Town of Rotterdam, NY
Schenectady County
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§ 270-170 Designation of enforcement official.

[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 14-1992; 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
This chapter shall be enforced by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Rotterdam or a duly appointed representative thereof or a duly appointed representative by the Rotterdam Town Board.

§ 270-171 Powers and duties of Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer.

[Amended 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 9-1989; 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
A. 
In addition to the requirements of Chapter 154 of the Town Code providing for the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer to enforce all laws and ordinances relating to the location, construction, alteration, repair, removal, demolition, equipment use, occupancy and maintenance of buildings and structures, it shall also be the duty of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer to keep written records of all applications for building permits, together with any conditions or requirements for issuance. He shall file and safely keep copies of all plans and documents submitted, which shall be available for the Town Board, Town Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and the general public. The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer shall maintain a file of all applications, documents and conditions of approval for special permits authorized by this chapter.
B. 
The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer shall issue no building permit or certificate of occupancy, except where provisions of this chapter, together with applicable Town ordinances and local laws, shall be complied with. Such Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer shall have no power to vary the regulations herein required.

§ 270-172 (Reserved) [1]

[1]:
Editor's Note: Former § 270-172, Building permit, as amended, was repealed 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 9-1989.

§ 270-173 (Reserved) [1]

[1]:
Editor's Note: Former § 270-173, Certificate of occupancy, as amended, was repealed 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 9-1989.

§ 270-174 Amendments.

A. 
Town Board power to amend. The Town Board may, from time to time, on its own motion, on petition or on recommendation of the Planning Board, amend, supplement or repeal the regulations and provisions of this chapter in the manner provided by this chapter and § 265 of the Town Law of New York State.
B. 
Referral to Planning Board. Each such proposal, amendment or change, whether initiated by the Town Board or by petition, shall be referred to the Planning Board for report and recommendation thereon, before public hearing. In recommending the adoption of any such proposed amendment, the Planning Board shall state its reasons for such recommendation. On recommending the rejection or revision of any proposed amendment, the Planning Board shall similarly state its reasons.
C. 
Approval by Town Board. A majority vote of the Town Board shall be required to approve such amendment or change except as noted below:
(1) 
In the 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 by the owners of 20% or more of the immediately adjacent land within 100 feet from the street frontage of such opposite land, such amendment shall not become effective except by the favorable vote of four out of five members of the members of the Town Board.
(2) 
In the case where approval is contrary to the report of the Schenectady County Planning Department, a majority plus one vote shall be required to approve such amendment or change.
D. 
Entering minutes. Every zoning local law and every amendment to a zoning local law, excluding any map incorporated therein, adopted shall be entered on the minutes of the Town Board pursuant to the provisions of § 264 of the Town Law of New York State.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]

§ 270-175 Notice of public hearing; written notification; posting.

[Amended 11-23-1988 by L.L. No. 12-1988; 5-11-2005 by L.L. No. 12-2005]
A. 
Public hearings by the Town Board required for zoning amendments shall require published notice giving at least 10 calendar days' notice of the time and place of such hearing in the official newspaper designated by the Town Board. Such notice may include the proposed amendment or amendments, but shall include a statement sufficient to inform the public of the content of the amendment, change or permit application.
B. 
Service of written notice. At least 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing, written notice of any proposed regulations, restrictions or boundaries of such districts, including any amendments thereto, affecting property within 500 feet of the following shall be served personally or by mail by the Town upon each person or persons listed below:
(1) 
The property of the housing authority erecting or owning a housing project authorized under the public housing law: upon the executive director of such housing authority and the chief executive officer of the municipality providing financial assistance thereto.
(2) 
The boundary of a city, village or town: upon the clerk thereof.
(3) 
The boundary of a county: upon the clerk of the board of supervisors or other person performing like duties.
(4) 
The boundary of a state park or parkway: upon the regional state park commission having jurisdiction over such state park or parkway.
C. 
Service of written notice on property owners. On change of zone requests and zoning amendments involving 150 acres or less, sending notice of the pending land use action by ordinary mail not less than 10 calendar days in advance of the hearing to property owners within 300 feet of the affected property or properties.
D. 
Posting. The Town reserves the right to post notice of pending land use actions on or adjacent to the affected property or properties.

