Village of Cobleskill, NY
Schoharie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cobleskill 9-20-2004 by LL. No. 6-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. II.
Training requirements for Historic District Review Commission members — See Ch. 38, Art. I.
Building construction and fire prevention — See Ch. 58.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 62.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 135.
Zoning — See Ch. 160.
A. 
It is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of landmarks and historic districts are necessary to promote the economic, cultural, educational, and general welfare of the public. Inasmuch as the identity of a people is founded on its past and inasmuch as the Village of Cobleskill has many significant historic, architectural and cultural resources, which constitute its heritage, this chapter has the following purposes:
(1) 
Protect and enhance the landmarks and historic districts, which represent distinctive elements of the Village of Cobleskill's historic, architectural, and cultural heritage;
(2) 
Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;
(3) 
Protect and enhance the Village of Cobleskill's attractiveness to visitors and tourists and the support and stimulus to the economy thereby provided, and
(4) 
Ensure the harmonious, orderly, and efficient growth and development of the Village and stabilize and improve property values;
(5) 
Protect the general public welfare;
(6) 
Preserve and improve the quality of life for residents of the Village of Cobleskill by protecting familiar and treasured visual elements in the area.
B. 
In addition to the regulations set forth in this Historic District ordinance, the underlying zoning regulations of the zoning district within which the historic district is situated, shall continue to remain applicable, provided that if any conflict occurs, the more restrictive provisions shall apply.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALTERATION
Any change, modification or addition to part of or all of an exterior of any building or structure, excluding ordinary maintenance and repairs.
BUILDING
A wholly or partially enclosed construction within exterior walls, or within exterior and party walls, and a roof, that may afford shelter to persons, animals, or property. See "structure."
BUILDING SCALE
The relationship between the mass of a building and its surroundings, including the width of street, open space and mass of surrounding buildings.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A certificate issued by the Village of Cobleskill Historic District Review Commission upon approval of the exterior architectural features of any new building construction or alterations to an existing building located within the Village's historic district.
DEMOLITION
Dismantling or tearing down of any or a part of any building or structure and all operations, including grading, incidental thereto.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES
The architectural style, architectural details and features, general design and general arrangement of the exterior of a building, including the kind and texture of building material and the type and style of doors and windows, light fixtures, signs and other appurtenant fixtures.
FACADE
Building face or wall or artificial outward appearance.
FENCE
An unroofed enclosing structure erected for the purpose of preventing passage or view.
HEIGHT OF STRUCTURE
The vertical distance measured from the average finished grade at all foundation corners of the building or structure to the highest point of the building or structure, excluding the chimney.
LANDMARK
Any site, building, sign, or structure that has visual, historic, or cultural significance.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Any construction within an historic district which is independent of an existing structure.
ORDINARY MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
Any work that does not require a building permit, whose purpose is to correct any deterioration or decay of, or damage to a structure or any part thereof and does not alter the exterior architectural features of a building designated as a landmark or other building within an historic district. Ordinary maintenance and repairs include painting, patching or sealing of roofs, replacing broken glass in or replacing of windows, replacing individual clapboards or floor boards, individual slates or shingles with material of like design. Ordinary maintenance and repairs does not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or part there of, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support or replacing entire sections of walls or floors.
OVERLAY DISTRICT
A district imposed over existing zoning districts and containing provisions that are applicable in addition to those otherwise contained in a zoning law.
REHABILITATION
Any and all work connected with the returning of all or part of a building or structure to a state of utility through repair or reconstruction.
RECONSTRUCTION
The act or process of depicting, by means of new construction, the form, features, and detailing of a nonsurviving site, building or portion of a building, structure or portion of a structure, for the purpose of replicating its appearance at a specific period of time and in its historic location.
RESTORATION
Any and all work connected with the returning to or restoring of all or part of a building or structure to its original condition through the use of original or nearly original materials.
SIGN
Any object, device, display, or structure, or part thereof, situated indoors or outdoors, which is used to advertise, identify, display, direct, or attract attention to an object, person, institution, organization, business, product, service, event, or location by any means, including words, letters, figures, design, symbols, fixtures, colors, illumination, or projected images. Excluded from this definition are signs that are solely devoted to prohibiting trespassing, hunting or fishing. Signs erected in the district must meet the requirements of Chapter 160, Zoning.
