Village of Dobbs Ferry, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
There is hereby established in the Village of Dobbs Ferry the position of Land Use Officer, to be appointed by the Mayor subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees may assign the duties of Land Use Officer to a duly appointed employee of the Village, and such employee shall carry out the duties of the Land Use Officer as set forth herein. The Land Use Officer shall have the following powers and duties:
A. 
To assist the public and the Village government in complying with this chapter by providing application forms and explanatory materials to applicants and ensuring that application forms and other materials are delivered in a timely fashion to reviewing boards and agencies.
[Amended 8-22-2017 by L.L. No. 6-2017]
B. 
To call to the attention of the Mayor and Board of Trustees any application for site plan review that may be appropriate for consideration under the provisions of Article XII.
C. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection C, regarding the chairing of the Technical Advisory Committee, was repealed 8-22-2017 by L.L. No. 6-2017.
D. 
To evaluate applications for development in order to determine their completeness and compliance with the provisions of this chapter for the purpose of referring applications to the appropriate reviewing board.
E. 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection E, regarding the referring of applications to the Technical Advisory Committee, was repealed 8-22-2017 by L.L. No. 6-2017.
F. 
To enforce this chapter pursuant to the terms of § 300-29 of this chapter, including but not limited to, the issuance of stop-work or cease-and-desist orders and/or the institution of an appropriate legal action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate any violation of this chapter, to prevent the occupancy of premises, or to prevent any activity, business or use that violates this chapter.
G. 
To review site plans and subdivision plats submitted pursuant to this chapter and to inspect premises which have obtained one or more approvals pursuant to this chapter to ensure that said plans and premises comply with the approvals granted.
H. 
To issue, upon request of a property owner or other interested party, certifications for nonconforming uses, buildings, structures and lots that may lawfully continue in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Said certifications shall specify the date of establishment or construction and the legality of such nonconforming use, building or structure and/or lot, and shall specify individually each element of nonconformity.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 300-26, Technical Advisory Committee, was repealed 8-22-2017 by L.L. No. 6-2017.
A. 
General requirements. The Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Architectural and Historic Review Board and Conservation Advisory Board shall follow the following procedures for all meetings:
(1) 
All meetings and hearings of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Architectural and Historic Review Board and Conservation Advisory Board shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as such board may determine, and shall be open to the public. The board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of an application or appeal; give due notice thereof to the applicant, the Land Use Officer and the other persons affected; and decide the application or appeal within a reasonable time. Upon a hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney. The Chairman or, in his absence, the Acting Chairman may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.
(2) 
Every decision of the board shall be made by majority vote. In every case, the board shall state the reason or reasons for its decisions.
(3) 
The board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon every question/motion or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also keep records of its examinations and other official actions. Said minutes and records shall be kept in the municipal offices and shall be open to public inspection.
(4) 
Every rule and regulation of the board and every amendment or repeal thereof shall be immediately filed in the Village Clerk's office and be a public record. A record of all orders, requirements and decisions of the board shall be kept in the office of the Village Clerk, and such record shall also be open to public inspection.
(5) 
Every board shall prepare a written description of the requirements for submission and the procedures for each application, setting forth in detail the sequence and the time requirements for each step in the process.
B. 
Examinations, inspections and testimony. In addition to the above, the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Architectural and Historic Review Board. and Conservation Advisory Board may exercise the following powers, when relevant or necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, to assist it in arriving at its decisions:
(1) 
To conduct examinations and investigations.
(2) 
To hear testimony and take proof, under oath.
A. 
Applicability. The procedures contained herein apply to all applications.
B. 
Submission procedure.
[Amended 8-22-2017 by L.L. No. 6-2017]
(1) 
All applications shall be submitted to the Land Use Officer for referral to the appropriate board.
(2) 
Applications which require design review but not site plan approval, subdivision approval, variances or a special permit shall be referred to the Architectural and Historic Review Board by the Land Use Officer.
(3) 
Applications requiring site plan review, subdivision approval, variances or special permits shall be submitted to the Land Use Officer.
(4) 
Applications requiring site plan review located in the Waterfront (A); Waterfront (B); Chauncey Park; Downtown; or Educational/Institutional District, or involving more than one acre of land, shall be submitted by the Land Use Officer to the Board of Trustees.