§ 270-176 Fees.

[Amended 12-9-1992 by L.L. No. 37-1992; 8-8-2007 by L.L. No. 10-2007]
A. 
A fee payable to the Town of Rotterdam for application and advertising shall be required with each application for approval as established by the Rotterdam Town Board and designated in Chapter 126 of the Town Code, entitled "Fees."
B. 
A fee payable to the Town of Rotterdam shall be required for building permits. The fee schedule for building permits is established by the Rotterdam Town Board and designated in Chapter 126 of the Town Code, entitled "Fees."
[Amended 6-12-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013]

§ 270-177 Zoning Board of Appeals.

[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003; 1-14-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004; 5-10-2006 by L.L. No. 2-2006]
A. 
Creation and procedure. The Zoning Board of Appeals, which is established under § 267 of the Town Law of New York State, shall consist of five members. The Town Board shall annually designate a member of said Zoning Board to act as Chairman thereof, or, on failure to do so, the Zoning Board shall elect a Chairman from its members. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the power to adopt, for its procedure and government, rules not inconsistent with law or ordinance. Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such times as the Board may determine. The Chairman or, in his absence, the Acting Chairman shall preside. The presence of three members shall constitute a quorum. The concurring vote of a majority of the members of such Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirements, decision or determination of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or to grant any variance from the requirements of this chapter. All hearings shall be open to the public and duly advertised as to nature, time and place of meeting. Such notice shall be not less than five days in advance of such meeting. The Zoning 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 examination and other official actions. Every rule, regulation, every amendment or repeal thereof and every order, requirement, decision or determination of the Board shall immediately be filed in the offices of the Town Clerk and shall be a public record.
B. 
Jurisdiction. The Zoning Board of Appeals is hereby vested with the following jurisdiction and authority:
(1) 
Orders, requirements, decisions, interpretations, and determinations. The Zoning 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 Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer charged with the enforcement of the Zoning Code and to that end shall have all the powers of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer from whose order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination the appeal is taken.
(2) 
Use variances.
(a) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals, on appeal from the decision or determination of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, shall have the power to grant use variances, as defined herein.
(b) 
No such use variance shall be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals without a showing by the applicant that applicable zoning regulations and restrictions have caused unnecessary hardship. In order to prove such unnecessary hardship the applicant shall demonstrate to the Zoning Board of Appeals that, for each and every permitted use under the zoning regulations for the particular district 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] 
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] 
The requested use variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood; and
[4] 
The alleged hardship has not been self-created.
(c) 
The Zoning 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 variances.
(a) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the power, upon an appeal from, or upon a decision or determination from, the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, to grant area variances as defined herein.
(b) 
In making its determination, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall take into consideration the benefit to the applicant if the variance is granted, as weighed against the detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood or community by such grant. In making such determination 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 in 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.
(c) 
The Zoning 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. The Zoning 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. Such conditions shall be consistent with the spirit and intent of the Zoning Ordinance and shall be imposed for the purpose of minimizing any adverse impact such variance may have on the neighborhood or community.
C. 
Training and attendance requirements.
[Amended 4-27-2011 by L.L. No. 8-2011]
(1) 
Each member of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall complete, at a minimum, four hours of training each year designed to enable such members to more effectively carry out their duties. Training received by a member in excess of four hours in any one year may be carried over by the member into succeeding years in order to meet the requirements of this subsection. Such training and the costs and expenses therefor shall be approved in advance by the Town Board or Town Attorney and may include, but not be limited to, training provided by a municipality, regional or county planning office commission, county planning federation, state agency, statewide municipal association, college or other similar entity. Training may be provided in a variety of formats, including but not limited to electronic media, video, distance learning and traditional classroom training. The costs of such training shall be a Town charge. Members shall also be reimbursed for travel and meal expenses incurred to obtain such training according to Town policies and as set forth herein.
(2) 
To be eligible for reappointment to such Board, such member shall have completed the training promoted by the Town pursuant to this subsection.
(3) 
The training required by this subsection may be waived or modified by resolution of the Town Board when, in the judgment of the Town Board, it is in the best interest of the Town to do so.
(4) 
No decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be voided or declared invalid because of a failure to comply with this subsection.
(5) 
Each member of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall attend a minimum of 80% of meetings scheduled and held for that calendar year. A member shall not be absent from more than two consecutive meetings scheduled and held for that calendar year. A member may be duly excused from attending a meeting by obtaining prior approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals Chairperson. A member may provide a valid written medical excuse from a New-York-licensed physician documenting such member's inability to attend such meeting. A valid written medical excuse provided by a member shall not be considered in the calculation of such attendance requirements.
[Amended 1-22-2014 by L.L. No. 1-2014]
D. 
Removal of members.
[Added 4-27-2011 by L.L. No. 8-2011]
(1) 
The Town Board shall have the power to remove, after public hearing, any member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for cause. Such cause shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) 
Noncompliance with minimum requirements relating to meeting attendance and training as established by this section; or
(b) 
Failure to attend three consecutive meetings or failure to attend at least 80% of the meetings scheduled and held for that calendar year; provided, however, that any meetings for which such member has been duly excused from attending by obtaining prior approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals Chairperson, or for which such member provides a valid written medical excuse from a New-York-licensed physician documenting such member's inability to attend such meeting, shall not be considered in the calculation of such attendance requirements.
[Amended 1-22-2014 by L.L. No. 1-2014]