SPECIAL CHARACTER
Features as graphically defined in the inventory of buildings and structures in the historic overlay district, illustrated design guidelines as they may exist, and other materials as approved by the Historic District Review Commission,
STREET
One of the following:
A. 
An existing Village, county or state highway or street.
B. 
A street shown on an approved subdivision final plan.
C. 
A street shown on a map filed with the County Clerk (in accordance with Village Law § 7-708) prior to Planning Board authorization to review subdivisions.
D. 
A street shown on the Official Map of the Village.[1]
A. 
Any combination of materials forming buildings, landmarks and/or exterior elements which affect the appearance and/or cohesiveness of the historic district, except where entirely underground so as to permit the use of the ground above the same as if no building, structure, or landmark were present; the term "structure" shall include the term "building" as well as the following:
(1) 
Signs.
(2) 
Fences.
(3) 
Walls, other than retaining walls projecting above the ground not more than three feet at the higher ground level and not more than 6 1/2 feet at the lower ground level.
(4) 
Radio and television receiving and transmitting towers and antennas, except for such antennas installed on the roof of a building and extending not more than 20 feet above the highest level of the roof of such building.
(5) 
Porches, steps, outdoor bins and other similar structures.
(6) 
Sheds.
(7) 
Light fixtures.
(8) 
Roofs.
(9) 
Siding.
(10) 
Windows.
B. 
See "building."
[1]
Editor's Note: The Official Map is on file in the Village offices.
For the general purpose of this chapter and specifically to preserve historic places in the Village and the regulation of architectural design and uses of structures in the area, it is hereby created a commission to be known as the "Village of Cobleskill Historic Review Commission" (the "Commission").
A. 
The Commission shall consist of five members, all having an interest in historic preservation and architectural development in the Village of Cobleskill, to be appointed, to the extent practicable, by the Village Board as follows:
(1) 
An architect experienced in working with historic buildings or if such person is not available, one person with demonstrated expertise in the building/construction trades or industry;
(2) 
An historian, and if such person is not available, an individual who has demonstrated an interest in history;
(3) 
A resident of an historic district;
(4) 
An individual who has demonstrated significant interest in the commitment to the field of historic preservation, evidenced either by involvement in a local historic preservation group, employment or volunteer activity in the field of historic preservation, or other serious interest in the field.
B. 
Commission members shall serve for terms of five years. Successors shall be appointed for terms that ensure commission membership expires on a rotational basis.
[Amended 1-16-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
C. 
The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Commission shall be elected by and from among the members of the Commission.
D. 
The powers of the Commission shall include:
(1) 
Recommending to the Village of Cobleskill Board of Trustees the employment of staff and professional consultants as necessary to carry out the duties of the Commission.
(2) 
Promulgating rules and regulations as necessary to carry out the duties of the Commission.
(3) 
Adopting criteria for the identification of significant historic, architectural, and cultural landmarks and for the delineation of historic districts.
(4) 
Conducting surveys of significant historic, architectural, and cultural landmarks and historic districts within the Village of Cobleskill.
(5) 
Designating identified structures or resources as landmarks and historic districts and recommendation of them to the Board of Trustees for approval.
(6) 
Accepting, in the Commission's discretion, the donation of facade easements and development rights and determining the acquisition of facade easements or other interests in real property as necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(7) 
Increasing public awareness of the value of historic, cultural and architectural preservation by developing and participating in public education programs.
(8) 
Determining the utilization of state, federal or private funds to promote the preservation of landmarks and historic districts within the Village of Cobleskill.
(9) 
Recommending the acquisition of a landmark structure by the Village of Cobleskill Board of Trustees where its preservation is essential to the purposes of this chapter and where private preservation is not feasible.
(10) 
Approving or disapproving applications for a certificate of appropriateness pursuant to this chapter.
(11) 
Seeking out funds to forward the purpose of this chapter and determining how to expend those funds.
(12) 
Reviewing all proposed National Register nominations for the purpose of providing local comment to the state or federal review boards.
(13) 
Authorizing plaques to commemorate historic resources.