(5) 
Applications requiring a variance(s) shall be submitted by the Land Use Officer to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
C. 
Processing of applications.
(1) 
General principles:
(a) 
Where applications require review by more than one board, reviewing boards are encouraged to consider whether it will promote efficiency to schedule joint meetings or hearings, and to do so in appropriate cases.
(b) 
Reviewing boards are required to schedule joint hearings where a reviewing body wishes to modify a condition imposed by a prior board. No prior condition shall be modified except at a joint hearing of the boards involved. Boards shall only place a condition on a project approval or recommendation if it is within its jurisdiction and authority to do so.
(c) 
At any time during its consideration of an application, a reviewing board may forward the application to another board from which a subsequent approval is required if, in the opinion of the board, the application involves threshold issues which lie in the other board's area of expertise. The board to which the application is forwarded shall, within 45 days, review the application informally and make recommendations to the board from which it is forwarded, but it shall not hold a formal hearing on the application or grant or deny the application. In such cases, joint meetings are especially encouraged but not required.
(2) 
Determination of completeness.
(a) 
No application shall be heard until it has been deemed complete with respect to application submittals by the Land Use Officer.
(b) 
Appeals of the determination of completeness shall be made in accordance with § 300-23B of this chapter.
D. 
Submission requirements.
(1) 
The Land Use Officer shall provide the applicant with application forms, including a checklist, which shall stipulate, at minimum, the items required in Appendix D.[1] The applicant shall submit this form together with the application materials. The applicant may request on the form that one or more required items in the checklist be waived. Each request for a checklist waiver shall be accompanied by written documentation providing the reasons the waiver is being requested.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix D is included at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
An application shall be accompanied by plans and descriptive information sufficient to clearly portray the intentions of the applicant and shall include, at minimum, the information shown in Appendix D, along with any other requirements established by the Village. Site plans shall be prepared by an engineer, architect, landscape architect, planner or other qualified professional.
(3) 
Reviewing boards have the authority to deem specific information shown in Appendix D as not required for a particular application when, in the opinion of the reviewing board, the particular information is not pertinent to the application or its review.
E. 
Approvals by other agencies.
(1) 
Approval by the County Planning Board. Any application requiring referral to the County Planning Board pursuant to § 239-m or 239-n of the General Municipal Law shall be referred to that Board by the Planning Board prior to the scheduling of any public hearings by any Village review board. If an application requires referral to the County Planning Board, the procedures of the General Municipal Law at § 239-m or 239-n, as appropriate, shall be followed for the review and approval of such applications, in addition to those procedures set forth in this chapter.
(2) 
The applicant shall be responsible for securing permits or approvals from any other state, federal or county agency as may be required. All such required approvals and permits from state, federal or county agencies shall either be obtained prior to approvals being granted or otherwise shall be required as a condition of approval. The Land Use Officer or Building Inspector shall not grant a building permit until such permits and approvals have been secured.
F. 
Amendments to applications.
(1) 
The applicant may submit an amended application at any time during the approval process, provided that the amended application conforms with all conditions imposed by prior reviewing boards and does not require additional approvals beyond those needed for the original application, except that, if the application is before the Zoning Board of Appeals or the Planning Board, the applicant may request additional or different variances in response to a recommendation made by the Board, provided that such variances do not violate any conditions imposed by a prior reviewing body.
(2) 
If any reviewing board determines that an amendment: has substantially changed the nature of the application, may require approvals not needed for the original application, may no longer require an approval previously deemed necessary, and/or may require a supplemental environmental impact statement, the board shall refer the application to the Land Use Officer for referral to the appropriate board for review.
G. 
Public notice and hearing.
(1) 
Public hearings are required for the following applications: (1) site plan review; (2) subdivision review; (3) variances; and (4) special permits. The reviewing board shall hold a public meeting on a complete application in accordance with applicable law. The relevant board shall give public notice of the initial public hearing by causing publication of a notice of such hearing in the official newspaper at least five days prior to the date thereof. The applicant shall be required to send notices of public hearings to owners of properties within 200 feet of the subject property by certified mailing and shall provide proof in the form of an affidavit that such notice has been given.
