and other recreation areas and any other required easements or conveyances, such offer to remain binding on the subdivider of the premises, his heirs and assigns, until acceptance or disapproval by the Village Board or until application for a resubdivision is approved. No action taken by the Village Board or any other officer or agency of the Village in accordance with these procedures shall be deemed to be an agreement to accept or an acceptance of title or other interest in or to any real or personal property until the same is accomplished by specific resolution of the Village Board.
C. 
Such plat shall also be accompanied by a statement from the Department of Public Works or the Village Engineer to the effect that all improvements required by these regulations (see § 301-10) have been installed in accordance with these regulations, other resolutions by the Village Board pertaining to such matters or, in the absence of specific regulations, in accordance with the requirements of the Superintendent of Public Works or the Village Engineer.
D. 
As an alternative to the installation, in whole or part, of the improvements herein required, the Village Board may accept a performance bond sufficient to cover the full cost of improvements remaining to be made, such cost to be as estimated by the Superintendent of Public Works or the Village Engineer. Such performance bond shall be issued by a bonding or surety company approved by the Village Board and approved as to form, sufficiency and manner of execution by the Village Attorney. Such performance bond shall run for a term to be fixed by the Village Board, but in no case longer than three years. The amount of such bond may be increased or decreased from time to time as work may progress or as probable remaining costs may change. In the event that any required improvements have not been installed as provided in this section within the term of such performance bond, the Village Board may thereupon declare said bond to be in default and collect the sum remaining payable thereunder; and upon receipt of the proceeds thereof, the Village shall install such improvements as are covered by such bond and that are commensurate with the extent of building development that has taken place in the subdivision but not exceeding in cost the amount of such proceeds.
E. 
The following notations must appear on all subdivision plats before final approval of the Village Board. The Building Inspector shall refrain from issuing a building certificate unless the stated conditions are met:
"No building permit for construction on any lot in this subdivision will be issued if the width of the lot or the lot area is less than that indicated on this subdivision map, unless a change in lot size is approved by the Village Board."
"Approval of this subdivision map by the Village Board shall not be deemed to be acceptance of an offer of cession or dedication of public streets. No building permit will be issued for a lot on any street until acceptance of such street is made by the Village of Lancaster."
F. 
Such plat shall be accompanied by approval of same by the Erie County Health Department.

§ 301-8 Subdivision plat procedure.

A. 
If all conditions pertaining to the subdivision plat have been met, the Village Board shall certify its approval on one copy of such subdivision plat. In the event that any condition or conditions of approval have not been met, written notice shall be given the subdivider of such failure. All conditions of approval shall thereafter be met by the subdivider and a resubmission of application shall be made within 60 days thereafter to the Village Board. Failure to submit a subdivision plat in conformity with the requirements of the Village Board within such period shall be deemed to be a withdrawal of the entire application for approval of the preliminary layout and subdivision plat, and all prior approvals or conditional approvals shall be null and void.
B. 
After approval of a subdivision plat by the Village Board, such plat shall be filed in the office of the Erie County Clerk within 90 days. Said approval shall expire unless filing is timely made.
C. 
After filing the approved subdivision plat, the subdivider shall submit to the Village Clerk five copies of such plat showing the map cover number and date of filing in the County Clerk's office. These copies shall be distributed as follows:
(1) 
One copy retained by the Village Clerk.
(2) 
One copy to the Assessor.
(3) 
One copy to the Department of Public Works.
(4) 
One copy to the Planning Commission.
(5) 
One copy to the Village Engineer.

§ 301-9 Recreation land.

When required by the Village Board, a park or parks suitably located for playground or other recreation purposes shall be required prior to approval; provided, however, that the Village Board may waive, subject to appropriate conditions and guaranties and for such period as it may determine, the requirement for such land when the special circumstances of a particular plat or plats are not requisite in the interest of public health, safety and general welfare.

§ 301-10 Required improvements.

A. 
The subdivider shall, at his own expense, install all of the following improvements in accordance with the standards and specifications of these regulations and other regulations of the Village Board or, in the absence of such specific regulations, in accordance with the requirements of the Superintendent of Public Works or the Village Engineer.
(1) 
Streets and curbs.
(2) 
Sidewalks.
(3) 
Sanitary sewer lines.
(4) 
Storm sewer lines.
(5) 
Water mains.
(6) 
Monuments at block corners and other necessary points.
(7) 
Aboveground drainage facilities; i.e., ditch, swale, sluiceway, etc.
B. 
The Village Board may waive, subject to appropriate conditions and guaranties and for such period as it may determine, the provision of any or all such improvements mentioned in § 301-10 hereof as, in its judgment of the special circumstances of a particular plat or plats, are not requisite in the interests of the public health, safety and general welfare.

§ 301-11 Design standards.