(14) 
Amending or rescinding designations.
E. 
The Commission shall meet at least monthly, but meetings may be held any time on the written request of any two of the Commission members or on the call of the Chairman or the Mayor.
F. 
A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of three of the Commission's members and not less than a majority of the full authorized membership may grant or deny a certificate of appropriateness.
G. 
If a vacancy occurs or for some other reason a new appointment is necessary, appointment shall be made by the Village of Cobleskill Board of Trustees for the unexpired term.
H. 
Each member of the Commission must comply with the training requirements set forth in Ch. 38.
I. 
Any member of the Commission shall be disqualified to act upon a matter before said Commission with respect to a property in which that member has an interest.
A. 
The Commission may designate an individual building, either inside or outside the historic district, as a landmark if it:
(1) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style; or
(2) 
Is the work of a designer whose work has significantly influenced an age; or
(3) 
Represents an established and familiar visual feature of the neighborhood because of a unique location or singular physical characteristic; or
(4) 
Possesses special character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic or social history of the locality, region, state or nation, or fosters civil pride; or
(5) 
Is identified with historic personages;
(6) 
Is contiguous with a neighborhood district, building or structure that meets one or all of the criteria and changes to it could impact the neighborhood district, building, structure or site that meets the criteria;
(7) 
Is related to a park, street, body of water, hill, open space or landscaped grounds of significance.
B. 
The Commission may designate a group of properties as an historic district if it:
(1) 
Contains properties which meet one or more of the criteria for designation of a landmark; and
(2) 
By reason of possessing such qualities, it constitutes a distinct section of the Village.
C. 
The foregoing designations shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.
D. 
The boundaries of each historic district designated henceforth shall be specified in detail and shall be filed, in writing, in the Village of Cobleskill Clerk's office for public inspection.
E. 
Notice of a proposed designation shall be sent by registered mail to the owner of the building or landmark proposed for designation, describing the building or landmark and announcing a public hearing by the Commission to consider the designation. Notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation at least five days prior to the date of the public hearing. Once the Commission has issued notice of a proposed designation, the Code Enforcement Officer or duly authorized person shall issue no building permits within the proposed designation until the Commission has made its decision.
F. 
The Commission shall hold a public hearing prior to designation of any landmark or historic district. The Commission, owners and any interested parties may present testimony or documentary evidence at the hearing which will become part of a record regarding the historic, architectural, or cultural importance of the proposed landmark or historic district. The records may also contain staff reports, public comments, or other evidence offered outside of the hearing.
G. 
The Commission shall forward notice of each building designated as a landmark and the boundaries of each designated historic district to the office of the Schoharie County Clerk.
H. 
The Commission shall forward its formal approval of each building designation to the Board of Trustees for formal adoption and notification to the Schoharie County Clerk.
A. 
Inventory of structures.
(1) 
Prior to designation of a landmark or historic district, the Commission shall compile an inventory of all buildings and structures in an historic district. Such inventory shall designate each building or landmark as contributing or noncontributing in accordance with the process described in Subsection A(2) and the standards set forth in Subsection B and shall indicate in a general way the reasons for such designation. Additionally, the inventory shall identify the architecturally significant features of each contributing building or landmark. Buildings previously designated as significant shall be reclassified as contributing.
(2) 
One copy of such inventory shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer and shall be available for public inspection. The Commission shall hold a public hearing prior to designation of any building or landmark. Notice of a proposed designation shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation at least five days prior to the date of the public hearing. Once the Commission has issued notice of a proposed designation, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue no building permits within the proposed designation until the Commission has made its decision. The Commission, owners and any interested parties may present testimony or documentary evidence at the hearing which will become part of the record regarding the historic, architectural, or cultural importance of the proposed building, landmark or historic district. The record may also contain staff reports, public comments, or other evidence offered outside of the hearing. The Commission shall issue its determination of contributing or noncontributing within 30 days after the hearing.
B. 
Standards.
(1) 
In reviewing the designation of a building or landmark, the Commission shall consider the following in making its determination:
(a) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style; or
(b) 
Is the work of a designer whose work has significantly influenced an age;
(c) 
Represents an established and familiar visual feature of the neighborhood because of a unique location or singular physical characteristic; or
(d) 
Possesses special character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic or social history of the locality, region, state or nation; or
(e) 
Is identified with historic personages.