[Amended 8-22-2017 by L.L. No. 6-2017]
(2) 
For all special permits, variances, site plans, subdivisions and for other matters as established by this chapter, including review of applications by the Architectural Review Board, the applicant shall also be required to post a notice on a sign provided by the Land Use Officer, stating that there is a pending application on the property and a telephone number to call for further information. This sign shall be posted in public view in a conspicuous location within three days after the application has been accepted by the Village and a meeting or hearing date scheduled. The sign shall remain in place until the day after the hearing is closed.
(3) 
When a public hearing and/or public meeting is completed, the reviewing board shall decide by vote whether to approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the application. The size of the majority required for approval shall be determined in accordance with the New York State Village Law. Within 30 days of a decision, the reviewing board shall set forth in writing a resolution of approval or disapproval describing the reasons therefor and any conditions attached to the approval.
H. 
Effect of approval or disapproval.
(1) 
Approval of an application by any reviewing entity shall grant the applicant the right to proceed with the application, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and other relevant chapters in this Code, for a period of one year. Additionally, such approval period shall be extended for the length of time required to obtain any subsequent approvals required by this chapter or by county, state or federal agencies.
(2) 
If no zoning amendments or other changes to Village regulations affecting the subject property have been enacted in the interim, the Building Inspector shall authorize in writing the extension of the approval of an application by an additional one year; however, in no case shall an approval be extended for more than three additional years beyond the original expiration date.
(3) 
Denial or disapproval of an application by any reviewing entity, except in the case of a nonbinding review, shall cause the application process to cease. The applicant may submit a new application at any time following a denial or the applicant may appeal the denial as set forth at § 300-23B of this article. Appeals of decisions for which there is no procedure set forth at § 300-23B may be made to the Supreme Court as provided at § 7-712-c of the Village Law.
[Amended 6-13-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
A. 
Violations. All buildings and land used, and all buildings and structures erected, converted, enlarged, reconstructed, moved or structurally altered, must comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter. Failure to comply with applicable provisions constitutes a violation of this chapter. Express violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) 
Using land or buildings in any way not consistent with the requirements of this chapter;
(2) 
Erecting a building or other structure in any way not consistent with the requirements of this chapter;
(3) 
Engaging in the development of land in any way not consistent with the requirements of this chapter;
(4) 
Installation or use of a sign in any way not consistent with the requirements of this chapter;
(5) 
Engaging in the use of a building or land, the use or installation of a sign, or any other activity requiring one or more permits or approvals under this chapter without obtaining all such permits or approvals;
(6) 
Failure to comply with any permit or approval granted under this chapter;
(7) 
Failure to comply with any condition imposed on a permit or approval;
(8) 
Obscuring, obstructing, removing or destroying any notice required to be posted or otherwise given under this chapter; or
(9) 
Disobeying, omitting, neglecting or refusing to comply with or resisting the enforcement of any of the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Enforcement for violations on historic properties.
(1) 
All work performed pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness issued under this chapter shall conform to the requirements expressly stated in the certificate or reasonably implied therefrom. It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector to periodically inspect any such work to assure compliance with the certificate and all applicable law. In the event any requirement included in the certificate of appropriateness has not been met, or upon notification of that fact by the AHRB, the Building Inspector 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.
(2) 
Any owner or person in charge of a property who demolishes, alters, constructs, or permits an individual landmark, scenic landmark, or contributing property within an historic district to fall into a serious state of disrepair in violation of this chapter in the absence of a certificate of appropriateness or demolition permit or other approval by the AHRB may be required by the Board of Trustees to restore the property and its site to its appearance prior to the violation.
(3) 
If, in the judgment of the AHRB, a violation of this chapter exists that will result in a detrimental effect upon the life and character of an individual landmark, scenic landmark, property with an historic district or on the character of an historic district as a whole, the AHRB shall notify the Building Inspector. If, upon investigation, the Building Inspector finds noncompliance with the requirements of the Property Maintenance Code of the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code, or the affirmative maintenance and repair requirement (§ 300-19E), or any other applicable law or regulation, the building inspector shall order such remedies as are necessary and consistent with this chapter and shall provide written notice thereof to the AHRB. Upon such notification, the AHRB may establish a reasonable time not less than 30 days within which the owner must begin repairs. If the owner has not begun repairs within the allowed time, the AHRB shall hold a hearing at which the owner may appear and state his or her reasons for not commencing repairs. If the owner does not appear at the hearing or does not comply with the AHRB's orders, the AHRB may recommend to the Board of Trustees that the required repairs be made at the expense of the Village, with the cost of labor and materials, as well as all other costs, including court costs and attorney's fees, to be placed as a lien against the property.
