Village of Great Neck Estates, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Great Neck Estates 3-1-1982 by L.L. No. 2-1982[1] (Ch. 5 of the 1981 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Voting requirements for Village Boards — See Ch. 72.
Building construction and plumbing — See Ch. 95.
Zoning — See Ch. 230.
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 1 of L.L. No. 2-1982 read as follows:
“(a) It is the purpose of this law to preserve and promote the character and appearances and conserve the property values of the Village of Great Neck Estates by providing procedures for an architectural review of certain structures henceforth erected, reconstructed or altered in the Village and thereby to encourage good qualities of exterior building design and good appearances and to relate such design and appearances to the sites and surroundings of structures, to permit originality and resourcefulness in building design and appearances which are appropriate to the sites and surroundings and to prevent such design and appearances as are unnecessarily offensive to visual sensibilities.
“(b) The Board of Trustees hereby finds that structures which are visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor qualities of exterior design, monotonous similarity or striking visual discord in relation to their sites or surroundings mar the appearances of their areas, impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the values of properties, are detrimental to the characters of neighborhoods, prevent the most appropriate development and utilization of land and, therefore, adversely affect the functioning, economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.”

§ 12-1 Creation; membership; terms; alternate members.

[Amended 9-6-2006 by L.L. No. 8-2006]
A. 
There is hereby created a Board of Architectural Review, which shall consist of three residents of the Village appointed by the Mayor, with the approval of the Board of Trustees of the Village. The Mayor shall designate which member of the Architectural Review Board shall be the Chairman of the Architectural Review Board, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, and the person so designated shall serve as Chairman at the pleasure of the Mayor and Board of Trustees. The terms of the members of the Architectural Review Board shall be three official years, except that of the members first appointed to said Board, one shall be appointed for a term expiring at the end of the official year ending in 1983, one shall be appointed for a term expiring at the end of the official year ending in 1984, and one shall be appointed for a term expiring at the end of the official year ending in 1985. Vacancies occurring for whatever reason shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term.
B. 
Alternate members. With the approval of the Board of Trustees, the Mayor may appoint not more than three alternate members of the Board of Architectural Review. Each such appointee shall serve from the date of appointment until the conclusion of the official year of the Village in which such appointment is made. In the event any regular member of the Architectural Review Board is unable to participate with respect to any matter before that Board, for any reason, the Chair of the Architectural Review Board may designate an alternate to serve in the place and stead of each such regular member. When so designated, the alternate member shall have all the powers and responsibilities of such regular member.

§ 12-2 Board procedures.

[Amended 4-11-2016 by L.L. No. 4-2016]
A. 
Meetings of the Board of Architectural Review shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as the Board shall determine. The Board may hold a public hearing when it deems the same to be in the public interest. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact and shall also maintain records of its examinations and other official actions, such records to be kept in the Village Office. The Board may from time to time adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations not inconsistent with law or the provisions of this chapter governing its procedure and the transactions of its business and for the purpose of carrying into effect the standards outlined in § 12-4 of this chapter.
B. 
With respect to any application to be reviewed by the Board which pertains to construction of a new structure, or a substantial addition or alteration to an existing structure which would enlarge the floor area or lot coverage of the existing structure by 40% or more, the application to the Board shall include a radius map showing all properties located in whole or in part within 200 feet of any part of the property which is the subject of the application and a list of the names and addresses of the owners of such properties as shown on the Village tax records. At least 10 and no more than 20 calendar days prior to a Board meeting at which such application is to be considered, the applicant shall give notice of the application and meeting to each such owner, by first-class mail, and shall file a United States Postal Service certificate of mailing with the Building Department no later than one business day prior to the meeting.

§ 12-3 Referral of building permit applications to Board.

A. 
Transmission of copies of application to Board.
[Amended 1-7-1987 by L.L. No. 1-1987]
(1) 
As soon as practicable and in any event within three business days after determining that an application for a building permit for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of any building or structure complies with all provisions of this chapter other than this section, the Building Inspector shall transmit to each member of the Board of Architectural Review a copy of any such application which comes within either of the following categories:
(a) 
Construction of any new building or structure.
(b) 
An addition to or reconstruction or alteration of an existing building or structure in such manner as to change substantially the exterior character and appearance of the building or structure.
(2) 
In the event that the Building Inspector shall determine that any application for a building permit need not be transmitted to the Board of Architectural Review pursuant to this section and the building permit application otherwise conforms to the requirements of the Village of Great Neck Estates, the Building Inspector shall transmit the same to the Board of Trustees, with his recommendation. The Board of Trustees may, in its discretion, determine to transmit said application to the Board of Architectural Review, in which case the Board of Architectural Review shall thereafter conduct a review of said application as if it had been referred by the Building Inspector.
[Added 3-13-1989 by L.L. No. 3-1989]
B. 
Applications must be accompanied by plans showing all elevations of new structures and all affected elevations in the case of additions or alterations. When required by the Building Inspector or by the Board of Architectural Review, a site plan shall be submitted showing both existing and proposed contours at five-foot intervals, all existing trees with a trunk diameter of four inches or more at a point three feet above the ground level and whether such trees shall remain or be removed and/or other topographical features.

§ 12-4 Standards for Board action.