(2) 
When a building or landmark is designated as contributing, the Commission shall indicate the reasons for such designation, including reference to the following considerations:
(a) 
Architectural design, arrangement features, style, details, texture, materials or craftsmanship of significance;
(b) 
Aesthetic value of the building or landmark taken as a whole and its general relationship to the historic and architectural value of surrounding properties and to the historic overlay district as a whole;
(c) 
Historic persons, events, development or period with which the building or landmark may have been involved or be important;
(d) 
Such other factors identified by the Commission as pertinent to the question of contribution, either in a specific case or by general rule.
No person shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition, new construction, or moving of a landmark or building within an historic district, nor shall any person make any material change in the appearance of such landmark or building, its light fixtures, signs, fences, steps, roofs, siding, windows, sheds, above ground utility structure, or any/all other exterior elements which affect the appearance of a landmark or a building or structure within an historic district, without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the Commission.
A. 
In reviewing an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission shall consider changes to the structure's exterior features that are visible to the public. The Commission's decision shall be based on the following principles:
(1) 
Properties which contribute to the character of the historic district shall be retained, with their historic features altered as little as possible;
(2) 
Alterations, repairs and additions to buildings, structures or landmarks deemed contributing shall be made consistent or compatible with the architectural period characteristics of the buildings, structures or landmarks;
(3) 
New construction shall he compatible with the architectural styles of surrounding properties (e.g. Victorian, Greek Revival, Italianate, etc.) and the historic district;
(4) 
New additions and adjacent and related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that, if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic building and its environment would be unimpaired;
(5) 
Infill construction, additions and reconstruction shall not exceed the height of the adjoining buildings and their facades.
B. 
In applying the principle of compatibility, the Commission shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
The general design, character and appropriateness to the building or landmark of the proposed alteration or new construction;
(2) 
The scale of proposed alteration or new construction in relation to the building or landmark itself, surrounding properties and the historic district;
(3) 
Texture and materials and their relation to similar features of other properties in the historic district;
(4) 
Visual compatibility with surrounding properties, including proportion of the building or landmark's front facade, proportion and arrangement of windows and other openings within the front facade, roof shape, and the rhythm of spacing of properties on streets, including setback; and
(5) 
The importance of historic, architectural or other features to the significance of the building or landmark.
C. 
Demolition of contributing structures constitutes an irreplaceable loss to the quality, character, ambiance and atmosphere within the historic district. Accordingly, demolition of properties designated as contributing is prohibited except for New York State Code violations or as provided for in §§ 90-9 and 90-11 of this chapter. The Historic District Review Commission may consider unusual and compelling circumstances in order to approve a certificate of appropriateness for the demolition of contributing structures. In passing upon an application for a certificate of appropriateness to demolish existing contributing properties, the Commission shall consider materials required in §§ 90-8A(3) and 90-9 and 90-11. The Historic District Review Commission, using criteria set forth in this section, shall determine whether unusual or compelling circumstances exist and shall be guided in its recommendation in such instances by the following additional considerations:
(1) 
The historic or architectural significance of the structure;
(2) 
The importance of the structure to the integrity and character of the historic district;
(3) 
Whether the structure is one of the last remaining examples of its kind in the neighborhood or the Village.
D. 
In passing upon an application for a certificate of appropriateness to demolish existing noncontributing properties, the Commission shall consider materials required in § 90-8A(4) and the following:
(1) 
New construction or reconstruction after demolition of non-contributing properties within the historic district shall be compatible with:
(a) 
The architectural style and spirit of the historic district in terms of size, materials, scale, rhythm, texture and other appropriate considerations and other criteria and standards detailed in Subsections A and B.
(b) 
The architectural style and continuity of the historic district. New structures shall not exceed the height of the adjacent buildings or their facades. In all cases, the height of the facade shall be consistent with either the original facade height or the height of the adjoining structures, whichever is higher.
A. 