(4) 
Nothing in this article shall prevent the Building Inspector to commence proceedings in local court for violation of the Village Code, and/or the Village from commencing any action in State Court to remedy any and all violations on the property.
C. 
Liability. The property owner, tenant or occupant of any land or structure, or part thereof, or any design professional, builder, contractor, vendor or authorized agent who participates in, assists, directs, creates or maintains any situation that is contrary to the requirements of this chapter is jointly and severally liable for the violation and subject to all available penalties and remedies.
D. 
Remedies and enforcement powers. The Village may use any lawful remedy or enforcement power, expressly including those described in this section.
(1) 
Withhold permit. Village officials may deny or withhold all permits or other forms of authorization for any land or structure for which there is an uncorrected violation of a provision of this chapter or of a condition or qualification of a permit or other authorization previously granted by the Village. This provision applies regardless of whether the current property owner or the applicant is responsible for the violation in question.
(2) 
Permits with conditions. Instead of withholding or denying a permit or other authorization, Village officials may grant such authorization subject to the condition that the violation be corrected by a specified time. Village officials are also authorized to require adequate financial assurances that such correction will be made.
(3) 
Revoke permit.
(a) 
Any permit or other form of authorization required and issued under this chapter may be revoked when the Building Inspector determines that:
[1] 
There is departure from the plans, specifications or conditions required under terms of the permit;
[2] 
The development permit was procured by false representation or was issued by mistake; or
[3] 
Any of the provisions of this chapter and/or the Village Code are being violated.
(b) 
Written notice of revocation shall be served upon the property owner by certified mail and posted in a prominent location. Once notice of revocation is provided, all construction must stop.
(4) 
Stop work. Whenever development is occurring in violation of this chapter, the Building Inspector may order the work to be immediately stopped, in accordance with the following standards:
(a) 
The stop-work order must be in writing and directed to the person doing the work and/or the property owner; and
(b) 
The stop-work order must state the specific work to be stopped, the specific reasons for the stoppage, and the conditions under which the work may be resumed.
(5) 
Injunctive relief. The Village may seek an injunction or other equitable relief in court to stop any violation of this chapter.
(6) 
Abatement. The Village may seek a court order in the nature of mandamus, abatement, or other action or proceeding to abate or remove a violation or to otherwise restore the premises in question to the condition in which it existed before the violation.
(7) 
Remedial action. Any person who violates this chapter by alteration or modification of a structure to increase the number of dwelling units or living spaces within the structure, or by allowing any such alteration or modification to continue or to be used, or by altering or modifying an office or commercial building to accommodate one or more uses not permitted by this chapter is required to remove those fixtures, electrical and plumbing connections, furnishings, partitions and non-load-bearing walls determined by the Building Inspector to constitute the violation. Failure to remove any of the foregoing constitutes a separate violation.
(8) 
Penalties.
(a) 
Unless otherwise indicated, any violation of this chapter is punishable by a penalty of not more than $350 for the first offense, $750 for the second offense, and $1,000 for the third and subsequent offenses. In addition to any penalties, all costs and expenses incurred by the Village in determining such violation may be collected.
(b) 
In addition, every violation of this chapter shall constitute disorderly conduct and every person violating the Zoning Ordinance shall be a disorderly person, subject to both a fine and imprisonment not in excess of the maximum fine and imprisonment prescribed by the Penal Law for such disorderly conduct.
(c) 
Each week such violation or failure to comply exists after notice constitutes a separate and distinct offense.
E. 
Nothing in this chapter will be construed as depriving the Village of the right to apply for an injunction to prevent any violation or of employing any other remedies as allowed by law.
F. 
Continuation of previous enforcement actions. Nothing in this chapter will be interpreted to prohibit the continuation of previous enforcement actions undertaken by the Village under previous valid ordinances and laws.