Town of LeRay, NY
Jefferson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 158-148 Zoning permits.

A. 
No building or structure shall be erected, or use instituted, or use reinstituted once discontinued, until a zoning permit has been issued therefor.
B. 
The exterior structural area of a building shall not be enlarged until a zoning permit has been issued therefor.
C. 
A zoning permit shall not be required for:
(1) 
Construction of a structure with a floor area of 100 square feet or less. However, such structures shall meet the following requirements:
(a) 
They may be located in a required yard, provided that they do not disrupt a neighbor's view or traffic safety (i.e., line of sight).
(b) 
In no case shall the structure be located closer than 10 feet to the lot line or 40 feet to the road line.
(c) 
The structure or use shall not conflict with the principal uses of the district.
(2) 
Installation of fences or walls, provided that they meet the appropriate zoning regulations.
(3) 
Interior structural alterations.
(4) 
Routine maintenance and improvement (e.g., roofing, window replacement, siding replacement, etc.) that does not expand the exterior dimensions of the structure.
(5) 
Construction of chimneys, placement of posts, and other similar accessory uses.
D. 
When establishing measurements to meet the required front yards and structure setbacks, the measurements shall be taken from the road line, lot line, or nearest high water elevation to the furthermost protruding part of the structure. This shall include such projecting facilities as cornices, eaves, porches, carports, attached garages, etc.
E. 
No such zoning permit or certificate of compliance shall be issued for any building or structure where said construction, addition, and exterior expansion or use thereof would be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, and further, no zoning permit shall be issued for construction or development upon a lot created under an approved subdivision until said approved subdivision plat has been duly filed with the office of the Jefferson County Clerk as required by § 135-9A.
F. 
A zoning permit issued under this chapter shall expire one year from the date of issue if construction is not started.
G. 
Any administrative use having ceased for a period of 12 months or longer shall be termed abandoned and may not be reinstituted without applying for and being granted a zoning permit, at which time such use shall be required to conform to this chapter.
H. 
Applications for zoning permits shall be submitted to the Zoning Enforcement Officer or Town Clerk and shall include two copies of the following information:
(1) 
A layout or plot plan showing the actual dimensions of the lot to be built upon;
(2) 
The size and location on the lot of the structures and accessory structures to be;
(3) 
The distance from the building line to all lot lines, road right-of-way lines, waterfront property lines, streams, and any other features of the lot; and
(4) 
Such other information as may be necessary to determine and provide for the enforcement of this chapter.
I. 
Application information, and other relevant data, shall be provided on a form issued by the Town.
J. 
A fee as determined by the Town Board shall be paid for each zoning permit issued. Costs of hearings, notices, postings, etc., shall be added to this fee when such requirements of the law must be met.
K. 
Temporary permits may be issued by the Zoning Enforcement Officer for conforming and nonconforming uses for a period not exceeding six months.
(1) 
Such temporary permits must meet the intent and purpose of this chapter.
(2) 
Temporary permits shall be based upon an agreement and plan of action to bring the use into compliance prior to the expiration of the permit.
(3) 
Temporary permits shall be conditioned upon agreement by the owner or operator to remove any remaining nonconforming structures or equipment upon expiration of the temporary permit.
(4) 
Temporary permits may be renewed such that the total time shall not exceed 18 months.
L. 
No use which has been previously approved under a site plan for operation and having been deemed discontinued as defined herein shall recommence operation under the previous site plan until an administrative review of the existing site plan is conducted pursuant to the codes in effect at the time and the Zoning Enforcement Officer deems that revision or an amended site plan is not necessary.
M. 
A site plan approved pursuant with the provisions of this article shall run with the land and apply to the type of business or activity for which originally applied. A subsequent change of use to another type of use requiring site plan approval or a special use permit will require approval of a new site plan and the issuance of a new zoning permit.

§ 158-149 Zoning Enforcement Officer.