Prior to the commencement of any work requiring a certificate of appropriateness, and before any building permits will be given, the owner and/or applicant shall file a written application for such a certificate with the Commission. A complete application form as prescribed by the Historic District Review Commission shall include the name, address and telephone number of applicant, and of the owner if the applicant is acting for the owner, the project location; and the following:
(1) 
For projects other than new construction or demolition:
(a) 
Color photographs, at least 3 1/2 inches by five inches in size, of the building facade clearly detailing all portions of the building or landmark subject to change as a result of approval of the application.
(b) 
Building elevations drawn to scale showing proposed changes on the facade elevations.
(c) 
A description of existing conditions and proposed changes, including a sketch plan, site plan or subdivision drawing, to scale, showing property lines, building footprints and the relationship of surrounding buildings or structures.
(d) 
Samples and/or specifications for materials to be used in construction. Specifications may appear on the building facade drawing or on a separate sheet.
(e) 
Where the proposal includes signs subject to approval by the authority having jurisdiction, a scale drawing showing the sign or lettering, including the type of lettering to be used, all dimensions and colors, a description of materials to be used, method of illumination, and a plan showing the sign's location on the property.
(f) 
Copies of all SEQRA documents and proceedings.
(g) 
Any other information that the Commission may deem necessary in order to visualize the proposed work.
(2) 
For applications for new construction:
(a) 
Color photographs, at least 3 1/2 inches by five inches in size, of the building or landmark, showing where the work will occur.
(b) 
One set of scaled drawings of the proposed new construction that includes the site plan illustrating the location of all new construction in relationship to other site elements, property lines and structures on abutting properties, and a roof plan and exterior elevations showing the design concept for all elevations and the roof.
(c) 
One set of perspective drawings illustrating the details of the exterior plans for the proposed construction. The Commission may also, if deemed necessary, request material and samples to be used in the proposed project.
(d) 
Copies of all SEQRA documents and proceedings.
(e) 
Any other information that the Commission may deem necessary in order to visualize the proposed work.
(3) 
For applications to demolish existing contributing structures:
(a) 
Color photographs at least 3 1/2 inches by five inches in size, of the building facade, clearly detailing all portions of the building or landmark subject to change as a result of approval of the application.
(b) 
A written description of the structural condition of the building and its adaptability for rehabilitation by a professional structural engineer licensed in New York. All dangerous conditions should be identified. Include a copy of any outstanding building code violations cited on the property.
(c) 
An itemized breakdown of the feasibility of all possible alternatives to demolition that were considered, and reasons why such alternatives were rejected. Alternatives may include rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, relocation, or sale of the property to another owner willing to preserve it. Include financial data comparing the costs of all alternatives.
(d) 
Scale drawings showing the location of the structure proposed to be demolished in relationship to other structures on the parcel and to the property lines.
(e) 
Sketch plans and elevations showing all sides of any proposed new structure that will be visible from a public street or sidewalk, including but not limited to copies of site plan or subdivision plan.
(4) 
For applications for demolition of existing noncontributing structures:
(a) 
Location and color photographs at least 3 1/2 inches by five inches in size, of the building facade, clearly detailing all portions of the building or landmark subject to change as a result of approval of the application.
(b) 
Sketch plans and elevations showing all sides of any proposed new structure that will be visible from a public street or sidewalk.
(c) 
Scale drawings showing the location of the structure proposed to be demolished in relationship to other structures on the parcel and to the property lines.
(d) 
Any such additional information, drawings or photographs as the Commission may require.
B. 
Preliminary concept conference.
(1) 
A preliminary concept conference may be held between the Commission and the applicant and/or owner at the Commission's discretion, at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission, at least nine calendar days after receiving a completed application and conditional upon the completed application having been received by the Commission at least five calendar days prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission. At the preliminary concept conference, the Commission shall:
(a) 
Discuss and review the basic concept for proposed activity coming under the provisions of this chapter.
(b) 
Generally determine the scope and impact of the proposed activity on the historic district and the intent of this chapter.
(c) 
Specify information required of the applicant to complete the formal application for a certificate of appropriateness.
(d) 
Confirm the designation of the subject buildings or structures as contributing or noncontributing according to the inventory.