§ 270-178 Amendment referrals.

In accordance with §§ 239-l and 239-m of the General Municipal Law of New York State, any amendment to this chapter which would change the district classification or regulations applying to real property or any special permit or variance or site plan authorization affecting such real property within a distance of 500 feet from the boundary of any city, village or town; the boundary of any existing or proposed county or state park or other recreation area; the right-of-way of any existing or proposed county or state parkway, thruway, expressway, road or highway; the existing or proposed right-of-way of any stream or drainage channel owned by the county or for which the county has established channel lines; or the existing or proposed boundary of any county- or state-owned land on which a public building or institution is situated shall be referred to the Schenectady County Department of Planning by the Town Board, Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals, whichever is appropriate, before such body shall take final action on said amendment, special use permit or variance or site plan authorization.

§ 270-179 Planning Board.

[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003; 5-24-2006 by L.L. No. 3-2006]
A. 
Creation and procedure.
(1) 
The Planning Board established under § 271 of the Town Law of the New York State shall consist of seven members appointed by the Town Board. The Town Board shall designate a member of said Planning Board to act as Chairman thereof, or, on failure to do so, the Planning Board shall elect a Chairman from its members. The terms of the members of the Planning Board shall be consistent with Town Law § 271. The Chairman or, in his absence, the Vice Chairman shall preside. The presence of four members shall constitute a quorum. A majority vote of the Planning Board members shall be necessary to decide on matters required by this chapter.
(2) 
All hearings shall be open to the public and duly advertised in a newspaper designated by the Town Board as to nature, time and place of the meeting. Such notice shall be no less than five days in advance of such meeting. The Planning Board 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 findings, recommendations and actions. Every decision or determination of the Planning Board shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk and shall be public record.
B. 
Planning jurisdiction. The Board is hereby vested with the following duties under this chapter:
(1) 
Review all applications for special use permits, site plan review and amendments to this chapter and report said findings and recommendations to the Town Board, Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, Zoning Board of Appeals and/or Town Clerk in the manner prescribed by this chapter.
(2) 
Review the effectiveness of this chapter and report its conclusions and recommendations to the Town Board.
(3) 
Make investigations, maps and reports and recommendations in connection therewith relating to the planning and development of the Town.
(4) 
Hear and decide matters pursuant to the subdivision rules and other applicable local laws or ordinances.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See Ch. 249, Subdivision of Land.
C. 
Training and attendance requirements.
[Amended 4-27-2011 by L.L. No. 8-2011]
(1) 
Each member of the Planning Board shall complete, at a minimum, four hours of training each year designed to enable such members to more effectively carry out their duties. Training received by a member in excess of four hours in any one year may be carried over by the member into succeeding years in order to meet the requirements of this subsection. Such training and the costs and expenses therefor shall be approved in advance by the Town Board or Town Attorney and may include, but not be limited to, training provided by a municipality, regional or county planning office commission, county planning federation, state agency, statewide municipal association, college or other similar entity. Training may be provided in a variety of formats, including but not limited to electronic media, video, distance learning and traditional classroom training. The costs of such training shall be a Town charge. Members shall also be reimbursed for travel and meal expenses incurred to obtain such training according to Town policies and as set forth herein.
(2) 
To be eligible for reappointment to such Board, such member shall have completed the training promoted by the Town pursuant to this subsection.
(3) 
The training required by this subsection may be waived or modified by resolution of the Town Board when, in the judgment of the Town Board, it is in the best interest of the Town to do so.
(4) 