A. 
This chapter shall be enforced by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, who shall be appointed by the Town Board.
B. 
The Zoning Enforcement Officer's authority shall include:
(1) 
Approve and/or deny zoning permits.
(2) 
Scale and interpret zone boundaries on Zoning Maps.
(3) 
Approve and/or deny certificates of compliance.
(4) 
Refer appropriate matters to the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board, as needed.
(5) 
Revocation of a zoning permit where there is false, misleading or insufficient information.
(6) 
Revocation of a zoning permit and/or certificate of compliance where the applicant has not done what was proposed on the application.
(7) 
Issue stop-work orders for noncompliance with this Zoning Chapter.
(8) 
Issue appearance tickets before the Town Court for noncompliance with this chapter.
C. 
The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall report at regular Town Board meetings the number of permits issued.

§ 158-150 Certificate of compliance.

A. 
No land shall be occupied or used and no building or structure hereafter constructed, erected, extended, used, or changes made in the use until a certificate of compliance shall have been issued by the Zoning Enforcement Officer stating that the building, structure, or proposed use thereof complies with the provisions of this chapter. Additionally, a draft stormwater prevention plan (SWPPP), as defined by and consistent with the standards of the Town of LeRay Stormwater Management and Erosion and Sediment Control Law (Chapter 133), is provided where required.
[Amended 2-9-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
B. 
All certificates of compliance shall be applied for coincidentally with the application for a building permit. Said certificate shall be issued within 10 days after the erection and alteration shall have been approved as complying with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall maintain a record of all certificates, and copies shall be furnished upon request to any person having a proprietary or tenancy interest in the building affected.

§ 158-151 Zoning Board of Appeals.