(2) 
The Commission, in its discretion, shall work with the applicant to refine and develop the proposal so it is in harmony with the intent and requirements of this chapter, and any regulations promulgated thereto, and complies, to the greatest extent possible, with the Secretary of Interior's Guidelines for Rehabilitation.
(3) 
The Commission may recess the preliminary concept conference to allow the applicant time to gather additional information or to revise a proposal. In such cases, reconvening of said conference shall be considered a continuation of the same preliminary concept conference and shall toll the time periods for actions of the Review Commission, until the completion of the preliminary concept conference.
(4) 
The Commission may deem an application a complete formal application at the conclusion of a preliminary concept conference.
C. 
No building permit shall be issued for such proposed work until the Commission has first issued a certificate of appropriateness. The certificate of appropriateness required by this chapter shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit or any other approval that may be required by any other ordinance, rule or regulation of the Village of Cobleskill.
D. 
Public hearings. After or in lieu of a preliminary concept conference, the Historic District Review Commission may hold a hearing on an application at which time an opportunity will be provided for comments on the application. For the purpose of public information, the Commission shall publish a notice in the official newspaper, at least five days prior to hearing, detailing that an application has been received and stating the nature of the application, location, applicant, and other such information as may be pertinent. In addition, the Commission shall post a sign detailing pertinent information and locate it on the parcel and in a manner which is visible from the street.
E. 
The HDRC shall have the authority to impose reasonable conditions to its approval to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.
F. 
The Historic District Review Commission shall approve, approve with modifications or deny the certificate of appropriateness within the time frames as follows. The Commission shall, approve, deny, or approve the application for a certificate with modifications within 36 calendar days from the close of the public hearing, if any, and otherwise within 36 calendar days from the conclusion of the preliminary conference or, if no preliminary conference is held, within 30 days of receipt of the completed application.
G. 
All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Village Planning, Environment and Codes Office for public inspection. The Commission's decision shall state the reasons for denying or modifying any application.
H. 
Certificates of appropriateness shall be valid for one year. If the approved work has not yet been completed within one year after Commission approval, the applicant may request a six-month extension, provided that such request is made within 30 days of the expiration of the initial one-year period. After one six-month extension, the applicant must make a new application to the Commission before undertaking work on the project.
[Amended 9-16-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
A. 
An applicant who has been denied a certificate of appropriateness for a proposed demolition may apply for relief on the ground of hardship.
(1) 
In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that:
(a) 
The building or landmark is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible;
(b) 
The building or landmark cannot be adapted for any other use, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, which would result in a reasonable return; and
(c) 
Efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the building or landmark and preserving it have failed.
(2) 
Only in the case of buildings or structures owned by nonprofit organizations, the owner as applicant must clearly establish to the satisfaction of the Commission that said organization cannot reasonably achieve its corporate purpose unless demolition is permitted. That demolition is the most convenient means to address the problem of achieving its corporate purpose is not sufficient to meet the nonprofit test.
B. 
The hardship criteria for demolition shall not apply in any case where the Code Enforcement Officer or other duly authorized building inspector orders or directs the construction. removal, alteration, reconstruction, or demolition of any improvement to a building, structure, or landmark in the historic district for the purpose of remedying conditions determined to be unsafe or dangerous or a public safety hazard.
An applicant who has been denied a certificate of appropriateness for a proposed alteration may apply for relief on the ground of hardship. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that the building or landmark is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible.
A. 
After receiving written notification from the Commission of the denial of a certificate of appropriateness, an applicant may commence the hardship process. No building permit or demolition permit shall be issued unless the Commission makes a finding that a hardship exists. The following information shall be provided to the Historic Review Commission as part of the hardship application:
(1) 
The fair market value of the building or landmark as determined by a qualified professional expert.
(2) 
The amount paid for the building or landmark and the price asked for the building or landmark and any offers received in the previous three years.
(3) 
The gross annual income from the building or landmark for the past three years, if the building or landmark is income-producing. If the building or landmark is commercial or income producing: provide the gross annual income from the building or landmark for the previous three years; the itemized operating and maintenance expenses for the previous three years; the depreciation deduction and annual cash flow before and after debt service for the previous three years; and the remaining balance on any mortgage or other financing secured by the building or landmark and the annual debt service for the past three years.