No decision of the Planning Board shall be voided or declared invalid because of a failure to comply with this subsection.
(5) 
Each member of the Planning Board shall attend a minimum of 80% of meetings scheduled and held for that calendar year. A member shall not be absent from more than two consecutive meetings scheduled and held for that calendar year. A member may be duly excused from attending by obtaining prior approval from the Planning Board Chairperson, or by providing a valid written medical excuse from a New-York-licensed physician documenting such member's inability to attend such meeting. A valid written medical excuse provided by a member shall not be considered in the calculation of such attendance requirements.
[Amended 1-22-2014 by L.L. No. 1-2014]
D. 
Removal of members.
[Added 4-27-2011 by L.L. No. 8-2011]
(1) 
The Town Board shall have the power to remove, after public hearing, any member of the Planning Board for cause. Such cause shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) 
Noncompliance with minimum requirements relating to meeting attendance and training as established by this section; or
(b) 
Failure to attend three consecutive meetings or failure to attend at least 80% of the meetings scheduled and held for that calendar year; provided, however, that any meetings for which such member has been duly excused from attending by obtaining prior approval from the Planning Board Chairperson, or for which such member provides a valid written medical excuse from a New-York-licensed physician documenting such member's inability to attend such meeting, shall not be considered in the calculation of such attendance requirements.
[Amended 1-22-2014 by L.L. No. 1-2014]

§ 270-180 Penalties for offenses; enforcement actions.

A. 
Penalties. The Town Board intends to exercise its authority under § 10, Subdivision 1(ii)d(3), of the Municipal Home Rule Law, and any other applicable provision of law now or hereinafter enacted, to supersede the applicable provisions of § 268, Subdivision 1, of the Town Law, and any other applicable or successor law, in order to impose a penalty and fine structure that best reflects the needs of the community. Except as set forth in Chapter 270, Article XXII, Schenectady Intermunicipal Watershed Rules and Regulations, for each violation of the provisions of this chapter, the owner, general agent, person in charge of the premises, architect, engineer and/or contractor of the building, structure or premises where such violation has been committed or exists shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine or penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, for a conviction of a first offense; upon conviction of a second violation, where the offense is committed within a period of five years of the first offense, a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and upon conviction of a third or subsequent violation where the offense is committed within a period of five years of the first and second offense, a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $15,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. Each day such violation continues following notification by the Town or service of a summons shall constitute a separate offense punishable in like manner. The Town Board shall have such other remedies as are allowable by law.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003; 7-12-2006 by L.L. No. 7-2006; 6-12-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013]
B. 
Enforcement actions. 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 to restrain by injunction the violation of any such ordinance, rule or regulation, notwithstanding that the ordinance, rule or regulation may provide a penalty or other punishment for such violation.

§ 270-181 Complaints.

[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, any person may file a complaint. Such complaint shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer. Such complaint shall be recorded by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, immediately investigated and a written report thereon filed with the Town Board within 30 days.

§ 270-182 Compliance with SEQRA.

The requirements of this chapter shall be applied and administered in a manner consistent with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).[1] No proposed action determined under SEQRA to be of environmental significance shall be approved, granted a building permit or otherwise authorized until said action has been approved by the designated SEQRA lead agency. The Town may, where practicable and appropriate, utilize the information contained in any required environmental assessment or statement in reaching a decision on an action being considered.
[1]:
Editor's Note: See Environmental Conservation Law § 8-0101.