A. 
Recommendation of any building permit shall be by a vote of at least a majority of the members of the Board of Architectural Review.
B. 
In considering an application for a permit, the Board shall take into account natural features of the site and surroundings, exterior design and appearances of existing structures and the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular purposes, with a view to conserving the values of property and encouraging the most appropriate use of land.
C. 
The Board may recommend approval of any application referred to it upon finding that the building or structure for which the permit was requested, if erected or altered in accordance with the submitted plan, would be in harmony with the purpose of this chapter, would not be visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design, monotonous similarity or striking visual discord in relation to the sites or surroundings; would not mar the appearance of the area; would not impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the values of properties in the area; would not be detrimental to the character of the neighborhood; would not prevent the most appropriate development and utilization of the site or of adjacent lands; and would not adversely affect the functioning economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.
D. 
In recommending approval of any application, the Board may impose appropriate conditions and safeguards designed to prevent harmful effects.
E. 
The Board may recommend disapproval of any application for a permit, provided that the Board has afforded the applicant an opportunity to confer upon suggestions for change of the plan, and provided that the Board finds and states that the structure for which the permit was requested would, if erected or altered as indicated, provoke one or more of the harmful effects described in this chapter by reason of:
(1) 
Monotonous similarity to any other structure or structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or a corner thereof and within 250 feet of the site of the structure for which a building permit is requested in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
(a) 
Substantially identical facade, disregarding color.
(b) 
Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticos, porches or garages or other openings or breaks or extensions in the facade, including reverse arrangements.
(c) 
Other substantially identical features, such as but not limited to setbacks from street lines; heights, widths and lengths of elements of the building design; and exterior materials and treatments.
(2) 
Striking dissimilarity, visual discord or inappropriateness with respect to other structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or a corner thereof and within 250 feet of the site of the structure for which a building permit is requested in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
(a) 
Facade, disregarding color.
(b) 
Size and arrangement of doors, windows, porticos, porches or garages or other openings, breaks or extensions in the facade.
(c) 
Other significant design features, such as but not limited to heights, widths and lengths of elements of design; exterior materials and treatments; roof structures; exposed mechanical equipment; service and storage areas; retaining walls; landscaping; signs; light posts; parking areas and fences; and service and loading areas.
(3) 
Visual offensiveness or other poor qualities of exterior design, including, with respect to signs, considerations of the harmony or discord of colors, or incompatibility of the proposed structure with the terrain on which it is to be located, including but not limited to excessive divergencies of the height or levels of any part of the structure from the grade of the terrain.

§ 12-5 Additional regulations applicable to building facades in Business D Districts.

[Added 1-9-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989]
A. 
Except for ordinary maintenance and repairs, no person may construct, reconstruct or otherwise alter the facade of any building in a Business D District without obtaining a facade permit from the Village's Building Inspector. An application for a facade permit shall be made on such application forms as are established by the Building Inspector. An application for a facade permit shall be accompanied by a fee as set forth in Chapter 109, Fees. An application for a facade permit shall be processed in the same manner as an application for a building permit, except that the standards of this section shall be applicable to architectural review of the facade, in the place and stead of the standards set forth in § 12-4. Where an application involves a construction, reconstruction or alteration to which § 12-4 is applicable and to which this section is also applicable, the application must conform to the requirements of both sections before any permit shall be granted.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
It is the purpose of this section to prevent excessive uniformity, dissimilarity or poor quality of design in the exterior appearance of building facades, since such conditions adversely affect the desirability of the immediate and neighboring areas, impair the benefits of occupancy of existing developed property, undermine the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in such areas and prevent the most appropriate development of such areas.
C. 
The Board of Architectural Review may determine that a building facade does not meet the requirements of this law in the event that it finds that the building facade would, if erected, be so detrimental to the desirability, property values or development of the surrounding area as to produce one or more of the harmful effects set forth in this section by reason of:
(1) 
Excessive similarity to any other building facade existing or for which a permit has been issued or to any other building facade included in the same facade permit application, facing upon the same street and within 1,000 feet of the proposed site, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
(a) 
Apparently identical facade.
(b) 
Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticos or other openings or breaks in the facade facing the street, including reverse arrangements.
(c) 
Other significant identical features provided that a finding of excessive similarity shall set forth facts showing not only that such similarity exists, but shall further set forth facts showing that it is of such a nature as to be expected to produce one or more of the harmful effects set forth in this section.
(2) 
Poor quality of design or excessive dissimilarity in relation to any other building facade existing or for which a permit has been issued, or to any other building facade included in the same facade permit application, facing upon the same street and within 1,000 feet of the proposed site in respect to one or more of the following features:
(a) 
Materials of which the facade is constructed.
(b) 
Height of the facade.
(c) 
Lines of the facade.
(d) 
Color of the facade.
(e) 
Plane of the facade.
(f) 
Texture of the facade.
(g) 
Other significant design features, such as materials used in construction or nature of architectural design, provided that a finding of poor quality of design or excessive dissimilarity shall set forth facts showing that such poor quality of design or excessive dissimilarity exists but, shall further set forth facts showing that it is of such nature as to be expected to produce one or more of the harmful effects set forth in this section.

§ 12-6 Failure of Board to act.

If the Board of Architectural Review shall fail to act on any application referred to it under § 12-4 of this chapter within 60 days of the date of referral of such application to it, the Building Inspector shall refer the application to the Board of Trustees, who must act thereon within 45 days of receipt of such referral.

§ 12-7 Review by Board of Trustees.

All actions of the Architectural Review Board in recommending approval or disapproval of building permits shall be reported promptly to the Board of Trustees of the Village, who shall affirm, revise or modify such recommendations within 45 days of the receipt of such referral.

§ 12-8 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by the action of the Board of Architectural Review or of the Board of Trustees with respect to a building permit application and/or of the Building Inspector in denying such permit because of disapproval by the Board of Architectural Review or by the Board of Trustees may bring a proceeding to review in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. Such proceeding must be commenced within 30 days after the filing in the office of the Village Clerk of the decision to be reviewed.