(4) 
Three separate estimates for the cost of the proposed demolitions/alterations compared to the cost of stabilizing and rehabilitating the structure.
(5) 
A list of all economic incentives for preserving the structure available to the applicant through federal, state, county, local, or private programs, including tax incentives, grants and loans.
(6) 
In the case of nonprofit organizations, such information as may be necessary in the judgment of the Commission to determine the question of whether such nonprofit organization can reasonably achieve its corporate purpose without demolition.
B. 
The Commission shall hold a public hearing on the hardship application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views. Notice of such public hearing shall be published in the Village's official newspaper at least five days prior to said hearing.
C. 
The applicant shall consult in good faith with the Commission in a diligent effort to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the building or landmark.
D. 
The Commission shall have 31 days to render a decision after the hearing. All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Village Planning, Environment and Codes Office for public inspection. The Commission's decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the hardship application. If the application is granted, the Commission shall approve only such work as is necessary to alleviate the hardship. If the application for hardship is denied, the Codes Enforcement Officer shall not issue a permit for demolition or any other work not specifically reviewed and approved by the Commission.
E. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cobleskill from taking action authorized under Chapter 62, Buildings, Unsafe, to require the removal or repair of unsafe buildings in the Village of Cobleskill.
The Commission may exempt public structures, works, utilities and buildings from compliance with this chapter where the public safety is endangered or an emergency situation arises. Retroactive approval for emergency work shall be sought within 30 days of completion of the work. All work shall strive to maintain compatibility with the historic district.
A. 
All work performed pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness issued under this chapter shall conform to any requirement included therein. It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer or duly authorized person to inspect periodically any such work to assure compliance. In the event work is found that is not being performed in accordance with the certificate of appropriateness, or upon notification of such fact by the Commission, the Code Enforcement Officer or duly authorized person shall issue a stop-work order and all work shall immediately cease. No further work shall be undertaken on the project as long as a stop work order is in effect.
B. 
A certificate of compliance is to be issued upon final inspection of the structure by the Code Enforcement Officer at the completion of work if it complies with the certificate of appropriateness and the project outline. If, after inspection, the Code Enforcement Officer deems that the project is not compliant, the applicant shall have 30 days to rectify. Noncompliance after 30 days shall be considered a violation of this chapter.
C. 
Violations of this chapter shall be subject to all enforcement procedures and penalties described in § 90-15 of this chapter.
A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance and repair, which does not involve a change in design, material, or outward appearance, of any exterior architectural feature of a landmark, building or structure within the historic district.
B. 
All ordinary maintenance and repair shall be promptly performed.
C. 
No owner or person with an interest in a building designated as a landmark or included within an historic district shall permit the building or landmark to fall into a serious state of disrepair so as to result in the deterioration of any exterior architectural feature which would, in the judgment of the Commission, produce a detrimental effect upon the character of the historic district as a whole or the life and character of the building or landmark itself.
D. 
Examples of such deterioration include, but are not limited to:
(1) 
Deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports.
(2) 
Deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members.
(3) 
Deterioration of exterior chimneys.
(4) 
Deterioration or crumbling of exterior stucco or mortar.
(5) 
Ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs or foundations, including broken windows or doors.
(6) 
Deterioration of any feature so as to create a hazardous condition, which would lead to the claim that demolition is necessary for the public safety.
(7) 
Deterioration of exterior paint.
(8) 
Deterioration of ornamental architectural elements.
A. 
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a violation, and the violator shall be liable to a fine as set forth in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, General Penalty, of the Code of the Village of Cobleskill. Each and every day such violation continues after the allotted period of time for its removal shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation. Violations of this chapter shall also be subject to the penalties and procedures enumerated below.
B. 
Complaints. Any person may file a complaint with the Code Enforcement Officer regarding a violation of this chapter.
(1) 
All such complaints shall be in writing.
(2) 
All such complaints shall be investigated by the Code Enforcement Officer within 5 business days and a written report prepared. This investigation shall include a site visit by the Codes Enforcement Officer.
(3) 
One copy of the complaint and written report shall be maintained in the files of the Code Enforcement Officer and shall be available for public inspection.
C. 