A. 
Streets.
(1) 
The arrangement, character, width, grade and location of all streets shall conform to the future land use plan and to the Official Map, if any, and shall be considered in their relation to other existing streets, to topographical conditions, to public convenience and safety and in their appropriate relation to the proposed uses of land to be served by such streets.
(2) 
Streets in a subdivision shall provide for the continuation or appropriate projection of existing principal streets in surrounding areas and conform to any plan for the adjacent area approved or adopted by the Village Board.
(3) 
Minor streets shall be so laid out that their use by through traffic will be discouraged.
(4) 
Where a subdivision abuts on or contains an existing or proposed arterial street, the Village Board may require marginal access streets, reverse frontage with screen planting contained in a nonaccess reservation along the rear property line, deep lots with or without service alleys or such other treatment as may be necessary for adequate protection of residential properties and to afford separation of through and local traffic.
(5) 
Where a subdivision borders on or contains a railroad right-of-way or controlled-access highway right-of-way, the Village Board may require a street approximately parallel to and on each side of such right-of-way, at a distance suitable for the appropriate use of the intervening land, as for park purposes in residential districts, or for business, commercial or industrial purposes in appropriate districts. Such distances shall also be determined with due regard for the requirements of approach grades and future grade separation.
(6) 
Street jogs with center line offsets of less than 125 feet shall be avoided.
(7) 
Compound, reverse and broken curves should be avoided. However, a reverse curve on an arterial or collector street with a tangent of at least 125 feet may be acceptable.
(8) 
Streets shall be laid out so as to intersect as nearly as possible at right angles, and no street shall intersect any other street at less than 75°. This requirement may be waived if adequate channels or divisional islands are provided to ensure traffic safety.
(9) 
Property lines at street intersections shall be rounded with a radius of 10 feet or with a greater radius where the Village Board may deem it necessary.
(10) 
Curb radii at intersections shall not be less than 20 feet.
(11) 
Minimum street right-of-way and pavement widths shall be as follows; these are recommended minimum pavement widths; final pavement width shall be determined by the Superintendent of Public Works or the Village Engineer.
Street Type
Right-of-Way
(feet)
Minimum Pavement Width
(feet)
Arterial
80*
40
Collector
60
30
Minor
60
26
Marginal access
40
20
*
Not including right-of-way marginal access streets, if any.
(12) 
Half streets shall be prohibited except where essential to the reasonable development of the subdivision in conformity with the other requirements of these regulations; and where the Village Board finds that it will be practicable to obtain dedication of the other half when the adjoining property is subdivided, the other half of the street shall be shown on the subdivision plat.
(13) 
Dead-end streets, designed to be so permanently, shall in general be not longer than 500 feet and shall be provided at the closed end with a turnaround having an outside roadway diameter of at least 120 feet. Dead-end streets, designed to be so temporarily, pending the extension of such streets into contiguous land by further subdivision process, shall contain temporary turnaround facilities which shall be suitable as permanent facilities in the event that no further subdivision is made extending such streets. All agreements or offers concerning same shall be subject to approval of the Village Attorney.
(14) 
No street names shall be used which will duplicate or be confused with the names of existing streets.
(15) 
Street grades shall not exceed the following:
Street Type
Maximum Grade
(percent)
Arterial
4
Collector
6
Minor
8
Marginal access
8
(16) 
In order to facilitate drainage, no street grade shall be less than 0.4% when possible, but in no event less than 0.3%.
B. 
Easements.
(1) 
Easements across lots or centered on rear or side lot lines shall be provided for utilities, where necessary, and shall be at least 12 feet wide.
(2) 
Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, drainageway or channel, there shall be provided a stormwater easement or drainage right-of-way conforming substantially with the lines of such watercourse and such further width or construction, or both, as will be adequate for drainage purposes.
(3) 
Easements for surface water or watercourse drainage shall not be less than 12 feet in width, unless otherwise specified by the Superintendent of Public Works or Village Engineer. Further, this type of easement shall be shown on the drainage and storm sewer facilities plan and be clearly and expressly marked "Easement for Surface Drainage."
(a) 
Drainage grades in front, rear and/or side yards shall be established by the subdivider to conform to the lot and block grading standards set forth in § 301-11E of these subdivision regulations and be shown on all drawings of storm-sewer facilities.
[Amended 7-28-1969; 6-29-1976 by L.L. No. 9-1976; 11-22-1976]
(b) 
A minimum grade of not less than 0.33% shall be maintained along these easements.
(c) 
Special conditions. If in the opinion of the Superintendent of Public Works or Village Engineer, after review of plans submitted by the subdivider, additional sewer facilities are needed to carry off surface water from rear and/or side yard areas, these additional sewer structures shall become part of the general storm-sewer plan.
C. 
Blocks.
(1) 
Block lengths shall not exceed 1,600 feet nor be less than 400 feet. Block widths shall not be less than 240 feet.
(2) 
Intersections with arterial streets should be held to a minimum and should preferably be spaced at least 1,000 feet apart.
D. 
Lots.
(1) 
Land subject to flooding shall not be platted for residential occupancy nor for such uses as may increase danger of life or property or aggravate the flood hazard.
(2) 
The subdividing of the land shall be such as to provide each lot with satisfactory access from an existing or proposed public street. Where a tract is subdivided into parcels larger than normal building lots, such parcels shall be planned to permit the opening of future streets and logical further subdivision.
(3) 
Double frontage lots should be avoided except where essential to provide separation of residential development from traffic arteries or to overcome specific disadvantages of topography and orientation. A planting screen easement of at least 10 feet in width, across which there shall be no right of access, shall be provided along the line of lots abutting such a traffic artery or other disadvantageous use.
(4) 
Side lot lines shall be substantially at right angles or radial to street lines.
(5) 
Rear lot lines coinciding with side lot lines shall be avoided wherever possible.
(6) 
Corner lots shall have sufficient width to provide an exterior side yard as required by the Zoning Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 350, Zoning.
E. 
Lot and block grading standards. For the purposes of this chapter, grading standards will be divided into either lot or block categories.
[Added 7-28-1969; 6-29-1976 by L.L. No. 9-1976; 11-22-1976]
(1) 
Block grading shall be divided into four basic classifications as follows:
(a) 
Type I, ridge along rear lot line.
(b) 
Type II, gentle cross slope.
(c) 
Type III, steep cross slope.
(d) 
Type IV, valley along rear lot line.
(2) 
Lot grading shall be divided into three basic classifications as follows:
(a) 
Type I, all drainage to street.
(b) 
Type II, drainage to both street and rear lot line.
(c) 
Type III, drainage to rear lot line.
(3) 
Combinations of lot and block grading classifications. Variations using combinations of lot and block grading standards shall be permitted, provided they meet the standards as set forth in the tables referred to in Subsection E(4) below and are approved by the Superintendent of Public Works, the Building Inspector or the Village Engineer.
(4) 
The tables for lot and block grading standards which shall be followed in all grading cases arising subsequent to the date of the adoption of this chapter are on file in the office of the Building Inspector.