A. 
Creation, appointment and organization.
(1) 
A Zoning Board of Appeals is hereby created and shall consist of five members who shall be appointed by the Town Board on a staggered-term basis in conformance with Town Law.
(2) 
The Town Board shall appoint a Chairman.
(3) 
The Board of Appeals shall select a Secretary and shall prescribe rules for the conduct of its affairs.
B. 
Powers and duties. The Board of Appeals shall have all the power and duties prescribed by § 267-b of the Town Law and by this chapter, which are more particularly specified as follows:
(1) 
The Board of Appeals may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination appealed from and shall make such order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination as in its opinion ought to have been made in the matter by the administrative official charged with the enforcement of such ordinance or local law and to that end shall have all the powers of the administrative official from whose order, requirement, decision, interpretations or determinations the appeal is taken.
(2) 
Use variance.
(a) 
The Board of Appeals, on appeal from the decision or determination of the administrative official charged with the enforcement of this chapter, shall have the power to grant use variances.
(b) 
No such use variance shall be granted by the Board of Appeals without a showing by the applicant that applicable zoning regulations and restrictions have caused unnecessary hardship.
(c) 
In order to prove unnecessary hardship, the applicant shall demonstrate to the Board of Appeals that for each and every permitted use under the zoning regulations for the particular districts where the property is located:
[1] 
The applicant cannot realize a reasonable return, provided that lack of return is substantial as demonstrated by competent financial evidence;
[2] 
That the alleged hardship relating to the property in question is unique and does not apply to a substantial portion of the district or neighborhood;
[3] 
That the requested use variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood; and
[4] 
That the alleged hardship has not been self-created.
(d) 
The Board of Appeals, in the granting of use variances, shall grant the minimum variance that it shall deem necessary and adequate to address the unnecessary hardship proven by the applicant and at the same time preserve and protect the character of the neighborhood and the health, safety and welfare of the community.
(3) 
Area variance.
(a) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the powers, upon an appeal from a decision or determination of an administrative official charged with the enforcement of this chapter, to grant area variances.
(b) 
In making its determination, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall take into consideration the benefit to the application if the variance is granted, as weighted against the detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood or community by such grant.
(c) 
In making area variance determinations the Board shall also consider:
[1] 
Whether an undesirable change will be produced in the character of the neighborhood or a detriment to nearby properties will be created by the granting of the area variance;
[2] 
Whether the benefit sought by the applicant can be achieved by some method, feasible for the applicant to pursue, other than an area variance;
[3] 
Whether the requested area variance is substantial;
[4] 
Whether the proposed variance will have an adverse effect or impact on the physical or environmental conditions of the neighborhood or district; and
[5] 
Whether the alleged difficulty was self-created, which consideration shall be relevant to the decision of the Board of Appeals but shall not necessarily preclude the granting of the area variance.
(d) 
The Board of Appeals, in the granting of area variances, shall grant the minimum variance that it shall deem necessary and adequate and at the same time preserve and protect the character of the neighborhood and the health, safety and welfare of the community.
(4) 
Imposition of conditions.
(a) 
The Board of Appeals shall, in the granting of both use variances and area variances, have the authority to impose such reasonable conditions and restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to the proposed use of the property or the period of time such variance shall be in effect.
(b) 
Such conditions shall be consistent with the spirit and intent of the Zoning Chapter and shall be imposed for the purpose of minimizing any adverse impact such variance may have on the neighborhood or community.
C. 
Procedure.
(1) 
Meetings; minutes; records. Meetings of such Board of Appeals shall be open to the public to the extent provided in Article 7 of the Public Officers Law. Such Board of Appeals shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon every question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also keep records of its examinations and other official actions.
(2) 
Filing requirements. Every rule, regulation, every amendment or repeal thereof, and every order, requirement, decision or determination of the Board of Appeals shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk within five business days and shall be a public record.
(3) 
Assistance to Board of Appeals. Such Board shall have the authority to call upon any department, agency or employee of the Town for such assistance as shall be deemed necessary and as shall by authorized by the Town Board. Such department, agency or employee may be reimbursed by any expenses incurred as a result of such assistance.
(4) 
Hearing appeals.
(a) 
Unless otherwise provided by local law or ordinance, the jurisdiction of the Board of Appeals shall be appellate only and shall be limited to hearing and deciding appeals from and reviewing any order, requirement, decision, interpretation, or determination made by an administrative official charged with the enforcement of the local law adopted pursuant to this article.
(b) 
The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the Board of Appeals shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision of determination of any such administrative official or to grant a use variance or area variance.
(c) 
Appeals may be taken by any person aggrieved or by an officer, department, board or bureau of the Town.
(5) 
Time of appeal.
(a) 
Such appeal shall be taken within 60 days after the filing of any order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination of the administrative officer charged with the enforcement of such local law by filing with such administrative official and with the Board of Appeals a notice of appeal, specifying the grounds thereof and the relief sought.
(b) 
The administrative official from whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the Board of Appeals all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
(c) 
Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney.
(6) 
Stay upon appeal.
(a) 
An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from.
(b) 
A stay shall not go into effect if the administrative official charged with the enforcement of such local law, from whom the appeal is taken, certifies to the Board of Appeals, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with the administrative official, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his or her opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property.
(c) 
In such instance, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the Board of Appeals or by a court of record on application, on notice to the administrative official from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.
(7) 
Hearing on appeal.
(a) 
The Board of Appeals shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or other matter referred to and shall give public notice thereof within a publication of general circulation in the Town at least five days prior to the date thereof.
(b) 
The costs of sending or publishing any notices relating to such appeal shall be borne by the appealing party and shall be paid to the Board prior to the hearing of such appeal.
(8) 
Time of decision.
(a) 
The Board of Appeals shall decide upon the appeal within 62 days after the conduct of said hearing.
(b) 
The time within which the Board of Appeals must render its decision may be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the Board.
(9) 
Filing of decision and notice. The decision of the Board of Appeals on the appeal shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk within five business days after the day such decision is rendered, and a copy thereof shall be mailed to the applicant.
(10) 
Notice to planning agency.
(a) 
At least five days before such hearing, the Board of Appeals shall mail notices thereof to the parties having jurisdiction over any state land within 500 feet of the property affected by such appeal; and to Jefferson County as required by § 239-m of the General Municipal Law.
(b) 
Such notice shall be accompanied by a full statement of the matter under consideration, as defined in Subdivision 1 of General Municipal Law § 239-m.
(11) 
Compliance with State Environmental Quality Review Act.
(a) 
The Board of Appeals shall comply with the provisions of the State Environmental Quality Review Act under Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law and its implementing regulations as codified in Title 6, Part 617, of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.
(12) 
Rehearing.
(a) 
A motion for the Zoning Board of Appeals to hold a rehearing to review any order, decision or determination of the Board not previously reheard may be made by any member of the Board.
(b) 
A unanimous vote of all members of the Board then present is required for such rehearing to occur.
(c) 
Such rehearing is subject to the same notice provisions as an original hearing.
(d) 
Upon such rehearing, the Board may reverse, modify or annul its original order, decision or determination upon the unanimous vote of all members then present, provided the Board finds that the rights vested in persons acting in good faith in reliance upon the reheard order, decision or determination will not be prejudiced thereby.