Notice of violation. Where a violation of this chapter is determined to exist, the Code Enforcement Officer shall, within a reasonable time, serve, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or in person, a notice of violation and order to remedy.
(1) 
Such notice of violation shall be served on the following parties:
(a) 
The owner, agent or contractor of the building or landmark where such violation has been committed or shall exist;
(b) 
The lessee or tenant of the part of or of the entire building or landmark where such violation has been committed or shall exist;
(c) 
The agent, architect, or contractor for any building or landmark in which any such violation shall exist; or
(d) 
Any other such person who takes part or assists in such violation, or who maintains any building or landmark in which any such violation shall exist.
(2) 
Such notice of violation shall include the following:
(a) 
The specific violation pursuant to the Code of the Village of Cobleskill Historic District Law, the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, or both;
(b) 
The facts and circumstances surrounding the violation including any inspections made.
(c) 
The time period during which such violation must be corrected.
(3) 
Such notice of violation shall require the removal of the violation within 10 days after service of the notice, If those persons notified shall fail to remove such violation within the allotted time period, the Code Enforcement Officer shall charge them with violation of this chapter before the appropriate court of law.
D. 
Stop-work order. If, in the judgment of the Code Enforcement Officer, work in progress is in violation or will result in violation of this chapter, or terms or conditions of any permit, variance, site plan approval or historic district certificate of appropriateness issued pursuant to this chapter and continuation of such work in progress will or may result in increased violation, irreparable harm or structures or conditions impossible or unlikely to be removed or corrected, the Code Enforcement Officer shall serve a stop-work order on the owner, agent, architect, contractor and/or any other person involved or assisting in such work in progress and shall post a copy of said stop-work order in a conspicuous place on the subject work site.
(1) 
Upon service or posting of such stop-work order, all further work on the subject work site shall cease, except such as is necessary to secure the site and materials, until the violation causing such order has been corrected or removed and the Code Enforcement Officer has served notice, in writing, that the stop-work order has been lifted.
(2) 
No person shall remove a stop-work order posted on a work site unless and until the Code Enforcement Officer has served notice, in writing, that such stop-work order has been lifted.
(3) 
Continuation or resumption of work on a work site subject to a stop-work order lawfully served and/or posted by the Code Enforcement Officer shall constitute a separate violation of this chapter and shall be subject to penalties.
E. 
Appearance ticket. The Code Enforcement Officer shall, where appropriate, issue an appearance ticket as provided by the Penal Law of the State of New York.
F. 
Fines. Persons found guilty of violation of this chapter shall be subject to a fine as set forth in the Code of the Village of Cobleskill, Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, General Penalty. Each and every day such violation continues after the allotted period of time for its removal shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation.
G. 
Other remedies. In addition to other remedies provided by law, any appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, may be instituted or taken to prevent the unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, demolition, moving, maintenance or use to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of such building, structure or lot or to prevent an illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises. The Village Board of Trustees may commence an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to prevent, restrain, correct, or abate a violation hereunder.
H. 
Failure to maintain any structure within the district may be deemed to be demolition by neglect. In such cases, the building or landmark owner shall be notified of such determination and be required to begin repairs within 30 days. Any action to enforce this subsection shall be brought by the Code Enforcement Officer as per Subsections C, D, E, F and G, above.
I. 
Any person or entity who demolishes, alters, constructs, or permits a designated building or landmark to fall into a serious state of disrepair, in violation of this chapter, shall be required to restore the building or landmark so that it is a contributing structure that meets the purposes of § 90-1 of this chapter.
J. 
This civil remedy shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any criminal prosecution and penalty.
A. 
Costs or fees incurred by the Commission for necessary consultant services or other extraordinary expense in connection with its review of an application shall be paid by the applicant, provided that the necessity of such services and a ceiling upon such fees or expenses has been determined by the Commission and the applicant has been informed of the fee ceiling in writing.
B. 
Such reimbursable costs shall be in addition to any application fee schedule established by the Commission and shall be paid prior to releasing the certificate of appropriateness enabling the Code Enforcement Officer to provide any necessary building permits.
C. 
No building permit shall be issued for any proposed construction for which fees or reimbursable costs are lawfully due to the Village and which are unpaid.