§ 301-12 Variances.

Where there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the way of carrying out the strict letter of these regulations, the Village Board shall have the power to waive or modify the application of any of the requirements herein relating to the layout and platting of land for subdivisions so that the spirit of the regulations shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured and substantial justice done.

§ 301-13 Definitions.

For the purpose of these regulations, the following definitions are intended for the terms listed:
OFFICIAL MAP
A map adopted by the Village Board pursuant to §§ 179-e and 179-h of the Village Law.[1]
PLANNING COMMISSION
The duly appointed Planning Commission of the Village of Lancaster, pursuant to Article 12-A of the General Municipal Law.
STREET
A way for vehicular traffic, whether designated as a street, highway, thoroughfare, parkway, throughway, road, avenue, boulevard, lane, place or similar designation.
A. 
Those used primarily for fast or heavy traffic.
B. 
Those which carry traffic from minor streets to the major street system of arterial streets, including the principal entrance streets of a residential development.
C. 
Those which are used primarily for access to abutting properties.
D. 
Minor streets which are parallel to and adjacent to arterial streets and which provide access to abutting properties and protection from through traffic.
SUBDIVIDER
A person, group or organization proposing to subdivide land within the Village of Lancaster, including agents of same and the owners of such land whenever an act or agreement or assent of said owners is necessitated by the provisions of these regulations.
SUBDIVISION
The division of any parcel of land into two or more lots, plots, blocks or sites.
[Amended 9-28-1998 by L.L. No. 5-1998]
VILLAGE BOARD
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Lancaster.
[1]
Editor's Note: Provisions are now covered under § 7-724 of the new Village Law.

§ 301-14 Stormwater pollution prevention plan.

[Added 11-26-2007 by L.L. No. 14-2007]
A. 
Preliminary subdivision plat. A stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) consistent with the requirements of Chapter 292, Part 1, and Chapter 350, Article XIII, shall be required for preliminary subdivision plat approval. The SWPPP shall meet the performance and design criteria and standards in Chapter 350, Article XIII. The approved preliminary subdivision plat shall be consistent with the provisions of Chapter 292, Part 1, and Chapter 350, Article XIII.
B. 
Final subdivision plat approval. A stormwater pollution prevention plan consistent with the requirements of Chapter 292, Part 1, and Chapter 350, Article XIII, and with the terms of preliminary plan approval shall be required for final subdivision plat approval. The SWPPP shall meet the performance and design criteria and standards in Chapter 350, Article XIII. The approval final subdivision plat shall be consistent with the provisions of Chapter 292, Part 1, and Chapter 350, Article XIII.