§ 158-152 Planning Board.

A. 
Powers and duties. The Planning Board shall have the following powers and duties with respect to this chapter:
(1) 
Approval or disapproval of site plans, special use permits and subdivisions.
(2) 
Submittal of an advisory opinion to the Zoning Board of Appeals for use and area variances.
(3) 
Submittal of an advisory opinion to the Town Board for proposed amendments to this chapter.
(4) 
Attach conditions and restrictions to an approved site plan that are reasonable, directly related and incidental to the site plan.
(5) 
All other powers granted by state law and this chapter.
B. 
Procedure.
(1) 
The Planning Board shall act in strict accordance with the procedures specified by this chapter.
(2) 
All applications made shall be made in writing on forms prescribed by the Town and shall conform to the requirements of Article XVI.
(3) 
Every decision of the Planning Board shall contain a full record of findings in the case.
(4) 
The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the Planning Board shall be necessary to approve site plans.
(5) 
The Planning Board may provide advisory opinions in the form of a positive recommendation or a negative recommendation and shall provide to the Zoning Board of Appeals or Town Board a reasonable explanation contained within the resolution in support of the Planning Board's opinion.
(6) 
The Planning Board may also withhold the submittal of an advisory opinion in instances where the Planning Board lacks a proper motion on which to vote.

§ 158-153 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, the Zoning Enforcement Officer, Town, or any person may file a complaint in regard thereto.
(1) 
All such complaints must be in writing and shall be filed with the Zoning Enforcement Officer, who shall properly record and immediately investigate such complaint.
(2) 
If the complaint is found to be valid, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall issue a stop-work order requiring all work to cease until the violation is corrected.
(3) 
If the violation is not corrected within the specified time, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall take action to compel compliance.
(4) 
If the violation is not corrected within the specified time, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall issue the property owner of record an appearance ticket to appear before the Town Court to account for said violation.
B. 
Pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 10 and Town Law § 268, any person, firm or corporation who commits an offense against, disobeys, neglects or refuses to comply with or resists the enforcement of any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a violation. Each day an offense is continued shall be deemed a separate violation of this chapter.
[Amended 8-11-2016 by L.L. No. 4-2016]
C. 
A violation of this chapter is punishable by a fine not to exceed $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a separate fine of not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a separate period not to exceed six months, or both; and upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a separate fine of not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a separate period of not to exceed six months, or both.
D. 
In addition to the penalties provided above, the Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Town in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or restrain by injunction the violation of this chapter. The violator will be held responsible for all legal fees, consulting fees and any other costs incurred by the Town in enforcing this chapter.

§ 158-154 Amendments.

A. 
The Town Board may amend, supplement, or repeal regulations and provisions of this chapter after public notice and public hearing. All proposed changes shall be referred to the Jefferson County Planning Board for its recommendation and for a report thereon prior to final action. The Town Board, by resolution adopted at a stated meeting, shall fix the time and place of a public hearing on the proposed amendment and cause notice to be given as follows:
(1) 
By publishing a notice at least 10 days prior to the time of such hearing in the Town's official newspaper.
(2) 
By referring the proposed amendments to the Clerk of the County Legislature and the Clerks of neighboring towns and villages at least 10 days prior to the public hearing.
B. 
In case of a protest against such change, signed by the owners of 20% or more of the area of land included in such proposed change, or of an adverse recommendation by the County Planning Board, the vote of the Town Board must have a seventy-five-percent majority in favor to adopt the amendments.

§ 158-155 Interpretation of provisions; severability.

A. 
Interpretation and application of the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be minimal requirements, adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety or the general welfare. Whenever the requirements of this chapter differ from the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations or ordinances, the more restrictive, or that imposing the higher standards, shall govern.
B. 
Should any section or provisions of this chapter be decided by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the law as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so decided to be unconstitutional or invalid.